“The Voice” displayed a mix of performances during semi-finals

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And then there were eight. Another season of “The Voice” is winding to a close. The show is beginning to feel as if it has always been on television, so accustomed viewers have become to its dynamics. During Monday night’s semi-finals, the remaining singers performed in duets and solo to try to show viewers what they can do.

The night’s performances were dominated by rock songs, either as solo performances or duets, which was interesting. The caliber of performances varies, as what one viewer deems “too much” another viewer considers the right amount of enthusiasm.

Still, some obvious frontrunners distinguished themselves from the pack of eight. Performances by Kyla Jade, Britton Buchanan and Kaleb Lee were all notable. But with there being no way to predict how people will feel about certain performances, the tension will be as high as always.

Kyla Jade “Let It Be” as performed on “The Voice”

Whether the song is a favorite among viewers is completely beside the point. Kyla’s mellow, rich, alto interpretation of the Beatles’ classic is stirring, even for people who weren’t necessarily Beatles’ fans. (Yes, such people exist.)

As a result of this performance, online commenters have declared the singer the winner of this season of “The Voice,” and have “demanded” that she win to vindicate other black female singers who were, in the words of so many commenters, “robbed.”

But if Kyla does win, she does so on her own. Yes, symbolically the hypothetical win could mean something to other people, but her voice is striking, and that should count for something on a show called “The Voice.”

“The Voice”: Britton Buchanan, “The Rising”

Yet another rock song for the usually pop-and country-heavy show. With so many singers that are a tad more flashy than Buchanan, it is easy to overlook him. However, his homespun voice easily moved into the range and sound of Bruce Springsteen, and it was difficult to reconcile the voice with the youthful visage onscreen.

Buchanan’s coach, Alicia Keys, was ecstatic about his performance. The behind-the-scenes footage showed Keys and Buchanan having a conversation about his request to get a “Springsteen” song. The scene worked to show viewers a little of how songs are chosen and assigned.

Kaleb Lee brings a hymn to life on “The Voice”

Viewers familiar with hymns received a pleasant surprise as country crooner Kaleb Lee sang “It is Well With My Soul.” The approach he took to the song was fairly traditional, with country touches in the acoustic guitar instrumentation and the overall pace of the song, which was a touch slower than the original.

As for Lee’s sound, it was impassioned, and clear. Viewers could hear every word and there was no ambiguity.

Not every performance worked last night. Certainly Jackie Foster’s version of “Here I Go Again” (the mega-hit by Whitesnake) was probably not the best of the evening, but even it had its moments.

On Tuesday night, America will find out how viewers voted. Tonight’s eliminations are a huge deal, as half of tonight’s cast will go home, leaving four performers to vie for the title of “Winner of The Voice Season 14.” At this point, it is anyone’s guess.

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Dodie Miller-Gould is a native of Fort Wayne, Indiana. She has BA and MA degrees in English from Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne, and an MFA in Fiction from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Her research interests include popular music and culture, 1920s jazz, and blues, confessional poetry, and the rhetoric of fiction. She has presented at numerous conferences in rhetoric and composition, and creative writing. Her creative works have appeared in Tenth Muse, Apostrophe, The Flying Island, Scavenger's Newsletter and elsewhere. She has won university-based awards for creative work and literary criticism.

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