The Top 12 singers on "The Voice" performed the first "Theme Week" songs Monday night (April 23), and on Tuesday, fan votes decided who could stay and who had to go.
Sanford native Britton Buchanan and Chapel Hill native Rayshun LaMarr are the local singers we're following, so we'll be focusing on them. This week's theme was “Story of the Song,” for which singers sang songs that have inspired them.
We'll start with a quick rundown of what happened with their performances on Monday and then get to the results of who survived to advance to next week's Top 11.
(Scroll down to see Tuesday's results, what's coming on next week's show and to get links to all coverage of Britton, Rayshun and Molly Stevens, the Raleigh-based singer who exited before the live rounds.)
Rayshun on Monday's performance show
Rayshun sang at the top of Monday's show, performing “When Love Takes Over” by David Guetta and Kelly Rowland.
About the song, Rayshun said, "That’s just how I feel when I step on the stage. It’s like something takes over, it’s just something you can’t let go, just like love. Once it takes over your body it’s like, ‘bam.’ And I personally relate to this song because I am totally in love with my partner. I fell in love with him and he’s been my rock on this journey on 'The Voice.' "
Opposing team coach Alicia Keys called his performance electric.
“Rayshun, there is something about you that is so electric and everybody can feel it," she said. "Let me just explain to everybody how hard it is to jump in a circle and keep singing on key! So that alone just really expresses not only the way your passion takes over you, but your skill — and your capacity as an artist and a vocalist is definitely not to be denied."
Rayshun's coach, Adam Levine thought his performance was "incredible" and said it could make him a front-runner.
"Rayshun continues to ramp it up every single time he performs," Adam said. "That not only is the key to success in general in your life and career, but on this show, it’s important you know you’re playing to millions of people every night. I really believe in that moment just now you became ... the front-runner because you are the best performer in this group so far."
Britton on Monday's performance show
Alicia Keys pointed out something the rest of us have been noticing for weeks: Britton is a funny dude.
"You’re a really funny guy — and I only know that because I watch the show," she told him during a rehearsal.
"The more you watch the show, the more you’re able to see this really incredible, funny personality that’s endearing. I think he has a real shot at this thing," Alicia told the camera.
Britton picked “Small Town” by John Mellencamp, saying he can relate to the song because he grew up in Sanford.
"I’m here by myself in the second largest city in America singing a song about how I’m from a small town," Britton said. "It’s nerve-wrackingly amazing."
Alicia pointed out that Britton is now 18 — he was 17 when he auditioned — so he's able to be there with no chaperone. "I can binge-watch 'The Office' and not feel bad about it," Britton responded. "That’s all it means."
After his performance, opposing coach Kelly Clarkson weighed in: "You’re like the coolest person ever. You’re so cool! You’re 18 years old just owning all these women! You’re so old-soul up there singing this song, it means something to you."
Britton's coach first thanked coach Blake Shelton for blocking Adam Levine from getting a shot at Britton on the very first night of the season. Then she told Britton how being on the show is his destiny and he seemed overwhelmed by her praise.
"You don’t need this stage," Alicia said. "You don’t need anybody else because your destiny is to be here. I can just feel America rooting for you in that way, because they can see that you belong here. And all we all want to do is come see you play. We’ve watched you bloom, man, and you're going to keep on blossoming. I'm so excited for you!"
Tuesday's results show
We didn't have to wait very long to see some love for one of our locals. The very first save of the night went to ... Britton Buchanan! The Twitter feed for "The Voice" called Britton a "soulful stud."
Near the end of the show, Rayshun and D.R. King were the only two singers left and they had to sing for an "instant save" from Twitter voters.
D.R. sang "Papa Was a Rolling Stone." Rayshun sang "I Can't Stand the Rain." Rayshun's song perhaps wasn't as well known, but he was perfect.
His coach Adam Levine: "Look, the 'lives' just started so I'm gonna give America a pass on that one, but after that I'm pretty sure you know ... you are a spectacular talent that I happen to think is one of the best performers we have this season. It would be a crime if this dude didn't make it to the next week."
Adam called Rayshun one of the highlights of both nights of performances this week.
Given a chance to say something in case he had to leave, Rayshun got emotional and thanked Adam for believing in him from the beginning. Adam yelled, "Stop crying, man, you're not going anywhere!"
Adam was right! Twitter voters saved Rayshun — so he and Britton will both be back next week!
Here's the Top 11
Britton Buchanan, Rayshun LaMarr, Spensha Baker, Christiana Danielle, Sharane Calister, Brynn Cartelli, Baird Pryor, Kaleb Lee, Jackie Verna, Jackie Foster, Kyla Jade and
The next episode of "The Voice" airs at 8 p.m. Monday, April 30, on NBC. Next week is another theme week and fans get to pick the songs. If you want to suggest a song, use "The Voice" mobile app and go to "Suggest a Song" from the menu, find the artist and type the name of the song and the original artist and submit.
Fans will vote again on Monday and the results are revealed on the 8 p.m. Tuesday (May 1) episode.
▪ Read our previous coverage of Britton Buchanan here.
▪ Read all of our Rayshun LaMarr stories here.
▪ Also read about Raleigh's Molly Stevens, who had a good run on "The Voice" earlier this season.
▪ And don't forget Brooke Simpson of Hollister, who went all the way to the finale on "The Voice" last season.