7:01pm PT by Ashley Lee
'The Voice' Recap: Top 12 Revealed in Hard-Fought Playoffs
The past two seasons of The Voice may have been won by Cassadee Pope and Danielle Bradbery, but don't expect another female country singer to rise out of Blake Shelton's -- or any other coach's -- camp. Season five's top 12 singers were announced on Thursday night, with America picking each team's top two singers, and the coaches then rewarding one of their own. That adds up to a whopping eight contestants waving goodbye to the NBC competition.
Of Shelton's team -- who kicked off the elimination episode with The Edgar Winter Group's "Free Ride," complete with a Nic Hawk dance break – America voted to move forward Austin Jenckes and Cole Vosbury, interestingly the only two Shelton singers who touted their acoustic guitars for their stripped-down performances. Their coach saved "swamp pop" single father Ray Boudreaux, which means that no matter what happens, the reigning champion won't be continuing his winning streak with another female country singer. Hawk and Shelbie Z. were eliminated.
After performing Supertramp's "Give a Little Bit" together, Cee Lo Green's singers were topped by the sweet Caroline Pennell and military veteran Jonny Gray. Of his remaining female singers, he chose to save glam rocker Kat Robichaud, sending Amber Nicole and Tamara Chauniece home. (On a lighter note, we also have to add that we're loving Pennell's chic Hollywood wave this week.)
When narrowing down Christina Aguilera's team, who unfortunately performed a pitchy rendition of Maroon 5's "Love Somebody," America was clearly moving forward Jacquie Lee and Matthew Schuler, the two powerful singers who both enjoyed their breakout moments on Tuesday night. Aguilera then chose gritty rocker Josh Logan over Stephanie Anne Johnson and Olivia Henken.
Each of Adam Levine's singers rocked their solos on Capital Cities' "Safe and Sound," making it the strongest group performance of the night. Of the diverse contenders on the team, America nominated techie James Wolpert and Jamaican rocker Tessanne Chin. Levine then acknowledged that no decision would make him completely happy, and while he admitted that it may come off as a surprise, he opted to save Will Champlin. We agree -- that rendition of OneRepublic's "Secrets" was a win in itself on Monday night -- but only to an extent, as Preston Pohl was unfortunately victim of an ill-fitting song choice. Yet Pohl and Grey were sent home.
Notice that the top 12 does not include a single female country singer, and the only contestants ever stolen were Vosbury and Champlin, the latter of whom ended up returning to his original coach.
What did you think of the playoff eliminations? Were the right singers sent home, or should this round add a steal or two? Sound off in the comments below.