The Voice judges should have turned their chairs for Zack Hicks
The Voice is an incredibly competitive show, and for good reason; it has not launched any careers of Kelly Clarkson's caliber, but finalists do gain a lot of valuable exposure, which helps them establish reasonably successful careers. Everybody wants that PR boost that a good appearance on the show can provide, but one appearance is not enough — the longer artists can stay on, the better.
One appearance will unfortunately have to be enough for talented singer Zack Hicks — at least for now. He gave it all tonight on The Voice, but he wasn't quite able to snag a spot on Team Adam, Team Alicia, Team Blake or Team Miley.
Going into the performance, Hicks' prospects seemed quite good. Although the judges know nothing of each contestant's backstory prior to the auditions, an inspiring story can provide a huge boost once the audition jitters are out of the way. Hicks' story is certainly impressive; as the oldest child in a large family, he had a lot of pressure on his shoulders when he was a young kid. He never quite fit into his small town, in part because of his sexual orientation. Now, however, he's eager to show that, as an LGBT musician, he's more than a stereotype.
Hicks' song may not have had a lot of flourishes, but it was heartfelt and I thought he sounded great! Unfortunately, while the judges agreed, they didn't think he was worthy of a chair turn. Adam Levine claimed that Hicks was super close to convincing him to turn around, but for some reason, he didn't push that button.
I think that the judges made a mistake, but at least they offered up some constructive criticism. According to Miley Cyrus, Hicks should have chosen a different song — ideally country soul, because it would suit his voice. Alicia Keys' suggestion was best of all: Evoke emotion without vibrato.
I truly believe Zack Hicks could have accomplished great things on The Voice with a little instruction from the right coach. The road's not necessarily over, however. I hope he returns next season and applies the judges' critiques. He just might be the show's next big country star!