Considering what a strong team of singers he has this season, it’s never easy for Blake Shelton to send anyone home on ‘The Voice.’ However, tonight his choice was tougher than ever: powerhouse Erin Willett, who overcame her father’s passing to triumph through to the Sweet 16 was pitted against pint-sized country cutie RaeLynn, who was a judges’ darling from day one.

Willett filled a tall order with her cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s ‘Proud Mary,’ singing as if her life — or, in this case, her place in the competition — truly depended on it. She earned unanimous praise from the panel, which boded well for her and foreshadowed the end result of the show.

While the judges pretty much adored RaeLynn’s performance of ‘She’s Country’ by Jason Aldean, her Last Chance rendition of the Band Perry‘s ‘If I Die Young’ didn’t win the panel over. Adam Levine said it felt “too safe.”

Shelton was clearly torn on what to do, but was rushed by host Carson Daly to come to a decision (such are the perils of live TV). At the last moment, he sucked up his pride and proud papa relationship and chose to send the teenage twanger home … though we doubt this will be the last we hear of RaeLynn!

Watch RaeLynn Sing ‘If I Die Young’ on ‘The Voice’

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