On Tuesday night, two of the top 12 contestants from "The Voice" were voted off by America--and I really do mean voted off by America. You see, for the first time in "Voice" history, team quotas did not apply when it came to the eliminations, meaning that just the two lowest vote-getters, regardless of coach affiliation and definitely without any coach intervention, got the boot.
This was a good thing--after all, those frustrating team quotas were what kept other "Voice" standouts, like Nakia, Jamar Rogers, and Lindsey Pavao, from making it as far as they deserved in past seasons. And usually when the coaches had too much of a say in the past, they messed things up, big-time. (Remember when Blake Shelton cut Jordis Unga, Christina Aguilera eliminated Jesse Campbell, or Adam Levine ditched Pip?) Sometimes, it really is better to just let America decide. And while I would have ideally kept one of the two contestants who went home this week, overall, I could live with America's decision.
The results were dragggggggged out over the course of an hour, interspersed with entertaining but ultimately merely time-killing performances by Christina (doing her best Madonna-at-the-1990-VMAs impression), Cee Lo Green (doing his best Disco Stu impression), Blake, and special guest Jason Aldean. But in the episode's final five minutes, we learned that Team Blake's Michaela Paige and Team Xtina's Adriana Louise would be leaving the competition for good.
Interestingly, the four contestants waiting to hear their fate from Carson Daly in those fleeting final minutes were Michaela, Adriana, and Team Cee Lo's Cody Belew and Team Adam's Melanie Martinez--all contestants who did not get voted through by America last week, but were their respective coaches' picks. (Sometimes the coaches don't make such bad decisions after all.) While it was unclear if this really was the bottom four, or if Carson was just reading off the results randomly, statistically it did seem possible that these were indeed the lowest vote-getters of the week, just based on the previous week's pattern.
This worries me, as I think Cody and Melanie are two of the most intriguing singers left on the show, and with two more people going home next week, their days may be numbered--particularly Cody's, since he failed to get a shoutout from his own coach (during the episode's intro, Cee Lo declared, "I love Trevin and I love Nicholas," showing where his real support lies), and when Cody made a stab at dry Southern humor later on in the night, it was so pindrop-silent in the studio, he had to instruct the audience to laugh. (Side note: I laughed.) I'm really not sure if much of America "gets" Cody. And Melanie, with her quirky style and fondness for semi-obscure Young The Giant covers, may not have such wide appeal either.
Of the two contestants who did get voted off this week, I was sadder to see Michaela go. That kid had spunk and she had potential, and maybe if she hadn't been stuck singing first (or stuck singing a predictable Pink cover) this week, she would have lasted longer.
But then again, if she had lasted longer, I might have been saying goodbye to Melanie or Cody this week instead. So I guess I'll just thank America for rocking the vote, and hope that viewers continue to make wise decisions next week, when the top 10 become the top eight.
- "Voice" Season 2 winner Jermaine Paul's new video
- Season 3 semifinalist Diego Val's new video
- Team Cee Lo performs with Muppets in Vegas
- PHOTOS: Christina Aguilera's best & worst "Voice" looks