The Voice Recap: The Rise of the Instant Save

Photo: Trae Patton/NBC
The Voice
The Voice
Episode Title
Top 12 Eliminations
Editor’s Rating

One thing I will say about the Starbucks conglomerate that runs The Voice is that they are innovators! This instant save thing is kind of fun. It gives the people the illusion of personal agency. That is how a democracy works!

Sara Bareilles and Assorted Women, “Brave”
Isn’t this song so incredibly good? I could listen to it in the shower every day to try to pump myself up for not being brave the rest of the day. One of the weirdest things about this performance, however, was how much all of the actual Voice contestants were really backup singers to Sara Bareilles. Usually, they try to get the people on The Voice to sing more. I didn’t mind — I’m sick of all of them!

Next there was an amazing segment in which Carson Daly asked Cee Lo Green what the future was like because Cee Lo was wearing weird glasses. Then Xtina tried the future glasses on, but was really boring and politic because she doesn’t drink anymore, so that sucked, and then Blake talked about Tuesdays being the reason he drinks so much! It was illuminating all around.

Then there was (historically) my favorite Voice tradition — the confessionals! And they were incredible. Tessanne loves the royal family? Dennis the Menace admitted he wet the bed until age 7? James Wolpert has a Kermit impression? (Typical.) Then, Sober as a Judge Xtina confessed that she has four dogs at home and ruined everything.

After that, it was announced that Caroline and Mathew Schuler were safe because obviously.

Cee Lo’s Team, “Roam”
I like it when they really lean hard on Cee Lo’s quirkiness, just because he has a llama named O-lama. The B-52s? Next they will have his team singing “99 Luftbaloons” in German! The dancers here were a special treat. They were really getting into it. Who knew Cee Lo’s team was so uncoordinated that they couldn’t do the mashed potato?

And now, in a shocking twist, some more saves! Austen Jenkes (are you effing kidding me with this, America? I don’t get you, but I get you) and Tessanne Chin (thank the Lord) were saved.

Assorted Boys, “We're an American Band”
There were so many people playing the guitar here, I literally couldn’t tell what was happening! Why does everyone play the guitar these days on This Is the Voice? You are not impressing anyone anymore!

Three more were saved by “America’s votes!” Cole Vosbury, Jacqui Lee, and Will Champlin. All good picks by America, although I am surprised, still, by the meteoric rise and popular appeal of the young Cole Vosbury. Cole Vosbury is dominating iTunes all the time, and sure, he has a really pretty voice, but there are a lot of bearded men in this competition. Does anyone here think he could win it all? I think he might be able to, actually.

Adam’s Team, “Hard Days Night”
This was my favorite performance of the night. It sounded really tight, the harmonies were great, and Will in particular really soared. A good showing all around. How much did they pay for this song, also? Like $5 million dollars? The Voice is rolling in the money these days.

Then, Ray was saved! I was glad, since I liked his performance but also thought he would be gone with the wind by now. I think Ray will be out next week, hate to say it. Also Kermit/James Wolpert was saved, which was pretty deserved too.

And now, finally, for the The Voice’s new gambit, the instant save. It was down to Josh, Kat, and Jonny in the final three (not THAT surprising, although poor Janey Jimplin, crowd-surfing for nothing?). America had five minutes, using Twitter no less, to decide who was going to stay and who was going to go home. The first person eliminated was Jonny. This was sad because I really did like his beautiful hair and his reedy voice, but Jonny probably was a bit too idiosyncratic to go the distance. However, between Josh and Kat, Kat was saved! This makes sense. Josh was a really gifted vocalist, but I felt like he was completely falling apart in the last couple of rounds and Christina didn’t help him with her song choices. Good-bye, Josh!

And that is our show. Do you think it feels worse to be eliminated by Twitter or iTunes downloads? Weigh in below.