Here’s what happened and what should have happened when the members of Team Gwen squared off in the live playoffs Monday night.
The lineup: Gwen entered the live playoffs with just two original team members — J. Chosen and Troy Ramey — and with three singers acquired via steals, country singer Brennley Brown, the show’s youngest contestant, Quizz Swanigan, and the show’s most successful on iTunes, Hunter Plake. She opted to bring back Johnny Gates, not a bad choice. He simply had an off night in the knockouts when he tackled Lady Gaga’s “Million Reasons” in a match with Hunter.
What happened: Hunter, perhaps the favorite in this competition, and Brennley, the dark horse, advanced via viewers’ votes. Gwen then selected Troy Ramey to advance as well. That meant the end of The Voice road for Quizz, Johnny for a second time and J. Chosen. His failure to make the finals might be the most surprising since he turned four chairs in the blinds and was the first contestant we met in Season 12.
What should have happened: This one had me worried. Gwen so wants to hang out with very young singers, I was afraid she’d save Quizz. But it all worked out okay. Hunter had sounded sensational the last two rounds. I thought he stumbled a bit vocally on Tuesday, but you still have to admire his creativity in reworking Sia’s “Elastic Heart.” Brennley? Wow, is she coming on strong. Her last two performances have been superb. And Troy put a stamp on a spot in the finals with a sterling cover of a Joni Mitchell classic. Glad to see Gwen recognized that too. As for J. Chosen, was that his song choice? If not, he should sue whoever made the selection for him.
The Team Gwen performances in my order of preference.