The first elimination show narrows the Top 12 down to 10—but were any of the results really that surprising?

By Marc Snetiker
Updated April 14, 2015 at 06:10 PM EDT

We begin the season’s first elimination show with a harmless recap of last night, and it’s a reminder that Monday’s singers were relatively mundane except, in my opinion, Josh, Christina, Sisaundra, and Delvin, in that order. Carson informs us that every performance charted on iTunes, and one singer even cracked the top ten.

Who was it? Well, Josh, obvi, because his “Stay With Me” was far and away the best performance of the night, and perhaps one of the best of the season. Since I’m on the topic of iTunes, I should admit that I hardly ever check how these songs do on the charts, so I saved you the trouble of finding the rankings (as of this writing):

33. Kristen Merlin’s “Stay”

48. Jake Worthington’s “Anymore”

52. Christina Grimmie’s “Dark Horse”

118. Kat Perkins’ “Magic Man”

122. Sisaundra Lewis’ “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me”

134. Audra McLaughlin’s “Angel of the Morning”

137. Olaf the Snowman’s “In Summer”

146. Delvin Choice’s “Unchained Melody”

160. Bria Kelly’s “Rolling in the Deep”

162. Christina Grimmie’s “I Won’t Give Up”

197. Josh Kaufman’s “It Will Rain”

Soooo, this is awkward. TJ and Tess both failed to chart in the Top 200, while Josh and Christina both clocked in twice. Does that suggest that TJ, Dani, and Tess are the ones to go this evening? Well, um… yes, kind of.

The night was organized into an alternating pattern of coach performances and results, but I’m skipping straight to the end, unless you want to hear me talk about how Jake is a better singer than Blake, or how Sisaundra sings every note like she’s about to drown and the only thing that could possibly keep her alive is holding out a note, or how Adam was dressed like he just got back from leading a Jungle Cruise, or how Shakira’s song “Empire” really is quite bad and not very enjoyable to listen to, much else when there is the risk of fire damage involved. No, you don’t want to hear any of that.

Throughout the night, we get saves in the following order:

-Josh Kaufman, who is no major surprise, followed by…

-Kat Perkins, who is not a big surprise considering that she gave what I thought was her best performance of the season last night, though lots of commenters begged to differ; also, when Kat got the word of her safety, someone started panting “Oh God, oh God,” which awkwardly leads me to my second Frozen reference of the night. Speaking of, that movie starred Adele Dazeem, who suffered a similar tech snafu as…

-Kristen Merlin, who no doubt benefitted from her microphone outage and the votes that likely came her way because of it. But her talent is also undeniable, so she certainly deserves to be there way more than someone like…

-Audra McLaughlin, who is perfectly harmless and about as effective as a campaign poster for a middle school student council election. She’s becoming increasingly faceless, unlike the raging ball of energy that is…

-Delvin Choice, who killed it on Monday with his love song dedicated to his enthusiastic parents, who are adorable but not nearly as adorable as…

-Jake Worthington, who is preciousness defined and one of the most endearing people I’ve seen in a reality competition. And I bet he gives just the best hugs. He has a quiet tenderness to him, unlike…

-Bria Kelly, who is as tender as a food processor. I want you to just GUESS what I yelled at my TV when her name was called. Hint: it was similar to what Bria did in Usher’s ear. Although I can’t vilify Bria for screaming since the same thing was done by…

-Christina Grimmie, whose late arrival to the Top 10 made me sweat just a bit. I didn’t realize how meek Christina was until I saw her stacked up next to the rest of the line-up. On the opposite end of that spectrum is…

-Sisaundra Lewis, the last name to be called and perhaps the one that would have been the biggest shocker should it not have been. Not to say, I repeat, that Sisaundra should or will win, but she’s definitely Top 6 material, to be sure.

That leaves three singers to fight for their lives with just their bare vocal cords and a variety of hand gestures: TJ Wilkins, Tess Boyer and Dani Moz. Hmm, sound familiar? One has to wonder how much the iTunes sales really have to do with the votes, and why. I’m not saying there’s something fishy with the process, but it doesn’t NOT smell like mahi-mahi.

The last-chance performances are run of the mill. TJ chooses to sing “I’ll Be,” which should immediately disqualify him from consideration. Dani does Adele’s “Turning Tables,” which sounds nice enough but suffers when Dani pulls out the one trick in her bag-o’-them: the unexpected high note. That nonsense doesn’t work with Adele, love. Tess rounds out the evening with “Dark Side,” and sure enough, it’s her Kelly Clarkson power-ballad (called it!) that earns her the #VoiceSave.

Usher probably didn’t help matters for TJ by talking about the wrong hashtag, and poor Shakira looked visibly torn not being able to fully support Dani or Tess on the chopping block. I’m a little bummed about the loss of Dani—she was one of my favorite singers, even if I only came around late in the game—but as bad as I feel for her, I can’t pretend that she was the most accessible singer of the bunch. I guess deep down I had a feeling that she’d be one of the unfortunate talents to go before lesser nothings like Bria and Kat stuck around. I suppose the schadenfreude here is that America really does agree that Team Shakira is the weakest of the year.

And so, we bid farewell to TJ and Dani. Perhaps they’ll find a future painting basic murals at schools. I hear there’s one in Sun Valley that absolutely loooooves Shakira, although I have a hard time believing the children there actually know what a Shakira is.