The semi-finals have arrived. During The Voice Season 22 Episode 22, the Top 8 performed solos as well as duets of Whitney Houston songs in honor of I Wanna Dance With Somebody coming out later this month. Coaches Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani, John Legend, and Camila Cabello pushed harder than ever for fan votes in the hopes of their teams making it to the finale next week. Here’s a recap of the night’s performances.
[Spoiler alert: The following story contains spoilers for The Voice Season 22 Episode 22.]
Justin Aaron kicked things off with “Stand Up” by Cynthia Erivo, dedicated to his wife. In rehearsal, Gwen advised Justin to really push the drama of the tune. His passionate performance earned roaring applause from the audience and a standing ovation from his coach. John complimented Justin’s ability to inspire viewers each week, and Camila said Justin “sets an impossible bar” for himself with every “incredible” performance. Gwen said Justin had “unbelievable” confidence.
Team Gwen: Justin Aaron
Brayden Lape opened up the performances for Team Blake with a guest star: his mom. The 16-year-old decided to sing a Brett Young song, “In Case You Didn’t Know,” because he wanted to be like Brett as an artist. In rehearsal, Blake had confidence that Brayden could make it to the finale. And while Brayden’s voice might not sound as mature as others in the competition, the coaches thought he had plenty of room to grow. Gwen said Brayden had something “understated” and “subtle” in his performances. Blake added he never heard Brayden sing like that before.
Bodie decided to challenge himself this week with Halsey’s “Without Me.” Blake encouraged him to “Bodie-ize” the song — it’s always exciting to see the twists that Bodie brings to his covers. The audience chanted his name after the performance, and Camila joined in. She complimented Bodie’s creativity, and Blake was sure the singer would make it to the finale.
This season’s cowboy, Bryce Leatherwood, sang “If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away” by Justin Moore. Blake helped Bryce fix his pitch in rehearsal so he could reach a high note. The coaches jumped to their feet, and Gwen said Bryce was everything fans wanted to see in a country singer. John agreed, adding that Bryce could be on country radio today. Blake said the singer “engaged” country fans everywhere.
Team Blake: Brayden Lape, Bodie, Bryce Leatherwood
The Voice Season 22 Episode 22 continued with Parijita Bastola singing Sia’s “Unstoppable.” The young singer connected the anthem to her family’s own journey to America and her personal aspirations as a musician. John encouraged Parijita to “rouse the crowd” with her performance, and that’s exactly what she did. She sang as confidently as the song’s lyrics and had all four coaches on their feet. Camila had trouble finding words to express how much she adored Parijita, and Gwen said it was “shocking” how powerful she sounded at such a young age. John added that Parijita was an inspiration to others.
Kim Cruse, last week’s Instant Save winner, made her comeback with “Summertime” by Peggy Lee. She wanted to give the audience a taste of pure jazz, one of her favorite genres. Her performance was filled with unique riffs that had some fans screaming. Blake complimented Kim’s head voice, while Camila said she was “entranced.” John called the performance a “master class” in Kim’s vocal style.
Omar Jose Cardona closed out Team Legend’s performances with a tall order of a song: “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion. John encouraged Omar to kick it up a notch by adding a gospel twist. He channeled Celine’s power and ended with an impressively long note. John couldn’t contain his excitement as he did a happy dance for his teammate. Blake said the song was enough to knock toupées and curlers off viewers’ heads, and Gwen couldn’t believe it wasn’t lip-syncing.
Team Legend: Parijita Bastola, Kim Cruse, Omar Jose Cardona
Morgan Myles represented Team Camila with Lady Gaga’s “Always Remember Us This Way.” She dedicated the tune to her cousin, who died of brain cancer. Her rehearsal made Camila emotional, and the coach was confident Morgan could go to the finale. Morgan choked up during the piano ballad, but she powered through and let her passion do all the work. Gwen said her tone sounded “unbelievably pretty,” and Camila complimented Morgan’s growth, calling her performance “magical.”
Team Camila: Morgan Myles
Whitney Houston duets
Morgan Myles and Bryce Leatherwood teamed up for a Southern country-blues twist on “Saving All My Love For You.” The singers shared surprising chemistry as they looked into each other’s eyes and let their country twang shine.
Brayden returned to the stage with Bodie for a rendition of “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” that, according to Carson Daly, we didn’t know we needed in our lives. They slowed down the energetic tune to a ballad accompanied by Bodie’s guitar. It would have been fun to see them show off their own dance moves to the original song, but this rendition showed off their beautiful voices.
Omar and Justin teamed up for a passionate performance of “Greatest Love of All.” Their Grammy-level duet had the audience going wild and earned a standing ovation from the coaches.
Parijita and Kim finished the duets with a cover of “I’m Every Woman.” They started the tune off slow and sultry before turning up the energy and showing off their power. It was a great way to end a night of honoring Whitney Houston.
New episodes of The Voice air on Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on NBC. Next-day streaming is also available on Peacock.