The Voice

Ranking the Top 8 on The Voice

The Voice Top 8 of Omar Cardona, Bodie, Bryce Leatherwood, Justin Aaron, Parijita, Kim Cruse, Brayden Lape and Morgan Myles. (NBC Photo)

The Voice Top 8 of Omar Cardona, Bodie, Bryce Leatherwood, Justin Aaron, Parijita, Kim Cruse, Brayden Lape and Morgan Myles. (NBC Photo)


The Top 8 on The Voice will compete for spots in the Season 22 finals Monday night.

Unless The Voice changes its format this season, the top four vote-getters will automatically make the finals.

The bottom four will perform again Tuesday in hopes of securing the season’s last instant save and the fifth spot in finals.

Now, back to Monday. Each member of the Top 8 will sing a solo song. And each will perform a Whitney Houston song as a duet with another semifinalists.

Yep, you read that right. Someone in Voice land decided the Season 22 semifinals called for Whitney Houston duets.

That actually made me chuckle. During Tuesday’s results show, Bryce Leatherwood thanked coach Blake Shelton for allowing him to be himself on the show.

I wonder if he knew he’d be signing a Whitney Houston song six days later.

First of all, as I’ve argued in the past, duets have no part in the semifinals. At this late stage of the competition, singers should be judged on their own talent.

Their quest for a spot in the finals should not be sidetracked by an ill-suited duet. And every season, The Voice seems to end up with one duet pairing that just doesn’t make sense.

Each of the Top 8 should be singing two solo songs. The Voice has fit 24 solo performances into a two-hour live playoff show before. Sixteen in a two-hour show should be a snap.

And it would come with a bonus: More music, less blather.

But if there have to be duets, a nice broad theme should be the order of the day. In Season 21, it was songs of the 1990s. In Season 17, the last previous time we had this format, it was songs of the 1980s. In Season 20, trios sang songs from the 1970s.

Hey, Voice producers, there are decades that haven’t been tackled yet. And there’d be no harm in repeating one.

On to this week’s rankings. The number is parenthesis is where the singer ranked last week.

See also …
Song by song grades for the Top 10
Song by song grades for the Top 13
Song by song grades for the Top 16

1. Morgan Myles (Team Camila): How often have we heard Voice coaches tell a contestant they just gave an awards-show level performance? It’s usually hyperbole. In the case of Morgan’s cover of “Tennessee Whiskey,” the compliment would have been dead-on. It was the best yet from a singer who’s been superb every time she’s performed on the show. (1)

2. Bodie (Team Blake): You can feel momentum building for Bodie, especially after last week’s performance of “Golden Hour,” during which he effortlessly transitioned from rap to full singing voice without losing any of the passion he usually brings to the stage. (3)

3. Kim Cruse (Team Legend): She needed an instant save to make the semis and I won’t be surprised if she needs another to get into the finals. But she’s got such a wonderful rich voice and such great stage presence that I will be surprised if anyone outperforms her in a save situation. (2)

4. Parijita Bastola (Team Legend): She continues to impress with her star power and stage presence at such a young age (she was 17 when she auditioned). If she can recapture the magic of her Top 16 performance (Lady’s Gaga’s “I’ll Never Love Again”) a spot in the finals should be guaranteed. (4)

5. Omar Cardona (Team Legend): He’s such a skilled vocalist that I have no fear he’ll be able to handle a Whitney Houston duet. But the song choices for Omar have been hit and miss. The biggest hit so far was his Top 13 performance of “In the Name of Love.” (6)

6. Justin Aaron (Team Gwen): Will he get to sing a gospel song this week? If so, he’s golden. If not, he’s prone to over singing. He’s got the talent to deserve a spot in the finals. It’s up to Gwen to make sure her final artist standing gets a song that will let that talent shine. (5)

7. Bryce Leatherwood (Team Blake): His cover of former Voice contestant Morgan Wallen’s “Sand in My Boots” was easily his best yet. He needs to build on that to prove himself finals worthy. The ace up his sleeve: He’s a male country artist on a show where they’re loved by fans. (8)

8. Brayden Lape (Team Blake): He’s loaded with potential and has a sweet tone in his voice. But his inexperience has been obvious among a field this seasoned. No shame there. Bryden admitted his pre-Voice experience amounted to “five little gigs.” (9)

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