We Spoke With the Departed: "I believe I did justice to that song" ... "I missed a couple of notes, but I did my best"
Continuing a habit of toying with their rules as they progress through a season, two singers were sent home Monday from "The Voice" in an "instant elimination" at the conclusion of the two-hour show. Two more will be sent packing tonight.
Christina Aguilera gave an extended, lugubrious speech about the impossibility of the task at hand before eliminating the singer who, just two weeks ago, was deemed the singer to beat in the competition, Jesse Campbell. Reading between Aguilera's lines, she seemed to be saying the other three contestants have shown more growth and have more development potential than the silky smooth 42-year-old Campbell.
With Xtina eating up so much of the clock, Blake Shelton barely had time to explain his decision, opting to go with an easy explanation -- last one in is the first one out, Jordis Unga.
Backstage after the show Unga felt she understood Shelton's decision, telling one reporter after another that she saw it coming -- every singer did well, so there was no reason for their coach to cast off one of the three singers America voted onto the team two weeks ago.
"I believe I did justice to that song," she said of Sara Evans' "A Little Bit Stronger." "I think Blake feels that way. The goal was to tell that story. I felt it."
Campbell was more shocked at Aguilera's choice, but took it in stride. "She was talking about growth and abilities so I was surprised when she said my name," he said. "But I wasn't thinking about anything else -- I try to live in the moment. My concern was to call my daughter because she takes news like this very hard."
Beyond the eight contestants' performances, the evening included Maroon 5 performing their new single "Payphone" with Wiz Khalifa, Shelton and his team doing the Eagles' hit "Heartache Tonight" and Aguilera taking her singers through a wildly choreographed take on her "Fighter."
Much of the coaches' commentary focused on the singers' ability to connect emotionally with the material they sang. We got each singer's opinion on their connections with the songs they sang Monday.