Monday’s episode of “The Voice” had the Top 8 singers working doubly hard to stick around to be in Tuesday’s Top 4 semifinal group.
Chapel Hill native Rayshun LaMarr and Sanford native Britton Buchanan are still in the competition, and on Monday they each had to sing a solo song and a duet (and yes, Britton finally got to sing a Springsteen song!).
Until noon on Tuesday (May 15), the results are in the hands of the voters. The Top 4 singers will be announced on Tuesday’s show, which airs at 8 p.m. on NBC.
Here’s a recap of what happened with Rayshun and Britton on Monday’s show.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The News & Observer
Imagine Rayshun's solo
Rayshun, who has been in the bottom twice and has been saved by America twice, was up first, singing John Lennon’s “Imagine” as his solo performance.
“I’m so grateful,” Rayshun said in rehearsal with his coach, Adam Levine. “It feels so good and I have grown so much on ‘The Voice.’ I’ve found myself within the show as an artist. Adam has pointed me in the right direction from Day 1.”
Rayshun’s coach told him the song was his chance to make a moment.
“The infectiousness of who you are as a person is unbelievable,” Adam said.
After his solo, opposing coach Kelly Clarkson told Rayshun, “There’s so much joy in you that people need.”
Adam called it a “truly inspiring” version of “Imagine.” “I believe John would be proud … I believe the world needs this song right now,” Adam said.
Britton's love-hate duet with Brynn
Britton, 18, was paired with 15-year-old Brynn Cartelli for a combination of the Rihanna/Kanye/Paul McCartney song "FourFiveSeconds" and the Rolling Stones hit "You Can't Always Get What You Want."
Their banter leading up the duet was adorable. The two claim to have a "love-hate relationship" and said they are like siblings. "He's like my big brother but he's also my grandpa," Brynn said. (Britton has often been called an "old soul" by coaches and singers on the show.) Britton pointed out that Brynn is always happy and everything makes her laugh. "I can tell her 'I woke up this morning' and she's like ... " — cue uncontrollable giggles from Brynn.
The two songs worked well together and both Britton and Brynn sounded great. Britton's voice works so well on these Rolling Stones songs (it's the second one he's gotten on the show so far).
Rayshun's radioactive duet
Rayshun was paired with Jackie Foster for a mashup of "Believer" and "Radioactive." I wouldn't have thought of "Radioactive" for Rayshun, but he was great.
Britton channels The Boss
Britton told us when we interviewed him back in March that his musical hero is Bruce Springsteen and that he was a little nervous to sing a Springsteen song on the show because, "what if Bruce Springsteen hates it?"
Well, if Springsteen catches Britton's version of "The Rising," we don't think he'll hate it at all.
When he found out his song assignment, Britton told his coach Alicia Keys, "I'm totally gonna cry on stage." Later, "I'm either gonna be smiling all the way through or crying."
The stage was filled with backup singers as Britton put his heart and soul into the song, and it was definitely an emotional performance.
His coach let out a few screams before giving her thoughts:
"I'm blessed to be working with you," Alicia said. "When you come on stage I see another side of you that I haven't even seen the entire time ... What I just saw right here was a piece out of what you wanted to say to the world ... What you're accomplishing and what you're going to accomplish is outrageous."
The next episode of "The Voice" airs at 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 15, on NBC. Of the remaining eight, three will be revealed as safe and the bottom two will be sent home. Then the middle three sing for an “instant save” and one of those singers gets to stay. That means four go home and we're left with the Top 4 for next week's semifinal and final episodes.
▪ Read our previous coverage of Britton Buchanan here.
▪ Read all of our Rayshun LaMarr stories here.
▪ Also read about Raleigh's Molly Stevens, who had a good run on "The Voice" earlier this season.
▪ And don't forget Brooke Simpson of Hollister, who went all the way to the finale on "The Voice" last season.