‘The Voice’: Is A New Front-Runner Emerging That Could Upset Favorite Sawyer Fredericks?

Since the blind auditions of The Voice, Sawyer Fredericks has been the front-runner, even before being officially crowned as such by Blake Shelton last night on The Voice. But could the gap be closing between Fredericks and another contestant as we get the verdict on the final four tonight? All delivered stellar performances last night, but one really brought the house down with a power-packed performance that set her apart from the rest.

Hint: She’s on the same team and has the same coach as the “official” front-runner. But if you saw the show last night, you didn’t even need that clue to know the breakout performance last night on The Voice was Koryn Hawthorne’s version of “Oh Mary Don’t You Weep.” Decked out in a flowing white gown with back up singers on white on pedestals, The Voice semi-finalist once again tapped into her emotions to personalize this song, visibly shaking during her performance as she evoked some of the great blues singers of the past.

As can be expected by fans of The Voice, at this point in the competition, there are no bad performances, but the real challenge singers face is finding a way to stand out from the pack. It takes more than technical skill to stand out, but also an ability to make fans of The Voice really feel the performances. Eliminated contestant Rob Taylor is a perfect example of this, with his extraordinary vocal range, but someone who started performing songs he had an emotional connection with a little to late in the competition.

India Carney has an excellent, soulful voice, but sounds like many singing competition contestants with all the runs and riffs that can sometimes be overdone and overshadow any emotional connection to the songs. Meghan Linsey is a powerhouse that can shine in many genres, but could that lack of carving out her own niche work against her for establishing a loyal fan base on The Voice? Joshua Davis has such a distinct, “gravelly” sound and is likely picking up a lot of country votes as there aren’t any more “country artists” proper in the competition, but it’s unlikely he can top Sawyer, who also has an appeal to the same demographic of blues/country/folk, plus, well, the “tweeny” bopper factor.

Some older fans of Fredericks may have cringed a little when they showed all of his tween fans swooning, but wouldn’t you rather see them swooning for this humble farm boy rather than Bieber or Miley?

Anyway, Sawyer Fredericks has made himself The Voice front-runner by distinguishing himself with his unique sound in the under-represented niche of Americana music. With his flowing blonde hair and trademark hat, he’s sort of a bluesy-folksy version of one of the Hanson brothers, except remarkably talented and bound to be around the music scene for a very long time regardless of the results of The Voice. As the coaches have noted again and again, Fredericks is no short-lived pop sensation, but the real deal.

Teammate Koryn Hawthorne, also coached by Pharrell, definitely proved Monday night on The Voice she is going to give Fredericks a run for his money, which can only be a win for fans of The Voice as the exceptional level of the contestants can only push even greater performances. Even Adam Levine lauded her as the contestant who has shown the most dramatic improvement in the history of The Voice after her performance of “Oh Mary Don’t You Weep” Monday night.

If you missed it, check out the video and comment below. Do you think Koryn Hawthorne could upset Sawyer Fredericks and win The Voice? Who are rooting for to win?

[Photo by Trae Patton/NBC]