Rayshun shocks the nation, survives another 'Voice' elimination

Lyndsey Parker

Right now, the unstoppable contestants on this Voice season seem to be Team Blake’s Pryor Baird and Team Alicia’s Britton Buchanan — but don’t rule out Team Adam’s Rayshun LaMarr, a man who’s used to triumphing over adversity. First, the guy beat cancer, and now he’s beating the odds on The Voice, avoiding elimination three weeks in a row.

Two weeks ago, Rayshun found himself in the bottom two with D.R. King, but he won the Instant Save. Last week, after pulling off a dynamite Otis Redding cover, he wasn’t in the bottom two at all. (There has only been one other time in the series’ history when a contestant that was in the bottom two or three wasn’t up for elimination the following week.) This Tuesday featured a dreaded double-elimination, and Rayshun did end up in the bottom three — alongside Team Alicia’s Christiana Danielle and fellow Adam Levine teammate Jackie Verna — but once again, he scraped through on the top 10 live results show.

It wasn’t a huge surprise that Rayshun was in the bottom this week. Although he gave one of this best performances of the season Monday, clearly the risk that his coach Adam had insisted would be a “changer of the game” — singing the somewhat obscure “Grant Green” — did not pay off. Rayshun’s recording of the Mr. Jukes song only charted at No. 156 on iTunes. But on Tuesday, his save-me performance of Marvin Gaye’s not-at-all-obscure “Let’s Get It On” electrified the stage.

Christiana and Jackie held back with their surprisingly tepid save-me performances. Christiana went with the bar-band staple “Unchain My Heart,” which seemed better suited for Pryor Baird (or for that Las Vegas “Neon Dreams” revue). Jackie warbled a folksy rendition of Carrie Underwood’s “I Told You So,” after which she ironically thanked her coach, Adam, for teaching her that she doesn’t “have to please the world.” (Clearly, she didn’t: Her “lost in the shuffle” Monday performance only charted at No. 74.) Christiana and Jackie thus completely cleared the way for Rayshun’s easy Instant Save victory, but he still sang his face off and held nothing back.

“It’s up to you, guys. Do you want to be deprived of this?” Adam asked America. Apparently not: Rayshun secured 44 percent of the public vote, compared to Jackie’s 35 percent and Christiana’s shockingly low 21 percent.

So now Rayshun is in the top eight semifinals, but it remains to be seen if he can make it to the finale — since on next Tuesday’s bloodbath results show, four contestants will go home, all at once. But if there’s anyone who can buck the odds, it’s Rayshun, so watch this space.

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