IN what was a shocking and unexpected turn of events for many viewers, Trinidadian singer Paige “Payge Turner” Roopchan did not advance past the first round of live voting in US network NBC’s competition show The Voice.
Monday’s show saw the top 17 performers, four from each judge’s team with one additional person on judge Blake Shelton’s team, competing against each other for the top nine spots. Voters in the US had the opportunity to vote for artists from each team overnight.
On Tuesday’s show, the person from each team with the most votes was automatically saved, with the judges then saving another singer. Finally, the artists from each team with the next highest overnight votes competed in the wild card instant save for the final spot in the top nine.
Before the results were announced, Turner said being on the show had helped her with her artistry.
“One of the biggest things I can take from this show is that I really feel I have stepped into, especially with Gwen as my coach, is honestly my artistry, and you really brought out such a beautiful way for me to approach each and every song, and I’ve learned so much from you.”
The overnight votes saved the youngest member of judge Gwen Stefani’s team, 15-year-old Carter Rubin.
In choosing which artist to save, Stefani said the experience had been incredible for her. She commented on each singer.
“Just under the circumstances to be here working with you and hearing your talent and you are inspiring me every single time you perform. Ben (Allen) we’re just getting to know each other and it’s really exciting to have such a talented front-running country singer on my team that I got to steal from Blake Shelton, it’s like a dream come true.
"Joseph (Soul), you are literally my style I will listen to your records, your voice, you as a human being and what I’m learning about you, your attitude, everything about your heart comes through.
"Payge, you’re my homie, I feel so excited for you, because I know that after this show – I saw you grow as well, this is just a moment in your career – so there’s so much to come.
"I’m going to pick the person – I don’t really have an excuse for it, except for I’m going to go with, because it’s so unusual – I’m going to go with Ben.”
She could be heard saying afterward as Turner and Joseph Soul walked off, “This is so hard. I love you guys so much, I’m just playing the game, I’m playing the game.”
Turner then performed a soulful rendition of Rihanna’s Diamonds in the wild card competition, up against country singers Tanner Gomes, Bailey Rae and country trio Worth the Wait.
Stefani said the performance was stunning and she hoped that America would bring Turner back.
“I know America is going to see this after that performance is you’re a true, real artist. The music was just coming through you and it’s so real and it’s so honest and pure. Even outside this show, I’m excited for you and I just really hope America can see how gifted you are and how real you are and that you get to come back to work with me more.”
In the end, country singer Bailey Rae, who sang Sweet Music Man by Kenny Rogers, was chosen by the American voters, who had five minutes to vote after the performances ended.
Turner's mother, contralto performer Jacqueline Johnson, said on Facebook that she was proud of Turner and knew her journey would continue.
In an Instagram Live video on Wednesday with fellow eliminated contestant Chloe Hogan, Turner said she always understood it would be hard for singer/songwriters like herself to be in a competition where rearranging other people’s music was so prevalent. She said she’d never paid so much tribute to other artists before.
“One thing about the show is that you didn’t only see powerhouse Payge, you saw many different levels, and my vocal levels definitely increased. I also improved as a performer. I didn’t get to improve my guitar performance, which is totally fine.”
She said on the days of live shows there was incredible strain and very little sleep, and she hoped people understood the level of artistry taking place on stage. She said she was at the airport waiting for a flight home to Seattle, as the eliminated contestants left the day after results were announced.
Hogan addressed the common conception that people who appeared on The Voice weren’t heard about afterwards, saying she thought it would be different with this season’s contestants.
“It’s not just about The Voice, it just starts the journey. It’s about trying to keep that momentum and continue building your audience.”
The artistes revealed they would be making an announcement later this week about a project they would be collaborating on.