Tonight on The Voice, the final four artists of season nine were revealed, and five contestants were sent home.
The results show kicked off with a performance by season three’s champion, Cassadee Pope. Dolly Parton also dropped by the show this week to offer the artists advice and congratulate them on how far they’ve gotten.
Carson Daly announced the first of the results. Adam Levine’s Jordan Smith was the first season-nine artist through to the finals. Smith sang “Somebody to Love” by Queen last night, and it was one of the best performances of the entire season. His spot in the finale has seemed guaranteed since the Blind Auditions, when he blew everyone away with his performance of Sia’s “Chandelier.”
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Blake Shelton’s Emily Ann Roberts, who stepped out of her comfort zone to sing “9 to 5” last night, was the next artist voted through to the finals. Roberts didn’t seem like a frontrunner early on in the competition, but she has improved significantly with coaching, and clearly she has been connecting with voters because she never has been in the bottom two.
After a performance by Parton, the results continued. Barrett Baber from Team Blake became the second member of Shelton’s team to advance to the finals. Baber has been on a hot streak for the past few weeks, and the coaches all have seemed certain he would make it to the end.
Next, Daly announced the three artists who would be singing for the last audience instant save of the season: Team Gwen’s Jeffery Austin, Team Blake’s Zach Seabaugh and Team Pharrell’s Madi Davis. Team Adam’s Amy Vachal and Shelby Brown, as well as Team Gwen’s Braiden Sunshine, all were eliminated. Vachal’s elimination was particularly surprising, as she has been one of the most consistently distinct artists in the competition, with really interesting artistry.
Seabaugh sang first, choosing “Live Like You Were Dying” by Tim McGraw. The vocals weren’t perfect, likely due to nerves, but Seabaugh is a strong performer, and country fans have connected with him.
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Davis, Pharrell’s last shot at making it to the finals, went next, singing “Don’t Dream It’s Over” by Crowded House. She also had a vocal run that wasn’t totally perfect, but overall, it was a really gorgeous performance. Davis still is figuring out who she is as an artist, but she’s very versatile.
Austin sang “Make It Rain” by Ed Sheeran, and it was an incredible performance. “You’re so great, you’re so talented,” said Stefani, who was very pleased with the performance, which was sultry and vocally tight.
After the Twitter votes were calculated, Daly announced that Austin would be advancing to next week’s finals. Pharrell will not have an artist in the finale. What did you think of tonight’s results?
This article originally appeared in THR.com.