It was coach Kelly Clarkson’s 36th birthday on Tuesday, and she was all dressed up for the occasion like a shiny Mylar balloon (or, as she put it, a “disco ball”). But it turned out she didn’t have much cause for celebration. On the first live results show of The Voice Season 14 Playoffs, she had to say goodbye to her team member D.R. King, who, with only 37 percent of the vote, lost to Team Adam’s Rayshun LaMarr by a landslide.
D.R. had always been an underdog in this competition. He had to be saved by Kelly last week, and his Monday performance of Dido’s “White Flag” ended up being too much of a risk, not even cracking the iTunes top 200. (Two other contestants, Rayshun and Sharane Calister, also fell outside the top 200.) However, the rock ‘n’ soul powerhouse was always one of this season’s most interesting and unique contestants, and Kelly (and I!) had always believed in him.
“I’m a little puzzled, America,” Kelly told the viewing audience on Tuesday. “I am puzzled you’re even in the bottom two, D.R.! You have the sickest range on this show. You have so much soul, and so much rock ‘n’ roll. Please, America, for my birthday, vote D.R.!”
I didn’t think D.R. would need such sympathy, because he sang his face off during his save-me song, “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” — bringing the sass, the soul, the sizzle, the sex appeal. However, Kelly’s desperate birthday speech couldn’t hurt, especially when Rayshun was also at the top of his game on “I Can’t Stand the Rain.”
It would be a shame to see either man leave the competition. But based on his edginess, overall body of work, and my selfless desire not to ruin Kelly’s big day, my Instant Save Twitter vote had to go to D.R.
COME ON, IT'S KELLY CLARKSON'S BIRTHDAY! DON'T RUIN HER CELEBRATION. #voicesaveDRKing (Please RT)
— Lÿndsey Parker (@lyndseyparker) April 25, 2018
After D.R. and Rayshun’s back-to-back performances, Kelly made one last plea. “OK y’all, I’m going to remind you again. It’s my birthday, so it would be horrible if you all made me cry on my birthday, OK? Because you know I’ll cry! Don’t make me sad. He’s so good. He can sing anything. … Open your eyes and open your ears for my birthday!”
But apparently, only the above-mentioned 37 percent minority (which included me and my overactive #VoiceSaveDRKing hashtagging fingers) cared about Kelly’s celebration. And so, D.R. went home in 12th place. It’s her birthday, and now Kelly can cry if she wants to. Well, she didn’t actually cry, but as she walked onstage during the end credits to console D.R., she could be seen speaking for 37 percent of America as she mouthed the words, “What the hell?”
Well that was a crap birthday present I can’t believe @DRKingnyc just went home. You will find him on stage with me at some point because that was the craziest mistake ever. #worstbdaypresentever I’m so sorry DR!
— Kelly Clarkson (@kelly_clarkson) April 25, 2018
See you next Monday, for the top 11 Live Playoffs.
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- Get a close-up look at the fancy new ‘Voice’ chairs