Ashland Craft’s journey on ‘The Voice’ comes to an end

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Despite a strong performance, Piedmont’s Ashland Craft came up short in the third playoff round of NBC’s “The Voice” on Tuesday night.

After failing to secure enough audience votes and online sales on Monday to land safely in the Top 7, Craft and Team Jennifer’s Davon Fleming and Shi’ann Jones were forced into the Instant Save competition Tuesday night, which Fleming won with a near-perfect performance of Aretha Franklin’s “Ain’t No Way.”

Craft’s choice for her Round 3 playoff performance was Joan Jett’s hard-rocking “I Hate Myself For Loving You,” which Craft’s coach Miley Cyrus chose because she wanted Craft to display more of an aggressive attitude than in her past performances.

Craft suggested adding a fiddle part to the song, saying that her goal was to make people remember her “classic country” version, and cited Jett as an inspiration “for every woman in music.”

Once again, Craft’s confidence was on full display as she stalked the stage backed by an all-female band, belting out the song and hitting a dead-on song-ending high note. In the post-performance interviews, Jennifer Hudson said she “couldn’t take her eyes off of” Craft, adding that she was a star. Cyrus said she loved the performance as well, calling it “empowering.”

Ultimately, however, Craft fell short in the fan votes and online sales, and her Instant Save performance of Keith Urban’s “Tonight I Want To Cry,” while effective, didn’t have the same dramatic highs and lows as Fleming’s or Jones’, who took on the Etta James classic “At Last.”

So after shedding some tears and thanking Cyrus for inspiring her to be a more confident performer, Craft’s deep run into the 13th season of “The Voice” ended, though all the judges seemed confident we’d be hearing from her again.

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