The top 11 artists of the season were announced in tonight's live results episode of The Voice. Coaches Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Miley Cyrus and Alicia Keys didn't have a say in these results, which were determined by voting and iTunes downloads after last night's performance. It was all in the viewers' hands. The bottom two had to sing for the instant save.
The first artist voted through to the top 11 was Team Miley's Ali Caldwell, who sang "Did I Ever Love You" by Leonard Cohen last night. America also saved Team Alicia's young artist Wé Mcdonald, who gave a powerful performance of "Take Me to Church" by Hozier last night. Team Adam's Brendan Fletcher also advanced. Fletcher sang "Whipping Post" by The Allman Brothers this week in one of his personal best performances.
Levine took the stage with his top 12 artists: Fletcher, Josh Gallagher and Billy Gilman. Team Adam sang "For What It's Worth," with Levine, Gallagher and Fletcher all playing guitar.
Carson Daly then brought out the artists for more results. America voted to save Team Blake's Courtney Harrell, who was shocked to join the top 11. But she shouldn't have been surprised; she's Team Blake's most impressive artist. America also saved Team Adam's country-turned-pop singer Gilman.
Next, Alicia Keys sang part of her single "Blended Family" from her new album Here but then transitioned into a performance of "Holy War," also from Here. She accompanied herself on the piano and was joined by Levine on the guitar. It was a powerful performance that ended up being the most exciting part of the night.
As more results came in, Team Miley's Darby Walker advanced to the top 11, along with Austin Allsup. Walker put her own twist on "Ruby Tuesday" by the Rolling Stones last night, while Allsup similarly brought his own sound to "Do Right Woman, Do Right Man" by Aretha Franklin.
Cyrus joined Walker, Caldwell and Aaron Gibson next for a Team Miley performance of "There'll Always Be Music" by Dolly Parton. The harmonies were nice, but everyone sort of seemed like they were trying to outsing one another instead of singing together.
America saved Team Alicia's Christian Cuevas, who sang "The Scientist" by Coldplay last night. Gallagher from Team Adam also advanced, which meant all of Levine's artists made it to the top 11. The last artist automatically through to the top 11 was Team Blake's Sundance Head.
That left Team Alicia's Sa'Rayah and Team Miley's Gibson to sing for the instant save. Only one could advance to the top 11.
Sa'Rayah went first, singing for her life in a performance of "Rock Steady" by Aretha Franklin. It was a high-energy and magnetic performance, with Sa'Rayah showing off her bold vocals and range. Keys urged viewers to vote for her artist. "Continue to walk in your light," she said to Sa'Rayah, who seemed confident even though everything was on the line.
Gibson followed with a softer, quieter performance. He sang "Lego House" by Ed Sheeran. Singing a Sheeran song in the high-stakes setting of an instant save was not the smartest choice. Sheeran songs are beautiful but ultimately empty unless the artist can bring something special to it, and Gibson didn't. Would it connect with America enough to keep him in the competition? Cyrus said she was proud of him no matter what was about to happen.
With the votes from Twitter in, Gibson surprisingly received the instant save, and Sa'Rayah went home.
The top 11 perform next week on The Voice. What did you think of tonight's instant save?
This was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.