The first “The Voice” Season 4 elimination episode is airing NOW on NBC, and Oklahoma country music superstar Blake Shelton was the first to determine his three finalists.
Oklahoma fans can rest easy: Muskogee’s The Swon Brothers are moving ahead to the competition’s Top 12.
First, “The Voice” host Carson Daly revealed which two of Team Blake’s four remaining contenders were safe based on the public’s vote. Danielle Bradbury, 16, of Texas, and Baylor University student Holly Tucker were the two highest vote-getters on Shelton’s all-country team.
That meant Shelton had to decide whether to save The Swon Brothers or Kentucky country crooner Justin Rivers.
“I love all three of you guys,” Shelton said. “I respect you as men and as great singers and artists. There’s a reason all of y’all made it this far.”
He added, “For the sake of keeping as different and diverse as I can at this point in the competition … I’m going to save The Swon Brothers.”
The Swon Brothers are the first duo in the show’s four-season history to make it to the live playoffs.
After the commercial break, Zach and Colton Swon thanked Shelton but said it was a “bittersweet” moment since Rivers had become a close friend.
During a conference call last week, the Oklahoma singer/guitarists anticipated that saying goodbye to their fellow Team Blake contestants would be difficult.
“For sure, Team Blake particularly, we get to hang out with them a lot. And man, they are like one big family. Like when people say that on show, they mean it. And we’re probably a little too close sometime, but you know, it’s real, and you’re building real relationships,” Colton Swon said.
“And that was why we got in this whole thing is to connect with people and build relationships. And we get to do that with some of the greatest talent on Earth. And so we feel pretty blessed.”
After tonight’s elimination episode, “The Voice” live playoffs continue at 7 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays on NBC. The winner will be announced in a special live episode Tuesday, June 18.