Four singers were sent home Tuesday night on "The Voice's" first live elimination show of the season: Charlotte Sometimes and Naia Kete from Blake Shelton's team and Sera Hill and Moses Stone from Christina Aguilera's group. On the bright side, though, four members of Team Blake and four from Team Christina advanced to sing another day.
It was a solemn affair, really, even though Gym Class Heroes, accompanied by members of Team Adam, kicked off things with a lively rendition of their song "A** Back Home," in which Neon Hitch strode the stage wearing what appeared to be part of a shabby-chic vintage bed frame.
Carson Daly led with the results of the audience vote. In no particular order, he announced, America had voted to save Team Blake's Erin Willett, Jermaine Paul and RaeLynn. Willett exclaimed that she was shocked by the news, but RaeLynn seemed even more startled, mouthing a phrase viewers might not have expected from a button-cute 17-year-old aspiring country singer.
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That left the bottom three — Sometimes, Kete and Jordis Unga — to vie for their coach's save.
Team Christina, fresh from hanging out with Jay Leno and jamming on "The Tonight Show" (Shelton's team got a measly visit to a country radio station), received the news from Daly. Saved by the audience were Jesse Campbell, Lindsey Pavao and Chris Mann. That left Hill, Stone and Ashley De La Rosa in jeopardy.
The bottom three on each team appeared with new songs to compete for their coach's save. Kete performed a laid-back "If I Were a Boy," leaving Shelton craving her trademark reggae. (She said she hadn't been given that option.) Sometimes sang an emotional "Iris," looking more than sincere on lines like "And I don't want to go home right now" and "I just want you to know who I am." And then Unga gave what may have been her best performance, a clear, compelling "Wild Horses."
Aguilera waffled between Sometimes and Unga and then seemed to select Unga as the most worthy. Cee Lo Green and Adam Levine were clearer: "Without question, I think this goes to Jordis," Levine said.
Shelton, the vote that counted, said that while he loved all three and it was hard to compare apples to oranges, "If I have to base my decision on what I just saw there, I gotta go with Jordis."
Later, he told both Kete and Sometimes how "sorry" he was and also how "proud." "It's not the end of the road by any stretch of the imagination," he told them.
As for Team Christina, De La Rosa stirred the audience with a rousing "Paris (Ooh La La)." Hill showed off her vocal chops with "Visions of Love." And Stone tried to display his range with "Breakeven (Falling to Pieces)." Green liked Hill's performance, but Levine and Shelton picked De La Rosa "absolutely" and "for sure."
Aguilera said she loved all three of the performances, but said ultimately "I have to go with my instinct and my gut and my heart, and that's telling me Ashley."
And so eight singers advanced and four went home wet-eyed and empty-handed.
Advancing: Erin Willett, Jermaine Paul, RaeLynn, Jodis Unga
Eliminated: Naia Kete, Charlotte Sometimes
Advancing: Jesse Campbell, Lindsey Pavao, Chris Mann, Ashley De La Rosa
Eliminated: Sera Hill, Moses Stone
Do you think the right people advanced?
"Idol" vs. "The Voice" Times music and television writers, including Amy Reiter, are ranking the five best performers each week, regardless of venue. Readers are invited to cast their votes too. See who made the top five last week at latimes.com/idol-voice. Who do you think stood out this week? Use the poll below to make your picks. Check back Thursday afternoon to see if your favorites made the cut. The poll closes Monday at noon.
— Amy Reiter
Photo: Ashley de la Rosa, Sera Hill, Moses Stone, and Carson Daly. Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC.