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It was a tough night for Team Miley member Ashland Craft, who unfortunately got the boot on Dec. 5, during the Top 10 results show on “The Voice.” The female country singer with the gritty vocals found herself in the bottom three along with coach Jennifer Hudson’s two standouts, Davon Fleming and Shi’Ann Jones.

With hopes of earning enough “Instant Save” votes and move forward in the competition, Ashland took to the stage with a performance of Keith Urban’s “Tonight I Wanna Cry.” An ironic song choice for her perhaps, given her departure from the show shortly after the performance, but one that showcased a softer side of the 21-year-old South Carolina singer who’s been belting out powerhouse, rock-tinged tunes all season long.

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Ashland had the honor of singing her swan song first, and dazzled in a silver-colored sequined top and a fringed skirt. She threw her whole heart into the performance, and hit all the high notes on the ballad while accompanied by a backing track.

Afterwards coach Miley Cyrus said, “You’ve been here long before this live part of the show, and you’ve done so much and you’ve shown so much. I want everyone to take that into consideration.”

“I also want to say that I don’t like ‘no matter whats,’ but I do want you to know that no matter what happens tonight I stick by, stand by and love my decision, and honor it with every thing that I am to keep you here and to bring you to the live shows. I think you deserve it. And I think you and I both have something to prove — our love for country music — and that is who we are at the bottom of our souls. So I want you to feel good about that.”

Well said, Miley.

Even though Ashland blew fans away with her performance, Davon ended up emerging victorious with his falsetto-filled rendition of Aretha Franklin’s “Ain’t No Way.” He will now move into the semifinals when “The Voice” returns on Dec. 11.

But all is not over for Ashland, because she has an invaluable takeaway from her journey on the show.

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“Miley has just increased my confidence so much. And, I think that’s going to take me so far in life,” she explained backstage after being eliminated. “I couldn’t be more thankful for her. She knew from the beginning this is what I love to do and never tried to make me stray from that.

“Everybody here has a huge career ahead of them,” she added, “including us, and I’m just excited to get back home and put that to use. I think its only going to go up from here.”

We think so too, Ashland!

Nashville-based writer and Rare Country contributor Melinda Lorge has always been passionate about country music. Follow her @MelindaLorge and join the conversation @RareCountry.
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