Two of the four finalists remaining in "The Voice" competition have ties to Tennessee.
As expected, Lee University's Jordan Smith advanced to next week's championship round of NBC's TV talent show. His was the first name called by host Carson Daly. Joining him in the Final Four was Knoxville country singer Emily Ann Roberts, Arkansas drama teacher Barrett Baber and Jeffery Austin of New York, who was chosen by audience vote.
Show host Carson Daly noted at the beginning of the show that "Voice" history was made following Monday night's show. More viewer votes on iTunes (downloads of contestants' songs) were made Monday than any other show day in the competition's nine seasons. Those votes helped drive Smith to the No. 1 spot on iTunes' singles chart, ousting Adele from that position.
The three contestants who received the most votes from viewers Monday automatically advanced to the championship round. They were Smith, Roberts and Baber.
The three with the lowest votes were automatically eliminated Tuesday night: Shelby Brown, Braiden Sunshine and Amy Vachal.
The remaining three - Jeffery Austin, Madi Davis and Zach Seabaugh - sang again for viewers hoping to get the "instant save." At the conclusion of that online vote, Austin was the fourth finalist.
Country superstar Dolly Parton was the featured entertainer on Tuesday night's results show. She sang "Coat of Many Colors" promoting her autobiographical TV movie of the same title, which will air on NBC Thursday night.
Before the show, Parton had a chance to sit down with all nine semifinalists to answer questions. The singer told them she still gets butterflies (nervous) before performing, and that when she gets homesick on the road she picks up her guitar and writes songs.
She greeted each contestant individually as she wound up the session, telling Roberts she was proud to see a hometown girl doing so well in the contest. When she reached Smith, she grinned broadly, grabbed his shoulders and asked, "How do you get so high?" raising her voice in pitch to a squeak as she tried to match his vocal range.
The Final Four will sing one last time for votes on Monday, Dec. 14, before the Season 9 winner is crowned on Tuesday, Dec. 15.
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