7:25pm PT by Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya
'The Voice': Top 8 Sing for Final Four Slots
The Top 8 singers performed in The Voice’s semifinals on Monday night, going all-out with big performances hoping to catch viewers’ eyes. Coaches Blake Shelton, Adam Levine, Jennifer Hudson and Kelly Clarkson helped them prepare to lay it all on the line, as season 15’s final four will be announced Tuesday night. Artists sang once on their own and then also were paired up with each other for duets.
Team Kelly’s Sarah Grace got things started with her take on "Sign of the Times" by Harry Styles. Clarkson worked with Grace on making her singing more dramatic, and past winner Brynn Cartelli also served as a mentor. Grace sang with solid phrasing and gorgeous tone, but she was conservative with her runs and ad libs. She appeared confident, but it wasn’t the kind of performance that really sticks. Clarkson praised the subtlety of her vocals.
Team Adam’s Reagan Strange and Team Jennifer’s Kennedy Holmes next sang a duet mashup of the pop songs "Happy" and "Tightrope." It was a fun performance, with the two artists working the stage skillfully and blending their pop-leaning voices.
Team Jennifer’s MaKenzie Thomas followed with her performance of "Vision of Love" by Mariah Carey. She went for the high notes and sang big without oversinging it. Thomas kept it close to the original, but she showed off her range and power with ease. The song was perfectly in her wheelhouse, and Hudson said Thomas was a coach’s dream.
Team Blake’s Kirk Jay and Team Kelly’s Chevel Shepherd followed with a very country mashup of "She’s Country" and "Country Must Be Country Wide." They both proved to have strong entertaining and storytelling skills, but it wasn’t the most vocally complex song choice.
Team Kelly’s Kymberli Joye next sang "Never Alone" by Tori Kelly. She brought a gospel sound to the song and commanded the key change. Joye brought a lot of energy to her singing and also showcased her personality, making it a great song choice for her.
Chris Kroeze from Team Blake sang The Marshall Tucker Band's "Can’t You See" next, noting that he grew up with the song. He brought a throwback rock-country sound to his performance, but it failed to stand out on a night packed with top-notch singing. Clarkson said it made her nostalgic.
Joye and Thomas were both back up to sing a "Got to Be Real" and "Best of My Love" mashup. The disco vibe suited both of their voices.
Holmes returned to the stage for her solo performance of "This Is Me" from The Greatest Showman. She gave a theatrical performance, but also put some emotion behind the drama, singing beyond her years at just 14. Hudson said she could feel Holmes relating to the song.
Strange also returned for her solo performance, singing “You Are the Reason" by Calum Scott. It was a standout performance for Strange, whose performance skills have grown over the course of the season. She sang with emotion and came across as authentic. Levine said he was so connected to her while she sang.
Kroeze and Grace were back up to sing a mashup of "Jumpin' Jack Flash" and "Chain of Fools," with Kroeze on guitar and Grace on keyboards. They both showed off their instrumental skills more than their vocals with the duet.
Shepherd returned to the stage for her solo performance of "Blue" by LeAnn Rimes, a song choice that really allowed her to zero in on the vocals and show off her old-school country vibe. Shepherd had a lovely tone, and Clarkson called her “pure country.”
Closing out the night, Jay gave his solo performance of “I Swear.” He remains an impressively versatile artist, and this song choice allowed him to tap into his strengths on a vocal and performance level. It was a strong end to the evening, and Shelton seemed certain that he’d be seeing Jay in the finals.
The final four artists of season 15 will be announced on Tuesday night on NBC. Who has your vote?