Wow. It's only been one week since The Voice slashed its contestant herd down to 12 from 20 last Monday in a historic day of voting that now feels like an entire decade ago considering all that's happened since that other shocking vote. Those were the days, weren't they?
Apart from the results, this episode offered up another surprise: Alicia Keys switched gears and decided not to play the song she'd planned, "Blended Family," but instead went with "Holy War," a social commentary in song about overcoming divisions, healing and love. With Adam playing a guitar adorned with red, gold and green -- an unmistakable callout to the Pan-African flag popularized by reggae artists including Bob Marley -- the moment was peak Alicia and a sure sign that many, many artists are going to make protest music very relevant again.
It made sense. You knew she was in danger Monday, with her take on Bon Jovi's "Living on a Prayer" fumbling a bit at the start. Since everyone thinks they can do this better (because we've all nailed it while drunk singing at karaoke), not even her big, loud wails redeemed it. Same deal with her "Rock Steady" Tuesday. That is and will always be Aretha Franklin's song (already problematic for someone covering it) and it wasn't consistent. That left Aaron Gibson on Team Miley to stay in the game. Here's how the rest shook out.
Saved: Ali Caldwell, who belted out an incredible rendition of "Did I Ever Love You"; Aaron Gibson and Darby Walker, heir apparent to Miley's House of Kooky Outfits.
Saved: Courtney Harrell, who on Monday delivered a splendid version of "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" in an ethereal white robe; Austin Allsup because, of course -- the man is like, a country rock messiah; and Sundance Head, whose great gospel-country version of "My Church" won rave reviews from Garth Brooks.
Saved: Wé McDonald, who absolutely slayed Hozier's "Take me to Church"; Christian Ceuvas, which is great considering his rendition of Coldplay's intentionally pitchy and warbly "The Scientist" was hard to pull off.
Saved: Brendan Fletcher, who did a solid rendition of "Whipping Post" on Monday; Josh Gallagher, who did a solid job with "Why"; and Billy Gilman, the man who gifted us with an incredible, crisp, piercing and commanding performance of "The Show Must Go On." He's one to beat.
The Voice airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8/7c on NBC.