The Voice – Top 5 Results Recap

Fall Out Boy, Nicholas David, AND the most intense elimination of the season?! Oh The Voice, you spoil me!

Season 4 champion-in-waiting Danielle Bradberry and acceptably harmonic Swon Brothers are virtual locks to advance to next week’s Finals, thanks to overwhelming iTunes sales. That leaves one spot open for the motley crew of Amber Carrington, Sasha Allen, and Michelle Chamuel.

Even knowing the iTunes results, you could make a case for any of them. Sasha’s got the lowest sales, but she’s defied iTunes once and appears to have a whole lot of support through other means of voting. Amber had the worst performance of the night – a Katy Perry-inspired disasterpiece – but also cracked the iTunes top-10 with “Sad”. And Michelle, assumed to be a shoo-in as the runner-up this season, picked a bad time to have arguably her most lackluster night of the competition and is now at risk.

I’m on record predicting Sasha and Amber go home, but it truly is a toss-up. Drama! Let’s get to it.

-Low-key steampunk robot Carson Daly kicks off the night. Normally these results shows drag a bit, but…Fall Out Boy and Nicholas David!! Can you tell I’m psyched? Because I’m psyched.

-Would be pretty sweet if right off the bat, Carson announced that Danielle and the Swons were safe. Let’s cut to the real drama! Nope, time for a long recap of last night’s performances. Fine, we’ll do this YOUR way.

-FALL. OUT. BOY. Yeah I like them, so what?? Singing the (characteristically) embarassingly-titled “My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark”. Michelle is allegedly participating, but she’s mostly out there just to stomp around. Enjoying this. How can you not enjoy Fall Out Boy?? What is wrong with you???

-Time for Carson to interview the coaches. Adam, as usual, doesn’t reeeally understand how to get votes for his contestant; Shakira looks gorgeous and says some words and also looks gorgeous; Usher slyly credits Blake for turning him into the Machiavellian tactician he is today; Blake revels in the success of his artists and carries himself like a supervillain.

-Now it’s time for…THE #1 SOUL BROTHER HIMSELF, MR. NICHOLAS DAVID! I’ve gone through season 4 without really rooting for anyone, but if you were with me in season 3, I was driving the Nicholas David bandwagon from the auditions. I love this man. Highlights of his interview with Carson include him referring to his family as “three deep” (in other words, having three children) and asking if he can sit on the couch. Holy buckets, HEY NOW!

-Confessional! We discuss “Ursher” and his dance moves, Adam’s tattoos, Blake’s Santa Claus laugh, and then the Swons dress up like Shakira and quote Anchorman. Not going to lie, I’m starting to come around on the Swons.


MICHELLE CHAMUEL! Well then. Didn’t expect that one to come first, let’s just say. Does this mean Sasha and Amber are goners, or are we in for an even bigger surprise? Some will make the case that both Sasha and Amber were better than Michelle last night, but while I certainly understand that opinion, I don’t agree with it. Michelle wasn’t great, but like the judges said, she is VERY consistent. Amber crashed and burned on “Firework”, and Sasha’s “I Will Always Love You” was bold but probably foolish. And based on the strength of her season, Michelle 100% deserves to be here.

-Christina Milian interviews make me want to hide under my couch.

-Tony Lucca’s back! He’ll forever have my respect for his rousing re-working of ’99 Problems’ and Christina Aguilera’s hilariously outraged reaction. Probably my favorite moment in The Voice history, and maybe my favorite in TV history. Anyway, his single is pleasantly forgettable. Hey, he could be the third Swon Brother!

-Time for all 5 contestants to perform together, and the chosen song is…”Every Rose Has Its Thorns”. Okay. Going out on a limb and guessing the Swon Brothers picked this song. I guess…I mean..okay. Whatever. It’s a feel-good performance, I guess.

Next announcement! Has to be Danielle or the Swons, right? Our next act moving on is…

DANIELLE BRADBERRY! Of course. At least the show had the savviness to leave a tiny bit of drama for the final announcement, though it’s very hard to imagine anyone overcoming the Swons’ iTunes dominance. Anyway, Danielle is winning this season. Michelle briefly challenged her claim to the throne last week; but like Tywin Lannister crushing all that oppose him, Blake engineered Danielle’s best performances to date last night, cementing her as the season champion thanks to cumulative iTunes votes. Michelle was left standing in the middle of the banquet hall, surrounded by dudes holding crossbows.

-Hey, it’s Terry McDermott! He was the Swon Brothers from last season for me. I didn’t believe in Terry at all when the season began, but he won me over as it progressed. Granted, I ended up liking Terry quite a bit more than I like the Swons, but I’m coming around on the latter. Anyway, this is a really good song. Rock on, Terry.

And now, the final announcement of the night. Our FINAL ACT moving on to the final is….

