“The Voice” Recap: Memorial Day Edition

PHOTO BY TYLER GOLDEN/NBC

The Voice celebrated the Memorial Day holiday by giving us a live performance show that had dancing, costumes, elaborate sets and no easy choices as far as winners and losers were concerned.

Before the Top 8 took the stage, host Carson Daly introduced the “rarely sober national treasure,” better known as Blake Shelton, saluting the troops with help from backing vocalist—and Season 2 contestant—Gwen Sebastian on Carson’s new favorite song, “Boys ’Round Here.”

It was a fun start to a fun night that also saw Usher join the legion of Michelle Chamuel fans by donning her signature black rims in support of his lone contestant. A smooth move by the R&B star, even if Carson thought Usher looked like Urkel with the glasses!

The competition got underway with Judith Hill, who wanted to show the world who she is with will.i.am’s “#ThatPower,” a choice that coach Adam Levine found a bit unexpected, but also brilliant because she was really able to make the tune her own. “Your singing is incredible and your hair is badass,” said an impressed Blake of the former backup singer who is becoming very comfortable in the spotlight.

Texas college student Holly Tucker displayed a lot of charisma and stage presence on “DONE.” by The Band Perry. “You got a great coach and you’re an incredible talent,” said Usher, who also lavished her cowgirl boots with praise. “I’m happy we got to see the more aggressive side of you tonight,” added Adam. And Blake declared his love for Holly, saying, “Oh, my gosh—that was so good! That’s the first time I’ve ever seen you own a song. It was begging for mercy by the end of it.”

The only men left in the competition are Oklahoma’s The Swon Brothers, who also have the distinction of making it further than any other duo in the history of the show. They attempted to woo voters with their harmonies on “Seven Bridges Road” by the Eagles. “It really suited your voices,” said Shakira. “It was great!”

Shakira’s last chance of staying in the contest is Sasha Allen, who took on the challenge of “Without You” by Usher. The lyric I will never win this game without you hit home with both women. Blake ruled Sasha’s cover a success: “I started comparing myself to Sasha and it wasn’t good. I think you bought Shakira another week on this show.”

Blake also gave props to Team Adam’s Sarah Simmons for nailing Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know.” “It’s a pain in my ass that you can do all that stuff,” he said of her vocal abilities.

“You can really do anything you want,” agreed Adam. “You showed so much range and scope. This is a tough song and I feel like nobody has really done it right . . . until tonight.”

Up next was Michelle Chamuel, who was feeling the pressure to succeed—not only for herself, but as the last surviving member of Team Usher. Her coach gave her Bruno Mars' “Grenade” and arranged the performance so that her voice would be the most powerful instrument onstage. “I’m a huge fan and that was spectacular,” noted Shakira along with the other coaches, who deemed Michelle as one of the best of the night.

Blake gave young'un Danielle Bradbery “Grandpa (Tell Me 'Bout the Good Old Days)” by The Judds, which he called one of his all-time favorite songs. She performed on a back-porch set that brought back memories of old TV variety shows like Hee Haw. It will be interesting to see if she connected with viewers in a way that will propel her to the Top 6.

Shakira and Usher predict a bright future for the teen, while Adam thought it was cool she sang a song about Blake. And the digs keep coming!

Team Adam’s country singer Amber Carrington closed out the show taking a huge risk by singing Adele’s “Skyfall.” Adele covers are typically judged harshly on The Voice, but Blake deemed it “the diva powerhouse vocal of the night.” Said Shakira, “It’s perplexing that Adam picked that song, but it worked.” Tuesday night we’ll find out if it was enough to keep her around another week. Let us know what you think below.

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