June 04, 2013 10:22am PT by Rebecca Ford
'The Voice' Goes Country: Finalists Weigh In
After last week’s shocking elimination of Judith Hill and Sarah Simmons from Adam Levine’s team, four out of the six remaining contestants on The Voice are country artists.
The three members of country star Blake Shelton’s team -- The Swon Brothers, Danielle Bradbery and Holly Tucker -- and Levine’s one remaining contestant, Amber Carrington, all come from a country background.
That leaves Shakira’s soulful Sasha Allen and Usher’s indie singer Michelle Chamuel as the only non-country singers in the mix.
But on Monday’s live show, even Allen and Chamuel jumped onboard the country wagon, with one of their two songs each being from a country singer.
So what exactly is going on with The Voice’s strong lean toward country?
“I think we know we have country fans watching,” said The Voice’s social media correspondent Christina Milian when The Hollywood Reporter asked why she thought all the artists chose country songs.
“They did a great job,” she said. “Even the ones who are not technically country artists.”
Definitely not a country artist, Chamuel performed Taylor Swift’s hit “I Knew You Were Trouble” as her second song of the night, but put an electronica spin on it.
STORY: 'The Voice' Recap: Top Six Champion Country Hits
“It’s a masterpiece of a song,” she says of Swift’s piece. “I really wanted to try to show that I could bring my own side to it.”
Chamuel, who even got to meet Swift during rehearsals of her song, tells THR that it’s a “testament to these artists” that so many country artists remain in the competition.
“Country music is fantastic,” she says, “and I think it’s very heartfelt, which is why its good to connect to, but these people are so talented and such hard workers and they deserve to be here, country or not.”
Allen, who performed Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats," seems to agree with Chamuel that it’s not so much about the genre as about the artists.
“I think that these people are just really, really talented,” she tells THR. “I don’t know if it has to necessarily do with country music, or it has to do with their talent and just who they are.”
One of Shelton’s team members, Tucker, who sang Rascal Flatts' "My Wish” and Martina McBride's "When God-Fearin’ Women Get The Blues,” says that country music “relates with people the best.”
“The words, the lyrics, the music behind everything, it’s just heart and soul. It’s raw, even if it’s a fast song,” she says.
Tucker, who adds that all the country singers are still very different in their sounds, says that Shelton has advised her to keep singing country in the competition.
“Blake has said that once you gain country fans, you really want to stay loyal to them because they’re so loyal to you,” she says. “That’s kind of his goal with all this.”
Email: Rebecca.Ford@thr.com; Twitter: @Beccamford