Hamilton's Cunningham sisters knocked out of 'The Voice' competition
Macie, 15, and Marie Cunningham, 14, are heading home to Hamilton where leaders are planning
"something special for them."
Singer Kelly Clarkson admitted she felt like a jerk to send teens Macie and Marie Cunningham home to Hamilton Tuesday night on NBC's The Voice.
"You're all so gifted. This is just SO hard," Clarkson said before choosing Hailey Mia, 13, from Clifton, N.J., to advance on the show over the Hamilton sisters.
Macie, 15, and Marie, 14, left with more praise from The Voice celebrity coaches who were also impressed with their two previous performances this season.
And they'll return home to "something special" being planned by Hamilton leaders according to Mayor Pat Moeller.
"I know the family. Great family," Moeller told me in an email earlier this month.
The sisters come from a long line of gospel musicians. Their father, Marc Cunningham of Hamilton, sang and played drums for the Holy City Travelers, founded by his grandfather, Benjamin Franklin Sr., of Hamilton, and the Franklin Sisters, a gospel group comprised of his mother, Daronna Franklin Simmons, and her sisters.
"We are doing something special for them. The sisters are a great joy. Stay tuned," he said in the email.
On Tuesday, the sisters and Hailey Mia were mentored by four-time Grammy winner Ed Sheeran.
"I love the Cunningham sisters," Sheeran said on the show. "I couldn't sing like that at their age."
Sheeran recommended that the girls make more eye contact when they sang – which they did later on the show.
"You're sisters, and you have great chemistry, and I want to see that … Sometimes it's nice if you kind of acknowledge that you've got this cool connection," he said.
Marie Cunningham called "working with Ed Sheeran once of the best moments of our lives. I felt like I can connect with the song more than I could at first" after his advice.
After their performance – and before their elimination – The Voice stars made these comments to the sisters:
Blake Shelton: "You guys have been the favorite of mine since you came onto the show. You have a light about you, and it's really incredible."
Ariana Grande: "It's such a pleasure to hear your voices together and individually." She called their voices "so stunning and powerful."
John Legend: "I love hearing the Cunningham sisters harmonize together. It's so nice."
Clarkson: "I love that you both have incredibly different tones, but they blend so magically together. Hearing this message of this song from such young hearts, it's just such a beautiful, pure thing."