This was posted on Monday, October 31, 2016 by Rodney Ho on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog
Both Aaron Gibson and Darby Walker - the two remaining "Voice" contestants with Atlanta connections - cruised into the top 20 tonight.
They'll be part of the live shows next week when the public votes for the first time. Things will get wacky because Tuesday, November 8 will be Election night. So instead of spreading things out over two or even three nights, the show will trim the top 20 to the top 12 for live voting in one single two-hour episode on Monday. Since voting is live, the West Coast is excluded. The top two vote getters from each team will make it through, then the judges will pick one of the other three to save. It's going to be a crazy two hours. I'm not sure how they will squeeze all that in, to be honest.
Darby, who grew up in Atlanta and considers it her hometown but now lives in Los Angeles, channeled Florence + the Machine lead singer Florence Welch in her rendition of "Shake It Off." She was facing off against a tough contender in the more experienced Maye Thomas but given the editing to date, it's clear Darby is the favored one. Miley - who clearly sees a kindred spirit in Darby - gave her the nod although the other judges appeared to like Maye more.
Aaron, the Atlantan who has a soulful Dave Matthews-type style, opts to go country with Thomas Rhett's "Die a Happy Man." The song isn't terribly interesting but he provides enough phrasing and emotion to get by.
Arguably, his competitor Josh Halverson chose a more compelling song in "Whiskey and You" by Chris Stapleton. He gives this performance suitable depth and intimacy.
Miley had picked Aaron first. (She had "stolen" Josh from another judge in a previous round.) She decides to stick with Aaron based on his overall performances to date. Alicia Keys steals Josh.