In place of the passé picks of previous weeks, we have pretty original choices from artists like Miguel, Emeli Sandé, and Jo Dee Messina.
Hopefully this will give some of our favorites the extra push to make it to the finale on the show. The remaining contestants will also benefit from the help of celebrity mentors Sheryl Crow (on Team Blake), Pharrell Williams (on Team Usher), Hillary Scott (on Team Adam), and Cee Lo Green (on Team Shakira).
Cee Lo is stepping in for former mentor Joel Madden who is currently coaching on The VoiceAustralia.
But first Adam Levine and Maroon 5 debuted their new single, “Love Somebody,” on The Voice stage.
Dressed in all white with computer screen paint splatters, Adam and the band rocked out on The Voice stage, earning a standing ovation from the tattooed rocker’s fellow coaches.
Looking to stay true to her religious roots, Team Blake’s Holly Tucker picked classic hymn “How Great Thou Art.” Opting for the traditional melody with some added country twang, Holly rocked the performance with a newfound confidence we’ve been waiting to see all season.
In the wake of the catastrophic Oklahoma tornados, the performance seemed to come at the perfect time. Shakira called it “heavenly,” but Usher seemed to think it was a significant shift away from the Holly he’d come to know and love.
Adam praised the “purity” of Holly’s sound and Blake noted that he’s never heard the artist’s voice sound so “strong.”
Though Judith was incredibly nervous to sing a Michael Jackson song considering she was his former backup singer before his untimely death, her coach Adam Levine convinced her that it was the right move. It definitely wasn’t an easy choice considering the contestant has heard from plenty of critics who think she’s riding on MJ's coattails.
But it was time to brush the haters aside and sing a tune that was true to the history of her career — “The Way You Make Me Feel.” By the end of the song, Judith looked visibly shaken, overwhelmed by all the song meant to her.
Carson Daly quickly calmed her down and Usher mirrored the singer’s grief in his comments about Michael Jackson. Adam continued to assure the artist that she made the right choice and we certainly agree.
The Swon Brothers
These two simple Oklahoma boys were ready to wow America for yet another week with “How Country Feels” by Randy Houser. From the first notes, the duo continued on its upward trajectory.
Their sound provided us with some of that classic, laidback country sound we haven’t really heard on The Voice yet. Unfortunately the complex staging with the computer-generated visuals took away from their down-home country vibe, but that’s not the Swon Bros’ fault!
Adam and Shakira both called the performance a lot of fun, and Blake noted that in addition to being goofballs, The Swon Brothers had “star” potential.
Looking to cross over between country and pop music, Amber picked Kelly Clarkson’s “Breakaway.” She struggled at the beginning of the song with control on some of the lower notes, but when it came time for the inspirational chorus, Amber was ready to rock out.
Complete with a wind machine to blow her hair back, Amber blew the audiences and coaches away with her powerful notes. We were impressed, but missed some of the purity and sparkle from Amber’s previous performances (like her rendition of Rihanna’s “Stay”).
The coaches loved Amber’s performance, and Amber’s coach, Adam Levine, called her a chameleon who has the ability to effortlessly transition between genres. If she’s able to focus on the purity of her sound over the theatrics of the performance, she’ll definitely go far.
Though she’s proven herself to be a frontrunner on the show thus far, Sasha Allen was desperate to show America a new side of her voice. And she couldn’t have found a better song choice than Emeli Sandé’s “Next to Me.”
The rich fullness of Sasha’s sound blew us away for the first time in a long time. Even her flirty, fresh outfit was a perfect fit for the performance.Sasha’s former coach, Adam Levine, was “super proud” of Sasha, praising her song choice.
Blake Shelton agreed saying it was time for Sasha to come out with an upbeat tune. Ush was happy to see Sasha having fun.
Shakira was bouncing her teased-out hair all over her big red chair with excitement throughout Sasha’s performance. “You did so freaking good! I’m so freaking proud of you,” she squealed.
And after weeks of lackluster tunes, we’re pretty freaking proud of her too!
After a breakout moment last week, former model Josiah Hawley was trying to maintain America’s now-high expectations. Sticking with an alternative rock approach, Usher gave Josiah Coldplay’s hit “Clocks.
This pretty boy can sing, we’re just not sure if his singing is as good as his dreamy looks. That doesn’t mean we didn’t want to be one of the hands in the audience that he touched, and by the time he sang his last verse while grinning into the microphone, we were pretty smitten.
Shakira wasn’t entirely entranced by Josiah’s performance, noting that it’s nearly impossible to top Chris Martin and Coldplay. Adam agreed saying he noticed certain moments of vocal discomfort from Josiah, but ultimately said he did a good job.
Blake Shelton said that Josiah’s song choice failed to help the country coach connect to the lyrics or a deeper message, but Usher could not have been more confident in his artist or the song.
We could look at this babe all day, but his voice might not have the same staying power as his competition.
Danielle might be the youngest artist in the competition, but she certainly can use her mature sound to sing most challenging tunes. When the singer struggled to connect to the lyrics to “Heads Carolina, Tails California,” mentor Sheryl Crow shared her breast cancer experiences to help Dani enjoy every moment of life.
Calling her his “retirement plan,” coach Blake Shelton encouraged his biggest frontrunner to have fun with the tune.
When it came time to perform it live, Danielle gave a great vocal performance, but was lackluster in her stiff movements. If we have to see the arm sweep out to the audience one more time, we might put those strange crimps in our hair too.
Adam Levine called Danielle’s voice “every 16-year-old’s dream,” and Blake continued to gush about his artist, calling her tune “carefree” and saying she can do “amazing” things with her voice.
Personally, we’d like to see this country gal explore outside of her comfort zone and throw in some Taylor Swift dance moves. Don’t worry, you can do it with your cowboy boots on, sweetie.
Despite going through a tumultuous relationship, R&B singer Kris Thomas was tasked with the challenge of singing a sexy seductive song. Shakira picked Miguel’s “Adorn” for the singer, hoping he could get over his personal issues to pull off a great performance.
Unfortunately, Kris looked awkward and uncomfortable throughout the majority of the song. His pained look was only broken by a cheesy grin when he remembered that he was supposed to be turning on the women ... not airing his drama on national television.
Adam said he could see when Kris was “thinking” too much. Ush agreed with Adam, but noted that his voice was “incredible.” Once again, the R&B singer bashed on Shakira’s song choice, but then seemed to double back and say it was the perfect pick for this point in the show.
Mama Shakira quickly rushed to the aid of her baby cub, shushing Usher with the flip of her mane. By the time she was through eviscerating Ush, he was crouching behind his chair in fear of her never-ending afro.
We appreciate Shak’s devotion, but Kris continues to underwhelm us each week.
Pushing her ballads to the backburner, Team Adam’s Sarah Simmons was ready to show off her rocker side with Jessie J’s “Mama Knows Best.” This was Sarah’s chance to prove herself to America and she didn’t disappoint.
Sticking true to her Memphis, Tenn. roots, Sarah gave the pop tune a bluesy twist with some of her signature grit. The performance was so epic, we’re wondering why she didn’t expose this bangin’ side sooner!
If she’d been voted off before America got the chance to see that one, it would have been a true travesty.
“That is just rock,” Blake said as Adam laughed in his face. “You just radiated sexy tonight, and I think you turned a corner too, musically.”
Ush told Sarah that she had “it,” saying her sexual energy made him move back in his chair. Adam Levine was thrilled that his artist led Blake to “wet his pants” and called Sarah’s performance the hit of the night. We couldn’t agree more!