Michael B. Leaves ‘The Voice’ with Moving Performance of “The Joke”

The Playoff Performances continued on The Voice on Monday night (May 8). This time around Kelly Clarkson and Niall Horan were tasked with narrowing down their teams prior to the live shows.

Videos by American Songwriter

One standout from the Team Niall group was 29-year-old Michael B. The singer took on the ambitious choice of Brandi Carlile’s “The Joke” and pulled it off in spades.

Michael B. drudged up every ounce of emotion he could from the 2018 hit singing through closed eyes, Let ’em laugh while they can / Let ’em spin, let ’em scatter in the wind / I have been to the movies, I’ve seen how it ends / And the joke’s on them.

The song was a personal choice for Michael B. Being a gay man, the singer says he felt deeply connected to the storyline in “The Joke.”

“This song is a little bit about groups of people that feel unloved or unwanted or misrepresented,” Michael B. said after his performance. “I’m gay, let’s get that out of the way.”

He continued, “For a minute, I thought, ‘Will I ever find true happiness? Will I ever do what I love?’ It took a while, but it’s happening.”

Though Michael B. flexed his vocal chops for Team Niall, Clarkson felt moved by his rendition of Carlile’s ballad.

“Look, let’s just hug it out, that’s all I want,” Clarkson said after host Carson Daly asked her thoughts on the performance. “That was so crazy. I’m trying not to cry. That was so good.”

Chance the Rapper added, “I’m used to seeing you do a lot of crazy runs, and now I’m getting introduced to your sustains. When you do those high-range sustains, those remind me of Broadway.”

“Your connection to a lyric is unlike anyone else in the competition,” Horan said of his team member.

Despite Michael B.’s rousing rendition of “The Joke,” Horan decided to cut him from the competition in favor of Gina Miles and Ryley Tate Wilson.

Check out Michael B.’s final performance, below.

Photo by Tyler Golden/NBC

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