The Voice

The Voice’s unfair Twitter save claims another West Coast victim


Darby Walker performs on Top 11 night on The Voice. (NBC Photo)

Darby Walker performs on Top 11 night on The Voice. (NBC Photo)

Once Darby Walker landed in the bottom two on The Voice Tuesday night, she was bucking odds stacked heavily against her.

And she couldn’t beat those odds.

For the fifth time in the show’s history, a West Coast singer competed for a Twitter save.

For the fifth time in the show’s history, the West Coast singer wound up being eliminated.

Any fan of the show knows how the Twitter save works. Once the lowest vote-getters are revealed, each performs a save-me song.

Then fans vote via Twitter to save one of the artists during the closing minutes of the results show.

The problem for contestants from the Pacific and Mountain time zones — the show isn’t even airing in their hometowns when the Twitter save voting is taking place.

That means fans have to follow along via Twitter or The Voice app to know which singers are in danger of elimination and when to cast votes for a Twitter save.

That’s something only the most diehard of diehard fans are likely to do, especially since the Twitter save window falls before 6 p.m. Pacific Coast Time.

The Voice has clearly decided the advantages of a Twitter save – viewer interaction and more drama on results night – outweigh the disadvantages.

But West Coast contestants would have every right to complain the process is unfair. Because it’s unquestionably and blatantly unfair.

And the show’s producers must already realize that.

Darby didn’t whine about it during a conference call with the media this week.

But asked about whether she thought it affected the outcome, here’s what she said.

“I think it did influence the outcome, completely. It’s something that’s out of my power. I can’t cry about it; I knew that going in.”

In Darby’s case, she was going up against Aaron Gibson, who calls Kennesaw, Ga., home.

Like Aaron, Darby is a Georgia native. But she moved to Los Angeles at age 9 and has done most of her performing in that area.

Darby did point to other reasons why the Twitter save results turned out the way they did. In Los Angeles, media attention is focused on A-listers. As a result, she says she worked social media extra hard to build a fan base.

And there might have been a Miley Cyrus factor. While Darby praised the new Voice coach for allowing her to express her artistic freedom, she said she’s also aware Miley has her share of detractors.

“The mindsets are different between East Coast and West Coast,” Darby said. “I’m not trying to make this political by any means. I was up there singing about things that maybe more conservative people didn’t want to hear about. And I think their opinion about Miley and me being the quote-unquote ‘mini-Miley’ could have influenced their votes.”

Here’s a look at the other West Coast Twitter save fails since Season 5, when The Voice first started using the Twitter save.

Season 7: Ryan Sill (of Virginia) earned a Twitter save going up against Jessie Pitts and Sugar Joans (of Los Angeles.

Season 6: Tess Boyer (of Illinois) earned a Twitter save going up against Dani Moz (of Los Angeles) and T.J. Wilkins (of Los Angeles).

Season 5: Caroline Pennell (of New Jersey) earned a Twitter save going up against Kat Robichaud and Austin Jenckes (of Duvall, Washington).

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