Tonight on The Voice, The Playoffs finally conclude in an hour-long episode. With Shakira, Blake Shelton, and Adam Levine having already selected the three contestants that they hope will carry them to the end, with one being crowned “The Voice” and getting a recording contract, it’s now Team Usher’s turn to take the stage tonight. At the end of the episode, Usher will have to eliminate two of his team, and keep the three he thinks will seal the victory for his team.
At the start of The Voice, Carson Daly reminds us that there “are only three places left” and that the three Usher chooses will be moving on to the Live Rounds.
The first competitor up on The Voice for Team Usher will be T.j. Wilkins. He will sing the song Stevie Wonder wrote for Chaka Khan, “Tell Me Something Good.”
He sounded GREAT — Shakira was dancing in her seat getting into the song. Usher sang along from his seat, clearly loving how his team member was doing. T.J. sang in falsetto really well, also, during the performance.
Shakira: “We loved you and adored you. When you hit that high note, oh, my God.”
Adam: “That was great! That song is one of my favorite songs ever. You’re great, I love you.”
Blake: “That was solid. I’m on board 100%.”
Usher: “You completely killed it! This is the beginning of the difficult choices I’ll have to make. This is going to be hard.”
After the performance, Blake said that T.J. “set the bar very high.”
Carson introduced Melissa “MJ” Jimenez, the next performer to sing on The Voice tonight for Team Usher.
“Being able to work with him (Usher),” MJ said, “is a dream come true.” She will be singing “Halo,” one of Beyonce’s many hit songs.
Melissa has an AMAZING voice, and this song was a perfect choice for her. It wasn’t like the original — she made it her own version — but, she did a great job with it. The audience gave her a standing ovation as she finished. But, what will the judges say?
Shakira: “It was a very brave move to strip this song down.”
Adam: “For female vocalists, this song is about as courageous as it gets.”
Blake: “I’m not as familiar with that song. I thought it was solid, but there was one moment that got away from you. I thought it was pretty dang good, myself.”
Usher: “You understood this was a live and die moment. I hope that you’re ready to continue to love music.” It sounds as if Usher is already considering not taking Melissa to his Final Three team members.
The Voice went to another commercial break. When it was over, Carson Daly introduced the soulful rocker, Stevie Jo. When he was first chosen by Usher, all of the coaches thought he was black, before they turned their chairs around.
Usher said that “Stevie Jo has to understand the emotion behind where R&B comes from.” Stevie Jo will be singing “The Thrill is Gone.”
Stevie Jo did a FANTASTIC job with this B.B. King song, and he showed that he has a wide vocal range, singing a part of the song in falsetto, to contrast with the deeper, more soulful tone he gave most of the song..
Blake: “I love watching Stevie Jo perform. He looks like he’s sneaking up on a rabbit. He almost caught him! I’m a fan.”
Adam: “I think you did a great friggin’ job!”
Shakira: “I enjoyed your falsettos, and when your voice got raspy at the end. It was great.”
Usher: “I’m a fan of how great you are as a vocalist. You have to be connected. I believed it; and, as I told you, if you don’t believe it, no one else will.”
Carson said that “Coming up on The Voice, Bria Kelly’s emotional performance moves the audience.” How’s he know that? It’s a pre-recorded episode — the Live Rounds begin next week.
Bria Kelly, 18, got four chairs to turn during her Blind Audition. She’s one of the best singers on Usher’s team, “the reason Usher’s team is a threat,” according to Blake. Bria will be singing The Rolling Stones song, “Wild Horses.” It’s one of my favorite Stones songs.
She did a KILLER GOOD job singing this song,! I love Mick Jagger’s version, but Bria really KICKED BUTT, pouring a ton of emotion into her performance, adding a flare of Janis Joplin-esque sound to it towards the end. AMAZING!!!
Adam: ‘I was worried about you last time. It was like you weren’t you. I’m really pleased to say you’re back. You did a really, really great performance.”
Shakira: “I’m also a fan. I don’t know how you do what you do. Your sound is so unique.”
Blake: “Today, with your performance, the softer moments are as good as what you do in your upper registers.’
Usher: “The beautiful part about classic records is that they bring specific memories back.”
Carson Daly said that next on The Voice, “Josh Kaufman will sing the performance of the night.” He must have done great, if Carson can claim such high praise for it.
Back on The Voice, Josh will be the closing performer of the night on The Voice, according to Carson. Then, Usher will have to decide which two team members he’ll be saying good-bye to, and which three he will keep.
Josh will be singing “There Will Be Rain” by Bruno Mars, a terrific choice for his type of soulful, raspy voice.
Usher said “This is really a make-or-break for Josh.”
Josh began the song in falsetto, somehow still raspy, though — the females in the audience cheered, digging it. Josh has a CRAZY GOOD voice — the audience swayed their arms over their heads as he sang, and screamed out as he hit some uber-high notes. The audience erupted in applause as he finished.
Adam: “Josh, man, the decision between you and Delvin was one of the hardest I’ve ever made. I’m glad you’re still in the competition.”
Blake: “You’re one of the best singers on The Voice this year.”
Shakira: “I think I’m one of your biggest fans on the show, really. Hands down, you’re one of the best singers here.”
Usher: “First and foremost, you did an incredible job. It’s you, me, and Adam who made that moment a reality. I have the very unfortunate reality of having to choose which thee toe keep at the end of the show.”
If Usher doesn’t choose to keep both Bria and Josh, something’s seriously wrong. Who the third person will be, though, is a tough call. Maybe Stevie Jo, though all of the people on Usher’s team were pretty great.
When The Voice came back from another commercial break, it was finally time for Usher to make his decisions. First, Usher addressed his team, and told them that they “did a really incredible job.”
Carson: “Usher, who is the first artist you’ll be taking to the final shows?”
Usher’s first person that he chose was Bria Kelly. The second one Usher chose was Josh Kaufman, another great choice. Then, the remaining team members addressed Usher, and thanked him for all of his help and guidance.
Carson told him “One more can move on.” The person Usher selected was T.J. Wilkins!
Usher’s Final Three team members that he’ll be carrying on to the Live Rounds, beginning next week, are all fantastic performers. They will definitely make his team a contender to win it all! But, the competition he faces will be stiff. What did you, America, think of Usher’s picks? Please leave your comments below!
Written by: Douglas Cobb