Long-haired military veteran Jonny Gray, of Team CeeLo, and Team Christina's Josh Logan were sent home by voters on "The Voice" Tuesday night, as the Top 12 shrank to the Top 10. It was an unusual live elimination show, showing off a Twitter-propelled process -- the Instant Save -- that is new this season.
Some of the evening's elements were familiar. We got the customary performances by various clusters of Top-12 singers, occasionally joined by their coaches and, in one instance, by guest artist Sara Bareilles, who was backed on her song "Brave" by the four women still in the competition.
We also were presented with the season's first "'Voice' Confessional" video, in which we learned TMI about some of the contestants (Do we really need to know about struggles with childhood bed-wetting?) and saw CeeLo Green surrounded by a menagerie of animals (Purrfect the cat was back, and that bird, Lady, along with a big dog named Tiny, a pig named Little Richard and the presidentially named O'llama).
Then Carson Daly summoned the singers to the stage to hear the voting results.
First Daly let us know that America had saved Team CeeLo's Caroline Pennell, as well as Team Christina's Matthew Schuler. Then Team Blake's Austin Jenckes and Team Adam's Tessanne Chin were snatched from the brink. After another performance, three more singers -- Team Christina's Jacquie Lee, Team Blake's Cole Vosbury and (surprise?) Team Adam's Will Champlin -- learned they were safe.
Finally, Ray Boudreaux, of Team Blake, and James Wolpert, of Team Adam, were rescued, leaving three singers -- Gray, Logan and Team CeeLo's Kat Robichaud -- dangling over the precipice. Their fate would be determined by those willing to tweet on their behalf.
Tweets with the hashtag #VoiceSave that contained one of the endangered singers' first names would be tallied, and the artist named in the most tweets would join the other nine singers to complete the Top 10 and compete in next week's live show.
"The power is now completely in your hands," Daly intoned.
Five minutes and one commercial break later, the flurry of tweets (many sent by people professing to have been pressed into service by less social-media savvy family members) had been tabulated, and we had our answer. Would Gray be saved? That's what coaches Blake Shelton and Adam Levine predicted, perhaps somewhat reluctantly -- and what looked likely to me as I scanned Twitter. But no. After the Twittersphere had made its preference known in bursts of 140 characters or less, Gray had come in third, Daly said, and Logan had landed second. Both would head home.
Impassioned rocker Kat Robichaud got the nod to move on, ultimately rewarded, perhaps, for her willingness to crowd-surf and apparent ability to sing through anything.
What do you think of the new Instant Save? And who did you tweet for?
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