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The Voice

The Voice 2013 Live Recap: Top 5 Artists Perform in the Semifinals

Tonight the Top 5 perform live on The Voice, and we're live right along with them, recapping away. And we're nervous, you guys. Though we're happy that the talent level is always so high at this stage, it also means it's basically inevitable that tomorrow's elimination will make us really upset.

At this point we're pretty attached to almost everyone, and while we definitely have our favorites, there's really only one person we'd be perfectly happy saying goodbye to tomorrow. (We'd tell you but that would take all the fun out of guessing.) We're not gonna lie, folks — there could be ugly crying. Tonight, however, the only ugly-crying we're doing is when Jacquie Lee sings "Angel" by Sarah MacLachlan. That song needs a warning label.

That's not the only potential tearjerker tonight, though. Tessanne Chin will be singing Simon and Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water" while James Wolpert will take on ultimate breakup song "With or Without You" by U2. Meanwhile, Will Champlin will take on "Carry On" by fun. and Cole Vosbury will appeal to coach Blake Shelton's legions of country fans with Shameless" by Garth Brooks.

Stay tuned for live update with links to performance videos!

Credit: Trae Patton/© NBC Universal, Inc.    

James Wolpert Performs "With or Without You" by U2

After a live group performance with some technical difficulties, we have some brunch with Team Adam and practice with James, who was nearly eliminated last week but saved by fans on Twitter. Adam wants to give James a chance for a real rock vocal with "With or Without You." While you can still hear the remnants of a cold when he's in his lower register, his high notes are killer. We only wish at this stage he knew what to do with his body a little more. But it's part of his awkward charm.

Coach Adam Levine doesn't even care about the competition anymore, because he knows it was an incredible performance beyond his expectations, and he's so proud. Christina Aguilera ("one of the best singers out there," Carson informs the audience for the eleventy-thousandth time) comments on the song but doesn't say much about James' actual performance of it. Blake Shelton thinks he dug himself out of the hole with that performance.

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Will Champlin Performs “Carry On” by fun.

More brunch at Adam's! We want to be on Team Adam, please. Not just because of the free breakfast, but the total love fest between the three artists. Anyway...

We were worried from the start about Will's voice being all wrong to deliver Nate Ruess's anthem, but our fears were somewhat alleviated. Thankfully, he sounds much better live than he did in rehearsals with Adam. However, he definitely struggled with some of the more rafter-battering notes.

Adam says he feels good because Will is smiling. Since he's his own harshest critic, if Will's feeling good, then so is Adam. Cee Lo Green enjoyed seeing him so "swaggy" up there. He loves the optimistic anthem Adam chose for this week and Will's delivery of it. Blake says it was exciting to see him let go and enjoy himself.

Credit: Tyler Golden/© NBC Universal, Inc.    

Jacquie Lee Performs "Angel" by Sarah MacLachlan

Christina has assigned Sarah MacLachlan's "Angel" to Jacquie Lee, which seems like a weird choice for a soul-singing belter. If we had one major criticism for Christina as a coach this season it would definitely be song choice, especially where Jacquie is concerned.

We think the bombastic quality of this arrangement really takes away from the quiet power of the original song. It was an incredible performance on a technical level, but we didn't love the end result. We blame the arrangement more than Jacquie.

Christina loved it, however, and was blown away by the dynamics of Jacquie's performance. Cee Lo felt less jaded after the affecting performance.

Credit: Tyler Golden/© NBC Universal, Inc.    

Cole Vosbury Performs "Shameless" by Billy Joel (as performed by Garth Brooks)

We almost lost it when we saw Cole in the barber chair. Sure, we were put off by the beard at first, but now it's part of his persona. Leave Cole's beard alone!

Cole gets two coaches for the price of one now that CeeLo has no one left on his team. Performing "Shameless" in the style of Garth Brooks, Blake is shamelessly trying to appeal to his base of country fans. But we love Cole, so we'll allow it. For the first time, though, we heard Cole struggling to hit the higher notes. Did James give him his cold? Saboteur!

Blake thought it was incredible, nevertheless. "Let's go on ahead and win this thing," he said encouragingly. Co-coach CeeLo says every time he performs it's like it's his song and he's an established star.

Credit: Tyler Golden/© NBC Universal, Inc.    

Tessanne Chin Performs "Bridge Over Troubled Water" by Simon and Garfunkel

Adam went and saved the best for last with Tessanne and one of the best songs ever written. We were already crying by the end of the first verse. Adam looked awed by his mentee — we're pretty sure he cried too. (A man who can cry is totes sexy.)

Nearly speechless, Adam alluded to Tessanne going through some tough things that were edited out of the package before her performance, but said that aside, it was one of the most flawless and moving performances on the show. Blake, although he is an opposing team, can't disagree with Adam. We'd be shocked at this point if Tessanne didn't win.

What did you think of tonight's Top 5? Which performance was your favorite?

There's a pretty clear top 3 in this group.

I don't know how they'll narrow it down to three.