Not even Taylor Swift could take away from the real drama on The Voice Tuesday.
The megastar – and Voice Season 7 special advisor – delivered a fierce performance of her latest hit, "Blank Space," during the live elimination show, but even she couldn't overshadow the big question of the evening: Which two artists were going home?
Viewers got their answer at the end of the show, but not before the bottom three artists in the Top 10 performed one final do-or-die song to win this week's Twitter instant save and the final spot in the Top 8 heading into next week.
It was dream-scenario Monday night for Team Pharrell star DaNica Shirey on The Voice.
She sang a few bars of Whitney Houston's "I Have Nothing" to the late icon's longtime mentor, Clive Davis, who met with the Top 10 singers and gave Shirey high praise – after she sweetly confided that she'd written an 11th grade biography about Davis's life. And she'd learned to sing Whitney on a karaoke machine her late father bought her when she was 8.
The Voice instant save is back – and made for a drama-filled live elimination show Tuesday as three artists fought for the final spot in the Top 10.
Just one night after the remaining 12 artists delivered a string of well-received performances, the artists once again stood onstage, although this time it was to learn their fates.
Host Carson Daly announced the artists who were safe throughout the first two-thirds of the show, until it finally became clear that only Team Adam Levine – who was enjoying his last evening as PEOPLE's reigning Sexiest Man Alive – would be spared potential elimination.
It was a night of triumph and heartbreak on The Voice Wednesday, as 12 artists moved ahead and eight artists said goodbye during the first live elimination show of the seventh season.
America's votes saved the two top vote-getters on each team of five singers, which forced each of the four coaches to save just one of their three remaining artists.
The hour-long show moved along briskly and put Team Blake Shelton in the hot seat first.
Two weeks ago, scores of Voice viewers thought coach Pharrell Williams made a questionable choice when he shockingly decided to keep Elyjuh René over the highly praised Ricky Manning in the knockout rounds.
But on the second night of the live playoffs on Tuesday, the seeming wisdom of Williams's selection shone through when the California-based singer, 18, delivered an emotional rendition of "Latch" that had all four coaches on their feet.
"I can't believe what I just saw," gushed Adam Levine, whose team performed the previous night alongside Blake Shelton's five remaining artists. "Precisely perfect, soulful ... Pharrell has one of the strongest teams, and you just became the front-runner on one of the strongest teams."
Artists from Adam Levine and Blake Shelton's teams stepped up Monday to wow the audience on The Voice's first night of live playoffs.
Two previous standouts – passionate soul singer Damien and charismatic Southern rocker Craig Wayne Boyd – showed again why they're competitors to watch, as the show narrows its field this week from 20 to 12 and viewers can vote for the first time.
The four teams on The Voice were finalized Monday. And thanks to a last-minute save by Blake Shelton, one Southern rocker – looking "hotter than ever" – could make a big splash when the live rounds kick off next week.
Craig Wayne Boyd, the charismatic Mesquite, Texas, native, heeded mentor Taylor Swift's advice to "take us to church," commanding the stage with the Marshall Tucker Band's classic heartbreaker "Can't You See" and earning a standing ovation from Pharrell Williams.
Leave it to coach Pharrell Williams to make a decision that had everyone's jaws on the floor.
The dynamic new coach stunned his fellow coaches – and just about everyone else watching – when he made a surprise choice to close out the second night of The Voice's knockout rounds.
Williams pitted California-based Elyjuh René, 18, against Ricky Manning, a 19-year-old Florida native who now sings in New York City subway stations. The duo received coaching from special advisor Taylor Swift, and initially all signs pointed to Manning for the win.
When Taylor Swift tells you to put down the guitar, you put down the guitar.
Dallas father Taylor Phelan did just that on Monday as season 7's knockout rounds began on The Voice – heeding the pop star's call to ditch his ever-present stage crutch and let his personality shine through.