On Monday, the Top 8 contestants on The Voice performed to advance to the Top 4. The 3 artists with the most support advanced to the finale, while the two with the least amount of votes were instantly eliminated. The remaining three were forced to compete for the final instant save of the season.
SPOILER WARNING: We have provided a recap and spoilers below. Do not keep reading if you are not caught up on the rest of season 17 and do not want to know what happened during episode 23.
“The Voice” Season 17 Episode 23 Recap
Katie Kadan (Team Legend) was the first performer of the night, and she tore through a cover of “Lady Marmalade” by LaBelle. Kadan appeared on a staircase followed by a quartet of female background singers, as well as a couple musicians on guitar. It was one of Kadan’s most ambitious performances to date, and the judges gave her a standing ovation. Gwen Stefani called it her favorite performance of the season, and John Legend said that Kadan was a “superstar” who they are lucky to have on the series.
Kat Hammock (Team Blake) was the second contestant to take the stage, and she treats fans to a rendition of by “Somewhere Only We Know” by Keane. Hammock said the song choice was inspired by her experiences on The Voice, and she wanted to choose something that summed up her time on the series. She performed the song while standing atop a giant half moon and surrounded by ballerinas.
Hammock had some issues early on, but she regrouped and did a strong job overall. Three of the four judges gave her a standing ovation, but Legend stayed in his seat, as he was not impressed. Kelly Clarkson complimented Hammock’s voice, calling it “special” and “touching,” while Blake Shelton called it her best vocal performance thus far.
Ricky Duran (Team Blake) and Will Breman (Team Legend) teamed up for a cover of “Your Love” by The Outfield. Neither Duran nor Breman were meant to be competing, but they still gave the performance their all, whether it was the impassioned vocals or the impressive guitar solos.
Marybeth Byrd (Team Legend) followed the duet, and she covered “Before He Cheats” by Carrie Underwood. Byrd changed things up with the performance, taking a more playful, confident approach, and the judges seemed to respond. Shelton said that it was a tough vocal to tackle, but that Byrd did an admirable job. Legend said that it was one of Byrd’s strongest vocal showcases, and urged fans to vote for her.
Hello Sunday (Team Kelly) got on stage after Byrd, and they covered “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing” by Stevie Wonder. During their performance, they were surrounded by other teenagers dancing and playing various instruments. Kelly is floored by their ambitious song choice and wants to make sure they nail the vocals. The duo also incorporated a dance routine into their performance. All four judges gave a standing ovation, and Legend said that he loved the duo’s competitive edge. Clarkson called their song choice “perfect.”
The second duet of the name came courtesy of Jake Hoot (Team Kelly) and Marybeth Byrd. They performed the ’80s hit “Up Where We Belong” by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes, and both contestants came through with strong chemistry.
Ricky Duran returned to the stage and gave a solo cover of “Let It Be” by the Beatles. He took a subdued approach to the song, and performed while from behind a grand piano. About halfway through the song, Duran swapped out the piano for a guitar, and played a lengthy solo. The judges were floored, and deemed Duran’s cover to be among the highlights of the night.
Will Breman followed Duran and gave a rendition of “Locked Out of Heaven” by Bruno Mars. Breman sunk his teeth into the song’s catchy fusion of pop and soul, and the result was a performance that ranked among the most infectious of the night. The song also gave Breman a chance to interact with the crowd, which is something he hadn’t done much of prior. The judges were uniformly positive with Breman, and Legend said that his energy impressed him.
Katie Kadan and Rose Short (Team Gwen) teamed up to cover “Express Yourself” by Madonna. Both contestants gave it their all, and the song’s playful energy worked perfectly when paired with their powerhouse vocals. Another standout performance for both Kadan and Short.
The duet was followed by another joint performance between Kat Hammock and Hello Sunday. The trio covered “We Belong” by Pat Benatar, and while both acts are undeniably talented, their duet failed to come together. Hammock’s style clashed with Hello Sunday’s, and they had a difficult time finding the same pitch. The judges didn’t have much to say about the performance.
Rose Short followed up her duet with her solo performance. She sang a cover “I Want to Know What Love Is” by Foreigner, which provided a stunning showcase for her vocals. The judges gave her a standing ovation, and Stefani even shed a few tears. Clarkson called her a “gift” and said that she deserves to make it to the finals, while host Carson Daly said that she electrified the room.
Jake Hoot closed out the night by covering “Desperado” by the Eagles. He told the judges that it’s his mother’s favorite song, and he proceeded to do it justice. He gave a soulful, urgent performance, and the judges were floored. Clarkson said that she loved Hoot’s storytelling, and Legend said the performance made him feel “like home.”
According to Gold Derby, Katie Kadan, Jake Hoot and Ricky Duran are predicted to reach the finale. Only time will tell which artist will score the instant save and move on the Top 4.
The Voice airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8pm ET/PT on NBC.