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'The Voice' recap: 'Top 12 Eliminations'

It’s time for two artists to go home and America to deploy the first dreaded Twitter Instant Save for a third.

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Trae Patton/NBC

The Voice

TV Show
Reality TV, Music
run date:
Blake Shelton, Adam Levine, Miley Cyrus, Jennifer Hudson
Current Status:
In Season

Well… that was not how I expected things to go heading into season 8’s Top 10. Usually on these singing competition shows, when there’s any sort of “save” involved (remember the good old days of just being out when people didn’t send their 10 cent text messages for you?) it’s immediately undone the following week when the “saved” contestants still don’t get the votes. But all of the coaches’ saves from last week except one are sticking around to sing another day, and it’s safe to say that Koryn, Rob, and (perhaps to a lesser extent) Hannah earned those spots. But I’ll just say it from the top… Mia Z! Mia Z also earned her spot!

No, I didn’t necessarily think that the teenage jazz wunderkind could every really take it all; but I was hopeful that if she stuck around long enough she could learn to balance her killer style with just a little more technique, and get Pharrell to put his considerable music industry weight behind making her the next (first?) teenage jazz sensation. Alas, Carson has been threatening it for weeks, and all the weight did finally shift to America tonight, with even the “Instant Save” being in the volatile hands of Twitter. Blake and Christina got away like coaching bandits, but Adam and Pharrell were left to defend their contestants—two for Adam and one for Pharrell—for what felt like half of the show. As a special treat though, we got some of the most important saves straight away:

America Saved (seemingly in iTunes charting order):

TEAM CHRISTINA: Kimberly Nichole

TEAM PHARRELL: Sawyer Fredericks

TEAM BLAKE: Meghan Linsey

TEAM ADAM: Joshua Davis


TEAM BLAKE: Hannah Kirby

TEAM PHARRELL: Koryn Hawthorne


TEAM BLAKE: Corey Kent White

Bottom 3 Perform:

TEAM PHARRELL: Mia Z, “Stormy Monday”

Mia came out did her Mia thing: She gave a soulful, gritty performance that belied her youth, and threw in an extra batch of whistle tone for the voting public. But I can’t help but feel if she had just used this one performance to show that she can enunciate when she tries, she might have pulled a few more votes. I also couldn’t help but notice that #VoiceSaveMia seemed to trend more than the other two, but I don’t begin to make any guesses about how that works.

TEAM ADAM: Brian Johnson, “Amazed”

Oh, Brian… your voice is so nice, and so are you, but people are so rarely moved by nice. The sappy song choices probably haven’t helped, but it was nice to hear you sing.

TEAM ADAM: Deanna Johnson, “Make It Rain”

This was finally a better—not perfect—song choice for Deanna, but her nerves were as evident as ever. I thought it was a weird choice on Adam’s part to go on and on about how much time they’ve spent trying to get her confidence up and make her less “petrified” to go on stage, but he followed it up by saying that he wanted her to be able to experience the joy of people’s belief in her, and that it perhaps might make a difference. And, at least in regard to giving her yet another shot, it seems that voters wanted that too…

Instant Save: Deanna Johnson

What did you think of tonight’s results? Will Deanna be able to present herself more confidently now that she knows America has chosen to save her? Were Mia and her jazz stylings never long for this pop world? Finally, hit me with those Top 10 power rankings in the comments…