It’s down to the final five contestants on season 6 of The Voice.
Each coach only has one performer left, except for Adam, who has two.
Huge performances are expected in the semifinal round tonight as Christina Grimmie, Josh Kaufman, Kristen Merlin, Kat Perkins and Jake Worthington fight to earn a spot in the finals.
As a special bonus, we get the world premiere of Usher’s new single!
Welcome to The Voice live blog!
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Before Usher kicks the show off with the premiere of his new song “Good Kisser,” Carson tells us that each contestant will perform two songs tonight: one selected by the coach and one that is a tribute to home.
And now let’s give it up for Ush!
Usher (“Good Kisser”)
Damn, can this man dance! Usher’s got moves like Michael Jackson and judging by the amount of sweat pouring off his face, I’d say he’s working pretty hard during this performance.
I’m not feeling this song just yet, but after hearing it a dozen times on the radio I’m sure it’ll stick.
Oh hey, look who’s in the audience! It’s Mark Wahlberg and his young blonde co-star from the new Transformers flick! What a coincidence.
Let’s have them tell us all about their new movie, because surely people who watch The Voice are also huge Transformers fans, right?
Kristen Merlin (“Gunpowder and Lead” by Miranda Lambert)
Kristen will be dedicating her first performance to her friends and family back home in Massachusetts. This will remind them of Crazy Kristen who runs all over the stage when she performs at home.
I’m not familiar with this song, but Kristen seems like she’s doing a good job with it. She is so relaxed for this song, and she really looks like she’s having fun with it. Shakira’s out of her seat and enjoying it, as are the audience.
Adam thinks Kristen deserves to be here, but wants to know if Blake gets scared that his wife writes songs about killing dudes? Blake likes Kristen’s take on Miranda’s song and he loves her fancy footwork. Usher enjoys Kristen’s performance and can’t say anything more than Blake (the country expert) can say.
Coach Shakira says that Kristen represents all the minorities in the world and she is surprising everyone by being in the semifinals.
Josh Kaufman (“All of Me” by John Legend)
Josh is dedicating “All of Me” to the people of Indianapolis, especially his family, because he is so grateful for their support.
After hearing the opening of the song, I now have a new word to describe Josh’s voice: “syrupy.” Each word is coated in the thick, syrupy nature of Josh’s voice before it hits our ears. Josh sings the song fine, but it’s nothing special. Maybe it’s because “All of Me” is so played out, but it just doesn’t evoke chills from me.
Adam gives Usher credit for helping Josh flourish and get better and better each time. Blake tells Josh that he should definitely be in the finale and he brings credibility to the show. Wow! High praise, indeed! Usher thinks America is making a real connection with Josh.
Kat Perkins (“Chandelier” by Sia)
Before getting to Kat, Carson announces that Adam has a surprise for Blake. It’s payback time! Since Blake tweeted out Adam’s cell phone number, Adam has arranged for two huge forklifts full of manure to be dumped on Blake’s shiny red truck … which we get to see happen live!
Kat is performing her first pop song, which Adam thinks will be her breakthrough moment. It will be difficult, though, because “Chandelier” is a vocally challenging song.
Kat sings the heck out of the song and is able to stay on-pitch for the highest notes, but I wouldn’t say that she has a breakout moment here. This song needs a crystal clear voice, and Kat’s is too throaty. Sorry if I’m being picky, but it’s the semifinals, y’all.
Blake thinks Kat capitalizes on every opportunity she gets, even if she is being coached by Sharon Stone. #AdamHairJoke
Shakira loves Kat’s personal flair on “Chandelier,” and Adam swears to America that Kat Perkins deserves to be in the finals!
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Jake Worthington (“Good Ol’ Boys” by Waylon Jennings)
Jake is dedicating his performance of “Good Ol’ Boys” to his buddies back home, because they’ve always had his back through thick and thin.
It’s a fun performance and I like that Jake plays the guitar during it. He definitely has the crowd support and he gets a standing ovation from Blake. Vocally, it’s not all that challenging, but so what? He has a grand finish at the end of the song, and even Usher is a fan.
