And then there were … three? Two out of the last five female contenders on “The Voice” were sent home by voters on Tuesday night — on a results show featuring performances by Teams Gwen and Blake and British singer-songwriter Ella Henderson — as the Top 12 shrank to the Top 10.
To be fair, the elimination of Jessie Pitts, of Team Blake, and Sugar Joans, of Team Pharrell, wasn't a complete — or really much of any — surprise. Neither was it any kind of shocker that Ryan Sill joined them in the bottom three. All three of these singers had been put through to this round not due to audience vote but because their coaches believed in them, fervently.
(The fourth Top 12 coach pick, Chris Jamison of Team Adam, had given an especially terrific performance Monday night, hoisting himself to safety this week.)
Pitts, Joans and Sill sang for the Twitter instant save, trying to earn a reprieve from the audience. But all three apparently held their coaches' faith until the very end.
"I've never had the opportunity to work with someone as sweet as Jessie," Blake Shelton said of Pitts, after she'd given a performance of "Gravity" that was, it must be said, very sweet. "This kid is the sweetest person ever."
Shelton told viewers it was vital to keep Pitts in the competition because she was unlike anyone else in it. "It's important to keep her on the show and she deserves to be on the show. She's a great singer."
Pharrell Williams, for his part, argued that America should throw its support behind Joans, who sang "I Want to Dance With Somebody," not especially rousingly, because there is "so much texture" in her voice.
And Gwen Stefani made an appeal for Sill, whose rendition of "More Than Words" seemed more than suitable for the occasion, noting how far he'd come and how far he still had to go. Sill was, Stefani said, an "amazing spirit" and an "incredible guy."
"You guys have to save him," she pleaded. "Please."
After the tweets rolled in and were instantly tallied, Sill won, perhaps — if early results were any indication — by a fairly wide margin.
But all hope is not lost for Pitts and Joans. They and other singers eliminated from the Top 12 will return ahead of the finals to compete for a wild-card slot. It's a new twist this season. Sounds like a good one.