"The Voice" was in holiday mode on Thursday night's elimination episode as the Top 6 performed and one got the bad news that they would not be moving on to the Top 5. Not a very cheerful way to end the show but, hey, they don't make the rules. (Oh, wait... yes, they do.) Was it a shocker? Yes and no.
But first, it was a bit "creepy," Michael Slezak at TV Line reported on Dec. 3, thanks to host Carson Daly and the odd commentary surrounding Kelly Clarkson's pregnancy.
As one of three guests on the results show, Kelly Clarkson showed up to do her holiday single, "Underneath The Tree," from her latest top Top 10 Billboard 200 album (her sixth, all of which placed No. 3 or higher), Wrapped In Red. "The Voice" host, Carson Daly, does a great job of not mentioning the fact the Clarkson started her now decade-long career much the same way as a contestant on his show's biggest competitor, "American Idol." But that's alright; everybody already knows, even if Clarkson is part of "the family" of "The Voice" (she was an advisor during Season 2), but let's draw the line at claiming the pregnant star's baby. (Quote from Daly: "I feel like it's our baby." "Our" baby? What? Slezak may have penned just the right descriptor there.)
Nuno Bettincourt, guitarist for the hard rock band Extreme, came out later, played acoustic guitar, and sang a little harmony with Cole Vosbury, James Wolpert, and Will Champlin on the Extreme hit song, "More Than Words." Not a bad performance but Wolpert's warbling seems a bit much. Good thing Vosbury is there to show him how it's supposed to be done. Still, all in all a good performance. (And for those who want to see one of the guitar greats, check out Nuno Bettincourt's amazing virtuosity on YouTube.)
Blake Shelton performed the Christmas song, "Silver Bells," with Xenia as well. Remember Xenia? Back in Season 1 of "The Voice," Xenia was eliminated in eighth place. She was 16 at the time, roughly two-and-a-half years ago. She was a member of Blake Shelton's team and, unfortunately for her and her teammates, it was the only season Team Blake hasn't produced a winner. Still, since then she's generated an EP, Sing You Home, and was featured on the "Silver Bells" track of Shelton's hit 2012 holiday release, Cheers, It's Christmas.
From the Top 6, Tessanne Chin, Matthew Schuler, and Jacquie Lee performed the Candi Staton song (which was also recorded by Joss Stone and Florence and the Machine), "You Got The Love," and the entire Top 6 finalists performed "O Holy Night/Holiday Medley."
But by the time the Top 6 performed, Carson Daly had already revealed three of the Top 5 finalists. Those three were Jacquie Lee, Cole Vosbury, and Tessanne Chin. Following the performance, he let Will Champlin know that he, too, had made the Top 5.
That left Matthew Schuler of Team Christina and James Wolpert of Team Adam. Daly announced that the last Instant Save of the season would keep one of them from elimination, then set the clock running.
Five minutes later, he revealed the finalist still in the competition...
Was it a shocker? Yes, in that Matthew Schuler is by far the better vocalist of the two, not to mention the fact that he completely dominated the Top 6 live performance show on Monday night. He was also the oddsmakers' frontrunner at season's start. And still, after finishing in the bottom three last week, it was almost inevitable that he would again make the bottom two. So, in that regard, Matthew Schuler's elimination was not much of a shocker after all.
Still, with a voice like his, it is very doubtful that this is the last America has heard of Matthew Schuler.
The Top 5 will hit the stage again next week when the "The Voice" airs Monday night at 8 p.m. (EST)