Update, May 13, 2014: Indeed, Josh Kaufman advanced courtesy of America’s votes and will be on The Voice‘s two-part finale on May 19 and 20. Jake Worthington and Christina Grimmie moved on as well. What’s more, Ed Sheeran made a surprise appearance on Tuesday’s episode to announce that he will perform on the finale. We expect he’ll play “All of the Stars,” the song he wrote for The Fault in Our Stars film.
The Top 5 contestants on The Voice performed live last night, looking to make next week’s finale. If you followed our live blog last night, you noticed the evening had some unusual performances compared to previous weeks. For starters, frontrunner Christina Grimmie performed two (average at best) covers, leaving her in a potential hot seat. Country singers Kristen Merlin and Jake Worthington came through with their best showings and have possibly earned a spot in the finals—especially Worthington, who has a huge hometown following that may or may not have anything better to do. Unfortunately, Kat Perkins failed to hit the spot and will certainly be packing her bags this time. But one thing that didn’t change was the consistency of Indianapolis’s Josh Kaufman.
Each contestant performed a song that reminds them of home while their coaches picked the other. Kaufman went with a string-heavy version of “All of Me” from John Legend to honor his biggest supporters: his wife and kids. And then he exceeded expectations during his second performance. Usher picked “Love Runs Out” by OneRepublic, which was an excellent decision matched with perfect timing. America finally saw a comfortable Josh Kaufman meander about the stage like it’s where he belongs. If you’ve been following him from day one, you had that proud smile on your face as he gracefully rocked out last night. It was a breakout performance by a frontrunner late in the competition.
One of the best things that happened to Kaufman was the moment he was stolen by coach Usher, who’s also a vocalist rooted in soul and R&B. Usher understands that being a true artist isn’t about trying to break out of a shell for the sake of being different—in the way Adam does with Kat Perkins and Christina Grimmie. It’s about harnessing what comes naturally and stretching that across different musical platforms. Usher and Kaufman continue to prove they’re a force to be reckoned with, and their iTunes play backs them up.
Jake Worthington, Josh Kaufman, and Kristen Merlin all reached the Top 10 on iTunes overnight—in that order. As of 10:15 this morning, Kaufman was attempting to be the only contestant with both songs in the Top 10. “All of Me” is currently No. 5 (a spot above the original John Legend track), and “Love Runs Out” is No. 13. Grimmie sits at No. 25, and Perkins at No. 36.
Blake Shelton was right when he praised Kaufman after his first performance saying, “There’s no question you’re going to be in the finale.” I believe America will save Josh Kaufman, Jake Worthington, and Christina Grimmie. The edge goes to Grimmie over Merlin because of her pre-built fanbase. Watch live tonight on NBC at 8 p.m.