After weeks of singing for the nation, Montgomery’s own Kirk Jay appears to still have something special hidden up his country sleeve.
If ever there was a time to make musical magic, it’s Monday night during the top 8’s live semifinal performances on NBC’s “The Voice.” After Tuesday, it’ll be down to four for the season 15 finals.
“America is going to see something from me that they’ve never seen before,” the Bay Minette native said in a phone interview from Los Angeles.
That’s a tall order, considering Jay has pulled off several praiseworthy versions of country hits so far on “The Voice.” His most recent one, singing Chris Young’s song “Tomorrow” from piano, almost knocked celebrity coach Jennifer Hudson out of her seat.
“I don’t care whose team you’re on. Please vote for this boy. He needs to make a country album,” Hudson said after the song.
Jay’s performance also caught Young’s attention, who had to post a reaction on social media: “WOW. I love singing this song because it’s special to me. Someone just woke me up to tell me to listen to ya @kirkJay7 DAMN!!!!!!!”
Jay’s coach, country superstar Blake Shelton, complimented Jay on the show about how genuine his songs are. “(Jay) can’t fake it. It has to be real,” Shelton said.
He’s not the only one who’s noticed. On Wednesday, Jay was selected as the best of “The Voice” top 8 artists in a “power rankings” list by Hollywood prediction group Gold Derby.
When show host Carson Daly announces the safe contestants on Tuesday reveal shows, it’s always in random order. Still, Jay admits it was a big relief to be the first announced as safe on the last episode.
“You always have nerves going up there, man, not knowing what the outcome is going to be,” Jay said.
That pressure is only building. Jay described the semifinal episodes Monday and Tuesday as the biggest week of the whole season so far.
“It’s top 8, so Monday we’ll perform and Tuesday four people will go home,” Jay said.
As usual, Jay can’t reveal what he’s singing Monday, but said he’s going to give the audience a little bit of everything this week.
“I’m going to put my whole heart in this performance,” Jay said. “Not that I haven’t put my whole heart into my previous performances, but this one is the most important to me.”
Back home in Alabama, fans have been holding lots of “The Voice” watch parties and wearing #teamkirkjay #countrytilidie t-shirts.
In a Bay Minette auditorium last Tuesday, hometown family and friends screamed and waved signs when Jay was first to be named to the show’s top 8.
Jay said he appreciates all his fans for their support. Week after week, they’ve moved him forward by voting through the official “The Voice” app, and online at voicevote.votenow.nbc.com.
“From the bottom of my heart, their support means everything to me,” Jay said. “I wouldn’t be here without them.”
For weeks, Jay’s jokingly said that when he gets back home he’s going to have to buy food for his fans. Previously he’s said fries. This week, he said he’d have to get them chicken, “because everyone in Alabama loves chicken.”
Team Blake loss
For the first time in a few episodes, Jay’s Team Blake suffered a loss on the last episode after teammate Dave Fenley ended up in the bottom three, along with both members of Team Adam, DeAndre Nico and Reagan Strange.
Fenley and Nico both sang for a flash round of Twitter voting to save one contestant. Strange wasn’t able to sing because of being sick, but America voted to save her anyway.
“That hurt. That hurt really bad,” Jay said of losing Fenley from his team. “Dave wasn’t only a contestant. He was family. He always had encouraging words. Not only with Team Blake. When other artists were struggling with their songs trying to figure out what to do, he would always come in and give people advice and help them with moments that they needed to make the songs bigger and special for them.”
THE VOICE TOP 8
Published 3:47 PM EST Dec 8, 2018