The Top 10 singers on NBC's "The Voice" performed Monday night, including Sanford native Britton Buchanan and Chapel Hill native Rayshun LaMarr.
On tonight's elimination show, we lost not one, but two contestants, giving us the Top 8. We'll get to those results below, but first, let's scroll back to Monday and go over the performances by Britton and Rayshun.
The theme this week was "Challenge," which meant the singers had to perform songs that presented a challenge to them. Rayshun was given the song "Grant Green," by Mr. Jukes feat. Charles Bradley (it's one of those "you know it when you hear it" songs). Britton got Tina Turner's "What's Love Got to Do With It."
Here's how it went down.
Rayshun needs you, baby
Rayshun's coach Adam Levine told him as soon as he heard the song "Grant Green" he thought of him, calling it "new school soul" and telling Rayshun that the moment could be special for him.
Rayshun said during rehearsals, "To have Adam on my side every step of the way, I can’t ask for anything else. I’m not gonna lose this opportunity."
The arrangement was horn-heavy and included a row of backup singers behind him as he sang. Rayshun performed the heck out of it and was dripping with sweat when it ended.
Opposing coach Kelly Clarkson called the performance "fun" and "so infectious." She added, "You light up everyone in the room. You nailed it."
Adam weighed in: "If you’re looking for your star, this is the dude. You’re impossible to stop watching. You’re amazing."
What's Britton got to do, got to do with it
After Britton's reunion with girlfriend (and fellow former "Voice" contestant) Livia Faith, he got down to business rehearsing with his coach, Alicia Keys.
Britton said the super sultry Tina Turner mega-hit would be his first time ever singing a song by a female artist. Can that be right??
"We took away some '80s sheen that was put on it and arranged it in a way that is gonna fit what I’m doing," he said.
Alicia loved the slowed-down result. "He’s making it totally his own. He makes the words mean something to him."
Just before the performance, Britton said more about how he has always played it safe (reminder: he just turned 18) and how he was initially afraid to audition for the show. He's taking more chances now.
"For the longest time my plan in life was to play in bars," he said. "I feel like I’ve been playing it safe for a little too long and if people dig this, I dig it too. And I hope that I get on TV at least one time saying 'I dig it.'"
Britton really did — to excuse the cliche — put his own spin on this rock classic. He even laid down a fiery guitar solo.
Afterward, Adam once again referenced how coach Blake Shelton blocked him from being considered as Britton's coach.
"My heart has been broken for so long that the song is speaking to my soul," he said. "But it would be petty and lame not to root for you. Destiny didn’t bring you to me, but I'm just as proud of you for this moment and all your moments. You're so special and incredible."
Alicia once again was Britton's biggest fan: "You are swagging so hard right now, Britton," she said. "I don’t know what’s going on, but your swag is on 30 million. I love it! You are so unique. If America can join me in recognizing the exponential growth that you have done in merely weeks — it’s unbelievable you’re 18 years old. Two years from now it’s going to be mind-blowing. You are so spectacular, Britton. You smashed that."
Did Rayshun and Britton make the Top 8?
We didn't have to wait too long to find out that Britton was safe. He was the second name called.
Rayshun ended up in the bottom three, so he had to sing for an "instant save" on Twitter.
Rayshun sang Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On" and he was way way way by far the best of the three.
After he sang, Adam stood and asked the audience: "Do you want to be deprived of this? No! Is it a shame he’s even in the bottom to begin with? Then do something about it!"
Did America do something about it? YES THEY DID! God bless America. Rayshun is saved!
Here's the Top 8:
▪ Britton Buchanan (Team Alicia)
▪ Jackie Foster (Team Alicia)
▪ Rayshun LaMarr (Team Adam)
▪ Kyla Jade (Team Blake)
▪ Spensha Baker (Team Blake)
▪ Pryor Baird (Team Blake)
▪ Brynn Cartelli (Team Kelly)
▪ Kaleb Lee (Team Kelly)
At the top of Tuesday's show, the singers shared some screen time with their moms to talk about how much mom's support had meant to them.
Rayshun, all smiles, said: "Mother’s Day is special to me because I've always been a happy kid – thanks to mama!" At the end of the segment, Rayshun and his mom danced out of the room — it was so cute!
Britton and his mom had their own little comedy routine going. Britton started off with, "Me and mom are very dry" and his mother interrupted with, "Mom and I." The look on Britton's face was priceless. It was sort of, "I know she didn't just do that on TV."
Then later Britton's mom was trying to tell a story about Britton falling "flat on his butt" during a show when he was "14 or 15."
When she was finished Britton said, "I was 16, by the way. Really hit that nail on the head."
Mom: "You fell. That’s all that matters. It was great. We laughed at that for a good while."
So now we know where Britton gets his sense of humor.
The next episode of "The Voice" airs at 8 p.m. Monday, May 14, on NBC. Next week should be another theme week — "Special Duet Blends." In addition to the Top 8 artists performing solo, they will also perform special mashup duets.
Fans will vote again after Monday's show and the results are revealed on the 8 p.m. Tuesday (May 15) 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.