The Voice Recap: Justice Is Served

The Voice

Live Semi-Final Results
Season 10 Episode 26
Editor’s Rating *****
The Voice - Season 10
Bryan Bautista. Photo: Tyler Golden/NBC

Let the slaughter begin! Tonight, eight become four. It will be brutal. It will be bloody. Carson Daly has never been more excited about anything in his life.

But first, he would like to take this opportunity to ask our coaches the hard-hitting questions, such as how proud are they of their teams? Are they very proud, or mid-range proud, or just a little bit proud, Carson Daly wonders. Also, why is Hannah Huston so special? Is America ready for a female coach to win The Voice? Christina tells him she is nervous, yet hopeful, about the state of gender equality in America. “The odds are always just obviously stacked against the female a little bit,” she says. You’re telling me, sister! Truly, Christina Aguilera is the Susan B. Anthony of our time.

Then everyone parades out onto the stage, and I may be projecting, but they all look profoundly miserable. Are they upset about their impending eliminations, do you think, or because now they have to pretend to chat about their feelings with Carson Daly? Anyway, in this installment, Hannah says Pharrell has taught her to be the best version of herself, and Shalyah reveals that she loves her family. I think it is safe to say we all learned something here tonight.

Some news! Carson Daly senses it is time to announce our first finalist, and that person is — wait for it — Adam Wakefield! Oh, I love it when extremely predictable things happen! It confirms my illusion that I am always right.

Carson has more results, and he is going to tell us all about them just as soon as Grammy winner and future female Voice coach Alicia Keys finishes her performance of “In Common.” Apparently, it is “a possible summer hit.” I agree, in the sense that I would possibly listen to it. I think Alicia Keys is really good at singing in general, but in the case of this specific performance, I am distracted by the sheer number of backup dancers. Which backup dancer was your favorite backup dancer, I wonder? Personally, I am partial to the one gyrating on the jungle gym.

A special surprise! Carson Daly is now going to show us a fun blooper reel starring our old pal, Pink. Here is a question for you: Why does The Voice have the worst outtakes in the history of film and television? It is a skill, in a way.

Who else did America save? Well! Carson and I are glad you asked. America saved … Alisan Porter! Are you surprised? Me neither! In honor of her victory, let us all take a moment to rewatch this video of 5-year-old mini-Alisan singing “When You Wish Upon a Star” on Star Search in the past. I do not want to spoil it for you, but I will go out on a limb and say that she is very good.

After that revelation, Carson decides it’s time to lighten the mood with some music, so OneRepublic takes the stage for a rousing performance of their brand-new single, “Wherever I Go.” I must confess I do not share Carson’s enthusiasm about this number, but I feel strongly that it is fine. They have many fewer backup dancers, and frankly, they are missed.

Back to business! Mary Sarah says that she is honored to be here and that hard work is important, and Bryan says that the most important thing The Voice has taught him about himself is the art of time management. What is the most important thing The Voice has taught you about yourself? For me, the biggest lesson is that maybe I should start wearing jumpsuits. Honestly, it is amazing to reflect upon my progress over the course of the season. Back in March, I had never even thought of wearing a jumpsuit!

Speaking of jumpsuits, Carson has something he would like to say: The next artist moving onto the finale is America’s favorite preschool teacher, Hannah Huston! Amen, I say! Did you know the governor of Nebraska signed a proclamation declaring that Monday was officially “Hannah Huston Day”? I would say that I have some concerns about the legislative priorities in Nebraska, but also that I am proud of her.

There is one slot left in the finals, and five artists remaining, which means that in just a few short minutes, almost everyone is going to feel terrible. Three of our friends will earn the pleasure of competing for the final instant save. The other two will be disposed of immediately and we shall never speak of it again. And the survivors are … Mary Sarah! Bryan Bautista! And Laith Al-Saadi! This is correct, but I find I am sad to see Shalyah and Paxton go.

To win back the heart of America, Mary Sarah sings “Something in the Water,” and I think we can all agree it is a performance that happened. She seems nervous and sounds pitchy, for all sorts of understandable reasons, such as her impending elimination. “It was, uh, first of all, it happened so fast,” says Pharrell. “I am literally your biggest fan,” Blake assures her, pointing out that she can still be a star even if she does not win The Voice. Much to the chagrin of many previous Voice winners, this is true.

Bryan Bautista, light of my life, is up next with a rendition of Miguel’s “Adorn.” He sounds lovely, I think, but I am going to level with you: I have questions about this song choice.  I don’t want to jump to any conclusions, but I am beginning to suspect Bryan and I may have different tastes in music. I know. I am upset about it, too. I imagine it is something we can overcome, though, with time and good communication.

And then Laith Al-Saadi performs, and it is all over. He is a rock, our Laith. He is comically consistent. He does “All Along the Watchtower,” and for a moment, all my worries melt away. Pharrell and his decorative kimono are delighted. Laith is neither a pop star nor a pop singer, observes Adam, arguing that his classic sensibility is what makes him special. I agree! At the same time, I think we may be underselling his impressive wardrobe of matching vests.

It is a decisive victory: Our winner is Laith Al-Saadi! I have never felt more right about anything in my life. He deserves it, I feel. Obviously, I am devastated about Bryan, but Christina says they will still be friends, just like Blake and his pal Mary Sarah, and for my own well being, I am going to choose to believe this is true.

And that’s our show! And so I ask you: Who is going to win The Voice, do you think, and how much would you bet on it?

The Voice Recap: Justice Is Served