The Voice 2013 Live Recap: The Top 5 Compete in the Semi-Finals! (6/10/2013)
Hold onto your 10-gallon hats, Voice fans, because tonight’s semi-finals is made up of mostly country artists. The Top 5 will compete for America’s votes and three of them hail from the midwest. Coaches Adam Levine, Usher, and Shakira each have one remaining artist in the competition, while Blake Shelton is in the lead with two semi-finalists.
Opening the show is coach Usher with his new single, “Twisted.” The man who taught Justin Bieber everything he knows will surely display some killer dance moves in addition to his impressive vocals.
We’re just one week away from the epic June 18 finale and the competition couldn’t be more intense!
Let’s get started:
Usher kicked off the night with his new single, “Twisted.” But his performance didn’t get it twisted. Ush’s fly dance moves lit up the stage and managed to upstage his backup dancers who were clad in bright red suits.
And after doing the splits and rising back up without any assistance, Ush didn’t miss a beat with his impressive vocals.
The first contestants to hit the stage were the Okies from Muskogee. The competition’s sole remaining duo, The Swon Brothers, dedicated their first performance to band members past and present who have helped make them who they are today.
Singing “Turn the Page” by Bob Seger, the boys started their performance off soft, but it quickly gained strength and power as they reached an epic climax complete with fireworks and a crazy impressive note from Zach Swon (the superior Swon if you ask us).
Usher commended the brothers on dedicating their performance to “the ones who matter,” and Adam was happy to help the brothers with a “Swon salute” (crossing his arms in the air and flapping his “wings”). Blake was proud that his boys “set the bar really high” for the evening and complimented the duo’s growth throughout the competition.
Dedicating the tune to her two children, Team Shakira’s Sasha Allen decided to tackle Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You.” Complete with a fog machine, wind machine, and animated waterfall, Sasha’s performance had all the makings of a memorable moment, but it lacked the true power necessary to blow America away.
Perhaps the singer has gotten too confident in her skillset, but we’d love to hear her take on a less iconic tune with more gusto.
Adam Levine was glad that Sasha didn’t try to “imitate” Whitney Houston, saying that she did a great job. Usher told Sasha that her voice would keep her on the show. Shakira was prouder than ever, and even admitted that her own mother had been pressuring her to get Sasha to sing a Whitney Houston song from the beginning.
After making a quick visit home to Amherst, Mass., Team Usher’s Michelle Chamuel was ready to represent her hometown in style on The Voice stage. Singing “Clarity” by Zedd, Michelle stuck to her techno pop style complete with a trippy, multi-colored backdrop.
Hopefully the on-point song choice will help viewers overlook the occasional breath control issues on her low notes.
Sounding like a broken record (and calling himself on it), Adam continued to shower praise onto the rockin’ singer. Blake admitted that as an opponent he wanted to point out Michelle’s flaws, but he couldn’t find anything to note. Usher was glad that his artist was able to communicate the deep and relevant lyrics of the piece.
The Texas teen made a pitstop home to Cypress before her Top 5 performances, and we were surprised to see more personality in that one visit than we’ve seen in the entire competition.
She returned to The Voice stage to sing Tim McGraw’s “Please Remember Me,” with the confidence of a seasoned pro. Our main problem with the singer is that she relies solely on her voice to carry each performance, without much stage presence, but maybe her effortless ease and confidence is her tactic on the stage.
Usher described the performance as “amazeballs” and Adam said from a technical standpoint, no one could sing the song better. Umm, Tim McGraw, might have something to say about that. Blake noted that the artist had no weaknesses in her singing ... but that might be because she’s a robot ... you heard it here first!
Dedicating her performance of Katy Perry’s “Firework” to her Texas besties, Team Adam’s Amber Carrington took to the stage to make karaoke champions envious. Unfortunately, her performance came out a touch flat throughout the entire thing and the song is so overdone at this point that she would have been better off singing Adele (which she actually did successfully a few weeks ago).
But this is The Voice, and the coaches can never be critical. Blake praised Amber’s vocal power and though Shakira started off being constructive by calling “Firework” a nightmare song, she quickly retreated back into her shell of positivity saying that the artist “did good.”
