Words & Deeds

‘God was watching NBC tonight’: Can Idaho ‘heartthrob’ win ‘The Voice’ after making top 24?

Boise native Ben Driebergen wins $1 million on the CBS reality show “Survivor”

Ben Driebergen, who attended Capital High School in Boise, was named the winner of the 35th season of "Survivor" on CBS. He spent 39 days on a remote Tahitian island eating snails, coconuts and hermit crabs to become a finalist.
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Ben Driebergen, who attended Capital High School in Boise, was named the winner of the 35th season of "Survivor" on CBS. He spent 39 days on a remote Tahitian island eating snails, coconuts and hermit crabs to become a finalist.

Jacob Maxwell is still the one on “The Voice” — one of two dozen.

The North Idaho musician survived a perilous Monday sing-off on the NBC show to make the top 24. The Cross Battle between two “heartthrobs” pitted Maxwell against fellow long-haired crowd favorite Carter Lloyd Horne.

With the audience swaying, Maxwell delivered Shania Twain’s “You’re Still the One.” He looked increasingly comfortable as the song progressed, but Maxwell never seemed entirely in his vocal wheelhouse.

On Tuesday, America’s viewers chose Horne.

Maxwell still had a slim chance for a rescue by appealing to the coaches: Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson and his own team’s John Legend.

“All glory to God for this opportunity. I’m so grateful to you,” Maxwell said, “and it means the world to —.”

Legend interrupted by crushing the save button — using his final one.

“Well,” host Carson Daly said, “it appears God was watching NBC tonight.”

Stunned, Maxwell briefly held his hand over his face.

Could this stroke of luck be a sign? Or the confidence boost he needs to go all the way?

“I love working with you, and I think you have so much more in store,” Legend said. “America needs to hear your voice some more. We’re going to keep working. Let’s do it!”

The Grammy-winning pop star obviously sees potential. Particularly if Maxwell steers clear of country-pop power ballads? (If he was determined to do a Twain tune, “Man! I Feel Like a Woman” might have been a better — OK, funnier — choice. Levine and online commenters insist Maxwell looks like British model Cara Delevingne.)

Legend has described Maxwell’s voice as “heavenly,” “sweet” and “distinct.” Also a guitarist, Maxwell has performed in the Coeur d’Alene area since graduating from high school. With three generations of law enforcement in his family background, he wanted to be a cop until he discovered guitar. He started singing in church at age 13.

Maxwell will get the opportunity to keep honing his vocal skills on Team Legend, squaring off against 23 other remaining contestants.

Can he win it all?

Keep up with Maxwell’s rise Mondays and Tuesdays on “The Voice.”

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Michael Deeds is a columnist and entertainment writer at the Statesman, where he chronicles the Boise good life. Deeds invaded the newsroom as an intern in 1991.

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