No season of The Voice is complete without a talented and charming hipster artist. That's exactly what Stephanie Rice delivered for Season 12, and while we're not necessarily surprised to see her go, we aren't happy about it. If people voted exclusively on talent, we have the feeling she'd have lasted a lot longer. Alas, she's done, while weaker, less intriguing artists get to stick around another week.
Rice not making the Top 10 seems unbelievable in light of last night's performance. She put her own unique spin on "Behind Blue Eyes" and was praised endlessly by the judges. The most bittersweet feedback was definitely from Alicia Keys, who claimed that Rice was just getting started. Now, the meaning may have referred more to the music industry in general, but at the time, we already suspected that Rice's tenure on The Voice might not last as long as we wanted.
Rice fights to be her true self on The Voice, and her authenticity has not gone unnoticed. It's one of the things we love most about her, but also one of the top reasons she was sacrificed so soon. Ultimately, she's just not going to appeal to as many listeners as some of the equally talented but perhaps more generic singers of Season 12.
Our sadness about Rice's departure should not be confused with anger about Mark Isaiah winning the Instant Save. He fought valiantly for the second week in a row, and his performance tonight was definitely stronger than Rice's. Although Rice sounded lovely, nerves definitely got the best of her in this difficult situation. Her voice wavered more than usual as she performed "Issues," and she just didn't sound as confident as we'd like. But she shouldn't have been put in the position to sing for her life in the first place.
If nothing else, The Voice should provide a nice kick-start for Rice, who deserves to be heard and to have a chance in the music industry. Now that she's gained valuable exposure, she can continue to build a name for herself while still holding true to the quirky style that her fans adore. We're expecting great things from Rice, and we know she'll deliver!
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