The competition is more fierce than ever before on The Voice 2013, and though we aren’t exactly thrilled with tonight’s song selection for the Top 6 artists, these talented vocalists will surely give it their all.
Now that we’ve narrowed down the talent pool, the artists will have an opportunity to sing two songs in tonight’s episode. Coach Blake Shelton is currently dominating the competition with three remaining artists, and Adam Levine, Shakira, and Usher each have one contestant left.
Will Blakes’ singers go on to victory or will another front runner steal the spot? Team Usher pulled out all the stops with a surprise visit for Michelle Chamuel from superstar Taylor Swift, and Adam Levine is taking a page out of Blake’s book and picking some country tunes for his singer, Amber Carrington.
Here’s what went down:
Starting off the night with a little bit of country, Team Blake Shelton’s Holly Tucker sang “When God-Fearin’ Women Get the Blues” by Martina McBride for her first song.
Though the stage projected police caution tape and Holly’s cowboy boots continued to sparkle, we still don’t think this blonde Texas native has the right amount of attitude for the sassier tunes. She’ll always be the angel who sang “How Great Thou Art” to us, no matter how hard she tries.
Usher disagreed with us saying the “attitude 100 percent” was there, but he did note that he wanted more after having seen her grow throughout the performance. Shakira was glad that Holly took some time to have fun on stage, and Adam noted that America’s gotten to see a new “character” come out who “ain’t takin’ no s—.”
Much to the contestant’s delight, Blake called Holly’s performance his favorite of her’s thus far this season, saying it was “strong and full of energy.”
Usher was excited to get started with his final artist, Michelle. He even told the pop rocker that he was ready to work with her after the show ended (and America all said “awww" in unison). For Michelle’s first tune, he gave her Keane’s “Somewhere Only We Know.” And as the eccentric artist took the fog-covered stage with images of trees in the background, we felt right in the moment with Michelle and her coach.
Something about this girl makes us want to know and hear more (thank goodness she’s singing another song tonight!).
Colombian sensation Shakira noted the connection between Usher and Michelle, saying that it was his guidance that helped the originally awkward singer come out of her shell. Adam said Michelle was “carving out her own spot in the universe.”
Usher thought Michelle’s performance showed “depth” and “vocal ability.” We couldn’t agree more.
Now that The Swon Brothers have solidified themselves in the country music world, they have decided to sing the “Free Bird” of country music — “Wagon Wheel.” Guess they had to pull this one out at some point if they wanted their name on the hall of fame ... or whatever it was that reduced Blake Shelton to tears (did someone take his special latte again?).
Complete with Wild Wild West backup dancers, the brotherly duo from Oklahoma had a more mellow sound than their over-the-top staging would imply. Ummm, please stop grinding on Colton, ma’am, he’s too little!
Shakira thoroughly enjoyed the performance and credited Blake and The Voice for making country music more mainstream. Adam tried to give a serious critique, but Usher quickly noted “the chicks” and Adam was forced to agree ... yeah, they’re smokin’ hot in comparison to the supermodels he dates.
Surprisingly, Blake ignored the dancers in his comments, but did say that The Swon Brothers sound like no one else.
Going back to basics, Sasha opted to sing Aretha Franklin’s “Ain’t No Way,” which also happens to be her mother’s favorite song. Though we’d typically recommend contestants stay away from overdone Aretha tunes, this one was not quite as recognizable as “Respect” or “Natural Woman,” and therefore still worked to Sasha’s benefit.
In a gorgeous floor-length yellow gown, Sasha reminded us of so many greats that have come before her. It’s hard for us to predict this so early in the evening, but that was likely the best performance of the night, if not the entire competition.
Once again, Carson took the opportunity to give Adam Levine a hard time for giving the singer up in the battle rounds. He agreed with us saying it was Sasha’s best performance thus far, and Usher said it was impossible to be critical at all.
Shakira was interested in what Sasha was eating because she “looks more and more beautiful” each week. The proud mama then called out to the audience asking what other artist could sing that well, to which an accommodating fan replied, “nobody!” Well said.
Continuing his strategy of giving his youngest artist classic country tunes, Blake Shelton gave Danielle Bradbery Pam Tillis’s “Shake the Sugar Tree.” Yeah, that’s a song.
There was a tree on stage, but we’re not sure if it was a “sugar tree.” Once again, Danielle showed off her mature sound, but the repetitive lyrics of the song had us snoozing more than last week’s “Grandpa.”
Usher did note that Danielle had a shaky moment, but also said she quickly overcame that blip. Adam wanted to make it clear that he is no “bandwagon” Danielle fan as he continued to heap praise on the teen.
Country crooner Blake Shelton mentioned the purity in Danielle’s sound saying she was born with “a little bit something extra” just like his wife, Miranda Lambert. We’d just like a few extra lyrics before Grandpa falls out of the shaking Sugar Tree. Just sayin’.
