Two artists from each team went home in the first live elimination show of the season
It was a night of triumph and heartbreak on The Voice Wednesday, as 12 artists moved ahead and eight artists said goodbye during the first live elimination show of the seventh season.
America’s votes saved the two top vote-getters on each team of five singers, which forced each of the four coaches to save just one of their three remaining artists.
The hour-long show moved along briskly and put Team Blake Shelton in the hot seat first.
As Shelton’s singers stood nervously onstage, host Carson Daly revealed that America first saved 15-year-old Reagan James – a Texas native with a Lorde-like confidence well beyond her years – and Craig Wayne Boyd, a Nashville-based father who commanded the stage Monday with his high-energy rendition of “Some Kind of Wonderful.”
That left Shelton to choose between Taylor Brashears, James David Carter and Jessie Pitts for the final spot on his team.
Shelton, a three-time Voice champ, ultimately saved Pitts – a steal from Team Gwen Stefani – but made it clear his choice wasn’t based on talent alone.
“This decision is not based on who I think is the best artist,” he said, just before announcing his decision. “It’s solely based on who I think can thrive in this environment, on The Voice, on this particular stage.”
Next up, members of Team Pharrell Williams learned their fate. The first-season coach’s team delivered a string of strong performances the night before, with even the other coaches conceding he had a particularly strong team.
Daly revealed the two artists America saved: DaNica Shirey, a Pennsylvania stay-at-home mom who delighted the coaches with her rendition of Joni Mitchell’s 40-year-old hit “Help Me,” and Luke Wade, a Texas singer who got the audience in the mood the night before with “Let’s Get It On.”
That left Williams to choose between Jean Kelley, Sugar Joans and Elyjuh René – who was deemed the team’s “front-runner” by fellow coach Adam Levine a night earlier.
Williams quickly chose to save Joans – whom Shelton declared had the “performance of the night” the previous evening with her version of Aretha Franklin’s “I Say a Little Prayer.”
Fellow first-time coach Stefani’s team was up next, and learned that America saved Taylor John Williams – who first made his mark in the knockouts with an emotional performance of “Mad World,” as well as Anita Antoinette, who enchanted the previous evening with her reggae twist on “All About That Bass.”
That left the No Doubt singer to choose between the remaining three singers: Ryan Sill, Bryana Salaz and Ricky Manning.
Stefani, who admitted she was near tears – “I’m nursing still, so a little bit emotional!” – ultimately chose to save the upbeat Sill, who took a year off from college to chase his musical dream.
The results for Team Adam closed out the show. Daly revealed that America’s votes saved Damien – a passionate TSA agent who won over the crowd with his version of “I’m Not the Only One” Monday – and Matt McAndrew, who took a risk and won with the Beach Boys classic “God Only Knows” for his live show debut.
That forced Levine to choose between his three remaining artists: Chris Jamison, Mia Pfirrman and Taylor Phelan.
Levine chose to save laid-back college student (and triplet) Jamison, but the two-time Voice champ made it clear that nobody should go home feeling like they lost.
“We may or may not win The Voice, but we have the best team,” he declared, just before announcing his choice. “I love you all.”