Editor’s Note: Christina Grimmie places third, Jake Worthington second … and Indy’s own Josh Kaufman has won The Voice on NBC, this despite an iTunes snafu overnight that nearly killed his chances of winning. That said, show host Carson Daly announced at the start of tonight’s show that iTunes downloads (a.k.a. booster votes for competitors, per The Voice‘s voting formula) were tossed out of the process. Read below for more.
It all comes down to this: Indianapolis’s Josh Kaufman gave everything he had during his final live performances on NBC’s The Voice last night. The three remaining contestants sang three songs—America’s pick, his or her own pick, and then duets with the respective coaches. Christina Grimmie’s highlight was an Elvis Presley cover that started off well but ultimately ended in her screaming instead of singing. Jake Worthington’s came in the form of—well, to be honest it was a rather pitchy night for him again. Kaufman’s highlight of the night was a tall order. He closed the show with an emotional take on Adele’s “Set Fire To the Rain,” leaving coach Usher to make a bold claim: “This is the representation of what The Voice is. It cannot happen that this guy doesn’t win.”
However, there was some controversy when the opportunities opened both to vote and download songs. Kaufman’s other performances were “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours” and “Every Breath You Take.” Those two showed up on iTunes, but “Set Fire To the Rain” was missing in action. Many already-removed contestants and fans alike called on NBC via Twitter, asking why the song wasn’t working on mobile or iTunes. Kaufman posted a tweet stating the song was listed under “albums,” not “songs,” and that he was working to get it fixed. Even so, many feel it was too late. By that point, tracks by Christina Grimmie and Jake Worthington had already entered the Top 10, as Kaufman’s own sat at No. 22. It must be said that the glitch hurts Kaufman’s chances, as he has consistently found his songs ranked among the iTunes Top 10 singles. Struggling to break even the Top 15 with each of three performances does not compute. It seems that keepers of The Voice will have some explaining to do tonight.
As of 9:30 this morning, Grimmie and Worthington each had two songs in the Top 10 on iTunes. Kaufman himself banked all three songs from last night among the Top 25. On a positive note, Kaufman was backed by some of the music industry’s biggest stars: Justin Bieber, Kelly Clarkson, and Diddy showed their support on Twitter last night.
— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) May 20, 2014
Hoosiers statewide are presumably inclined to pull for Kaufman, and the truth of the matter is this: He is the best vocalist on the show. He’s struggling to keep up with the popular vote, but you’d never know it with his performances. Week after week, he has schooled his competitors in terms of delivery, tone, and overall vocal ability. He’s nearly two decades older than his friendly foes, and it shows in his seasoned voice. Perhaps the majority of his demographic doesn’t abide on social media, and a boost in phone-call votes will yet find him victorious. Viewers will find out tonight at 8 p.m. on NBC.
Indy has done a great job rallying behind its Great Hope, and two hours remain to seal the deal for him. It’s crucial that fans continue to buy all his songs on iTunes so that he may achieve those Top 10 bonus votes. This song is most important right now, as it’s currently at No. 14 on that singles chart.