While the audience vote determined two of the finalists moving on, celebrity coaches Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Shakira and Usher had to choose one of their bottom two to go home. The process was marred a bit when host Carson Daly revealed at the top of the show that a technical error deemed all text and online votes to be invalid, assuring viewers the phone-only votes did not affect the outcome of the teams.
It wasn't all heavy, though, with the energetic return of former coach Cee Lo Green performing new single "Only You" with his former team member and "Voice" alum Juliet Sims. Green, who has two albums due — including one with Goodie Mob — flashed his famous smile from atop a leather chair, rocking out with an ever-confident and mature Sims.
Rod Stewart also joined the fun, performing his new single "Finest Woman" and jamming out with some of the current contestants.
When the time came to make the tough decisions, the coaches grappled with their choices. "I respect you as men and as artists," Shelton told his bottom two, comprised of the Swon Brothers and Justin Rivers, eventually releasing Rivers. A visibly torn Shakira let go of Karina Iglesias; Usher sent home Cathia; and a rambling Levine finally revealed he wasn't going to save Caroline Glaser.
Live shows begin next week, with no saves or steals or last-minute rule changes remaining; it's all in the hands of the viewers.
Here are the final 12 hopefuls moving one step closer to being crowned winner of "The Voice":
The Swon Brothers