The Voice

Pryor Baird: The Voice instant save ‘totally unfair’ to West Coast singers

Pryor Baird, Kaleb Lee and Britton Buchanan await their fate on The Voice Tuesday night. Britton advanced to complete the Top 4. (NBC Photo)

Pryor Baird, Kaleb Lee and Britton Buchanan await their fate on The Voice Tuesday night. Britton advanced to complete the Top 4. (NBC Photo)


For the 12th time Tuesday night, a West Coast contestant competed for an instant save on The Voice.

For the 12th time, the West Coast singer failed to prevail.

Pryor Baird, of Orcutt, Calif., was the latest West Coast contestant to sing for the save.

It went to Britton Buchanan, of Sanford, N.C., who now advances to The Voice finals.

Remember, the instant save occurs during the closing minutes of a Voice results show, which means between 8:50 and 9 p.m. East Coast time.

Which is 5:50 to 6 p.m. West Coast time, more than two hours before the show even begins to air.

Asked about the instant save process during a conference call with the media Wednesday afternoon, Pryor didn’t mince words.

“The Twitter save for the West Coast is completely and totally unfair,” he said.

“I was looking at some of the Facebook comments this morning. A lot of people are ‘How do we do this? What do we do?’ Because it’s only five minutes.

“And when the show is airing in New York, people (on the West Coast) are in their cars on their way home. They can’t get on their phones or whatever it is.

“So I think it’s bulls— to be honest with you. That’s just my opinion.

“But, then again, this is a reality TV show. This is the way things go and the way everything works out. It is what it is. I’m happy with where I am right now. And everything happens for a reason.

“But they definitely need to come up with something better for the West Coast to be able to do the Twitter save.”

That wasn’t sour grapes talking. Pryor said he was happy to see Britton advance and that he would have felt bad moving into the Top 4 without Kaleb Lee, with whom he’s developed a close friendship.

And he was simply saying the same thing I’ve been writing since Season 5, when the instant save was created to — I suppose — add a bit of drama to results night.

Fairness be damned, seems to be The Voice motto, when it comes to the instant save.

Even as evidence mounts season after season that it’s unfair to singers from the West Coast.

Remember: West Coast singers are 0 for 12 — as in they’ve never won — when competing for an instant save.

I asked Pryor if he had a solution. He said “that’s above my pay grade.”

My suggestion: Just do away with it.

Every week, fans vote from 8 p.m. Monday to noon Tuesday eastern time on who they want to advance on The Voice.

That 16-hour voting window gives everyone from all parts of the country plenty of time to participate AFTER seeing all the performances.

Why in the world do we need a five-minute redo on results night? Especially when there’s a question of fairness?

But here’s betting the instant save is back in Season 15.

Editor’s Note: I’ll be posted exit interviews with Pryor, Kaleb, Rayshun LaMarr and Jackie Fosterr — all four singers eliminated during Tuesday-s show — later this week. Lots of exciting things are in the works, including new music from all four.

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