‘The Voice’ Instant Save Broke 6-Season Precedent Tuesday Night

The Voice broke from history Tuesday night with the Instant Save by altering the performance order in a way that has not been done before.

Vanessa Ferguson from Team Alicia Keys was Instantly Saved by America’s Twitter votes on last night’s results show of The Voice. This sent home two contestants from Adam Levine’s team; Mark Isaiah and Lilli Passero. While the Instant Save procedure may have appeared to go down as usual, the show actually diverted from history in regard to the performance order of the bottom three.

In last night’s Instant Save sing-off, Lilli performed first, followed by Mark, and then Vanessa closed it out. In every other Instant Save window through six seasons of its existence, the performance order goes from left to right by coach, which essentially means Blake Shelton’s artists always perform first and Adam Levine’s artists always perform last. If The Voice producers went by normal procedures last night, Vanessa would have performed first followed by Lilli and Mark, considering Alicia is the furthest left.

Vanessa Ferguson on 'The Voice'
Vanessa Ferguson performs for the Instant Save on 'The Voice' [Image by Tyler Golden/NBC]

While performance order can seem innocuous or even irrelevant when it comes down to saving your favorite artist, it does statistically create an advantage for the singer who performs last. From the past six seasons The Voice had conducted Instant Save sing-offs up through this season’s three Saves, the artist who performed last had won 23 out of 28 times. Those artists who perform last may or may not have been more popular in general, but an 82 percent success rate for that last performance slot may not be a coincidence. After all, those who vote would arguably have the final performance in their head more than those who sang before them. It’s how the term “pimp slot” was coined, a.k.a. the artist who performs last having an advantage due to being most fresh in voters’ minds.

There is nothing in The Voice rulebook online that dictates performance order for the Instant Save window, but Tuesday night’s results show did mark a different precedent compared to the how past six seasons of Instant Saves have been conducted. It remains to be seen if future Instant Save sing-offs will be randomized or go back to the usual procedure.

Vanessa has now made it to the Semifinals alongside seven other artists; Chris Blue, Brennley Brown, Lauren Duski, Jesse Larson, Aliyah Moulden, Hunter Plake, and TSoul. Next Monday the artists will sing for a chance of making it to The Voice finale, but only half will do so. The top three vote-getters will automatically advance to the finale while the bottom two will be instantly eliminated. The middle three artists will then perform for the final Instant Save of the season and fill that fourth finale spot while the other two will be eliminated.

The Voice Top 8
'The Voice' Season 12 Top 8: Chris Blue, Jesse Larson, TSoul, Lauren Duski, Vanessa Ferguson, Brennley Brown, Hunter Plake, Aliyah Moulden [Image by Trae Patton/NBC]

From there, America’s votes will determine the winner, runner-up, third place and fourth place, which are announced live on The Voice finale Tuesday, May 23. Blake Shelton has won five out of 11 seasons of The Voice, while Adam Levine has won three. Gwen Stefani and Alicia Keys, on their third and second seasons, respectively, have yet to win The Voice with an artist.

As for team standings, Team Blake remains intact with three artists still in the competition, Lauren, Aliyah, and TSoul. Team Gwen is going strong with two artists, Brennley and Hunter, as is Team Alicia, with Chris and Vanessa. Tuesday night’s results show was a brutal one for Adam, having to lose both Lilli and Mark. He is now down to just Jesse to represent Team Adam moving forward.

The Voice airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.

[Featured Image by Tyler Golden/NBC]