"The Voice" was feeling a little bit country as night two of the live play-off rounds began. It was time for Team Blake and Team Shakira to take the stage, and win the hearts of viewers.
Blake 101: Have Fun! Coach Blake Shelton wanted to make sure his team showcased their personalities. What better way to do that, than an evening of karaoke?
Blake's untraditional coaching tactic showed that there was indeed a method to his madness, as team Blake kicked off the show with a performance of Little Big Town’s “Boondocks.”
Team Shakira: Garrett Gardner, “Imagine” John Lennon
“This is a big song, that’s going to showcase his big talent.” Team Shakira’s first contestant was The Voice’s comeback kid, Garrett Gardner. Losing his guitar and rock edge, Garrett slowed things down, grabbed a piano, and took on the John Lennon classic “Imagine.” Judges Adam and Usher were excited to see a different side of Garrett. His coach, Shakira, was “very proud” of the New Jersey native, and his performance of the classic hit.
Team Blake: Holly Tucker, “How Do I Live” LeAnn Rimes
Confidence was the key for Holly Tucker. The former college band member turned competition superstar, expressed her doubts about performing against those who have the “superstar image” that she doesn’t seem to have. Holly proved that she not only has the image but the voice to go along with it, taking on LeAnn Rimes “How Do I Live,” Holly set the bar high for the rest of the night's competitors. While coach Shakira felt Holly was simply amazing, it was coaches Adam and Blake who reassured her of her beauty and talent.
We will never stop wishing those compliments from Adam Levine to the contestants were actually for us.
Team Shakira: Kris Thomas, “When I Was Your Man” Bruno Mars
It was time for team Shakira’s Kris Thomas to embrace his unique tone. The high-pitched crooner took on the Bruno Mars hit “When I Was Your Man.” Kris was able to make the song his own, and have a impact on the crowd, as well as the coaches. The coaches remained half and half about his performance, while Coaches Adam and Usher mentioned his nerves and how they stopped him from shining all the way in his performance, coaches Shakira and Blake didn’t mind them.
Team Blake: The Swam Brothers, “Fishing in the Dark” The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
Show of hands, how many people actually knew this song? Anyone? Just Blake?
Taking on the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s “Fishing in the Dark,” team Blake’s dynamic duo The Swan Brothers performed the tune as if it was their own. Coach Blake chose a song that would showcase a different side of The Swan Brothers (a more energetic side) and would land them a standing ovation from their coach.
Although coach Usher was not familiar with the song, he enjoyed the performance. Adam complimented the duo for finally giving their coach his “country moment.” Blake couldn’t appear happier or sweatier (did someone have way too many “Special Lattes” last night?)
Giving the contestants a break from performing, Coaches Blake and Shakira took the stage and performed the Lady Antebellum hit “Need You Now” which, surprisingly, was good.
Team Shakira: Karina Iglesias, “Let’s Stay Together” Al Green
Showcasing her soul, music teacher Karina Iglesias performed a stripped down version of the Al Green classic, “Let’s Stay Together.” Appearing a little shaky at first, Karina found her confidence, and dominated the rest of the performance. Karina’s former coach Adam kicked himself for “foolishly giving her away.” Her new coach, Shakira, praised her for her sassiness, and strength.
Team Blake: Justin Rivers “Meet Me in the Middle” Diamond Rio
Remember Justin “Don’t chew your words, pronounce them?” The southern Alabama singer landed one of the night’s best country moments with his performance of Diamond Rio’s “Meet me in the Middle.” Coaches Usher and Shakira called him “cool” Justin’s Coach Blake “loved his experience.”
With the help of choreographer extraordinaire Hi-Hat, Shakira prepared her team for their group performance on the dance floor. Team Shakira performed Queen’s “We are the Champions.”
Team Blake: Danielle Bradbery, “Maybe it was Memphis” Pam Tillis
In the fourth performance of her life, team Blake’s Danielle Bradbery dominated the stage with the Pam Tillis country hit “Maybe it was Memphis” (a song that is twice her age). The 16 year old changed her style and performed a hit that showcased a more mature sound for her. The only thing Shakira could say was “holy crap”, Adam crowned her “one of the ones to beat” and Blake simply stood in applause.
Team Shakira: Sasha Allen, “Oh Darling” The Beatles
Another surprising performance from mother of two and former background singer Sasha Allen. Performing The Beetles hit “Oh Darling”, Sasha Allen ended the show on a high note. Coach Blake couldn’t help but to literally laugh in Allen’s former coach Adam’s face for “giving her up.” Usher loved her voice and outfit, and Adam regretted losing another big vocalist to team Shakira. Sasha’s coach Shakira couldn’t be happier as Sasha “gave everyone a big moment.”
Now that week one of the live play-off performances are done, it is up to the viewers to pick which two contestants from each team will stay, and the coaches to choose 1.
Will your favorite make it to the top 12?Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun