Team Blake took center stage Tuesday night (April 8) as the intense playoff rounds officially began on "The Voice," and coach Shelton was tasked with getting rid of two of his five incredible singers.
In the singing show's newest level of competition,the playoffs, the top 20 singers sing one last time to land a spot in the live shows. Singers are tasked with choosing their own song, and coaches Adam Levine, Shakira, Usher, and Blake Shelton can choose only three of their five singers to move on.
Team Blake was up first, and with his singers leaving their hearts on the stage, Shelton was left with admittedly the hardest decision of his life. After much deliberation, Shelton said goodbye to rocker Ryan Whyte Maloney and the young and tender Madilyn Paige.
Here's a closer look at Team Blake's surviving singers:
Sisaundra Lewis' Soul Soars
Everyone was hooked from the first moment the coaches and the world heard Sisaundra Lewis' voice. Lewis chose to sing Billie Holiday's "New York State of Mind," and Shelton's only note to her during rehearsals was to be weary of having to "interject every little [vocal] play in the book." Her performance left the other coaches incredulous as to how she wound up on Shelton's team, Usher bluntly saying "How did you end up with this dude?" and Levine saying their alliance is "something [he] can't accept." Lewis was Shelton's first pick to advance, praising her ability to couple "super talent with the storytelling aspect."
Audra McLaughlin Mends Her 'Broken Wing'
We first saw Audra McLaughlin when she was turning all four of the coaches' chairs during her blind audition. Struggling with a learning disability for most of her life, McLaughlin hoped to overcome many of her insecurities while on the show. The country-pop singer chose Martina McBride's uplifting "Broken Wing." Her voice soared throughout her performance, and Usher commended her for making it seem so "effortless." Levine praised her "spectacular" performance, but knows there is more to be seen and heard by the "unleashed beast of a performer" in her. Shelton chose to advance McLaughlin because he continues to be "blown away with [her] ever since [he] heard her voice."
"Shake and Blake" With Jake Worthington
It may seem like a consolation prize whenever judges on a singing show encourage a singer who didn't make it to come back next season. But when it came to Jake Worthington who auditioned in season five of "The Voice," the coaches meant it, and Worthington is riding this second chance as far as he can go. He excelled in the battle rounds, and gained fans within all four coaches. For his playoff song, he chose Jake Owen's "Anywhere With You," leaving Shakira giddy with excitement and saying, "I can't get technical with you because you can't get technical with a star." Levine described Worthington's performance as "jacked up on Mountain Dew," referring to "Talladega Nights," and giving rise to the new phrase, "shake and Blake."