Picking a song his artist had never heard before by a band that was around before she was born, Adam Levine picked Skid Row’s "I Remember You" for his final artist Amber Carrington. At first the country girl was out of her element, but once Adam added in some bluegrass elements, she felt right at home.
By giving the rock tune a country twist, Amber was able to make it her own. As the stage lit on fire (literally), Amber belted out some impressive notes, but overall the song choice limited the talented singer.
Blake said Amber’s creative rendition was something that “people would want to own,” and Shakira said she liked seeing a new side to Amber at this stage in the competition.
Adam told Amber that he doesn’t “feel alive” unless he’s taking risks, which is why he’s happy to have a risk taker like Amber on his team. Hopefully it’s not too risky, Adam!
Capitalizing on his duo's Oklahoma pride, Blake Shelton gave The Swon Brothers “Okie From Muskogee” by Merle Haggard. Ditching the scantily-clad backup dancers, the boys had a ball singing in their makeshift barn.
As corny as the tune is, the brothers did bring us back to a simpler place where “even squares can have a ball.”
Ush was glad The Swon Brothers were able to represent where they’re from and have fun at the same time ... even without marijuana! Adam was quick to note his partner in crime, Blake Shelton’s, glee surrounding the song choice. Blake agreed with Adam’s comments saying he was proud that his duo stayed true to their roots. We’re just glad those girls got a break to fix their feathers and lace up their boots.
Dedicating her performance to her supportive parents, Holly chose to sing Rascal Flatts’ “My Wish.” Apparently The Voice’s production crew translated Holly’s wishes to a dock with a giant on-stage lighthouse surrounded by fog. That’s our wish too!
The sincere attitude behind these lyrics were much more appropriate for the singer’s angelic appearance, and the song gave her plenty of moments to shine.
Shakira complimented Holly’s consistency saying that she’s in tune (most of the time) and was excited to learn about the singer’s close relationship with her parents. Blake called the singer his “most diverse artist" — a comment we completely disagree with — saying her impressive range stands out in a competition of powerhouse singers and begging her to teach him some of her tricks.
To treat Michelle and up some of the pressure surrounding her performance, Usher brought Taylor Swift in to see Michelle’s rehearsal of the TSwift hit “I Knew You Were Trouble.” Naturally Tay Tay was obsessed with Michelle’s rendition noting the plethora of emotion Michelle exuded.
Though Michelle’s live show performance started off shaky, she reached a new high went the beat picked up, adding her own creative twists to the melody with extra riffs and wails.
Carson Daly called the audience response “the most enthusiastic of the night” as the crowd continued to roar. The former TRL host compared Michelle’s reception to that of the Backstreet Boys — sigh, the good ol' days.
Adam could barely get a word in over the audience, and Blake noted how jealous he was that Usher got Taylor Swift to come into rehearsal, but also told Michelle that she “sounded really good.” Well put.
Usher could not have been more excited about his artist, grinning from ear to ear and encouraging America to vote for his leading lady.
Heading back to her country roots, Amber picked Patsy Cline’s iconic hit “Crazy.” We loved Amber’s hair and makeup, but we’re not sure why she was wearing a dress covered in spiderwebs when it wasn’t Halloween ... or a Tim Burton movie.
Though the song is beautiful and classic, it proved to be much too slow for a competition show, with few opportunities for Amber’s higher range to shine. The song moved at such a snail’s pace that her coach almost looked on the verge of sleep until the lights came up and it was time for comments.
Blake was glad Amber didn’t go over the top with her performance, considering he views the song as “sacred ground.” And though Adam claimed that he loved her performance, we aren’t buying it.
Hoping to channel her sister’s heartbreak, Danielle chose to sing Sara Evans’s “A Little Bit Stronger” for her final performance of the night. While she struggled with the high notes in rehearsal, the live performance went off without a hitch as the crowd cheered her on.
Showing more facial expressions and personality than we’ve seen from the teen all season, Danielle was able to give the song the proper strength, confidence, and anger. Adam told the singer that she was “good to go” in the competition. Basically, you’re heading to the finals, girlfriend!
Blake was proud that his artist had chosen her moment and blown America away with that face-melting note. If you weren’t a Danielle fan before, she just hit you with her best shot ... vote away.
Closing out the night, Sasha Allen appealed to Shakira’s new country music fetish by singing Carrie Underwood’s “Before He Cheats.”
It turned out to be the perfect song choice for the sassy singer who was looking to bring her own “city” flare to the backwoods tunes. And she certainly did so when she ripped off her red tunic to reveal a sexy, glitter-covered ensemble.
Shakira coaxed her singer on like an intense stage mom, and was so proud when Sasha hit the highest notes.
Blake loved the drama and the dress ripping, and Usher was quick to note that “there’s more than one "Sasha Fierce.” She’s a-a diva.
Shakira was too excited to give a critique and instead broke down why Usher had called her Sasha Fierce — “You are fierce top to bottom, and Sasha is your name.” Nice.
What did you think of tonight’s performances? Weigh in below!