The Voice dropped a bombshell on Monday night, and we’re not referring to Adam Levine’s change of hair color. Host Carson Daly revealed on-air that to get things down to the right number for next week’s semifinals, the show would be axing three of its remaining singers – almost half the field – after the latest round of performances. We spoke with each of the singers after the show to get their thoughts on that and other things. Here are some of the soundbites from the Top 8.
01) Kristen Merlin’s not afraid to get emotional. Team Shakira’s last remaining artist teared up during her performance of Lee Brice’s “I Drive Your Truck.” That was something she somewhat expected, given the track’s subject matter and because she was already familiar with it. “I’ve sung this song a ton of times before and each time it brings up emotions,” she said. “I was nervous about getting choked up and I did towards the end of it, but hopefully finished strong.” No doubt, Shakira’s hoping so, too.
02) Christina Grimmie doesn’t want to do a third straight rap song. Last week it was Drake; this week it was Lil Wayne. While Christina proved once again that she knows how to transform a rap track into something uniquely hers, that doesn’t mean that’s the direction she wants to go in. “It is very crucial that I don’t do another rap song and do it the same way that I’ve done it,” she told us. “It was a cool thing, but I want to leave it at that. I want to make another bold choice. If I’m here next week, I would love to do something bold, something people will have to vote for.”
03) James Valentine was an impressive guest mentor. The Maroon 5 guitarist came by The Voice to help Team Adam this week, and the artists had strong praise for Mr. Valentine. “He’s just like Adam,” said Delvin Choice. He is very intuitive when it comes to just like knowing what to do in certain situations to make things better. I enjoyed every moment that I had to share with him.”
Added Christina, “What I loved about him was you can definitely tell he and Adam work together…They know how to pick each other’s brain properly and they’re very honest. That’s what I love.”
04) Having three people eliminated does add to the stress level. Especially when you get that information too late to take it into consideration. “We found out probably shortly after last week. Going through the motions backstage, we heard chatter, and it’s nerve-wracking. Eight going down to five, that’s huge,” Kristen said, though she told us that she didn’t have time to consider changing her plans once the news broke. “For me, it was like immediate after I got off the stage on Tuesday, I was already locking in the song and then starting rehearsal..I kind of just had to throw it all out there and wish for the best.”
05) Adam Levine and Blake Shelton really are the better coaches. As we pointed out two weeks ago, statistics prove that Team Adam and Team Blake fare better with America. We brought that information to Adam and Blake on Monday, and asked them what they think they’ve been doing right. “I really don’t know,” laughed Adam. “We just like to do this. I think we’ve been doing it for so long we’re getting the hang of it. We’ve done 6 seasons of this so we have a lot of experience under our belts.”
“I think it’s knowing what artists to move forward,” Blake theorized. “That’s the most important thing you can do. You start with 12 or, depending on what season it is, 16 or 8. You’ve got to figure out which handful of those are the ones that you think have the best shot at winning this thing. That’s probably what he and I have been the best at, if there’s any advantage that we’ve had or anything that we’ve learned by doing this as long as we have been doing it, is who are those three or four artists that we think can win this thing.”
The Voice eliminates 3 artists and reveals Season 6’s Top 5 tonight at 9 PM ET/PT on NBC.