It doesn’t seem that long ago that Indianapolis’s Josh Kaufman had a four-chair turn during his blind audition for The Voice on NBC. Since then, he has battled and won, then lost, only to be immediately saved and moved from coach Adam Levine’s stable of singers to that of Usher. He has landed two Top 10 songs on the iTunes singles chart. Each additional week he stays “alive” on the program clearly becomes more pivotal than the previous, but tonight is different.
Okay, turns out that it seems just that long ago.
The five remaining contestants will each perform two songs live for America with hopes of seizing a coveted spot in the finals. Follow along with us in this third installment of The Josh Kaufman Live Blog, covering all Voice-centric material and tangents from start to finish. Feel free to tweet us your thoughts at @JamesIvanLayne (a musician himself!), @jonscott81, and @IndyMonthly as well!
Without further ado, let’s roll …
10:02 p.m. Jon: Sometimes it feels like a musical Hunger Games. So be it.
10 p.m. Jon: Agree. Jake became the sentimental vote when Urrsher noted that he’s struggling with the health of his voice right now. Josh + Christina + Jake = the finale.
9:59 p.m. James: Again, Josh brought the performance of the night with his OneRepublic cover. I see Josh, Christina, and Jake in the finals. Yes, I said Jake.
9:57 p.m. Jon: This song choice, “Heaven” by Bryan Adams, is smart.
9:47 p.m. Jon: Blake Shelton says, “I don’t know, I think you just won The Voice. What the hell is this? … I liked the hell out of that. I guess you won.” Well said, Blake.
9:38 p.m. Jon: Next, to close the show with a one-two lurch, Christina Grimmie will cover Fun., and then Jake Worthington will take on Bryan Adams. Purgatory is real, y’all.
9:37 p.m. Jon: Well, that was lovely and pleasing. But was it enough to move on? Shakira says this song will be big on iTunes. We shall see.
9:29 p.m. Jon: “Foolish Games”!
9:28 p.m. Jon: With that, Josh Kaufman on this show, and Maya Rudolph’s Indy quip on her variety show’s teaser, it’s quite the local night on NBC.
9:27 p.m. James: Nice to see The Fault In Our Stars trailer. I think I cry every time I see it. I might have to go alone. Sorry, fiancee.
9:26 p.m. Jon: Kristen Merlin sings Jewel next. Not gonna lie, can’t wait. She really needed to do something non-country. Or sort of not country.
9:26 p.m. Jon: Well, jinx.
9:25 p.m. James: Ha, just said the same thing about Shakira over here. Poor Shakira, she’s probably a nice girl.
9:25 p.m. Jon: Shakira almost giggles nervously at the end of her bits, as if she acknowledges she never says anything of consequence on here.
9:23 p.m. If so, deft move on her part to keep on tickin’.
9:21 p.m. James: Maybe all the tiny people of the world will make their parents buy Kat’s version of “Let it Go” and keep her around?
9:21 p.m. James: Sorry, Kat. I’m still on edge from Josh’s performance. I want to go see him live!
9:20 p.m. Jon: Okay, so it was Minneapolis. She wins.
9:19 p.m. Jon: So Kat Perkins is from Scranton, North Dakota. Not Scranton, Pennsylvania, which is what I prefer. (The Office, anyone?) I love that she just said she needed to branch out from North Dakota. So she moved to … Minnesota.
9:15 p.m. Jon: Also, I loved his shirt. “He’s not venting, no, he’s vintage!”
9:13 p.m. Jon: Yea, you speak truth. Viva los Indianapolitanos!
9:12 p.m. James: I don’t give a shit if it sounds biased, Jon. That was great! We have the best contestant on this show.
9:12 p.m. James: And there you go. Josh Kaufman will be in the finals. Mark the words, people.
9:11 p.m. Jon: I feel like Paris Hilton of all people saying it but … This is hot.
9:10 p.m. James: Spot on words from Usher. America does need to know that Kaufman can make a current record. So glad he’s with Usher now.
9:09 p.m. Jon: He’s doing new track “Love Runs Out” by OneRepublic.
9:09 p.m. James: Super-important performance for Josh here. He’s obviously the best vocalist, but I want to see some pep in his step. This OneRepublic song should do the trick.
9:04 p.m. Jon: Next up, Josh Kaufman again, singing OneRepublic. That seems a good fit. And Kat Perkins takes on “Let It Go.” Oh dear.
9:03 p.m. Jon: Well put.
9:03 p.m. James: Nice try, Adam, but when you’re off, you’re off. Vocoders should be left to those on the pedestal of Imogen Heap.
9:03 p.m. Jon: And did Shakira just refer to Christina and herself as “the little people”?
9:02 p.m. James: Did Usher just read my live-blog comments?
