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'The Voice' Season 14 top 12 revealed … with some shocking omissions

Lyndsey Parker
Editor-in-Chief, Music

On a bonus Wednesday episode of The Voice, the 10 Team Adam and Team Kelly singers still vying for a spot in next week’s top 12 Live Playoffs performed. And by the end of the hour, we knew which four of those contestants — along with four of the 10 Team Blake/Alicia contestants that competed Tuesday — had made it through. Some were picked by America, some were saved by their respective coaches, but regardless, a few talented contenders were, sadly, passed over.

Let’s just cut to the chase, and look at the final top 12…

TEAM BLAKE
Picked by America: Kyla Jade, Pryor Baird (the latter did not deserve to advance based on Tuesday’s corny “9 to 5” number)
Saved by Blake Shelton: Spensha Baker
Eliminated: Wilkes (a shocker, because he was my favorite performer on Tuesday!), Gary Edwards, Austin Giorgio

TEAM KELLY
Picked by America: Brynn Cartelli, Kaleb Lee
Saved by Kelly Clarkson: D.R. King
Eliminated: Tish Haynes Keys, Alexa Capelli, Dylan Hartigan

TEAM ALICIA
Picked by America: Britton Buchanan, Jackie Foster (aka the fake rocker)
Saved by Alicia Keys: Christiana Danielle
Eliminated: Terrence Cunningham (my favorite of this entire season!), Kelsea Johnson (another favorite!), Johnny Bliss

TEAM ADAM
Picked by America: Sharane Calister, Rayshun LaMarr
Saved by Adam Levine: Jackie Verna
Eliminated: Drew Cole, Mia Boostrom, Reid Umstattd

Go here to view Monday’s top 24 performances, here to review Tuesday’s performances, and watch Wednesday’s performances below. Did the right singers from all four teams make it through? (I was saddest about Terrence, Wilkes, Kelsea, and Drew.) And who has the strongest team, now that we’re down to a final 12? Feel free to sound off in the comments.

TEAM KELLY

Kaleb Lee, “Die a Happy Man”
Amusingly, a contestant with an almost identical name, Caleb Lee Hutchinson, did this Thomas Rhett on American Idol this week. I think Caleb with a C did it a little better. Kaleb with a K had a better perfomance Monday, covering Chris Stapleton. I agree with Kelly that he’s a “solid country singer,” but he’s more compelling doing grittier fare. The fact that America voted for Kaleb anyway just goes to show what a strong country fanbase The Voice has.

Alexa Capelli, “Stop and Stare”
Music school student Alexa excels when she dabbles in dramatic, blustery bravado like Elton John’s “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.” So, at first I didn’t think this midtempo OneRepublic song would make much impact. And it didn’t … until the end, when she got choked up. That’s when I felt Alexa’s connection to the song. Kelly was as choked up as Alexa was.

D.R. King, “All on My Mind”
I love how D.R. brings theater and a sense of danger to every fearless performance. The man took a country song by Anderson East and turned it into something that sounded like the Weeknd fronting Greta Van Fleet. This was bad-to-the-bone, badass, Michael-Jackson-bad. I’m delighted that Kelly made him her pick.

Dylan Hartigan, “Mary Jane’s Last Dance”
Once again, kudos to Dylan for the song choice. His taste level is quite elevated. But there was a corniness to this unfocused, loungey performance; he didn’t have Tom Petty’s natural, laid-back swagger. That said, Dylan would’ve been an asset to the season, because The Voice always needs a guy that favors artists like Ray LaMontagne and Ryan Adams.

Tish Haynes Keys, “At Last”
Tish gave what Carson Daly called and “elegant and effortless” performance of the Etta James classic that wouldn’t have been out of place at a presidential inauguration gala. Pure class, and her sense of joy was infectious. “She is such a phenomenal singer. She is the reason like shows like this exist,” said Kelly. Oh well.

TEAM ADAM

Reid Umstattd, “Long Cool Woman (in a Black Dress)”
This Hollies rocker worked well with Reid’s rasp and energetic personality, but the whole performance felt very oldies-circuit to me. Clearly this wasn’t the right, relevant song choice to get him into the final 12.

Jackie Verna, “Once”
This Maren Morris waltz brought out the warm, honey-soaked tones in Jackie’s sometimes thin and reedy (but always distinctive) voice. With the exception of one off note, this was a lovely, nuanced, intimate performance from one of the season’s darkest but most intriguing horses, and I’m glad Adam took notice.

Drew Cole, “Wild Horses”
Monday’s Hot AC “Man in the Mirror” cover was a misfire, but Drew got back to what he does better with this earnest, acoustic Stones ballad. He was like Sawyer Fredericks’s cool uncle. I went wild for this. Sadly, America’s voters did not.

Mia Boostrom, “Either Way”
Mia’s husky lower register sounded delicious on his Lee Ann Womack tune, but she struggled in the chorus, half-shouting it and hitting some bum notes. Adam noted that this was a tough song to sing and “applauded the ambition,” but perhaps Mia was a little too ambitious this time around.

Rayshun LaMarr, “I’m Goin’ Down”
Rayshun was not goin’ down with a fight! He slayed this. He was working the crowd, flailing his arms like ones of those inflatable automobile-dealer men, running across the stage with the speed of something late for a train, and sanging his face off. The whole spectacle ended him with him lying on the floor, spent. “If only you could just have a little more energy,” Adam joked. I knew Rayshun was a lock after this. Rayshun is sweeping the nation.

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