A version of this story appears in Friday’s Weekend Life section of The Oklahoman.
Tulsa duo Alaska and Madi were eliminated from competition on Monday’s episode of “The Voice.”
But the singing pals – Alaska Rayne Holloway, 19, of Broken Arrow, and Madi Metcalf, 18, of Jenks – took to Facebook and Twitter this week to assure fans they are not splitting and plan to continue to make music together now that their run on the hit reality show is over.
During the show’s Season 6 blind auditions, Alaska and Madi chose to go with Oklahoma country music superstar Blake Shelton as their coach over Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine. For the next stage — the battle rounds — Shelton pitted the duo against fellow country belter Audra McLaughlin.
On Monday’s episode, Alaska and Madi and McLaughlin performed together an amped-up rendition of the Everly Brothers/Linda Ronstadt classic “When Will I Be Loved.”
Shelton’s fellow coaches Shakira and Usher had high praise as well as constructive criticism for both competitors and refused to advise Shelton on whom he should pick as the winner. Levine lamented that he didn’t have any steals left and couldn’t scoop up the loser of the big-voiced battle for Team Adam.
“You guys are so good and so on top of your game,” Shelton told Alaska and Madi. “It’s amazing how you guys came into this thing ready to be on ‘The Voice.’ … Through our rehearsals, you took the notes and did everything that I asked you to do and you blew people away.”
He called choosing the victor of the battle “easily the toughest decision that I’m gonna have to make,” but after much praise and deliberation, Shelton picked McLaughlin. With the other coaches unwilling or unable to steal them, the duo’s time on “The Voice” was done.
“That’s still a tough one for me to even think about right now. My heart’s broken. The fact that none of the other coaches picked up Alaska and Madi, it hurts me. It really pisses me off,” said Shelton, adding McLaughlin’s voice “comes out of an era of country music that I grew up on — and it’s missing on country radio right now.”
Although they were in tears, Alaska and Madi graciously thanked the coaches for “an awesome experience.” Levine called his fellow coaches “crazy” for not stealing the duo — “Those girls could have won,” he told Usher — and dashed backstage to hug them goodbye.
While “The Voice” Season 6 continues with the newly created “The Battles: Round Two” at 7 p.m. Mondays and Tuesday on NBC, Alaska and Madi also plan to continue making music. Although they said during the blind audition interviews they had considered breaking up, for now, they said on social media after their elimination that they plan to carry on as a duo.
“We are going to take what have learned from the show and the momentum we have gained and work our butts off to do what we love, which is singing,” the duo said on Twitter (@AlaskaandMadi). “This is our passion and this is what we want to do as long as we can. We promise, you haven’t seen the last of us! We are so appreciative of the support all of you guys give us and hope you will continue to be with us on our journey.”
During a recent conference call, the duo also praised Shelton for his mentoring on the show.
“Blake is a great and so hilarious guy. It’s so much fun working with him,” Holloway told me. “We get along so well because me and Madi are just two really goofy girls and he’s a really goofy guy and so we have a lot of fun with him and he has helped us so, so, so, so much through our journey here.”