By Emilie Cruz
Bigger performances. Riskier song choices. Team Adam’s platinum hair. Blake Shelton’s pickup truck full of cow dung. “The Voice” semifinals were in full swing Monday night (May 12), and there was no shortage of surprises and “real deal” performances.
But before the top five singers left it all on the stage, coach Usher and his smooth moves gave a world premiere performance of his latest song, “Good Kisser” that rightfully earned him a standing ovation from his fellow coaches. Coach Levine also deemed the semifinals the perfect time to get back at Shelton for tweeting his phone number, and ordered two truck loads of cow dung to be unloaded onto Shelton’s red pick up truck.
The top five singers hit the stage twice, once performing a song they dedicated to their hometown, and again with a song their coach chose for them. Here’s a closer look at their night:
Team Shakira’s lone singer opened the show with a fiery performance of Miranda Lambert’s “Gun Powder and Lead” that she dedicated to her hometown. Lambert’s husband Shelton gave the country singer approving head bobs as she performed, and Shakira danced along while her artist sang.
Shakira gave her country singer Jewel’s “Foolish Games” for her second performance. Merlin lost herself in the song, and Shelton commended her for it, saying that was the “most connected [he’d] seen [her] with a lyric.” Shakira gave her singer a standing ovation and praised her for giving her and the entire audience chills.
The frontronner’s biggest challenge was to prove to America that he was “limitless” and could make a current record. After serving Levine’s “weekly slice of humble pie” (Levine clearly still beating himself up for letting go of Kaufman) with a performance of John Legend’s current smash “All of Me” dedicated to his family, the soulful singer took on OneRepublic’s “Love Runs Out.” The performance was a hit with the audience, and earned Kaufman a prolonged applause and standing ovation from Usher. Shelton declared the singer a “natural born killer singer” and said that there was “no question” that he’d be in the finale.
Team Adam’s Perkins made “Voice” history last week when she was instantly saved for the second time in a row, and she and her coach knew it was time to capitalize on that with some huge risks. The rocker added some platinum highlights and took on the “Mount Everest of vocal challenges” with Levine’s choice of Sia’s current hit “Chandelier.” Perkins nailed every high note she attempted and got a standing ovation from her coach.
For her second performance, Perkins chose to sing one of the biggest and Oscar-winning songs of the year, “Let It Go” from “Frozen.” The rocker got a second standing ovation from Levine, while Shelton admitted that regardless of how the competition turns out, he cannot wait to buy the singer’s album.
Team Blake’s Jake Worthington knew it was time to “nail this [competition] to the freaking wall” when he hit the semifinal stage. Wielding his guitar and dawning his cowboy hat, Worthington dedicated a performance of Waylon Jenning’s “Good Ol’ Boys” to his best friends back home that got Levine to declare him a “real deal” country star that needs a “Made in America stamp.”
Worthington closed out the show with a shocking yet perfectly timed performance of Bryan Adams’ ‘80s pop classic “Heaven.” The “refreshing” performance exhibited his vocal abilities more than any of his past performances, and received praise from all the coaches.
Team Adam’s Christina Grimmie continued to show her creativity and artistry during her semifinal performances. Coach Levine urged her to “stay fearless” – probably after convincing her to add some blond to her ’do – when he gave her Imogen Heap’s “Hide and Seek,” but her big risk got nuke warm responses, Usher admitting that it was hard for him to connect in the beginning.
For her second performance, the young singer chose to take on Fun.’s “Some Nights.” The big performance ended with incredible high notes and a shower of balloons that had Shelton joking that the singer already won the competition. Levine praised his artist for always doing what she loves and never “losing sight” of that simply to get a reaction.
Tune in Tuesday night to see which three artists will make it to next week’s finale.