Things are heating upon the The Voice now, as the 11 remaining contestants performed Monday in order to stick around on the teams of their coaches Blake Shelton, Alicia Keys, Adam Levine and Miley Cyrus. You could sense their nerves and anxiety, since they knew that a shot at the coveted Top 10 was at stake. And while these contestants have made it a mighty long way, somebody has to get axed.
Who's going to be eliminated Tuesday? We've got a pretty good idea, but first: who's definitely not in trouble?
Sundance Head, Team Blake
Singing Alicia Keys' "No One," Sundance was encouraged to take his performances to the next level, and that he did. His twangy voice, mixed with the combination of violin and acoustic guitar turned Keys' R&B ballad into a tender, touching and achingly sweet moment. Even Alicia said she's never heard anything like it. He's one of the most compelling performers on the show — and one of the coolest to look at, too — so he's a near lock to keep going.
Billy Gilman, Team Adam
Absolutely killing "All I Ask" by Adele, Gilman sounded nothing short of angelic Monday, hitting his notes like the pro he is and conveying all kinds of emotion. Blake asked, "Do you ever hit a bad note?" which we agree with wholeheartedly. He's an absolute winner.
Wé McDonald, Team Alicia
Gifting us with yet another swing-from-the-rafters moment, Wé's take on Rihanna's "Love on the Brain" felt totally her own, pure and nearly flawless. She's continued to grow and come into her own at every stop in this journey and as Alicia told her, "You deserve to be here." She also led the pack in the iTunes ranking, proving that the people love some We.
Ali Caldwell, Team Miley, whose rendition of "9 to 5" showcased her booming voice;
Darby Walker, Team Miley, who's still doing the flower child-meets-Florence Welch bit to workable effect;
Austin Allsup, Team Blake, who is country rock god personified;
Courtney Harrell, Team Blake, for her always-thunderous endings;
Christian Ceuvas, Team Alicia, becuase his energetic, upbeat and happy vibe is too much fun;
Brendan Fletcher, Team Adam, whose rendition of "The River" made us appreciate his smoky gospel wail;
Josh Gallagher, Team Adam, who straddles acoustic and folk-rock sounds with ease
LIKELY ON THE CHOPPING
Aaron Gibson, Team Miley. He was in the bottom last week, and Miley alluded in his rehearsal video package that his song had no highs and lows. Aaron struggles to sound compelling a lot, typically coming off like a very good performer working the bar circuit in a college town. Which is not to say that he's bad by any stretch — he's just up against some beasts with stunning degrees of showmanship and vocal prowess. His performance of "Hurt" expertly conveyed all the anguish and frustration the song is supposed to, but despite vocals reminiscent of the best of the grunge era, there still was a bit of disconnect. Against some competitors Monday who turned up the intensity in a fight for the Top 10, Aaron is likely the one who'll be saying farewell.
What do you think - who'll be on the chopping block Tuesday?
The Voice airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8/7c on NBC.