The Voice coach Kelly Rowland decided to not take either Elishia Semaan or Jimi the Kween through to the next round in last night's Playoffs.
Pop singer Elishia was originally on Team Delta, but lost her Battle to Graeme Isaako, and was saved by Kelly. Drag star Jimi the Kween meanwhile replaced Kiwi Ella Monney on Team Kelly, when Ella was unable to travel back to Australia due to COVID-19. They were originally on Team Guy, but lost their Battle to Josh Pywell.
With Marcia Hines on side as in-person mentor and Kelly virtually coaching from Los Angeles, Jimi the Kween was tasked with "I'm Coming Out" by Diana Ross, and Elishia with Justin Timberlake's "Cry Me a River". Kelly stressed before the performances that she wanted her artists to prove that they "deserved" to be saved.
After their lacklustre performances, Delta Goodrem said that they didn't seem "up to standard" and lacked heart and authenticity. Guy agreed that "something went wrong" here.
Kelly said that she was trying only to be constructive with her feedback, telling each of them that their performances lacked believability. "I can't believe that i'm saying that both of these performances for me didn't land. And I'm like, Did I do something wrong? Did I say something wrong? Is there something I didn't convey in our rehearsals?
"I have to take a really tough decision tonight," she continued. "I can't take either of you through."
Host Darren McMullen waited for guidance from executive producers about the controversial call, who in the end allowed Kelly to make the decision.
"Please don't charge this to my heart," Kelly assured Jimi and Elishia, adding that they weren't ready for the next stage of The Voice. "I really wanted you to be ready and I'm not gonna set you up like that. I cannot do that."
Jimi thanked Kelly for reminding them that "there is so much more to strive for", and promised to return better than ever, while Elishia reflected backstage that the criticism would help her to grow as an artist.
After the show, Jimi wrote about their dramatic Voice experience on Instagram: "Well WOW! What a way to end it — to go out with a bit of DRAMA!!! I laid my heart out in front of you all and I am so proud of myself for going on this show! I hope I did you all proud too! What a buzz 🐝! Life continues on a little more fabulous than before! Watch this space beautiful people — Jimi The Kween is here!!! 😘💕."
Elishia too looked back on the moment on Instagram: "Feel like I'm going through a whirlwind of emotions right now but I've always said this industry requires resilience and persistence! So I guess this is me putting my words to action! So for anyone else who has been in this position too just know this is not the end and it shouldn't be for you either. Keep pushing. This is not the end of my music journey but just a moment and a moment that I know has helped me grow already. Spending the night eating pizza and drinking wine but I promise I'll get back to you all soon! Appreciate the love and support so so much! 🦋."
At the end of Playoffs tonight, the judges each get to choose a wildcard from their own team to take into the next stage of the competition. To make up her numbers, Kelly has two wildcard picks — who will she choose?