It's down to the top six on "The Voice." The contestants found themselves in the spotlight Monday night in another week of [article id="1708141"]live performances[/article] in an attempt to win America's vote. This time, they performed two songs — one of their own selection and the other selected by their coaches.
With Blake Shelton in the lead with three contestants, Adam Levine, Shakira and Usher pulled out all the stops to help their artists make a lasting impression, with Usher going so far as to call in a very special favor from Taylor Swift.
Here's how the top six fared:
Team Blake's powerhouse vocalist might have one of the biggest voices in the competition, but she suffered from low self-esteem, appearing demure and quiet in the past. Monday night, Holly decided to break out of her shell, embracing her new found "attitude" with Martina McBride's "When God-Fearin' Women Get the Blues" and Rascal Flatts' "My Wish." Levine noted a "different character" emerged, telling Holly, "You've really shown range and scope."
Everyone's favorite oddball continued to shine Monday night with her remarkable renditions of Keane's "Somewhere Only We Know" and Taylor Swift's "I Knew You Were Trouble." Team Usher's lone soldier was surprised during rehearsal by Swift herself, who gave Michelle her personal stamp of approval. The cover elicited what host Carson Daly called the "most enthusiastic" response of the night, comparing it to that of the Backstreet Boys and 'NSYNC during his "TRL" days. The praise didn't stop there. Levine said, "It's unbelievable. Stop it already!" and Usher quipped, "I guess we knew she had trouble when she walked in."
Shakira's last artist standing had two of the strongest performances of the night. The graceful Allen first took on her mother's favorite song: Aretha Franklin's "Ain't No Way." Her "cinematic voice" shone, giving justice to every legendary note. But her biggest moment came when she sang Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats," bringing some of her native New York grit to the stage, ripping off her dress to reveal a sexy leather outfit. "There's more than one Sasha Fierce," Usher told the beautiful singer, with an open-jawed Shelton calling it "dramatic" and "powerful."
The Swon Brothers
The only duo — and the only males — in the competition stood strong, representing the ages with their performances. To prove their current relevance, the pair sang Darius Rucker's "Wagon Wheel," a jam Shakira called "fun and loose." Then they took on a throwback by Merle Haggard called "Okie From Muskogee," a fun-filled performance that resonated with the crowd. "How could you not enjoy that?" Levine asked rhetorically. Besides the entertainment factor, coach Shelton was particularly proud of the boys for being "the only act that dip back into tradition."
The little country singer that could kept on chugging Monday night as she tackled Pam Tillis' "Shake the Sugar Tree" and Sara Evans' "A Little Bit Stronger." Shelton's 16-year-old prodigy left Usher in awe of her unique "confidence," especially since she never really sang publicly before "The Voice." The rehearsal for her second performance left a small window for her to slip, but alas, Bradbery soared to new heights, leaving the audience with a last note that Levine called "one of the most powerful" he heard in the competition.
Team Adam faced a terrible blow last week, losing both [article id="1708268"]Judith Hill[/article] and Sarah Simmons. With only Carrington left, the country diva took a few risks this week with Skid Row's "I Remember You" and Patsy Cline's "Crazy." They paid off both vocally and strategically, luring loyal country fans to her side during a critical moment in the competition. Shelton called Levine's move "smart," and Levine deemed Carrington a "breath of fresh air."
Tuesday night's (June 4) elimination episode has an added twist: Only one contestant will be eliminated, rather than two, and the final five will return next week.
Which was your favorite performance on this week's "The Voice"? Share your pick below!