THE SWON BROTHERS! That was anticlimactic. They couldn’t have saved Michelle for last? Oh well.

That means we are saying goodbye to…

Sasha Allen
Ranked #4 out of 48 following auditions.
Ranked #3 out of 16 entering the live shows.

Great run for Sasha, and a great job by Shakira bringing her back from the brink of elimination a few weeks ago. Not sure she was ever winning this season, especially with Danielle taking everyone’s corners like Marlo Stanfield, but Sasha went about as far as she could hope for. She mostly bucked the “Broadway singer” label and almost reached the finish line. All-in-all, a tremendously successful season for Sasha Allen.

Amber Carrington
Ranked #19 out of 48 following auditions.
Ranked #5 out of 16 entering the live shows.

On the other hand, I feel like under different circumstances, Amber Carrington could have won this season. Credit Blake’s 100%-committed chess move of turning this from a pop-country hybrid season into a pure country season, and blame Adam’s inability to choose songs (or steer Amber towards songs) that connect with the audience still watching the show. “Firework” is a case-in-point. Not only is that a song Amber cannot sing (can ANYBODY sing that song??), it’s not at all in the wheelhouse of a voting audience that put the Swon Brothers’ rendition of a Kenny Loggins song at #2 on the iTunes chart this morning. In the end, what Adam claimed to be Amber’s greatest strength – her ability to sing a variety of genres – turned out to be her undoing, as she never quite developed the same kind of fan base as the three artists that advanced to the finals. From a talent standpoint, I’m not sure there wass anybody better this season.

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  1. I was bored out of my mind with the music guests this week. At one point I got up and refilled my tea mug. Bleh. Now I understand why you didn’t vote. Our music tastes are extremely different. Not hating. Just saying. I am a little shocked you didn’t vote for Sarah though. I thought you would’ve at least voted for her because you were so hardcore over the lady in earlier blogs. But anyway, THANK YOU for telling me who Tony Lucca is. Although I wasn’t into any of the folks tonight, I certainly remember someone remaking “99 Problems” in the movie “No Strings Attached” and I could never figure out who it was until just now in your blog. I rewound that part in the movie so many times I lost count. I just Google’d it to find out what you meant about Christina and watched the whole debate, including the Team Xtina T-shirt.

    So….I was with Christina on this one. I read Jay-Z’s book “Decoded,” reviewed it on Amazon (before I started boycotting Amazon) and he never quite sold me on his wordplay about it being about a dog. In the song, he sincerely is talking about a dog sniffing out drugs, but he KNEW with the earlier lyrics that folks were going to be rapping that song in relationship to women. Then again, he did do “B***tches & Sistas” so he knows when to reel it in. I ranted like Christina did about that song, too. I don’t think it was worth singing on “The Voice” though. How does that song show off his voice? That seems to make as much sense as the contestant Audrey Karrasch singing Lil’ Wayne’s “How to Love.” Yikes!

    • To be clear, I’m not saying that Tony Lucca’s ’99 Problems’ is the best PERFORMANCE of all-time (it’s definitely not) or mocking Xtina in this particular case (though I do mock her quite a bit!). The reason it’s the best MOMENT in ‘The Voice’ history is that it’s 100% real. Xtina is really outraged, Adam really disagrees. And it’s SUCH a ballsy song choice, whether you agree with it or not. So much of ‘The Voice’ (and all reality TV, of course) feels so artificial and fake. This was an exceedingly rare case of everyone saying what they really feel.

      • I’m not complaining about the song so much. I wanted to know who was singing that a LONG time ago and I just couldn’t figure it out on Google at the time that I saw “No Strings Attached.” I never watched the other seasons so I only heard through the grapevine and a few snippets about Christina and Adam. When she called him a “fake Justin Timberlake” I was like, “Wow, that was…a real a-hole kinda thing to say considering he’s an artist in his own right.” I actually like the “99 Problems” song and video. I just don’t like that “If you having girl problems I feel bad for you, son” part because Jay-Z is forever defending that line and saying it’s about a dog not a woman but he’s smart enough to know he was going to take heat for that. But he keeps claiming the “What did I do?” in his book. As for Adam and it being metaphorical, that was a stretch. Adam knew what those lyrics were. Sure, it was a “fun” song to remake. I just felt the same way about doing that on “The Voice” as I did with ole girl redoing Lil’ Wayne’s song. Clearly he got further with his though.

      • Never mind. I’m lying. I am definitely complaining about the song. Bleh. Why try to justify it? I’m 100% with Christina on that one. But once she made her point, she could’ve laid low. She just kept on talking over him until he bust out with his T-shirt and then she continued to talk. When I saw that scene, then I understood why people are kissing the feet of Shakira. If Christina was like that the entire show, I have the feeling I’m going to have to take Mary Murphy’s award for Worst Female TV Judge Ever. Lil Mama was in second place. Mia Michaels in third. Shakira was a runner-up when she kept arguing with Usher. (I don’t watch “American Idol” so I wasn’t in the Mariah vs Nicki beef.) Sounds like you’d like to give the crown to Christina. If not, there’s hundreds on FB who can’t stand that lady. I don’t know enough about her to judge her either way. All I know is the drip-down-her-leg story during Etta James’ funeral.

