"Voice" fans, coaches and contestants alike were startled at the twist on Monday's show: Blake Shelton and Christina Aguilera would each have to send home one of their team members, in the show's first-ever instant elimination round.
For a crew of coaches who had painstakingly assembled teams from their strongest four singers thus far, that task didn't prove easy.
From Blake's team, country upstart RaeLynn wowed the coaches with a growling version of Jason Aldean's "She's Country" that Blake called "the most proud moment I've had all season.
Erin Willett' inevitably invited some tough comparisons to Adele with her rendition of the British diva's "Set Fire to the Rain" — but she won heaps of praise for it, albeit tempered by Adam's quibbles with her phrasing.
Jermaine Paul pulled out all the stops (and, said Adam, "overembellished… and didn't need to") with his delivery of Phil Collins' "Against All Odds" — a delivery that Blake called the singer's "superstar" moment and that earned him Christina's admission that he was her favorite from Blake's team.
And although Blake called Jordis Unga's performance "perfect" and other coaches praised its vulnerability, at the end of the night, she was the one to go from Blake's team.
"I'm sad, but I understand. I'm proud of what I did here," she said humbly as the show closed.
From Christina's team, Jesse Campbell sang Beyonce's "Halo" to his daughter to raves for his emotional build-up and unique twist on the familiar hit. Adam commented that at first the song seemed like a strange choice but that it made plenty of sense once the crescendo hit.
Ashley De La Rosa, who was just turning 18, sang a slow rock rendition of Jewel's "Foolish Games" that had all the coaches grateful Christina had saved her from elimination last week and raving about how far she'd come.
And indie singer Lindsey Pavao sang an unusual, affecting take on Katy Perry's "Part of Me" that won praise for its style if not its sometimes getting pitchy. Ultimately, Blake pointed out, some pitchy notes didn't matter — because he was already a huge fan of hers.
And Chris Mann broke out of his habit of wanting to sing opera and instead tackled a Coldplay song, to Christina's delight.
Ultimately, despite the plaudits from the coaches and an apologetic explanation from Christina, Jesse headed home with his daughter.
"I'm grateful," the single father told the coaches — and nobody doubted how sincerely he meant it.
As for America's voting? The results will be revealed on Tuesday's show, at 9 p.m. ET, and the contestants at the bottom will get a chance to perform once more in the hopes their coaches will spare them.