Adam complimented his singer’s ambition and ability to cross genres effortlessly. At least he didn’t lie and tell her that she gave a killer performance. Hopefully her next one will make her worthy of the finals, because this one was a sure sign that she’s headed home tomorrow.
The Okies headed back to Muskogee to thank the people who have been supporting them all along. It was pretty adorable to see these boys accept the rising star award from the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame, where they had worked for years. They even got their own “Swon Brothers Week” announced in the month of June. By the end of their hometown visit, we were proud that they were Okies from Muskogee!
With a reception like that, these boys barely even needed a second performance, but they gave us one, in a big way. Singing “Danny’s Song” by Kenny Loggins, these boys brought us to tears and gave us chills in a way that front-runner Danielle Bradbery never could. Somehow these two goofy brothers managed to win us over simply by being talented and genuine, who’dda thought?
Ush was happy that the boys finally got to have their own “Swoncert” and though Adam Levine was jealous that the boys got their own week, he was happy that they finally sang a song that he was familiar with and that he considered one of his favorite tunes. Blake said that tonight’s performances would be the ones The Swon Brothers looked back on when they were reflecting on their sure-to-be long careers. We couldn’t agree more.
Taking some time to ground herself by going home to New York, Sasha was ready to tear up the stage with the Donna Summer disco classic “Bad Girls.” Complete with some funky fresh dance moves, Sasha rocked out on the stage with a giant lit up “SASHA” sign to support her.
It’s clear this girl is in it to win it, pulling out all the stops — from Whitney to Donna. The crowd roared in response to Sasha’s freakier side, and Adam noted the performance’s ‘70s flair.
The boys seemed pretty pleased with Sasha’s sexy backup dancers, but Shakira was ready to give Sasha props for a killer performance. She was grateful that her artist was able to do one of her idols proud.
As a photo album of Dani’s childhood pics played on a screen behind her, the teen (who was born in 1996, yikes!) dedicated her performance to her parents and best friend. Singing “Who I Am” by Jessica Andrews, Danielle made a trip off stage to sing directly to her mom and dad. Tears guys, we’ve got tears.
Her performance got Usher to list a series of women he wanted to profess his love for. Sadly, we didn’t make that list. Shakira was excited to be a part of this star-in-the-making’s journey saying, “I knew her when she was 16!”
Blake was beaming from ear to ear watching his artist dedicate her performance to her fam, and tried to make it clear to America that she had become completely unaffected by her new “fame.” (See our above robot comment).
Team Adam’s final artist made a trip home to Texas to be attacked by a gaggle of toddlers, who were somehow related to her. The singer performed for an entire lawn of cheering fans who declared June 6 Amber Carrington Day and gave her a key to the city. And though the visit was a happy occasion, Amber chose to sing Maroon 5’s “Sad.”
Personally, we’re sad that it’s taken Amber this long to make a good song choice. After a series of cliche, overly ambitious tunes, this song was perfect for the talented singer. It was the first time she’s really had a chance to shine since singing Adele’s “Skyfall” several weeks ago.
Sadly this might not be enough to keep her in such a close competition, but at least she might have just gone out with a bang.
Blake was impressed that the singer was able to make one of Adam’s songs “so beautiful.” Oh hush, Mr. Shelton! All of Adam’s music brings tears to our eyes. #poetry. Adam was thrilled that his artist sang his own song better than he did, and we actually have to agree.
Dedicating her performance to coach Usher in a totally genuine tribute, Michelle Chamuel managed to pull at our heartstrings once again. Her rendition of Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time” wasn’t quite as memorable as her last Cyndi Lauper tune (“True Colors”), but relevant in light of Cyndi’s recent Tony win and recently televised performances.
Michelle’s vocals weren’t flawed, but failed to really blow us away the way she has in the past. As Carson Daly tried to quiet the audience, Shakira told Michelle that she was without a doubt “one of her favorites," calling her sound a “perfect crescendo.”
Usher was overwhelmed by his artist’s dedication, declaring that she already is “the winner.”
“You’re perfect the way you are, and we continue to let the world know that you can be whatever you want to be. I love you, Michelle Chamuel,” Usher declared.
The message is beautiful, but that last performance might not be worthy of moving Ms. Chamuel to the finals.
What did you think of tonight’s performances? Tell us below!