Blake Shelton is one step closer to winning his third straight The Voice title.
Both of Team Blake's remaining singers - Danielle Bradbery and The Swon Brothers - advanced to the hit NBC show's finals on Tuesday, meaning that he has a two-thirds chance of having the winning artist. Team Usher's Michelle Chamuel is the other finalist.
Team Shakira's Sasha Allen and Team Adam's Amber Carrington were eliminated, the latter despite the fact that she cracked the Top 10 on the iTunes singles chart, an achievement which is supposed to multiply an artist's iTunes votes by ten.
The results all read like deja vu to Voice fans who remember last season. Once again, Blake has two of the three finalists.
Once again, the favorite to win is the artist who's been consistently hitting on the iTunes charts - Danielle Bradbery, who's shown the same strong iTunes numbers as Cassadee Pope did when she cruised to victory in December.
It's also the second straight season where the other finalist has been from the same team. In season three, it was Team Cee Lo's Nicholas David; in season four, Michelle Chamuel is a member of Team Usher, with Usher being the replacement for Cee Lo.
By that token, it's the second straight season where Adam Levine hasn't advanced a finalist past the top five, after Melanie Martinez and Amanda Brown finished in fifth/sixth place last time out.
The familiar feel, as well as the fact that this season's final group was heavily country music-leaning, has raised some questions amongst the show's fan base, and those might be affecting the ratings, as an Associated Press report alleges that last week's episodes turned in below-average numbers of viewers for The Voice (albeit still numbers other shows would be dying for).
Are certain fan bases simply not voting as much as others? How much does an artist having a good "story" mean in addition to their vocal talent? Does iTunes have too much impact on who advances and who doesn't? Should The Voice return to its original format of having four finalists, with one from each team? What do you think? Let us know what you've thought of Season 4 in the comments.
Danielle, The Swon Brothers and Michelle will compete for The Voice crown for the final time on Monday, June 17. The following night will be the show's two hour finale, which will be filled with guest performances - from Cher, Bruno Mars, Florida Georgia Line, Nelly and returning coach Christina Aguilera - before the winner is announced.
The show will then take the summer off before returning for Season 5 this fall.
(c)2013 Brittany Frederick/Big Red Chairs. Excerpts appear at Starpulse with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted. Visit my official website and follow me on Twitter at @bigredchairs.