So here we are and the countdown continues for season 8 of The Voice
. After the Top 8 performed
last time, America voted to advance five artists: Joshua Davis, Sawyer Fredericks, Meghan Linsey, Kimberly Nichole and Koryn Hawthorne. The final moments of the results show featured a frenzied Twitter vote between India Carney, Corey Kent White and Hannah Kirby. It was several sweaty, intense moments until a two-vote difference named India Carney as America's Twitter Save. And we all expelled a huge sigh of relief. Or at least I did.
While Corey Kent White is a joy to listen to, his Top 8 performance delivered only one solid moment of excitement. The competition was stiff and required something several levels higher than what Corey had been able to provide so far. Hannah Kirby -- while this gal has the energy and the power, her somewhat metallic vocal aesthetic lacks the universal appeal that both Corey and India Carney deliver with regularity. Between Corey and India, India possesses the more finely-tuned and versatile instrument. America, it turns out, has more faith in India Carney's ability to go head-to-head with the remaining five. In a moment, we will find out if that holds true when the remaining artists take the stage for another round of The Voice.
The Voice Results: The Top 6 are Revealed >>>
All Coaches Still On Deck and Mothers are Celebrated
All four coaches are still in the game at this point. Christina Aguilera and Pharrell Williams each have two artists: Christina with India Carney and Kimberly Nichole while Pharrell has Sawyer Fredericks and Koryn Hawthorne. The two veteran coaches each have one artist still standing. Adam Levine has Joshua Davis, while Blake Lewis has Meghan Linsey.
During the evening, each artist will take the stage twice, with one round being a special tribute to their mothers. Video snippets will show them attending practice with their progeny and their coach. How exciting is that? If you are a mom with a kid on The Voice, that's hella exciting.
India Carney Performs "Glory" for Her Mother, Karen
India chooses a song of hope and endurance for her mother. Karen Carney is excited to meet Christina, of course, and speaks of fighting against injustices in the world.
India takes the stage in a stunning black evening outfit and some fabulous butterscotch tresses. Her song choice is interesting because some of the lyrics of John Legend and Common's song are of the rap variety. This song is completely new to me, so, like Blake comments, I cannot imagine how that beautiful song could have a rap version. Now I can't wait to go listen to the original. Regardless, India gives a performance that does raise the hairs on my arms, but only to a five on a scale of 1-10.
Joshua Davis Performs "Desire"
Joshua is thrilled to still be a competitor. Adam expresses his pride in Joshua for staying true to himself. The instrumentals during this performance sound a bit like a late night band and the performance is good, though not that different from what we've already heard from Joshua.
Koryn Hawthorne Performs "Everybody Hurts" for Her Mother, Summers
Koryn welcoms her school teacher mother to The Voice and eventually some subtle tears are shed. Koryn explains how her mother has had a hard-knock life and has risen above adversity more than once. Koryn's beautiful mother, Summers, supports her daughter unabashedly, which Pharrell can't help commenting on after their time together.
How Summers keeps her composure during that performance is beyond me. Koryn's not even my kid and my mascara is pooling in my lashes. Then again, I'm a choked-up mess every single time my 11-year-old baby girl performs with her dance team. But don't let that diminish what I have to say about Koryn's performance; it takes a lot to move me when my own skin isn't in the game. This little gal has a mesmerizing presence and unlimited power, which she pours into her performances.
Koryn, per usual, knocks this performance out of the park. Yowsa.
The Moms Get the Star Treatment
Carson Daly introduces four of the artists' mothers and shows a brief clip of them in the dressing room getting all dolled up for the evening's appearances on The Voice.
Kimberly Nichole Performs "Free Fallin'" for Her Mother, Gloria
Kimberly's mother is a singer just like her daughter, or perhaps we should say that the other way around. The practice, including Kimberly's mother, Gloria, has the feeling of a reunion rather than a first meeting. Gloria gets a chance to demonstrate her ability. Her tone, quality and vibrato are perfect. It is clear by the expression of Kimberly's face throughout their time together than she is simply delighted to be able to give her mother this kind of experience.
Kimberly takes the stage with her usual command. I like Kimberly and it's a decent performance. Kimberly's joy is evident in her smile. That being said, I have a pet peeve to air, folks, and that's when cover artists increase their articulation of words and phrases over what the original artists did. Kimberly does this during her performance of "Free Fallin'" and it grates on me. Aside from that, it's a stellar delivery.
Meghan Linsey Performs "Steamroller Blues"
This is Meghan's "tip jar" song from her bar-performing days. In other words, this is the song she sings while she passes the hat to collect a lucrative haul for the evening. That's cash in the bank, baby.
Meghan performs wearing a sparkly choker top, which is to die for, and some fantastic lashes that accentuate her beautiful eyes like never before on The Voice. I love her new hair treatment as well. The combination gives a flattering roundness to her face.
