The Voice kicked off the live portion of Season 22 on November 14, with all 16 remaining contestants singing for America’s vote for the first time. Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani, John Legend and Camila Cabello have seen their teams of four through three rounds of pre-recorded competition, which led to this moment — the Live Playoffs. All of The Voice coaches have something to prove, but in Shelton’s penultimate season, the cowboy seems especially motivated to bring home what would be his ninth victory.
So which contestants thrived under the pressures of live television? Let’s take a look at who I think is each team’s strongest singer, based on their performances in the Live Playoffs.
Team Legend: Parijita Bastola
John Legend won 17-year-old Parijita Bastola after a Four-Chair Turn in the Blind Auditions, and it’s pretty obvious why she continues to be a favorite of the entire panel. Following her live performance of “I’ll Never Love Again” from A Star Is Born, she earned a standing ovation from all four coaches, including a scream from Camila Cabello, who demanded to know, “Who hurt Parijita?” Legend said they’d worked on the emotional aspect of her performance during rehearsals, and that really came through. It almost pains me to pick Bastola over her teammate Kim Cruse, though, and I expect them both to be around next week.
Team Gwen: Justin Aaron
Going into the Live Playoffs, I was sure that Kique was a shoe-in for Gwen Stefani’s team in the finale. That may still be true, but this night belonged to Justin Aaron. The singer was a One-Chair Turn after auditioning with a John Legend song, but has shown so much growth in the competition, coming out of his shell and showing more confidence in each round. The coaching panel went absolutely ballistic over his cover of Luther Vandross’ “Here and Now,” with Blake Shelton practically climbing on stage with his standing ovation and Stefani jumping up and down so hard, it looked like she might break her Big Red Chair.
Team Camila: Morgan Myles
If the Live Playoffs were the first time you’d watched The Voice this season, you’d never guess that Camila Cabello’s Four-Chair Turn Morgan Myles hadn’t been singing country all along. After previously covering Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball" and classics like "What the World Needs Now Is Love," her performance of Patty Griffin’s “Let Her Fly” showed off the singer’s range and had her coach praising her authenticity as a “truth-teller.” Even more, Blake Shelton threw in his endorsement, calling her “pitch perfect” and saying she looked like a star. HIs opinion definitely carries weight amongst the country music-loving voters.
Team Blake: Bodie
Bodie — another Four-Chair Turn — has been a frontrunner since the beginning, in my opinion, due to his effortless originality. He followed up his Knockout performance of Post Malone’s “Better Now” with another surprising take on “Glimpse of Us” by Japanese singer Joji, and coach Blake Shelton said that performance ensured his place in the finale. However, Bodie is part of a stacked team, competing alongside Bryce Leatherwood — who Shelton also assured us would be moving forward — and Rowan Grace — who the coach said established herself as a frontrunner. Bodie just has a je ne sais quoi that, like Gwen Stefani said, is “mind-blowing.”
The results of America’s votes will be revealed at 8 p.m. ET Tuesday, November 15, on NBC, with three contestants being sent home. However, I think it’s safe to say these four will be hitting the stage again next Monday, November 21, for the next round of competition on The Voice’s 22nd season. Until then, take a look at our 2022 TV schedule to see what premieres are coming up.
Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.
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