NBC is stretching The Voice to three nights during the first live week again this season, giving us an entire hour on Thursday night to reveal which eight artists won't make it into the Top 12.
Here's how it goes: of the five singers currently on each team, two advance to next week based on the results of America's vote. A third will be saved by their coach. The unlucky pair remaining are sent packing. And since we've got to fill an entire hour and we only have four teams, there's some filler in there, too.
That comes in the form of Season 5's first group performances. Team Blake comes together for "Free Ride," though somebody needs to turn the volume on the mics up because they can't really be heard, especially at the beginning. (This is more bothersome as longtime Voice fans will know it's not the first time this has been a problem on this stage.) Team Cee Lo sings "Give A Little Bit." Team Christina tries to do Maroon 5's "Love Somebody" and it doesn't work. Team Adam responds with "Safe and Sound."
Team Blake is also the first group to find out their fates. You saved Austin Jenckes and Cole Vosbury. That means Blake has to choose between Shelbie Z., Nic Hawk and Ray Boudreaux. Using his previously employed "person I can effect change with the most" logic, he saves Ray. It's no surprise to see Nic go after "Blurred Lines," but poor Shelbie sang her heart out on "Fancy" and didn't deserve to go home so early.
From Team Cee Lo, the popular vote goes to Caroline Pennell and Jonny Gray. Surprising absolutely no one, Cee Lo uses his save on Kat Robichaud, who should've been voted in by America given that she gave one of the best performances of the week with "She Keeps Me Warm." That means it's time to say goodbye to Amber Nicole and Tamara Chauniece. This was probably the most obvious outcome of the four teams, given the unique sounds of the three saved artists - a quality that Cee Lo in particular looks for when making his decisions.
Team Christina's Jacquie Lee and Matthew Schuler get passes into the Top 12. Christina has Josh Logan, Olivia Henken and Stephanie Anne Johnson to pick from, but she's always had a rather obvious soft spot for Josh, so it's him that she chooses to bring along. Even though it was a telegraphed decision on her part, we can't say that we fault her for that, because of the three Josh has the most upside.
NBC plugs Parenthood by having Carson interview Dax Shepard. We'll forgive this because Dax comes up with the best description of Team Cee Lo: "It's four super-hot chicks and a dude he definitely thought was a chick."
We end the show with the results for Team Adam. It's longtime favorite James Wolpert and Tessanne Chin who are moving on. Adam must select one more between Grey, Preston Pohl and the apparently immortal Will Champlin. As always happens, Adam agonizes until almost the last minute (why do the producers keep leaving him until the last segment, knowing he's going to go on?). Finally, he gives the nod to Will, which we know many folks will question but we wholeheartedly approve of.
The Top 12 will perform for your votes again on Monday.