  2. By the way, I have mixed feelings about the top three. The Swon Brothers certainly deserve their spot after I heard “Danny’s Song.” But considering I’ve been voting for them all season, no surprise there. I knew Daneille would make it. I am just so confused about why I’m not more happy Michelle made it…and she was announced first. I’ve loved her all season. Last night’s bad performances should make no difference. But they did. Because it was the first time I was just over all the crouching and peering behind glasses. Gawd, I feel like the lady who finally got over her boyfriend in the middle of the relationship. I wanted Amber to make it. Man, I’m disloyal. I should be happier. I’m going back to Pinterest to remind myself why I’ve been a cheerleader for Michelle this entire season. I’ve clearly gone mad.

  3. Your comment Can somebody explain the \’Cumulative iTunes Vote Total\’ and what it means vis-a-vis the final? I\’ve read and re-read the \’clarification\’ notes on The Voice voting info page, but the clarity just isn\’t there. I understand that Danielle Bradbery has largely dominated the iTunes charts throughout the season, except for the upsets by Michelle Chamuel last week and The Swons this week. How does this figure in to the \’cumulative vote total\’ if at all? Thanks.

    • This is the way I understand it to be:
      Each contestants’ total score is 10 points for EACH iTunes purchase, 1 point for EACH Facebook vote (maximum votes on FB is 10), 1 point for EACH phone call through the 855 number. So if Danielle got 5,000 iTunes purchases one week plus 30,000 FB votes plus 20,000 calls, it’d be 55,000 votes. However, if she places in the Top 10, iTunes/NBC multiplies her iTunes purchases by 10, so then it’d be 100,000. (Math is not my strong point but I think I got that calculation correct.)

      • Edit: Each contestants’ total score is ONE point for EACH iTunes purchase, 1 point for EACH Facebook vote (maximum votes on FB is 10), 1 point for EACH phone call through the 855 number. So if Danielle got 5,000 iTunes purchases one week plus 30,000 FB votes plus 20,000 calls, it’d be 55,000 votes. However, if she places in the Top 10, iTunes/NBC multiplies her iTunes purchases by 10, so then it’d be 100,000. (Math is not my strong point but I think I got that calculation correct.)

    • The entire voting system on The Voice is SO opaque and confusing that honestly it’s difficult to parse, but here is my understanding. For next week’s final, the only thing that carries over from previous weeks is iTunes sales numbers. I do not know if it’s the raw sales numbers, if they’re converted to some sort of scale, if it’s just numbers from the weekly “voting windows”, and if the 10x bonus awarded on a weekly basis factors in.

      However, regardless of the specifics, it is certain that iTunes numbers IN SOME WAY carry over to the final vote total. And because that is the case, Danielle is believed to have a huge lead entering the week. Since the start of the season, she’s been the top contestant on iTunes more often than not, and while Michelle and the Swons have had their moments, they’ve had so many down weeks that it’s hard to imagine a scenario where they’re even within shouting distance of Danielle, regardless of how the votes are tallied.

      • Thanks. So, there’s either a carry over for the final — a cumulative total — or some kind of allowance of votes for songs downloaded outside of voting windows, or both. You are likely correct. With any interpretation, Danielle is SO VERY FAR AHEAD in iTunes numbers there is little chance of Michelle or The Swons catching her without massive numbers of votes from other sources.

      • Was it like this in other years? The iTunes factor is going to make this show VERY boring. If they would JUST consider the one vote from next week’s show, then it would be a more fair competition. In the instructions it says, “…each artist will have one eligible song in the June 17, 2013 performance show; thus, in connectiown with that episode, you can vote for each artist on iTunes up to one (1) time for that eligible song by dowloading one (1) copy of the eligible song during the applicable voting window.” But on the final episode they still count those other votes: “There will be no iTunes Bonus available to the artists in connection with voting FOR THE FINALE. As explained further below, iTunes votes of eligible songs from the live performances for each artist that occur outside of the episodes’ applicable voting windows will be included in the artist’s Cumulative iTunes Vote Total (defined below).”

        I wish they would do away with the Cumulative Total and just vote by the week. In one way it sounds like it’s a good thing because those who bought iTunes songs when the competition was over will carry over to the finale. Problem is what’s the point of carrying those numbers over if the contestant you bought a song for is no longer in the competition? It seems to only benefit the latecomers. But if there is no bonus for anyone who is in the top 10, then they’ll just count the downloads as downloads no matter how high instead of multiplying it by 10 (if they reached the Top 10).

