The Voice

Song by song grades for the Top 5 on The Voice

The Voice Top 5 of Bodie, Omar Cardona, Morgan Myles, Bryce Leatherwood and Brayden Lape (NBC Photo)

The Voice Top 5 of Bodie, Omar Cardona, Morgan Myles, Bryce Leatherwood and Brayden Lape (NBC Photo)


Remember back in the blind auditions, when one of the running storylines was the sad plight of Team Blake.

Poor Blake Shelton was having trouble luring singers to his team. Or so the storyline went.

Maybe The Voice was trying to distract viewers from the fact that it was his wife, Gwen Stefani, who was having trouble landing singers.

Maybe it was based on the fact that several four-chair turns — including finalists Morgan Myles and Omar Cardona — opted to join other teams.

But anyone who pitied poor ol’ Blake clearly hadn’t been paying attention to the first 21 seasons of The Voice.

So here we are at the final performance show, and Blake has three of the five finalists.

One, Bodie, deserves to be there.

The other two — Bryce Leatherwood and Brayden Lape — are there at the expense of better singers. And at least partly because they picked Team Blake.

Ranking the Top 5

Tonight, each singers will perform twice, once with a ballad, once with an up-tempo song if The Voice episode guide can be trusted.

Tomorrow night, we’ll find out who wins Season 22. Take note, the season finale starts at 9 p.m., not 8 p.m.

You can read all about why it’s worth boycotting here.

Speaking of unwelcome developments, I guess it’s official now: Not a single cover from Season 22 will be available on streaming sites.

I inquired about that a couple weeks ago and got no answer from The Voice publicity team. But this is the first season I can remember that songs from the voting rounds haven’t been available on at least Apple Music.

Remember, once upon a time, every Voice performance was available there, from the blind auditions on.

Check back after tonight’s show for song by song grades for the performances.

Bodie, 29, Ladera Ranch, Calif. (Team Blake), “Late Night Talking” by Harry Styles — With two songs left to prove he — and not Morgan Myles — should be the Season 22 champ, this is Bodie’s song choice? Call me baffled. He performed it well. It might have been better than anything we’ll hear from his Team Blake colleagues tonight. But it wasn’t a performance that will make a lasting impression. Or one I’d want to see again. Or even Bodie at his best. Grade: B

Morgan Myles, 35, Nashville, Tenn., (Team Camila), “Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Bonnie Tyler — Talk about a really nice match of singer and song. Morgan is perfectly suited to sing this song. Hell, she could have had a hit if it was her original. And you had to love the way she channeled Stevie Nicks, dancing around frantically with her cape flowing as she delivered a pitch perfect vocal. Nice emotional ending too. Grade: A

Brayden Lape, 16, Grass Lake, Mich. (Team Blake), “Humble and Kind” by Tim McGraw — Nice song choice for the occasion. But subpar execution, vocally and emotionally, from an inexperienced singer who’s been swept into a situation he simply isn’t prepared for. That version of the song would not be a hit. Grade: C–

Omar Cardona, 33, Orlando, Fla., (Team Legend), “The Way You Make Me Feel” by Michael Jackson — Sorry, I’m not buying Omar’s Michael Jackson imitation. Worse, this song doesn’t fit the sweet spot in his voice, which is saying something, because Omar can sing almost anything. Here, he sounded like he was straining the entire time. And who’s idea was it to put the female dancers in high heels so they towered over him? C’mon, The Voice, use an iota of common sense. Grade: C

Bryce Leatherwood, 22, Statesboro, Ga.. (Team Blake), “Don’t Close Your Eyes” by Keith Whitley — So Bryce sings a song called “Don’t Close Your Eyes,” then hides his with that damn cowboy hat again after losing it for the last two performances and making more of an emotional connection as a result. Vocally, this was pretty solid, though Bryce’s pitch seemed to stray a bit when the song swelled. It was rather sleepy for a season finale. Grade: B–

Brayden Lape (Team Blake), “Wild As Her” by Corey Kent: — Yikes. You know what wasn’t wild? That performance. So let’s go on a sidebar. Corey Kent is a former Voice contestant. With a song big enough it’s being covered on The Voice. Number of times Corey has performed on the show since his season: 0. But, hey, tomorrow night we get Kane Brown for what seems like the umpteenth time. Back to Brayden. Yikes. I mean, this is the performance finale. Grade: F

Morgan Myles (Team Camila), “Girl Crush” by Little Big Town — Oh, my. All the little Morgan flourishes were here. The growl. The ab libs. And soaring notes. All perfectly placed. Never sounding like too much. This was a brilliant performance, the exclamation mark on not only the best set of performances of Season 22, but one of the finest runs any contestant has ever had on the show. I can’t remember a season when a performer has impressed me this much every time she or he took the stage. Grade: A++

Bryce Leatherwood (Team Blake), “Trouble” by Travis Tritt — Bryce switches up and dons a black cowboy hat for this. I guess that’s what happens when you’re singing about a girl who’s trouble. It was a fun performance, one of my favorites from Bryce. But not enough to convince me that he should finish better than third, at absolute best, Tuesday night. Grade: B+

Bodie (Team Blake), “Gratitude” by Branden Lake — Everything that was wrong about Bodie’s first song choice wasn’t the case here. He delivered an emotional, vocally impressive performance on a smart song choice. And he built to a dramatic ending. Just always keep your eyes open and make a connection with the audience, Bodie. But that is a performance I’d watch again. Grade: A–

Omar Cardona (Team Legend), “Somebody to Love” by Queen — I keep saying this guy is hit and miss with the song picks. His first performance tonight was a swing and miss. This was not a miss. This was Omar in his wheelhouse, delivering an impressive vocal in a theatrical setting. And didn’t you love the way he belted out some of those final notes while being lifted in the air by his background singers? I’m not sure why he wound up with the pimp spot for the second time in three weeks, but that was one of his better performances. Grade: A–

And, folks, tonight has done nothing but solidify my belief that the Top 5 should finish in this order …

1. Morgan Myles (and it ain’t that close)

2. Bodie

3. Omar Cardona

4. Bryce Leatherwood

5. Brayden Lape

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1 Comment

  1. Tim Althouse December 15, 2022 at 9:28 pm -  Reply

    I totally agree with this article .

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