Usher says the note at the end made him a believer in country music. Adam feels Jake deserves to be here. Blake thinks Jake is ready for radio right now. Blake loves Jake, and Jake loves Blake. Awww, how cute.
Christina Grimmie (“Hide and Seek” by Imogen Heap)
Oh. My. God. This performance has the potential to be epic. Christina will be using a special instrument to create a sort of harmony with her own voice. I can’t explain it very well, but look up the original version of the song. It’s amazing.
Man, Adam has some balls choosing this song. Christina begins very softly while kneeling on the ground. The entire song is a back-and-forth between soft emotion and powerful eruptions of boldness. I don’t love Christina’s version of this as much as the original, but I do get chills when she hit the high notes.
Usher says he didn’t connect with this song as much as Christina’s other songs. Carson asks Adam if the risky song paid off.
“I don’t think we want to sit here and do karaoke,” says Adam. “We want to sit and we want to surprise people. We want to impress people. We want people to be uncomfortable a little bit so that hopefully they can embrace some music they’ve never heard before, and I stand behind Christina and I stand behind Kat. And I think that we’re actually injecting something refreshing and different into this show and I stand by that.”
Josh Kaufman (“Love Runs Out” by OneRepublic)
Usher tries to get Josh pumped for his second performance by reminding him that two of his performances so far have cracked the Top 100 chart. Usher chooses a OneRepublic song because it is a combination of pop and bluegrass, just like Josh.
Right from the start, it’s clear that this is a great choice for Josh. His voice suits the vibe of the song and his infectious energy carries into the audience. He nails the performance and it’s my favorite one of the night so far!
Adam says that Josh is amazing. Blake loves Josh’s command and control. He calls Josh a natural-born killer singer. Usher says Josh came out and left it all out on the stage. Coach Usher is very proud.
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Kat Perkins (“Let It Go” by Idina Menzel, from Frozen)
Kat is singing “Let It Go” as a tribute to the children that she takes care of back home, because it’s their favorite song. Newsflash: it’s every child’s favorite song these days.
Is it just me or is Kat off-pitch a little during the song? Also, the song seems rushed. It feels like Kat decided to sing this one at the last minute. The crowd loves it, because it’s Frozen.
Blake and Usher applaud Kat’s performance. Shakira likes seeing a different side to Kat. Adam says that Kat is the most consistent singer on the show.
Kristen Merlin (“Foolish Games” by Jewel)
Kristen is nervous and in tears during rehearsals. Shakira gives her a quick pep talk and then sends her off to try her hand at one of Jewel’s most famous songs, “Foolish Games.”
Kristen sounds just like Jewel, harnessing both the sweetness and the strength of the famous yodeler in her performance. She shows her vulnerable side, which we know Shakira loves. Let’s see if she will mention how Kristen is representative of all the world’s minorities again, shall we?
Blake thinks that this is the most connected that Kristen has been with a song. Usher says Kristen responds well to pressure and this was a great moment for her. Shakira calls Kristen a storyteller and says that everyone’s going to love her version of “Foolish Games.”
Christina Grimmie (“Some Nights” by Fun)
How did I not know that Christina was from Marlton, a town that is 15 minutes away from me?! She moved to California two years ago, but still has so much support back in New Jersey that she is dedicating “Some Nights” to the people of Marlton.
Christina just has such an amazing stage presence! She’s so confident and it shows in a song like this. She unleashes on the high notes and totally brings the house down. Balloons included. Nice work!
Blake likes the hell out of what Christina did to that song. Usher calls it an amazing moment. Adam is a huge fan of Christina’s unique song choices.
Jake Worthington (“Heaven” by Bryan Adams)
Blake wants Jake to take a rock song and give it the country treatment. During rehearsals, there are some slight pitch issues.
I like the little twangs that Jake adds to “Heaven.” He can definitely belt it out when he wants to. It’s a sweet, understated performance and it makes Jake’s friend in the audience cry. Awww!
Adam likes hearing Jake do a pop song. Usher thinks it’s great that Jake performs so well when he’s having throat issues. Blake respects Jake and says he’s the real deal.
Find out which two artists are sent home on The Voice Tuesday night at 8pm on NBC.
(Image and videos courtesy of NBC)