'The Voice': John Legend has a leg up after 'dramatic elimination' sets up the top 9 singers
Kelly Clarkson isn’t left speechless often, but she was when a contestant on "The Voice" sang one of Clarkson's songs for her audition. USA TODAY
The top 9 contestants on "The Voice" have been revealed.
Tuesday's results show marked the biggest elimination so far, with the field of 17 cut nearly in half after the contestants gave it their all Monday night in the first live performances of the season.
"This is really hard for us," Kelly Clarkson said. "Everything is getting chopped in half. And it's a really hard decision because everyone's really talented."
"The Voice" is only two week away from crowning the Season 19 winner and coach John Legend has a slight advantage with three singers in the Top 9. The other coaches – Clarkson, Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani – each have two singers on their teams.
Here's what happened:
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The artist from each team with the most viewer votes automatically advanced. From there, each coach got the opportunity to save one more of their singers.
Team Kelly's Desz moved on, thanks to America. "Moving on to the top 9 (means) that I can continue to be a representation for all the beautiful young girls who look like me," she said.
Clarkson then used her save on Cami Clune, who she stole from John Legend in the Knockout Round.
Viewers also voted to save Team Gwen's Carter Rubin, Team Shelton's Ian Flanigan and Team Legend's John Holiday.
Shelton earned an extra singer on his team (and bragging rights) Monday after Taryn Papa won the four-way knockout, but his advantage was essentially meaningless because only three of his singers would have a chance to move on.
Stefani saved Ben Allen, Shelton saved Jim Ranger and Legend used his save on Tamara Jade, who was "the first person on my team," Legend recalled.
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The remaining artist from each team that earned the most votes got the chance to go head-to-head for the wildcard spot in the top 9.
That was Team Kelly's Tanner Gomes, Team Gwen's Payge Turner, Team Blake's Worth the Wait trio and Team Legend's Bailey Rae.
Worth the Wait took on Martina McBride's "I'm Gonna Love You Through It."
"I have a gut feeling that … you're probably the lead vote-getters in the final four. Sometimes America needs a little wake-up call and sometimes you guys need a wake-up call," Shelton said
Turner performed a slowed-down rendition of Rihanna's "Diamonds."
"That was just stunning," Stefani said. "I know America is going to see this after that performance, is just you are a real true artist."
Gomes opted for Keith Anderson's "Pickin' Wildflowers" for his shot at the wildcard.
"He brings the honky-tonk, man," Clarkson said of her country singer. "America, please vote him through so I can dance some more."
Rae sang Lee Ann Womack's "Never Again, Again."
"What is so cool about Bailey, America, is she is so young, yet she comes to every performance with this classic style and this classic voice," Legend said about the 18-year-old.
With no more coaches’ saves in play, it was up to America to decide who advanced. The winner would be decided by a five-minute flash round of voting.
In the end, Rae advanced.
"Thank you for taking a chance on a small town country girl from Oklahoma," Rae said to Legend.
The artists from each team who received the least amount of viewer votes were eliminated: Team Kelly's Madeline Consoer, Team Gwen's Joseph Soul, Team Shelton's Taryn Papa and Sid Kingsley and Team Legend's Chloé Hogan.
Gomes, Turner and Worth the Wait were eliminated after failing to clinch the instant save.
Clarkson offered some words of wisdom to Gomes: "I swear to you, I cannot wait to work with you after. Tanner, you are such a blessing of a human. Thank you so much for being on my team."
The Top 9 will perform live during Monday's semifinals on NBC at 8 EST/PST.