        This seems as illogical as the electoral vote. Just go with the popular vote THAT DAY and call it a day.

        • Off hand, do you know how many times Danielle was in the top 10 each week? The good thing about the top 10 on iTunes is they’re not comparing it to the top 10 on just “The Voice” but the top 10 on ALL songs that are out, right? Right now Robin Thicke is holding that spot so unless Danielle was in the top 10 every week, maybe it’s more fair than we think it is. Since they can’t do that bonus (x10) in the finale for being in the Top 10 during the voting window, they really will just have to calculate the individual votes (SIMILAR to the popular vote) on iTunes plus Facebook (x10 maximum) plus phone calls (and there’s no limit on calls).

          If Michelle Chamuel and The Swon Brothers had a bunch of slacker fans like me who took their sweet time buying music online way after results day, maybe they have higher iTunes numbers in that cumulative vote than we think. Or not. Just saying. But I guess if that was true, then those numbers would still be reflected on iTunes now. Those songs would have staying power and continue to be in the Top 100 from beginning to end. I didn’t keep up to see who stayed on the chart AFTER the window closed though.

          Anyway, back to my original question, was it like this in all other seasons?

          • Season 3 was the first to include iTunes. In that season, people could purchase up to 10 copies of each of a contestant’s performances, and all 10 would be added to the cumulative voting total for the final. This year it sounds like only one purchase per song per individual is going to count. If I had to hazard a guess, I would say that they’re just going to take a raw count of how many people have bought a contestant’s songs throughout the season, and each contestant will be starting with that number as their vote total in the finale.

            The problem is that Danielle has been in or around the top-10 literally every week for 2 months. Michelle and the Swons have both topped her on individual weeks, but they’ve also had weeks where they didn’t crack the top-20. No matter how the actual calculation works, I just don’t see a way that the voting difference in the finale will be drastic enough to overcome the lead that Danielle has built up, whatever it may be.

  4. Kyle, but has Danielle been in the Top 10 or Top 20 and STAYED there? Or did she skydive right after Tuesday night. I’m trying to look at this from an optimistic view with the other contestants. If she stayed there during voting and then disappeared, but the slackers (me) just kept on buying music after the Tuesday night competitions were over, that may have kept The Swon Brothers and Michelle Chamuel’s numbers slowly accumulating over time. Now whether those numbers caught up to Danielle’s number, I don’t know. But I can’t find any blogs that talked about how the contestants did outside of Monday and Tuesday.

    I’m kinda looking at these votes the way people do with one-hit wonders. You see them there when they’re hot on the radio and then you just NEVER see them again for weeks and weeks. This could be a pipe dream on my part though.

    • I haven’t been paying close attention to this, but I don’t think there’s any basis for believing Danielle’s iTunes sales patterns would behave any differently than the others. I think it’s a safe assumption that the vast, VAST majority of iTunes activity for ‘The Voice’ occurs during the voting window each week. I know Danielle had a performance earlier this season that I was still seeing in the top-100 three or four weeks after it happened. Michelle had one like this as well.

      If you’re looking for a pipe dream way for Danielle to lose, it begins and ends with her simply crashing and burning Monday night. Obviously I don’t know exactly how big of a lead she has, but it would take a catastrophically bad song choice(s) and lackluster performances to get her somewhere in the 50’s on the iTunes charts. At that point, a great Michelle performance would make things interesting.

      The problem is that Blake is Danielle’s coach, and Blake is really great at avoiding the kind of song selection that leads to that kind of outcome. We just saw Adam do this exact thing with Amber with the “Firework” performance (I believe she technically chose the song, but obviously Adam’s involved in the process) that cost her a spot in the finals – Michelle was VERY beatable this week and even a mediocre showing for Amber would’ve got the job done. I can’t imagine Blake allowing this to happen with Danielle.

      • Danielle has 3 10x bonuses. Swons have 2. Michelle has 1. Danielle has been in the top 10 more than 3 times, but that was before the multiplier went into effect. Here’s why this is really, really not a big deal:

        Top 10 of iTunes means around 10-15k units. This week, there were no major singles released so the threshold was much lower. So, let’s say that Danielle has a 200k advantage on Michelle purely because of the iTunes multiplier. Does that mean Michelle needs an extra 200k voters? No. The average-but-not-insane superfan votes about 40x (10 calls, and 30 online with Facebook and two email addresses). So really Michelle needs only 5,000 additional “superfans” to make up the ground she has lost to the iTunes bonus. No big deal.

        Also, random other thing, Scooter Braun started following Michelle on Twitter last night. Either they’re planning something for the finale (Bieber endorsement/performance) or beyond (Scooter and Usher are in business with UMG– win or lose, that’s where she’ll end up). If it’s the former, then bye-bye iTunes multiplier, hello 40 million followers.

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