At the end of The Voice Knockout Rounds episode Tuesday, Camila Cabello proposed marriage to standout singer Kate Kalvach, in order to woo Kate to join Team Camila. (Spoiler alert: It worked!) So, apparently the show’s new coach is focused on a new showmance. Voice fans had been shipping Camila and another fan-favorite contestant, Jaeden Luke, ever since sparks flew between them during the Season 22 Blind Auditions, but Jaeden was inexplicably ghosted during Tuesday’s Knockouts, with his rehearsal and performance not airing at all.
For those of you not following the Jaeden/Camila saga this season, here’s what happened: Back in the Blinds, Camila was interested in Jaeden — very interested, and the feeling seemed mutual — but she was unable to turn for him because her team was already full. But the Romance pop star vowed to steal the quirky “Make It With You” singer if she ever got the chance, telling him as she blushed and winked and flirtatiously twirled her hair: “I’ll save you, baby!”
During the Battle Rounds, Camila got her wish and made good on that promise, claiming her “boyfriend” for her team as she purred, “Your tone is so beautiful, I want to hear it my ear.”
But then… we never heard Jaeden’s tone, ever again.
As the three-way Knockouts continued this week, Jaeden went up against Team Camila’s Eric Who and Reina Ley, but only the performance by Eric — who, ironically, had been montaged during the Blinds and the Battles — was shown.
While the sherbet-pink-haired showman certainly delivered a stupendously scenery-chewing performance of Elle King’s “Ex's and Oh's,” taking Camila’s direction to act “possessed” and “Broadway, theatrical” and proving himself to be “one of the best performers and entertainers of this season,” it was truly puzzling that the other two contestants, especially Jaeden, were dumped this way. And fans took to Twitter to express their confusion and disappointment over this TV love story’s abrupt, unhappy ending.
Jaeden went home without us even getting to hear him perform 😭 #TheVoice
— Andrew Clarke (@AwaitingAndrew) November 2, 2022
That was a bummer #TheVoice . Would have liked to see what Jaeden brought. He was such an interesting g artist.
— JM DeIris (@JmDeiris) November 2, 2022
Abysmal. We don’t even hear Jaeden at all??? He was one of the most unique artists there and got stolen last round! Eric Who getting montaged TWICE yet he makes the lives is sooo unfair to him the public barely know him. This is such a bullshit way to treat contestants. #TheVoice https://t.co/YOYXDnu5l0
— tom (@thom_ahs) November 2, 2022
Eric Who x Jaeden X Reina Ley from #TeamCamila were the contestants I most wanted to see perform in the knockouts. Why did @NBCTheVoice had to cut them from the broadcast? 😭 Please post the entire clip including Camila's coaching advice and their performances for us!
— RLorde (@RLorde1) November 2, 2022
Congratulations to Eric. But I am SO DISAPPOINTED that we did not get to hear Jaeden Luke sing. 😢😢😢😢😢😢😢😢😢😢😢😞😞😞😞😞😞
— Victoria Thurman (@vthurman50) November 2, 2022
We want Jaeden full performance.
Respect the artists!
— Turquesa (@Toorcua) November 2, 2022
Next #VoiceKnockouts match up -- Team Camila -- Eric Who singing "Exes and Ohhh's" vs. Jaeden Luke vs. (I THINK it was Morgan? Honestly that happened SO FAST -- Eric was declared the winner and we didn't even get to hear the other two's songs) #TheVoice
— Josh Kennon (@skatefan78) November 2, 2022
As of this writing, Jaeden has not used his own social media to address his bizarre vanishing act on the show; his most recent Instagram post, from Oct. 29, is a video of him embracing his “girlfriend” Camila when they reunited during the Battle Rounds. But clearly the honeymoon is over for the mullet-headed heartthrob and his onetime not-so-secret admirer, and the only cute couple that'll be hanging on the Voice set this season will Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani.
As for the rest of the hour-long episode, only two three-way Knockouts were shown in full, the first being between Team Legend’s torch singer Morgan Taylor, indie-rocker Ian Harrison, and Omar José Cardona, a flamboyant belter that almost made Eric Who look sedate. I actually liked Ian’s sweet, soft, sincere cover of Young the Giant’s “Cough Syrup” best. He was giving me Sondre Lerche/Damien Rice/Keane vibes, and while I understood why John Legend told the nervous, often half-mast-eyed performer, “You need to make sure people feel it not just vocally but physically,” I found Ian’s awkwardness oddly endearing.
Still, I knew Ian was the underdog here, and that it would all come down to Omar’s heavy-panting “Radioactive” and Morgan’s sultry, Joss Stone-like take on a “curveball” song choice, James Brown’s “I Got You (Feel Good).” I thought Omar overdid it and Morgan underdid it (though her James Brown cover was a big step for her), but of course Omar the "breathing dragon" prevailed. “It’s become clear that Omar is one of the best singers we’ve seen since I’ve been on this show,” said John. I do think Omar has technical precision and impressive lung power, but for some reason, his performances never move me.
The other and final showdown of the night was between Team Blake’s country dudes Bryce Leatherwood and Jay Allen and pop songbird Kate Kalvach. Bryce’s “Colder Weather” didn’t sound nearly as pitchy to me as the coaches claimed (perhaps it sounded different in the room), but it was a bit sleepy and nothing special. There’s a country contestant like Bryce every season, albeit perhaps with not such a fantastic stage name. “You really don’t have to do anything and people just like you,” said Blake, as if that was a compliment.
Jay’s performance of Matt Stell’s “Prayed for You” was much more emotional (he heeded Blake’s advice to bring more joy to the romantic song), but when he spotted his teary-eyed fiancée in the studio audience, he became a little too emotional and flubbed his lyrics. “It’s rare that I get flustered, but it was actually a beautiful moment for me. To have her face in the crowd is more than worth it for me,” Jay insisted, although Blake noted, “He’s probably kicking himself for even looking in that direction!”
Kate was the outlier here with her gorgeous rendition of Justin Bieber’s “Anyone,” navigating from her falsetto to her chest voice with an ease that had eluded the previous night’s Team Blake castoff Kevin Hawkins. She seemed like the obvious choice among these three… but then Blake decided to “roll the dice” and pick Bryce anyway. “He’s the real deal. He’s as country as it gets. And I know exactly how to work with that,” the lame-duck coach explained. Sigh.
Fortunately for Kate, both Camila — who called Kate “one of my favorite voices of the whole season” — and John swooped in to steal her. And after Camila asked, “Will you marry me, Kate?” the seduction was complete. Sorry, Jaeden Luke.
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