For the past few weeks in these recaps, we’ve gone out on what we thought was a pretty sturdy limb and announced the 18-year-old Sanford vocalist was a lock for the finals of NBC’s The Voice.
The good news, first. Britton Buchanan is one of four finalists for the show’s 14th season, wittled down from hundreds who auditioned, more than 100 who tried out and 48 who were picked to compete after the blind auditions.
The scary, unexpected part was Britton not being included in the Top 3 and having to “battle” against fellow male artists Pryor Baird and Kaleb Lee for that fourth spot. It came down to five minutes of tweets and retweets, but here we are.
He made it. Again … phew.
Already, there are conspiracy theories. Did The Voice purposely add drama for, arguably, its most consistently popular contestant for ratings and social media engagement? If so, that’s a hell of a risk.
But let’s toss those tin foil hat theories aside and just appreciate the drama that was Tuesday night’s one-hour episode. Brynn Cartelli (Britton’s duet partner on Monday night), Spensha Baker and Kyla Jade were announced as the first three finalists during the first 30 minutes of the show, interrupted only by terrible music from a “country” artist who mumbled through most of his hit song and another guy who was far too cocky to be presenting what his band presented tonight.
But enough about “the professionals.” Let’s talk Britton.
After Baird’s performance of “Soul Shine” and Lee’s “Simple Man,” Britton took the stage without his guitar (only the second time he’s done that) and did “Dancing on My Own,” by Calum Scott.
The lyrics were fitting: “I’m giving it my all, but I’m not the guy you’re taking home.” It made you wonder how long Britton had this one saved up just in case he needed a “save song” earlier in the season.
His coach, the great Alicia Keys (who genuinely seems to really care for the young man and is genuinely impressed with his abilities) said Britton’s performance gave her “full body chills.”
But the most touching comment came from Adam Levine, whose final contestant this season, Rayshun LaMarr, was eliminated earlier in the show. Levine, the first coach to hit his button in the first blind audition of the season, was “blocked” by coach Blake Shelton from picking Britton in the first episode, the first-ever use of a block (lots of firsts here).
Levine urged America to save Britton tonight. “The universe finally gave me a chance to help you,” he said.
The others didn’t have a chance.
So where does this leave us? It’s Britton, Spensha, Kyla and Brynn. Regardless of how this ends, Britton made it to the end. Along the way, he’s had an entire city pulling for him.
But if winning is everything to you, there’s reason for optimism. Britton doubled both contestants he was up against tonight when it came time for Twitter to help out (plus, fans of those two guys might pull for another “dude” next week now that they’re gone). And, maybe … just maybe … he’s been the favorite all along, and this really WAS just some good ol’ fashioned NBC drama tonight.
Regardless, congratulations, Britton. On to the finals.
Oh, here’s some tweets. The first one is quite huge.