The top 9 contestants on “The Voice” have been revealed.
Tuesday’s results show marked the biggest elimination so far, with the field of 17 cut nearly in half after the contestants gave it their all Monday night with their first live performances of the season.
“It’s tough for me too because I’ve been them literally,” said Kelly Clarkson, who won the inaugural season of “American Idol” in 2002.
“The Voice” is only two week away from crowning the Season 20 winner, and coach Clarkson has a slight advantage with three singers in the Top 9. The other coaches – Blake Shelton, John Legend and Nick Jonas – each have two singers on their teams.
Here’s what happened:
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The artist from each team with the most viewer votes automatically advanced. From there, each coach got the opportunity to save one more of their singers.
Team Shelton’s Cam Anthony moved on, thanks to America’s vote. Shelton then used his save on Jordan Matthew Young, who said he’s looking forward to “bringing the instrumentation” in the semi-finals.
Jonas earned an extra singer on his team (and bragging rights) Monday after Devan Blake Jones won the four-way knockout, but his advantage was essentially meaningless because only two of his five singers would move on.
Team Jonas’ Rachel Mac advanced from viewer votes. Then Jonas had to do “the part of the job that I hate deeply”: pick whom to save. He selected Dana Monique to move on.
Team Legend’s Victor Solomon received the most overnight votes. Legend then used his save on Pia Renee.
Viewers also voted to advance Team Clarkson’s Kenzie Wheeler. Clarkson then used her save on Gihanna Zoë.
The remaining artist from each team that earned the most votes got the chance to go head-to-head for the wildcard spot in the top 9.
That was Team Clarkson’s Corey Ward, Team Jonas’ Jose Figueroa Jr., Team Shelton’s Pete Mroz and Team Legend’s Ryleigh Modig.
Mroz took on “Speechless” by Dan + Shay, the Grammy Award-winning country duo that served as Team Shelton’s advisor during the Battles.
“I want America to get behind Pete, he deserves it,” Shelton said of Mroz, his former Young Riders band member 25 years ago.
Figueroa Jr. “came out swinging for the fences” with Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition” for his shot at the wildcard.
“That was an electrifying performance, one of my favorite songs of all time,” Jonas said. “I think you did your thing with it. I think America has to vote for Jose. There is no one in this competition who’s been as dedicated.”
Ward sang Selena Gomez’s “Lose You to Love Me.”
“I’ve covered that song. Everything I do, I feel like you do 100% better than me,” Clarkson said. “Please America, did you hear the pain, the purity and the tone? It was incredible.”
Modig opted for Bruno Mars’ “It Will Rain.”
“I really feel like you have so much potential. You are so young,” Legend said. “I’m so excited that I got to work with you so far. I want America to give us a chance to work together so more.”
With no more coaches’ saves in play, it was up to America to decide who advanced. The winner would be decided by a five-minute flash round of voting.
In the end, Ward advanced to the semifinals. The shocked contestant almost swore after the reveal: “What the…”
The artists from each team who received the least amount of viewer votes were eliminated: Team Kelly’s Zae Romeo, Team Shelton’s Anna Grace, Team Jonas’ Andrew Marshall and Devan Blake Jones and Team Legend’s Zania Alaké.
Mroz, Figueroa Jr. and Modig were eliminated after failing to clinch the instant save.
Clarkson offered some encouraging parting words, reminding the eliminated singers that “The Voice” isn’t “the end all.”
“This is just a stepping stone to wherever you want to go,” she said.
The Top 9 will perform live during Monday’s semifinals on NBC at 8 EST/PST.