Anthony Riley Suddenly Leaves ‘The Voice’ For Undisclosed Personal Reasons

Last night’s Knockout Rounds made The Voice history. Pharrell William’s team held the first ever knockout between three contestants. Anthony Riley — the fastest four-chair turner in history, according to Yahoo Music — unexpectedly left the competition. The only brief and very vague explanation was that he had to leave for “personal reasons.”

With no specific reason given for Anthony Riley’s exit, the rumors, of course began to spread. Some speculated that he refused to go head-to-head with Mia. Others were quick to blame his controversial tweet dedicating his Battle Round victory to Mumia Abu-Jamal and “political prisoners everywhere” for causing him to be disqualified.

“I dedicate my Battle Round Victory to Mumia Abu Jamal and political prisoners everywhere.”

Neither of these rumors seem likely. Philly.com reports that a source named Jett Prescott, who claims to be a friend of Anthony Riley, says the speculations are not true. He tweeted that Riley is indeed going through a difficult time and working through some personal matters that do not allow him to commit to The Voice right now.

“He is indeed working through very personal life matters affecting his ability to commit to The Voice. Just to quell the rumors, it has nothing to do with ‘his ego’ or refusing to compete. You can expect BIG things from Anthony Riley next year.”

Anthony Riley’s only response so far was through his first tweet since March 17. He left the simple comment, “Nilsson knows. Everybody’s Talkin’,” with a link to Harry Nilsson’s “Everybody’s Talkin'” on Youtube.

Whatever his reason for leaving The Voice at this time, the singer’s supporters hope that he rebounds quickly from whatever personal matters interrupted his dream. His true fans will welcome him back with open arms when he is ready to grace them with his music once again.

As far as the historical three-contestant Knockout Round between Mia, Sawyer, and Paul; it was a pretty easy decision for Pharrell. While Paul gave a good performance of “I Don’t Need No Doctor,” unfortunately, he didn’t pull off anything special. It was just good, and paled in comparison to teen powerhouse, Mia Z and “genetic genius,” (according to Christina Aguilera ) Sawyer Fredericks. Mia and Sawyer both maintained their spots on Team Pharrell, and Paul was sent home.

The Knockout Rounds continue tonight as the remaining contestants battle their way to the top. While Anthony Riley’s talent will be missed going forward, surely this isn’t the last we will see if him.

[Image by NBC]