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The first eliminations from The Voice weren't surprising, the right artists stayed in the competition, and a country artist stole the show, but she wasn't on Team Blake.
But very talented artists left the show because hey, every single one of them was talented.
This is NOT American Idol.
After months that seemed like years worth of blind auditions, battle rounds, more battle rounds and playoffs, it was time for the Top 12 to face the music, and the public. The public voted Monday night, and their votes determined a bottom 3.
Those three artists sang for the "Instant Save," where people voted to keep them around via Twitter. This limits the people who can vote to save an artist to those who watch the show live, and are hooked into Twitter while doing it. Oh, and if your tweets are protected, they can't find your hashtag of #voicesave so you can forget about participating.
So I was grateful to that minority for saving Tess Boyer, even though it meant Dani Moz and T.J. Wilkins were sent packing. Better them than Sisaundra Lewis, who was dramatically left hanging until the last minute, when it was announced that she, too, was safe. Who else believes that she was never in any real danger?
For now, Team Adam and Team Blake are the only teams still intact. This is not surprising, since they're led by the only two coaches to be with the show every season. Am I the only one who thinks the revolving door that gives us Christina one season, Shakira the next, Cee Lo Green one season, Usher the next and Pharell Williams the season after is bad for the show? Adam and Blake get to build up momentum while the others are just getting their feet wet when they go off and do other things.
Now for the country artist with nerves of steel. She's not on Team Blake. Surprisingly, Kristen Merlin sings for Team Shakira. She covered "Stay" by Sugarland, the band with whom she had once toured.
For 90 seconds, her voice was clear, sure and sweet. But at 1:24, the unthinkable happed. All we heard was the band, and we saw Merlin moving her lips, while no sound came out.
About 24 seconds later, Carson Daily ran out with a microphone, just in time for Merlin to sing a pitch perfect "stay" for the final note.
Daily was the first to praise her composure, telling her, "That's what each one of these professional artists would have done." But Adam Levine begged to differ.
"I would have been a puddle on the floor," he said.
Bad editing earlier in the season meant that both of Merlin's battle rounds weren't shown on live television, making her one of the least known artists to the public. But by Tuesday, she was the one everybody at the watercooler was talking about, and voters said "why don't you stay" when she was one of the first ones saved.
Watch the nail-biting performance here: