Semifinals Here They Come! Jim And Sasha Allen First Round Selections During ‘The Voice’ Challenge Week
After nearly being sent home last week, Jim and Sasha Allen were first round selections on Tuesday evening’s episode of The Voice, when they and viewers all learned that the Newtown duo would move forward to the popular television competition’s semifinals.
The Allens have made it to the Top 8, having now survived 11 weeks of often very close competition.
America was introduced to Jim and Sasha on September 21, when they first performed on the second episode of the current season of The Voice. Jim, 59, and Sasha, 20, sang “Leaving on a Jet Plane,” and were selected that night to join the team coached by Ariana Grande. The Allens were one of 60 acts to perform during the blind auditions performances, which filled the first six episodes of Season 21.
The duo continued through two weeks of battle episodes, and then two weeks of Knockout rounds.
On November 8 the competition reached Playoffs level. The Allens were saved that week thanks to a public vote.
They also moved through the following week, the “Dedications” performances, on November 15-16.
Fan Week, November 22-23, was a nail-biter. First it was unveiled at the opening of the Tuesday night’s episode that Jim and Sasha were still in the competition following the previous evening’s performance of “Have You Ever Seen The Rain.” That announcement was quickly followed with the caveat, however, that they were in the bottom two of the public voting results, forcing an Instant Save competition between themselves and Team Kelly Clarkson member Gymani, a 23-year-old from Georgia.
Before the end of the episode, the Allens performed Jason Mraz’s “I Won’t Give Up.” Gymani performed “Tell Me Something Good.” Then viewers were called on to vote during a 5-minute window.
At 9:55 pm, just as the credits were about to start rolling, host Carson Daly announced the voting had favored Jim and Sasha, sending the two to the next round.
Fan Week Gratitude
Before Jim and Sasha rehearsed with Coach Ariana Grande for this week’s live performance, Grande opened Monday’s show by thanking the audience for voting for the father-son duo in the Instant Save challenge on November 23.
“Hello, America, this is the best day of my life … America, thank you so much. You will not regret this,” she said.
Sasha reflected on that suspenseful moment on stage during elimination night last week.
“Being saved by America was really shocking,” he said. “I was standing up there really prepared to go home, and so we are totally thrilled.”
Grande commended Sasha for choosing to uplift transgender youth. During his moment to speak before the Instant Save results were announced — approximately 24 hours after Sasha said “Trans rights!” during the closing notes of the previous evening’s performance, drawing a loud round of applause from the in-house audience — Sasha told transgender viewers that life is not perfect, but it can improve.
“To every trans kid out there who thinks there is no light at the end of the tunnel … things get better,” he said.
Sasha transitioned while in high school. He made television history when he became the first openly transgender singer on the NBC series to make it past the Battle Rounds, and now the competition’s semifinals.
Monday night, Grande said she was “so thankful that Sasha took advantage of that moment, because so many people watching the show maybe needed to hear that.”
Jim told The Newtown Bee on November 24 that hearing people — like Jack from Connecticut whose video was featured during Fan Week — share their gratitude for having trans representation is very meaningful to him and Sasha.
“That we can play some part in helping to foster a deeper understanding between parents and their sons or daughters, simply by sharing our story and music on The Voice, is an extraordinary gift,” Jim said. “We embrace it with profound appreciation. It affirms our own journey as a family and gives us great joy to hear Jack’s message.
“Even when total acceptance and unconditional love is the foundation of family life there are still many daunting challenges faced in whatever transition may be contemplated or underway,” he continued. “Jack’s message radiated peace, and we are so happy that things are going well for him.”
Jim also shared how grateful he is to see the hometown support for him and his son. The two were able to watch footage live of nearly 300 fans gathered at Edmond Town Hall for Fan Week.
“To see that outpouring of love and enthusiasm mere seconds before we launched into ‘Have You Ever Seen the Rain’ was incredibly fun and uplifting and helped us feel more relaxed onstage. It was really fun that Sasha’s friend Maddie introduced us. It was so special and meaningful in many ways and incredibly fun for us to see it here 2,000 miles from home. Thanks to Jen Guman and everyone at Edmond Town Hall,” he said.
On Monday, November 29, contestants participated in Challenge Week, performing songs selected by their coaches that were considered outside their usual genre or wheelhouse of music.
Grande chose rhythm and blues (R&B) ballad “Stay” by Rihanna featuring Mikky Ekko for the Allens.
“I feel like you have tackled so many amazing classics that you have to do something contemporary. It’s going to be so beautiful,” Grande said of the song choice.
She noted that they have “emotional storytelling,” and she loved the way they were going to put their spin on the song.
“They just so deserve to be here … they are so brilliant, and this might be their best performance to date,” Grande said at the end of their rehearsal.
During the live performance, Jim played guitar and the two sang together. Behind them was a 3D light set up that gave the illusion of a house with two rooms. In each room were members of The Voice’s band artfully illuminated.
At the end of the song, Sasha gave a smile and thumbs up towards Grande, who was on her feet as she applauded.
Coach John Legend was the first to give feedback about the performance and said he was so glad America saved them last week.
“What a beautiful version of that song… my favorite parts of your performance were when I heard the heartache in your voice. I loved hearing the crackle in your voice, Sasha. I loved hearing the pain in your voice, Jim. It was just really beautiful and well delivered and unique,” Legend said.
Coach Kelly Clarkson agreed, adding that she loved Sasha’s rasp and the emotion in Jim’s voice.
“It was so well executed … great job,” Clarkson said.
Grande said it was their best performance to date and one of her favorites of the whole competition.
“You proved once again that not only do you deserve to be here for your musicianship, but you hold your own as vocalists alone. As vocalists you deserve to be here,” Grande said.
As host Carson Daly informed the audience how to vote for the Allens, Sasha waved to the camera and appeared to mouth, “Hi, mom, I love you!”
Latest Live Results
Tuesday, November 30, was elimination night on The Voice. Of the ten acts that took the stage at the beginning of the show, two competitors from the Top 10 were going home by the end of the episode.
In the first round of live results, Daly’s voice cut through the suspense when he said, “America also saved ... from Team Ariana … Jim and Sasha Allen!”
The father and son had looks of shock and they immediately hugged Team Ariana teammate Holly Forbes.
The remainder of the episode was dedicated to special guest performances, between continued announcements of who was saved and who would be heading toward the next Instant Save challenge. Three competitors sang on Tuesday, before another five-minute voting window was opened. Two of those three competitors, including Team Ariana teammate Holly Forbes, went home.
Jim and Sasha Allen are now the final singers on Team Grande who are left in the competition. All the other coaches still have multiple contestants.
The competition returns next week, with the live semifinal performances on The Voice scheduled for Monday, December 6, at 8 pm. The semifinal results show is scheduled for Tuesday, December 7, also at 8 pm. The two-part live finale is scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, December 13-14.
Follow the Allens on Instagram @JimAndSasha.
Reporter Alissa Silber can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.