Trending Topics

Ala. firefighter loses in head-to-head contest on ‘The Voice’

Auburn Firefighter Ducote Talmage lost to competitor Karen Waldrup

By Mary Colurso

AUBURN, Ala. — Ducote Talmage gave it his all on “The Voice” this week, covering a Luke Combs hit with gritty emotion. But the Auburn firefighter was eliminated on Monday’s episode of the NBC reality series.

Talmage, 20, had a good run on the show during Season 25, making it through the Blind Auditions and Battles, and finishing his journey during the Knockouts round. He was coached by Dan & Shay throughout the season and mentored by Keith Urban for the Knockouts — milestones that most fledgling country singers will never achieve.

On Monday’s two-hour program, Talmage’s performance of “She Got the Best of Me” earned kudos from all of the celebrity coaches.

“Ducote, I love your cool rasp in your voice,” John Legend said. “You used it in a way that was really well chosen.”

“Ducote, that texture in your voice, I love,” Reba McEntire said. “It’s sexy. That was a great song for you.”

“Ducote, I think that was your best performance so far,” Chance the Rapper said. “It was passionate, but also, like, controlled.”

“Ducote, I think the first verse of that performance really showcased that more tender, kind of soft, really breathy thing, and you nailed it,” Shay Mooney said. “I love the way that you light up the room whenever you walk in it.”

“You were so thoughtful in the way that you delivered this song,” Dan Smyers said. “That was the best performance I think that I’ve heard you do this entire competition.”

But it wasn’t enough to keep Talmage in the TV competition. He was bested by a Louisiana singer, Karen Waldrup, during a head-to-head matchup that showcased her skills to greater advantage. Both singers were on Dan & Shay’s team, trying to earn a spot in the next round, known as the Playoffs.

Dan & Shay had the final decision on who stays and who goes, and they chose to keep Waldrup, who delivered a precise, powerful cover of Trisha Yearwood’s “Georgia Rain.” (It prompted Chance the Rapper to compare Waldrup to Celine Dion and John Legend agreed.)

Although Talmage was eligible for a “steal” by the other coaches after Dan & Shay’s decided to send him home, none of the celebs stepped up to save him. Talmage wasn’t deflated by his ouster, however, and he left the series with good grace.

“This whole experience has been a great reminder that you gotta do what makes you happy,” Talmage said. “Live in the moment now while you can, because eventually it’s gonna end and you’re gonna have to go back to your real world.”

Talmage was the last of three singers from Alabama who made it to the Knockouts on “The Voice” this season. Val T Webb of Birmingham and Asher HaVon of Selma were showcased in the Knockouts on a previous episode, with mixed results. Webb lost her Knockout round and was eliminated from Team Legend. HaVon won his Knockout and will move on to the Playoffs, competing on Team Reba.

In the Playoffs, a total of 20 singers will perform — five from each team — and each coach must choose three singers for the live performance shows. Viewer votes will kick in after that, and eventually decide the season’s winner.

Alabama actually had five singers competing on “The Voice” during Season 25, but Rivers Grayson of Muscle Shoals and Corey Curtis, a Saraland resident, were eliminated in earlier stages of the competition.

The state’s never had a winner on “The Voice” during its 13-year history on television. However, more than 30 contestants from the state have made their marks on the show over the years, starting with Nakia Reynoso in Season 1 and continuing through spring 2023 with four Alabama singers moving through the competition in Season 23.

D. Smooth, an R&B singer from Birmingham, took third place on “The Voice” during the Season 23 finals in May 2023. Three other Alabama contestants — Ryley Tate Wilson, Jerome Godwin III and JB Somers — were eliminated earlier in the season.

If you watch: “The Voice” airs at 7 p.m. CT on Mondays on NBC. The series also streams on Peacock. Early episodes in the season are filmed in advance.

©2024 Advance Local Media LLC.
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.