Two contestants – Team Shakira's Garrett Gardner and Team Usher's Vedo – were sent home by voters on "The Voice" Tuesday night, as the top 12 shrank to the top 10.
The evening brought also performances by Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams and T.I. (backed by Vedo and Team Shakira's Kris Thomas) and Lady Antebellum (backed by Team Adam members Amber Carrington, Judith Hill and Sarah Simmons). Coaches Adam Levine and Blake Shelton took the stage to perform with their teams as well.
But after the performances were over and Carson Daly had repeated "America has saved …" and "America has also saved …" numerous times and reminded the world of how good he is at result-delaying dramatic pauses -- Gardner and Vedo, two seemingly nice young men, were sent packing. Gardner, who hadn't made it past the blind auditions last year, had been pleased to make it to the live shows after giving it another shot. He hoped he'd shown the value of getting back up when you get knocked down, he said Tuesday. Now he'll have an opportunity to prove it again.
Gardner's coach, Shakira, hadn't done him any favors by choosing the Backstreet Boys' "I Want It That Way" for him this week, or by instructing him to employ his "signature" growl. Nor had she made a good song selection for him the previous week; John Lennon's "Imagine" would have been an uphill battle for any singer, and though Gardner seemed a sweet enough sort, vocally, he'd never really measured up to the others in the top 12.
On the other hand, Shakira had certainly given him a boost by keeping him around, round after round. Gardner has clearly won the Latin singing sensation's -- if not America's -- heart. (She called him the "most charismatic" singer in the competition.) And in any event, Gardner declared his time on "The Voice" to have been the "most incredible experience of [his] entire life." All 17 years of it.
Vedo, meanwhile, was probably paying the price for leading off the show and trying to sing and dance, which he did, ably, during his rendition of Michael Jackson's "Rock With You" this week. The R&B singer, who'd bounced back from family hardship and whose mother had died shortly after the blind auditions, said Tuesday he wished to continue in the competition in order to showcase his talent and to inspire others. One hopes that, even after they leave "The Voice," he and Gardner will still find a way to do that.
Are you sad to see them go?
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