Well, Meghan gives possibly her best performance to date. She sings the crap out of James Taylor's "Steamroller Blues." She gives us some deep, deep, I mean, canyon-worthy dark blues. No wonder this is her tip jar song.
Sawyer Fredericks Performs "Shine On" for His Mother
Sawyer's mom has enjoyed seeing how Pharrell interacts with her son. She has left behind a farm, a bunch of sons and her husband in order to accompany Sawyer on this journey. She speaks of a difficult time in their family's life when they sold their home in Connecticut and moved upstate to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Sawyer chooses "Shine On" because his mother used to sing it to him when he was a small child. The stage is interestingly set with bald blue light bulbs as Sawyer begins to sing. It's a mellow performance, but not particularly extraordinary. We've yet to see Sawyer ratchet it up, but he is a fan favorite for his unique and powerful voice, which projects wonderfully during every performance. During this round, only one person will be eliminated. I can't see Sawyer being that one person, but it will depend upon his second song choice. Please, Sawyer, please come out with something we haven't seen in you yet.
Kimberly Nichole Performs "Dirty Diana"
"Dirty Diana" is the crazy off-the-chain type of song that's perfect for Kimberly's personality. She says she feels she still hasn't had a "rock" moment. What? I disagree. She's already established herself as a rocker, and an impressive one at that, with "House of the Rising Sun," "Creep" and "What's Up."
Kimberly is indeed the Rock Ballerina when she performs "Dirty Diana." It takes some impressive
testicles ovaries to take on a Michael Jackson original. "Dirty Diana" is one of Michael's ass-kickingest songs. Kimberly stomps it out like a pro.
Joshua Davis Performs "In My Life" for His Wife, Ann
Joshua chooses his wife as the mother he wants to honor with a public performance on The Voice. Ann talks about how she and Joshua met in college. Images of him in those days further cement his likeness to Art Garfunkel in my mind. For his dedication, he has chosen "In My Life," another characteristically mellow song by The Beatles. It's a lovely dedication.
Koryn Hawthorne Performs "Dream On"
Kimberly discusses with Pharrell how she is living her dream right now, right in front of our very eyes. She's chosen an Aerosmith number and she's got the gritty voice to do Steven Tyler justice. Holy guitar strings, Batman, who would think that a 17-year-old would be able to pull that off? And, boy, does she. It's great to see Koryn challenge herself (take notes, Sawyer and Joshua) and do something we have yet to see from her. This is a muscle-clenching experience for the audience, and I mean that is the most positive way. Intense.
Kimberly and Koryn are neck and neck for me in this round, with Meghan in a very close third place after that delivery of "Steamroller Blues." What Koryn has over Kimberly is her versatility. Koryn's intensity beats Meghan's, even though Meghan has delivered some phenomenal performances. If it were up to me, the winner of this whole competition would be either Kimberly or Koryn. Nah, who am I kidding? It would definitely be Koryn. She stole the show during this Top 6 round.
India Carney Performs "Lay Me Down"
India is back for her second performance of the evening. She's chosen one of my current favorite songs, "Lay Me Down" by Sam Smith. She inserts a number of runs of her own. Her performance is clean and somewhat generic. She doesn't exude the passion and angst that Smith infuses his rendition with. For reasons already stated, I am a tough customer when it comes to "Lay Me Down." Adam says it was her best performance so far, but I disagree as "Glory" was much more powerful. No goosebumps with this one unfortunately.
Sawyer Fredericks Performs "Take Me to the River"
Sawyer without the guitar? Yes! This is going to be epic, folks. As Pharrell says, he needs to ascend a couple feet higher than he did in the Top 8. The '50s Austin Powers fembot dancing is fantastic. And look at that ... Sawyer seems perfectly comfortable without the six-string. He's actually having fun.
While surrounded by the dancers and closely backed by the band, Sawyer's voice is almost lost. It gets better when he walks out in front of his crew. It's astounding how lively he is without that guitar. Wow.
Meghan Linsey Performs "Amazing Grace" for Her Mom, Roberta
Roberta teases Blake that he would have to go home (just like an artist not saved by voters) if not for Meghan. Meghan talks about Roberta's upbringing in Kentucky, my own home state, so I like Mom from the outset. "Amazing Grace" is her mother's favorite song, as it is for most of us gals with southern roots. It's a brilliant song choice because simply the words to this song alone give a lot of people chills.
Meghan takes Blake's advice and sings the first verse a cappella. She's decked out absolutely beautifully again, but the performance isn't nearly as moving as I anticipated. If she had switched this song with her performance of "Steamroller Blues,she could have stolen the night. The meager accompaniment leaves the song lacking for me as well. Am I crazy? What do y'all think?
Tune in Tuesday night for our coverage of the results.
The Voice airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8pm on NBC.