And then there were eight...
The Voice - Season 13
Credit: Trae Patton/NBC
S13 E23

Finally, the votes are starting to make some sense.

Next week, The Voice will launch the semi-finals (a.k.a. the “cutthroat” round), so tonight’s elimination of two players is just a primer for that portion of the competition. And unlike the past two weeks of live rounds, the results aren’t terribly unexpected or upsetting.

Let’s take it from the top.

We start out with a guest performance by Portugal. The Man before watching a montage of the contestants listening to their coaches tell old war stories from their earliest days in the industry.

“If country music hadn’t worked out for me I would’ve probably been homeless. I had other jobs, roofed for a couple of years. I had no plan B,” Blake Shelton tells his adoring audience. Adam Levine recalls a similar sense of urgency and wonder at seeing his name on the charts — one that at least one of his team members (ahem, Addison Agen) knows all about.

That’s when we learn the first two contestants sent through by America: Brooke Simpson and Addison Agen. The only thing surprising about that is the fact that Chloe Kohanski isn’t one of the first two waved through, but maybe they’re trying to mix things up to keep it interesting this time.

A few excruciatingly redundant questions later (seriously, how many times are these kids required to compliment their coaches every week?), we learn that Keisha Renee and Noah Mac have also advanced. Given Keisha’s gut wallop of a performance on Monday night, it’s not surprising that she’s able to skate through without having to fight for it — even if it did seem like she was running out of steam just a week earlier.

We then check in with some old Voice favorites, like Alisan Porter, Chris Mann, and Mary Sarah, to find out that they’re hanging out with Reba McEntire and that everyone’s itching for their next collective show with whoever the next winner will be. Oh, and Chris Blue? He’s doing just fine; he signed with a label and even hired his coach Alicia Keys to run his management team.

After that, we return to the questions and get to watch Chloe Kohanski bomb spectacularly on a question about what she wants to do next if she gets through (her blithe answer about not predicting the future and how everything she does is so special isn’t impressing Blake Shelton, by the look on his face). But if that’s the worst she does this season, she’ll probably be all right. She’s called through alongside — sound the alarm! — Adam Cunningham.

Yes, this is the same Adam Cunningham who spent the past two weeks fighting his way back from the bottom two, and now, he’s not only survived elimination, but he did so by not even landing in the bottom three. Talk about a turnaround. But it’s still not super surprising given how on point his most recent performance was. Let’s see if he can keep that musical moxie alive going forward.

Another Voice alum takes the stage when Danielle Bradbery sings “Worth It,” a song so dull I muted my television halfway through, and then we get our seventh vote-through of the evening: Red Marlow. This might be the last time he makes it through to another week, but it’s not shocking that he pulled it off this time.

That leaves Davon Fleming, Shi’Ann Jones, and Ashland Craft in the bottom three, and two will be sent home. It’s time for the instant save effort performances, and Jennifer Hudson does not look happy about having two in the bottom. She’s yet to have a teammate face an elimination this season, so to have two going against each other is obviously a nightmare. (Recap continues on page 2)

Ashland Craft kicks off the save-me spots with a performance of Keith Urban’s “Tonight I Wanna Cry.” Earlier, when questioned by Carson Daly about her potential future on the show, she basically pitched audiences at home on the idea that she has something left to offer them in the way of a softer sound. And since that is what she’s been missing these last couple of weeks, tonight presents the perfect opportunity for Ashland to kill us all softly.

Unfortunately, she does no such thing. There’s nothing understated or romantic about this, despite the song being an easy heart-wrencher. It’s a missed opportunity, but hey, at least voters know what they’re missing now, right? Even Miley Cyrus is forced to point to Ashland’s prior performances as a reason to vote for her, instead of praising this performance.

Next up is Shi’Ann Jones, who makes the unfortunate decision to bring out her rendition of Etta James’ “At Last.” Everyone thinks they can do this song, as 5,000 shower-time performances into the loofah stick have proven. But it’s just way too big, bustling, and, frankly, overdone to make any kind of impression on this stage tonight.

Shi’Ann’s always made the mistake of letting her runs get away from her, and tonight, it’s out of control. She’s still got a very pretty voice — no doubt about that — but with every improvised note, she only proves that she’s just not a rehearsed singer.

Jennifer Hudson tries to sell Shi’Ann to the couch crowd by pointing out that she’s got even more room to grow, but we’re in the top 10 now, so…seems moot at this point.

Last but not least is Davon Fleming, who is still freewheeling with his notes and runs but still arrives as the most mature singer of the three. His performance of Aretha Franklin’s “Ain’t No Way” is yet another example of Davon being able to belt with the best of them.

Ordinarily, I’d say this performance reminds me of something you’d see in a ’70s Las Vegas casino, but compared to the other two, he sounds like he’s center stage at Carnegie Hall.

It’s not even close, and the votes reflect as much. Davon is given the green light to stay another day, while the two ladies are (rightfully) sent packing.

Saved by America (in order of announcement by Carson Daly):

  1. Brooke Simpson (Team Miley)
  2. Addison Agen (Team Adam)
  3. Keisha Renee (Team Blake)
  4. Noah Mac (Team Jennifer)
  5. Chloe Kohanski (Team Blake)
  6. Adam Cunningham (Team Adam)
  7. Red Marlow (Team Blake)

Saved by the instant vote: Davon Fleming (Team Jennifer)
Sent home: Ashland Craft (Team Miley) and Shi’Ann Jones (Team Jennifer)


  • Team Adam: Addison Agen, Adam Cunningham
  • Team Miley: Brooke Simpson
  • Team Jennifer: Davon Fleming, Noah Mac
  • Team Blake: Keisha Renee, Red Marlow, Chloe Kohanski

Episode Recaps

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The Voice

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

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