But the night wasn’t just about those heartbreaking eliminations. It was non-stop music as J-Hud offered up a second performance for the week. Michael Bublé also took the stage, as did Hailee Steinfeld.
Going into the show, Kelly led the way with three singers remaining in the competition, Jennifer and Blake each had two and Adam had one.
The first singer to continue was announced early in the evening, and Team Blake took those bragging rights. Diehard country singer, Kirk Jay, was the first to make it to the finale.
Before the second contestant was announced, Michael Bublé performed a dreamy version of the Rogers and Hart classic, “Where or When.”
Following his performance, and with tension building, the second singer to continue on in the competition was announced. This time, it was Team Kelly who took the honors with the petite country yodeler, Chevel Shepherd.
Hailee Steinfeld had a special guest in the audience for her performance of “Back to Life” from the soundtrack for the movie Bumblebee. She actually had Bumblebee taking up three seats among the viewers.
The third contestant to continue on in the competition was named after Hailee’s performance and it was Team Blake’s Chris Kroeze, who also was the most streamed artist on Apple Music during the voting period the night before.
Before the fourth finalist was determined with the last “instant save” of the season, Jennifer took the stage. Wearing a t-shirt with the words “Nevertheless she persisted,” the Academy Award winner gave an absolutely inspiring performance of “I’ll Fight” from the documentary about Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, RBG.
With five contestants remaining, but only one spot left in the finale, Carson explained that he would reveal the last three contestants who would compete for the “instant save.” And they were, in no particular order, Team J-Hud’s MaKenzie Thomas, Team Adam’s Reagan Strange, and Jennifer’s youngest, Kennedy Holmes.
While those three went backstage to prepare for their performances, Kelly said her goodbyes to her team’s gospel great Kymberli Joye and blues musician Sarah Grace. Interestingly, it sounded like Kelly told the two incredible singers that she would be taking them on tour. She didn’t specify which tour, but there is little doubt that she will honor her word.
MaKenzie Thomas was the first to perform for that coveted final spot in the finale. Giving a stirring performance of Patty Griffin’s “Up to the Mountain.” Afterward, with all of the coaches on their feet, Carson asked MaKenzie’s coach if she thought that was enough to advance the singer. “I think she’s been done, more than enough to be on this stage a million times over,” Jennifer replied. “You’ve done everything you need to do. Take it from me, regardless, you still have your gift and your talent, and you have had an amazing platform. No matter what happens, you take that you run with it, and you can sing on until you get to your dreams.”
Team Adam’s final contestant in the competition, 14-year-old Reagan Strange, was up next with an emotional and dynamic version of “Wherever You Will Go” by The Calling. A proud Adam told her after, “Look, here’s the deal kid. Not a bad start. Not a bad start to your very long life and career. I don’t know what’s going to happen. I’m hoping you guys all vote for this girl to make it to the finale, but I also want everyone to understand, I want you to understand that this is a crazy show on a crazy stage for a crazy amount of people, but at the end of the day, I am nothing but super proud of you, what you’ve accomplished on the show, what you’re going to accomplish beyond this. And I truly just wish you the best, regardless of this outcome, and I will be a part of your life regardless of this outcome.”
Finally, the youngest artist in the show, Jennifer’s Kennedy Holmes, took the stage to effortlessly sing the song made famous by both LeAnn Rimes and Trisha Yearwood, “How Do I Live.” Instead of offering any flowery words regarding Kennedy’s performance, Jennifer instead pleaded with the viewers to vote for the young singer.
With the voting taking place live during the final commercial break, the three young ladies stood hand-in-hand waiting to hear their fate on the show.
But before the last finalist was revealed, Carson gave each of the ladies an opportunity for what could be their final words. MaKenzie spoke directly to Jennifer, telling her, “I just wanted to say thank you for everything that you’ve done, for taking us to that church to sing and bringing me back home. I just want to thank you for all of the advice and the wisdom, and for showing that you really care about me. It means a lot.” Reagan then had an opportunity to address her coach, Adam. She told him, “I just want to say thank you for having faith in me since blinds, all the way through knockouts and up to here right now. I wouldn’t be here without you, and thank you for all your wonderful advice.” Kennedy also had some thoughtful words for Jennifer. “I would just like to say I appreciate you so much,” she said. “From blinds, I felt like I have grown so much and to just have this opportunity at such a young age, it’s nothing that’s usual, so thank you so much.”
Then the coaches took a turn. Jennifer told her two charges, “First of all, I am so proud of you. It has been an honor and a pleasure to have you on my team. You have inspired me. I want you to continue to pursue your dreams and your goals, and it has no choice but to give in. And I hope I can be an example of that to you.”
Adam addressed all three of the young women first, saying, “Firstly, I have a tremendous amount of respect for all three of you guys. And I think it’s a victory for anyone of you guys to win. We need some girls to go against those boys. We need to even the playing field.” He then turned his attention to Reagan. “There’s something so special about you that, sadly, even at the end of this whole experience, people are still beginning to uncover, I’m still beginning to get into with you,” he said. “I will say this, you’re a tremendous human being. Your strength, your poise, grace, and your elegance through all of this has been truly remarkable. Better than mine in a lot of instances. And that’s a lot for a 14-year-old to deal with. I’m almost 40 and I can’t do it as well as you can. But I’m just going to say this, I believe you deserve to be in the finale. And I just hope that you make it. It would mean the world to you and that’s why it means the world to me.”
Carson then announced that America instantly saved Kennedy Holmes.
Next week, the final four will compete to claim the title of season 15 winner of The Voice.