By Amanda Bell
December 04, 2018 at 09:48 PM EST

Wait, wait, wait, did that really just happen? Is that even allowed to happen?

While the intensity of these eliminations hasn’t exactly been at an all-time high on this season of The Voice so far, tonight’s jaw-dropping decision has to be one for the record books.

After performances by Kelly Clarkson (singing “Heat”), Gwen Stefani (getting ultra-theatrical with her rendition of “Feliz Navidad”), and Anne-Marie and James Arthur (performing The Greatest Showman‘s “Rewrite the Stars”) we’re told that the following artists have been voted through by America:

  1. Kirk Jay (Team Blake)
  2. Kennedy Holmes (Team Jennifer)
  3. MaKenzie Thomas (Team Jennifer)
  4. Chevel Shepherd (Team Kelly)
  5. Sarah Grace (Team Kelly)
  6. Chris Kroeze (Team Blake)
  7. Kymberli Joye (Team Kelly)

That leaves Dave Fenley, Reagan Strange, and DeAndre Nico in the bottom three. Of those, only one can make it through to the semi-finals, and, bad news! Reagan Strange has been sick all episode long and can’t perform to save her own spot. She even comes out into the crowd looking so sad in a bathrobe (albeit with perfectly intact makeup and hair) as the other two shoot their shots.

Dave Fenley opts for something that should be pretty safe with Lonestar’s “Amazed.” (As a reminder, this is the same song that saved Adam Cunningham from elimination in season 12.) His version is achy and broken in some surprising places, and it’s not the best or worst thing he’s ever done here. His deep, raspy tones are still pleasing, and yet he’s still suffering a few consistency issues.

Meanwhile, DeAndre Nico decides to go back to his strong suit with another John Legend number. He did well with “Ordinary People” before, so taking on “All of Me” next seems like a sure thing. Like Dave, he’s also not venturing out into any uncharted waters with his vocals here, but he has some exciting high note runs and a few struggles with the lower portions.

All in all, they’re pretty even. DeAndre maybe has the edge because his voice is a little smoother throughout his piece, but it’s anybody’s game.

But then, when given the chance to lap some praise on DeAndre to prop up his instant save potential, Adam Levine decides to skip that effort altogether and plugs a rescue bid for Reagan Strange instead.

“I love you, I appreciate what you’ve done tonight. Honestly, I think you should both be there [in the semifinals], but I gotta go for my girl.” That’s his explanation for bypassing DeAndre after his performance … and, yes, it’s exactly as awkward as you’d expect.

THE VOICE — “Live Top 10 Results” Episode 1517B — Pictured: Adam Levine — (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)
Trae Patton/NBC

DeAndre is visibly bummed — who wouldn’t be?! — to the point that Kelly Clarkson even speaks up after the commercial break to try to ameliorate the situation. She tells DeAndre that he “sang the hell out of that song” and that the only reason Adam did that is because he feels sympathy for Reagan not being able to defend herself.

The running ticker shows Reagan and DeAndre in a dead heat with the vote counts, with Reagan just a single percentage point ahead of DeAndre during the break, so if this doesn’t go his way, things could get very awkward for Adam Levine going into next week.

Alas, Reagan Strange’s name is ultimately called as the instant save winner, despite not uttering a peep tonight. Adam has secured his contestant of choice for the semifinals and avoided a very uncomfortable prep session with DeAndre next week. Her last name has never been more appropriate than it is right now because, yeah, this is a very strange set of events that we’ve just witnessed tonight.

(To his credit, the first thing Adam does after the results are announced is walk up to DeAndre to talk things through. And DeAndre handles all of this with an impressive amount of grace and even taps his former coach’s arm to signal he is okay with what just went down.)

Adam Levine – Reagan Strange.
Blake Shelton – Kirk Jay, Chris Kroeze.
Kelly Clarkson – Chevel Shepherd, Sarah Grace, Kymberli Joye.
Jennifer Hudson – MaKenzie Thomas, Kennedy Holmes.

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