It was the most dramatic elimination on “The Voice” Season 9 yet as the top 12 became the top 11. After each artist sang his or her respective heart out on Monday’s live show, one unfortunate performer had to get the boot from America during the elimination night.
The episode took its time with the big reveal by splitting the announcement up into four segments in which host Carson Daly slowly and methodically revealed which artists were safe for another week. The first artists to advance forward to the next round were coach Adam Levine’s Jordan Smith and coach Gwen Stefani’s Jeffery Austin. Together, they had the best single rankings on iTunes, which automatically put them through to the next round.
After that, the night was a cavalcade of soft questions to the contestants and judges as well as group performances in which full teams took the stage to sing a group vocal arrangement. Finally, it came down to the wire and the bottom two artists were finally announced. With the announcement that America’s votes had barely rescued Blake Shelton’s final artist, Zach Seabaugh, from elimination, it came down to Team Gwen’s Korin Bukowski and Pharrell Williams’ Mark Hood.
While Bukowski delivered a tepid performance on Monday, Hood’s status in the bottom two was surprising to many as he had one of the more upbeat and audience-engaging showings of any of the top 12 performers. Fortunately, there was still hope. The artists sang one song each before the episode’s final commercial break. During that time, America had the chance to vote on Twitter which contestant they wanted to see saved.
Hood took the stage first with Stevie Wonder’s “Signed Sealed Delivered, I’m Yours.” Once again, he packed the wonderful showmanship that’s propelled him this far in the competition. At one point he even dropped to his knees and slapped the stage because he was so overwhelmed by the moment. Unfortunately, as Entertainment Weekly notes, if one were to close his or her eyes, they would not be hearing the vocals worthy of a “The Voice” winner.
Bukowski took the stage second with Norah Jones’ “Don’t Know Why.” While she’s nowhere near the stage performer that her opponent was, her voice proved more than enough to captivate America and earn her a 10 to 12 percent lead over Hood as the final saves dragged on. When the commercial break was over, Daly dropped the axe sending Mark Hood packing.
That leaves the remaining artists headed into next week’s live rounds as follows:
Team Adam: Jordan Smith
Team Gwen: Jeffery Austin
Team Blake: Emily Ann Roberts
Team Pharrell: Madi Davis
Team Gwen: Braiden Sunshine
Team Blake: Barrett Baber
Team Adam: Amy Vachal
Team Pharrell: Evan McKeel
Team Adam: Shelby Brown
Team Blake: Zach Seabaugh
Team Gwen: Korin Bukowski
"The Voice" Season 9 airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. EST on NBC.