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‘The Voice’ voters go ‘straight down the middle’ with disappointing first live

Bryce Leatherwood, Sasha Hurtado, Kevin Hawkins, and Kate Kalvach await their fate on 'The Voice' Season 22's top 16 live results show. (Photo: NBC)

Bryce Leatherwood, Sasha Hurtado, Kevin Hawkins, and Kate Kalvach await their fate on ‘The Voice’ Season 22’s top 16 live results show. (Photo: NBC)

Tuesday brought The Voice Season 22’s top 16 results show — the season’s first live results show — and for the first half of the episode, there were few surprises. In fact, if I may gloat for a moment, I predicted 10 of the top 12 contestants correctly, albeit with the voting order slightly different for John Legend’s team.

It was only when it was time to fill the top 13 round’s final spot — via a real-time, public-voted Instant Save sing-off among the remaining four contestants — that the episode became unpredictable.

So, at the start of the evening, host Carson Daly explained that each team’s two vote-getters, based on Monday’s top 16 performances, would advance, after which each coach would save a third artist. For Team Blake, America voted for alternative singer-songwriter Bodie and country heartthrob Brayden Lape, as I’d predicted, although it was a bit of a surprise when Blake Shelton then chose to save teen pop singer Rowan Grace over “straight down the middle” country crooner Bryce Leatherwood, who Blake had been so certain would make the top 13. But Blake revealed that he’d strategically based this decision on “who’d gone through already,” so maybe he thought Bryce and Brayden would cancel each other out in future votes. Or, maybe, just maybe, Blake was simple that sure that (spoiler alert) Bryce could win the Instant Save.

For Team Legend, America rightfully voted through deserving teen diva Parijita Bastola (as I had predicted) and rock showboater Omar José Cardona (John was right about that result; I was wrong). John then saved “The Velvet Powerhouse,” Kim Cruse, of course — and since I’d assumed that America would vote for Kim’s dynamite Aretha Franklin cover, Team Legend’s top three lineup basically ended up as I’d predicted anyway.

As for Team Gwen, America voted for new-school song stylist Kiqué (he seemed shocked, but I certainly wasn’t) and old-school soul belter Justin Aaron, just as I’d called it. It was also no surprise when Gwen Stefani saved her much-adored mini-me “muffin,” 19-year-old pop starlet Alyssa Witrado — even though her recently stolen contestant, Kevin Hawkins, with whom she obviously shared a less solid bond, had delivered the vocally stronger performance Monday.

And that left new coach Camila Cabello and her team. America (and I) got it right by picking country-rock badass Morgan Myles and cool cat Devix, and while I was pleased (and unsurprised) that Camila saved dynamite showman Eric Who, aka the self-proclaimed star of The Eric Who Show, my heart went out to former frontrunner Kate Kalvach, whose Monday performance had been derailed by technical issues that were in no way her fault, which she had handled like a true pro.

But all was not lost yet for Kate — or for Bryce, Kevin, or Team…

Read More: ‘The Voice’ voters go ‘straight down the middle’ with disappointing first live

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