Warning! The following contains spoilers for The Voice Season 18's finale details. Read at your own risk!
The Voice has announced the way it will run its Season 18 finale, and things are a bit different this time around. There will be five people in the finale, but it's the manner in which they'll be selected that gives me pause. The first four contestants will consist of the top voted contestant from each coach, while the rest will have to battle it out to get the final spot in the show.
To begin, it seems highly unlikely that whoever gets that fifth slot will end up winning The Voice Season 18. By this way of voting, all the remaining competitors not selected weren't popular enough to beat out their teammate, so it stands to reason that would hold up should they move on to the finale.
Granted, singing competitions have surprised audiences with voting results, but even on the eve of the reveal it seems fairly evident which competitors will be selected for the finale. Todd Tilghman, Thunderstorm Artis, CammWess, and Micah Iverson feel like sure things for advancement in my eyes, though I'm less confident predicting who will be the fifth. I would hope one of the women, if only to bring a bit of variety to this male-heavy lineup the next week could bring.
Had The Voice gone with the best 5 regardless of coach, I think you'd see a bit more variety in competition. I'm honestly not quite sure why Season 18 needed each coach to have a competitor in the finale, though it should be noted this was the case in Season 17 as well. It was also a rule in the first couple seasons of The Voice, though the series ultimately revised its rules realizing coaches could have lopsided teams in terms of talent.
The initial reversal of the "one contestant per coach" in the finale has resulted in completely eliminating coaches from the competition in the past, and finales that leaned much harder on a certain genre (country) than others. Maybe it wasn't always the best lineup in terms of variety, but it was what the people wanted. With the parameters set in place for The Voice Season 18, it feels like the show is trying to mitigate the randomness that could come from an audience vote, and ensure certain contestants see the finale above others.
Sure, it may make for a better product, but really makes the audience vote feel less important right ahead of what should be the most important vote of the season. Especially now that the season is continuing in quarantine, I think it would be better to see some surprises in this final lineup rather than the current plan which, as I mentioned, feels like it's already set in stone. Who knows, though? Perhaps the next episode will bring some surprises, and find one of the presumed favorites fighting to survive in that fifth spot.
The Voice Season 18 will reveal its Top 5 on NBC Tuesday, May 12 at 8:00 p.m. ET. Continue to stick with CinemaBlend for more on the competition, and for the latest news happening in movies and television.