Performer #6: Audra McLaughlin
In the pre-package, we learn that Blake reads things about the show, which makes me sincerely hope he doesn’t read my recap (uh oh).
Ever since Audra bounced back, she’s been a wildly dominant force. In the company of Josh, Delvin, Sisaundra, and Christina, Audra has one of those power voices—but even as I’m mentioning those other four, I have to say that Audra really has the most consistent, market-ready sound. She sounds like a certified country star already, and I can’t imagine she won’t sail right through to the Top 5.
Gwen Stefani is suddenly on my screen and she’s singing “Hollaback Girl,” because she bizarrely doesn’t have a new song to promote so instead she decides to mumble her way through this 2004 ditty. She kind of fakes her way through some of the lyrics, but it’s a nice—if unexpected and unnecessary—throwback trip. I will say, I’m really excited to see what Gwen has to offer to the coaching chair. But we could definitely do without seeing this performance ever again.
Performer #7: Jake Worthington
Other artists are trying tonight to have “breakout moments,” but all Jake wants to do is show off his “redneck side,” and I didn’t realize how much I’d been dying for it until I see it. This is a fun Jake that we really haven’t gotten to see too often, and I’m on board! Fun Jake is so much better than Endearing Jake or Misty-Eyed Jake.
I’d like to pose this intriguing question, though: if the Top 3 only has room for one country artist next to, say, the hypothetical combo of Josh and Delvin, would you pick Audra or Jake? I’ve always loved Jake and think he’s just the tops, but Audra is actually the one whose album I’d actually listen to, while Jake’s is the YouTube channel I would subscribe to.
Performer #8: Christina Grimmie
We begin on Christina in full sad hoodie mode, after Bria and Tess have just been eliminated. Apparently they were best friends? Who even knew!?
As we finish the Top 8, Christina’s task is solidifying herself as a contestant who can’t possibly be eliminated. With this night-ending, neon-tastic performance, I couldn’t say that she’s a lock, but she remains one of the most exciting artists left if only because we really have no idea what Christina will do each week. Josh will be soulful, Kat will pretend to rock, Delvin and Sisaundra and Jake and Audra and Kristen will do their same genre jam, but Christina remains a fun surprise. That’s the intrigue that could bring her to the Top 5.
After tonight, I’m inclined to say that the bottom three will pick from Christina, Kat Perkins, Sisaundra Lewis, and Kristen Merlin. Will I be right? Tune in tomorrow!