9:01 p.m. Jon: Urrsher says he was “disconnected” in the beginning of it. I did like how it ended. (Note: Not that it ended.)
9 p.m. James: Night and day for this performance. Note to Christina: Don’t ever use a vocoder again.
8:56 p.m. Jon: Ah, shit. Imogen Heap’s “Hide and Seek.” Gorgeous track. And Christina is using a vocoder at that!
8:55 p.m. James: Watch out, here comes Josh’s biggest threat!
8:53 p.m. Jon: Next, Adam has an unsurprisingly surprising song choice for Christina Grimmie. Then Josh Kaufman sings again!
8:52 p.m. Jon: Jake’s a good kid. In unrelated news, Adam’s Hawaiian shirt has got to go. I’m not hopping that bandwagon.
8:50 p.m. Jon: In that I believe you are correct.
8:49 p.m. James: For the country contestants battling for the final spot, Jake Worthington has clawed his way back. I see him going over Kristen Merlin. And has his voice improved each week?
8:48 p.m. Jon: Jake Worthington, it was nice to have met you. I don’t even see why country-music fans would download that glorified karaoke. Still enjoy how he sounds so much older than he is. He’s a proper corn-fed, barn-strong boy. Just like so many of us Hoosiers!
8:46 p.m. Jon: Um, is that MxPx?
8:45 p.m. James: Seriously, Adam looks like he wants to be in an early-2000s pop-punk band.
8:40 p.m. Jon: Aye. And earnest Shakira’s most positive criticism seemed to be “You didn’t try to sing it like Sia.” Ouch.
8:38 p.m. James: Kat singing “Just holding on for tonight” is unfortunately a fitting line.
8:37 p.m. Jon: I’m with you. Why did Adam do Sia to Kat? Musical homicide.
8:36 p.m. James: Struggle, struggle, struggle for Kat singing a song that does not translate into rock music.
8:34 p.m. Jon: Does Kat Perkins have another life? She has lost two already on this program.
8:33 p.m. Jon: [sigh]
8:32 p.m. James: Absolutely unbelievable that they’re still going with the bit about Blake giving Adam’s phone number out on Twitter. Even more unbelievable, people probably believe it’s true.
8:31 p.m. Jon: Ha! Maya Rudolph just had an Indianapolis joke in the promo piece for her forthcoming variety show. (It’ll air on some Thursday evenings on NBC.)
8:29 p.m. Jon: Blake Shelton says he’d be shocked if Josh doesn’t make it. The power of positive thinking.
8:28 p.m. James: HUGE props from the credible coaches is such a nice thing to hear. Looks like Josh is headed for a final spot indeed.
8:27 p.m. Jon: Adam Levine, thank you for making me not feel like the only one in the world who uses the phrase “humble pie.” Now eat it!
8:26 p.m. Jon: Agree. I was a bit lulled into a sleep. Not his greatest, nor his most memorable, but I want to say it’ll pull him through.
8:25 p.m. James: A little boring, but the control of his range blows me away every single time.
8:23 p.m. Jon: Smallest world.
8:23 p.m. James: Now that’s a backstory! Indianapolis for the win. Also, my cousin was in that classroom shown!
8:18 p.m. James: “All of Me” is a perfect song choice for Josh! Popular, and his soulful voice will land him in the Top 10 on iTunes again. I’m excited to hear this!
8:17 p.m. Jon: Oh em gee, friend: Josh Kaufman is gonna cover John Legend’s “All of Me”! I’m frankly fatigued by the song anymore but yearn to have him inject fresh life into it as he did Bruno Mars’s “It Will Rain.” I don’t even listen to the Bruno version anymore!
8:15 p.m. Jon: There it is, James—Shakira says “proud” for the first time. Drink!
8:15 p.m. James: No question. Adam looks like an idiot. That dye job!
8:14 p.m. James: Love seeing Kristin Merlin flourishing in a genre that often excludes her type of life. That being said, I feel like she’s going home tomorrow.
8:10 p.m. Jon: Finally! We get the Kristen-Merlin-has-a-girlfriend storyline. Welcome, Danielle! And Kristen is covering Miranda Lambert’s “Gunpower & Lead.” Splendid!
8:07 p.m. James: For the record I will be keeping track of how many times Shakira says the word “proud” tonight.
8:05 p.m. Jon: Mark Wahlberg, you’re in the new Transformers flick? How far hath thy star fallen? Paycheck much?
8:04 p.m. Jon: I think he just impregnated America with that performance.
8:03 p.m. James: Good thing Josh isn’t performing this raunchy new track from Usher. That would be awkward.
8:01 p.m. Jon: God, I love Urrsher’s dancing. Chris Brown, eat your nonexistent heart out.) This new “Good Kisser” song, though … is it completely hookless?
8 p.m. Jon: Shakira is wearing a tiara. Let’s not discuss.