Another one bites the dust.

By Amanda Bell
May 02, 2017 at 09:43 PM EDT
Credit: Tyler Golden/NBC
S12 E22
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Annnnd now we have our top 10. Did the right person go home tonight? Well, yes and no… but mostly no.

The weakest performances of The Voice‘s top 11 yesterday were, in my humble opinion, Aliyah Moulden’s ear-splitting rendition of “Take it Back” and TSoul’s supreme de-escalation from, “Hmm, that’s pretty good” to, “Okay, stop it,” with “Lay Me Down.”

But neither one of them lands in the hot seat (hot stage?) tonight. They’re each among the nine who get voted through by America, in order of announcement by Carson Daly:

1. Lauren Duski (Team Blake)
2. Jesse Larson (Team Adam)
3. Chris Blue (Vanessa Ferguson)
4. Brennley Brown (Team Gwen)
5. Aliyah Moulden (Team Blake)
6. Lilli Passero (Team Adam)
7. Vanessa Ferguson (Team Alicia)
8. Hunter Plake (Team Gwen)
9. TSoul (Team Blake)

I cannot agree with the decision to let Aliyah Moulden skate through based on that performance, which was just as guilty of screeching as Troy Ramey was the week before. So, by virtue of that, the right person did not go home. ANYWAY.

The votes and downloads leave Stephanie Rice, our resident hipster girl who’s had to endure some serious strife on the home front just to be herself, and Mark Isaiah, who’s just kinda there, to square off for the instant save.

Stephanie Rice’s top 11 performance certainly wasn’t the worst of the evening, even if it did venture a little off course from the sweet surrender-style performances that got her this far. That’s easy to recover from with a return to form in the save-me song choice, right? She’s emotionally resonant enough to own the audience in a crunch, right? RIGHT? Wrong.

Mark Isaiah wasn’t unusually bad yesterday either, but even so, his performances definitely tend to bleed together based on their epic sameness, and last night’s showcase was no exception. So we might’ve expected tonight’s final bout to lean a bit in Stephanie’s favor, considering the lopsided levels of artistry between them, but that’s not how it happens.

Instead, Stephanie’s rendition of Julia Michaels’ “Issues” is unexpected choppy and pitchy. Stephanie’s a better singer than this, but nerves and frustration have clearly got her out of tune tonight. Bummer. Meanwhile, Mark Isaiah’s performance of Lukas Graham’s “Seven Years” is a carbon copy of every other appearance we’ve seen from him on this show, but it’s still more consistent and on key than Stephanie’s, so he (understandably) carries the day on instant votes. Again.

As she tells her coach Alicia though, she’s gained the ability to believe in herself, and no crunch-time Twitter vote situation should undermine her confidence.

Eliminated: Stephanie Rice

Final standings:

  • Team Adam: Mark Isaiah, Jesse Larson, Lilli Passero
  • Team Gwen: Brennley Brown, Hunter Plake
  • Team Alicia: Vanessa Ferguson, Chris Blue
  • Team Blake: Lauren Duski, Aliyah Moulden, TSoul

Episode Recaps

The Voice

A rotating chair-full of judges search for the next great superstar singer on this NBC reality show.

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