After Monday night's showing on The Voice it was hard to predict who might be cut during last night's elimination. It seemed impossible that America would send Amanda Brown packing, but that's just what happened, along with teen teammate Melanie Martinez. The poised Brown, who had never so much as sang a pitchy note on the show, seemed a shoo-in for the final four until Monday when Trevin Hunte and Terry McDermott went a-gunning and both wound up on the top of the iTunes chart overnight. Brown's elimination seemed to catch many viewers by surprise, as shocked reactions had her still trending on Twitter a full 15 minutes after the fact. Martinez was a frontrunner as recently as last week but slipped with last night's uneven performances. Martinez' final performance on the show, a duet with Nicholas David on Fiona Apple's breakout hit "Criminal," brought out the best in both of them and probably could have saved her the night before. And so, as of Tuesday, Team Adam and Team Xtina are done and Cassadee Pope, Hunte, David and McDermott face off next week in the final four.
On to the power rankings.
Coach: Blake Shelton
Everyone knew that Pope was staying, as all previous iTunes votes now count as some sort of forever-award points in a cumulative grand total. Given her showings in recent weeks, she's probably miles ahead of the Team Cee Lo bros. McDermott pulled out all the emotional stops and the Scotsman landed the top two spots on the iTunes Rock chart overnight. All it took was one mention of his mother's death and now it's fodder for host Carson Daly, who, in a moment of tense extended pausing before announcing who America had saved, worked a mention of McDermott's mother who "didn't live to see [his] success," into a question about his wife and son. America wants to see tears and The Voice producers will apparently stop at nothing to get them. Pope duetted with Brown on Kelly Clarkson's "Breakaway," which was in a key that suited Brown more than Pope. McDermott was paired with Hunte on OneRepublic's "Feel Again," which McDermott made sound like a later U2 song, which is to say that he worked some magic indeed.
Coach: Cee Lo Green
Even Cee Lo seemed to have a "WTF?!" reaction when Amanda Brown got tossed instead of his own soul-freak underdog David. Green shook his head like a cartoon dog that had just been knocked in the noggin, his poorly tailored sequined tuxedo glinting in the studio lights as he did so. David's "Over the Rainbow," in honor of his mom, went to Number Five on iTunes and saved him after his thorough flogging of Earth, Wind and Fire's "September" – which is to say he survived on his own song choice and in spite of Cee Lo's. Or perhaps the "wisdom" of this week's auxiliary Cee Lo, lesser star Pat Monahan of Train (Note to Cee Lo: Next time get Big Gipp). As recently as this week, former competitors, including this season's Suzanna Choffel, complained about requesting songs to perform that the show didn't or couldn't manage to clear. Last night, David chewed through "Criminal" with a ferocity that spoke as much to having a meatier song to connect with as it did his desire to make a good showing. Hunte spent the whole show looking relieved and giddy. The show's wardrobe department has started dressing him like Bad-era Michael Jackson again.
Coach: Adam Levine
Levine said buh-bye to his whole team in one night. Martinez seemed relieved to be leaving. Brown barely got her own moment to peace out, but it is not hard to imagine that she will have a record deal before the week is through. She's the complete package. As Xtina gloated last week, her fourth place Chris Mann has gone on to have the biggest career after Season Two. By comparison, winner Jermaine Paul just shelved his record in order to get it right for his fans, according to a tweet. Which is to say that both Martinez and Brown, for their loyal fanbases and big personalities, could be the real winners from this season.
Coach: Christina Aguilera
Aguilera comes in last tonight based on the cheapness of her wig.
Nicholas David keeps it real: In recalling to Carson how much he misses his actual family, he said that the competitors had become like a family with "all the laughs, all the tears, all the farts we've shared."
Rob Thomas keeps it realer: Up in the Sprint Skybox with Christina Milian prior to Matchbox Twenty's performance with the remaining two members of Team Cee Lo, Thomas shrugged off any help he provided David and Hunte, stating that in fact they were both better singers than he.
Evidence that perhaps Cee Lo's cold medicine was kicking in: When asked about the final six he riffed, "Fantasy, fashion statements and fire . . . I see a unified front rather than a competition."
What could have made the Matchbox Twenty/Team Cee Lo duet better: If they had made Trevin Hunte hump Thomas' leg at the end like they had Amanda Brown do to Ne-Yo in their show-opening duet.