April 14, 2015 at 10:47 PM EDT

The Voice

TV Show
Reality TV, Music
run date
Blake Shelton, Adam Levine, Kelly Clarkson, Alicia Keys
Current Status
In Season

Get it? The recap’s title is a pun, see, because little Melanie Martinez — she of the raspy vocals and goth Hello Kitty ensembles — was taken out of the running tonight, despite selling iTunes singles like hotcakes the past few weeks.

I’m not sure whether it’s good or bad that Mel got kicked off the show right after delivering her strongest vocal yet, a smoky, jazzy rendition of Fiona Apple’s “Criminal” that she performed with fellow “distinct” vocalist Nicholas David. For once, Melanie’s breathy voice was in its element, the perfect foil for Nicholas’s sharper and more assured phrasing. It also helped that this time, she wasn’t surrounded by mannequins or paper boats or the cast of Portlandia.

If more of Melanie’s performances had been as memorable as her “Criminal” duet, I’d be more bummed that she didn’t garner more votes tonight. As it is, though, I’d like to shake America’s hand for shuffling her off before the semi-finals. Better late than never!

What I can’t get behind is Amanda Brown‘s ousting. It’s tough to say who deserved to go home more than her — Trevin, maybe, who’s been stuck in an inspirational songs rut for weeks, “Walking on Sunshine” notwithstanding? Cassadee, whose might be getting so many votes because of her preexisting fanbase rather than her performances week to week? Either way, Amanda proved consistently that she had one of the season’s most naturally strong voices. Just look at her duet on “Breakaway” with Cassadee — when placed side to side, it’s clear that Amanda’s got a richer tone and a greater range. (Though Carson didn’t seem very impressed by either of them when he spoke after the girls performed; did anyone else think his “Well, that’s nice” sounded more sarcastic than usual?) If there’s any justice, Ms. Brown will become The Voice‘s Jennifer Hudson, going on to find success despite being booted too soon.

So that was a bummer. But at least the results show compensated by giving us the next best thing to a Muppet invasion — performances by Ne-Yo and Matchbox 20! Actually, come to think of it, there’s something sort of Muppety about Rob Thomas. Just look at the way he opens his mouth when he sings the curiously sedate “Overjoyed.” It’s very Fozzie, or maybe Charlie Brown-y. Either way, I want a Tumblr devoted to “Rob Thomas’s singing face” screenshots, STAT.

NEXT: Christina tickles us pink

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