Right from the off, we were told this was a “crucial stage of the competition” – presumably, referring to The Voice’s chances of sucking the oxygen back from Britain’s Got Talent for Saturday night viewing (they can relax, from next week, they’ve got it back to themselves, but until then…)
But Voice bosses haven’t been resting on their laurels, coming up with ways to keep The Voice dramatic in a post-spinning-chair era. Their answer: doubling up the eviction rate – two each from teams Tom and Will this week – and getting these two judges to perform with their acts.
Which did the job. After all the contestants had done their bit, with Ruth Brown and Jaz Ellington firmly out in front on the leaders’ board, Silver Bear Sir Tom showed how it was done with an effortless rendition of Hit The Road Jack, before Will hit it out of the park with his “band of five” singing Black Eyed Peas’ own song Just Can’t Get Enough, with a show-stealing rap from the nation’s favourite tweeter.
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But which FOUR are going out tomorrow? Here’s a round-up of everyone in action tonight, before the results show tomorrow…
Leanne Mitchell sang I Got A Spell on You. It emerged during emotional rehearsals with Tom, that she used to sing this song with her then boyfriend, before their temporary split. He’s now her husband, which made this song extra special for the performer. It was a spikey, spirited rendition of the classic with some soaring notes that got Tom smiling – it rose to a beat ‘em belter that got the audience, and every judge, on their feet, and Will and others applauding “those riffs, those runs”.
Matt and Sueleen have been enjoying recognition in their hometown for more than being “the man who looks like Gandalf” in recent weeks. Tom didn’t look too chuffed as his folksy duo tried gamely to hit every harmonising note of Miss You (by Everything But The Girl), but it didn’t always come off, perhaps because they were seated facing away from each other. The judges applauded them for “taking chances” – never a good sign…
Ruth Brown had a dream come true just in rehearsals when one of her singing idols Emeli Sande popped in to see how she was getting on with her rendition of Next to Me. Ruth did her proud with an anthemic, breast-beating performance that hit the back wall. “When I hear Ruth sing, I get choked up,” said Tom.
Adam Isaac, already a favourite with the ladies – a few marriage proposals since the beginning of the series - stuck out once again this week with his rocky version of Radiohead’s High and Dry. Danny didn’t think it was Adam’s best yet, but Will thought it was “dope” and he added, “that’s not a word I use lightly.”
Frances Wood – teamed a saucy tutu with dark boots for a disco-tastic You Gotta Show Me Love (originally by Robin S). Will said he was “proud, with every note”, although Jessie expressed reservations that it was “very comfortable, you could have taken more risk”.
Joelle Moses found herself in the bottom two last week, and threw everything into this week’s efforts to avoid that happening again, even taking her coach’s advice not to sing a Celine Dion song. Instead, she went for Stronger, and gave an impressively assured performance. Jessie and Danny thought she finished better than she started, but Will was having none of it.
Tyler James admitted to nerves in rehearsal, but managed to keep it together for Terence Trent D’Arby’s Sign My Name, with a particular piercing falsetto “as strong as your normal voice”. Jessie was so impressed with him, she suggested she and Tyler went out for dinner.
Jaz Ellington has had a busy week, discovering the gender of his baby. He also found time to prepare a mash-up of Just The Way You Are, by Billy Joel and Bruno Mars respectively, which he sang to rabble-rousing effect, re-sealing his “favourite” status, temporarily whipped away from him by Ruth in the last couple of weeks.