‘I don’t know what America was thinking’


The bottom four contestants Eric Who, Alyssa Witrado, Devix and Kiqué await their fate in the top 13 results show of ‘The Voice’ season 22. (Photo: NBC)

brought on tuesday The voice top 13 results show, which determined the all-important top 10 of this season. Early in the evening, host Carson Daly explained that nine contestants would be voted through based on Monday’s top 13 performances, with the remaining four singers competing for the final spot via a real-time audience-voted Instant Save sing off.

On Monday, I had predicted Team Camila’s Eric Who would be in the bottom four, drastically toning down his usual colorful and flamboyant stage presence and getting lost in the shuffle as a result; Team Gwen’s Alyssa Witrado, who should never have made the top 13 in the first place; and Team Gwen’s most promising and unique team member, Kiqué, who disappointedly played it way too safe and fair this week with a boring Stevie Wonder karaoke cover. And I was right about all three.

However, I had also assumed that Team Blake’s pop singer Rowan Grace, who I thought really screwed up her ABBA cover, would also be in danger. But I should have taken into account Blake Shelton’s rampant popularity among loyalists Voiceviewers. Rowan survived, making Blake the only coach of the season to have all four of his Live Playoffs Semifinalists make the top 10. If you’re doing the math, that means Team Blake now makes up 40% of Season 22. The man is simply unstoppable – that is, until he stops himself and backs off The voice next year. I’m curious to see how the show’s voting patterns change once Blake is no longer a variable in Season 24.

But… back to this one season. One season 22 contestant I absolutely did not the concern that would be in jeopardy this week was Team Camila’s husky alt-rocker Devix, who thrilledly killed an Arctic Monkeys number on Monday – a Voice first! — and in the process seemingly established himself as an exciting new front-runner. John Legend had told Devix that “RU Mine?” was “the right song for who you are as an artist and singer”; proud coach Camila Cabello was elated: “You went superstar on this!”; and even former KROQ DJ and current Voice host Carson Daly expressed his approval by telling Devix, “Thank you for bringing rock ‘n’ roll back The voice — a sound and feel we’ve been missing for a while!”

But apparently Voice viewers didn’t miss the rock on this show – or at least they didn’t miss the Britrock. Oh well. And here’s hoping Devix would cover a Franz Ferdinand, the Cribs, Muse of Kasabian banger next week.

But there was still hope that Devix would be there next week, and when it came time to sing for the Saves, he stuck to the genre he does best, with a rousing performance of the rather Anglophilic Killers’ ” When You Were Young.” This performance had less of the darkness and menace and stomp of the previous night’s track – it was anthemic, upbeat, evangelical, stadium worthy for sure – and it seemed like all would not be lost.

“Listen, I don’t know what America was thinking when they didn’t vote for you yesterday,” Camila grumbled. “America, you can redeem yourself now. Redeem yourself! … America, you would be making a huge mistake to let Devix go. You want to hear that voice of his on a ballad. You want to hear that voice of his on a very emotional track. You do not want to let this voice go!

But Devix had stiff competition from Kiqué, this season’s other super cool indie rock maverick. “I would not want to make this call,” Carson admitted.

At least it seemed clear that America didn’t need to call between Eric and Alyssa. First Eric sang… “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus. Ugh. More like Eric Why, amirite? Eric is a consummate showman, one entertainer, and when he was his absolutely fabulous pastel self, the one-man star of “The Eric Who Show,” he was thrilling to watch. I’m not sure why he felt compelled to go so off-brand this week with his juicy ballad picks and fashion makeunder, but he really sabotaged himself. And I felt that he was not going out on his own terms. When he tremblingly sang Miley’s “The Climb” line “My Faith Is Shaken,” it really seemed like it was, and when he ended his song with “I love y’all,” it was clear that he knew that “The Eric Who Show” was over. And that was a pity.

As for teen pop star Alyssa, she sang Billie Eilish’s age-appropriate “Ocean Eyes,” and it was actually one of her stronger performances — definitely better than Monday’s shaky, almost profane Selena cover — more vulnerable and connected, and more suited her thin voice. But it was still an undercooked and inconsistent performance, one that indicated she should have waited to audition for The voice in a season or two.

Returning to the subject of redemption, Kiqué hoped to redeem ithimself, as after putting in some of the most creative leftfield performances this season (radical remakes of OutKast’s “Hey Ya!” performance. So, Kiqué lets it lament on the Weeknds Fifty Shades of grey theme “Earned It” – and he deserved it, okay. This was 50 Shades of Awesome – an extremely confident and sexy voice.

“It is clear that Kiqué will continue, America. Right?” begged Gwen Stefani. “I just want to remind everyone that this is a 19-year-old boy; he has a Manvoice. … I feel like this is a mistake, America. We have to push Kique through.”

And so, after the commercial break and a five-minute voting window, America considered Camila and Gwen’s pleas and saved… Kiqué. I couldn’t really argue with that decision and I’m glad Kiqué got a reprieve. But Devix should have never was in the bottom four in the beginning – not when he was just starting to break out of his shell and start breaking the mold.

“Devix, no matter what happens tonight, I just think you’re a huge talent,” Camila assured the 28-year-old Queens rocker just before hearing his fate. “I want to hear your songs in my car. I just think you are such a talented musician. You were meant to do this. Thank you for being vulnerable and open to me.”

Hopefully this isn’t the last we hear from Devix. In the meantime, the top 10 will battle next Monday, and hopefully Kiqué will learn from this week’s close call and get back to taking risks and script-flipping – or Kiqué-fying – some more out-of-the-box song choices . See you then.

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The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.


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