Tension was high on the set of "The Voice" on Monday night as the final five duked it out to get one step closer to that record deal with Universal Music Group. This week's semi-final round narrows the competition down to three and will send the two lowest-voted hopefuls home on Tuesday. Like last week, the contestants performed twice, choosing one dedication song and another picked by their trusty judge.
Usher kicked off the top of the broadcast with a funky performance of his latest Pharrell-produced single, "Twisted," which would have certainly made James Brown proud. But after his sing and dance number, the focus was reverted right back to the contestants.
The Swon Brothers
Blake Shelton's sibling duo started the show with an explosive rendition of Bob Seger's "Turn the Page" — literally, ending with eye-popping fireworks. Dedicated to all the past and present musicians that they've played with, their performance raised the bar and was met with praise from all four of the judges. While Shelton gushed that the brothers have shown "the biggest growth" out of all the contestants in the competition during their first number, Adam Levine was touched by their second performance of "Danny's Song" by Kenny Loggins. "I was excited because that is one of my favorite songs, and it is the first one I have known very well that you have done," the Maroon 5 frontman said. "You did an amazing version."
The sole remaining member on Team Shakira went for the big guns with iconic diva tracks like Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" and Donna Summer's "Bad Girls." While Sasha's take on the late Houston's love song offered viewers a slightly different arrangement, the New York native still maintained the essence of the ballad with belting notes and smooth falsettos. It was a move that met Allen with compliments from Shakira, who applauded her for taking such a risk. Allen picked up the pace, attitude and energy with "Bad Girls," which won smiles and raves from the panel, including the guys.
After Taylor Swift's stamp of approval for last week's rendition of "I Knew You Were Trouble," Michelle kept the Top 40 hits coming with a "consistent" performance of Zedd's "Clarity." Levine didn't have much to offer as a critique, admitting, "I feel like a broken record because every week I always just tell you how much I love you." Mentor Usher received the ultimate dedication when Michelle took the stage to close Monday's show with Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time" in tribute to the pop&B star. "Thank you so much for dedicating that to me," Usher told his contestant. "You're the winner! You're perfect the way you are and you're continuing to let the world know you can be whatever you want to be."
Team Blake's fresh-faced teen Danielle Bradbery pulled out her best sparkling prom gown for Rodney Crowell's "Please Remember Me," which evoked a warm and sweet reception from the judging panel. Calling the performance "graceful" and "amazeballs," Usher was nothing short than thrilled with the 16-year-old's number. Bradbery continued to push her wholesomeness with her follow-up performance of Jessica Andrews' "Who I Am." Shakira predicted that she'd one day reminisce about the time that she first discovered Danielle on "The Voice." "You're going to grow up to do great things," she said. Mentor Blake pointed out that Danielle has shown so such talent, drive and maturity throughout the competition that "she's a superstar."
It's one thing to receive well wishes from your mom or dad, but it's another thing to receive well wishes from Katy Perry via personal video message. And that's exactly what Amber Carrington was met with before her rendition of the pop star's "Fireworks" on Monday night.
While Adam Levine's Texan left judges impressed with the country-tinged rendition of the song, Blake made efforts to point out the power of Carrington's vocals when singing such a difficult song. For her second performance, Carrington took a page from her judge's book with Maroon 5's "Sad," which made Levine feel pleasantly inferior to his original. "The fact that you sat here tonight and sang it better than I did and did it such justice makes me so happy!" Levine noted.