'The Voice' recap: Five artists sent packing

For The Baltimore Sun
"The Voice" recap: With five artists eliminated, we're all set for the finale.

With five artists sent packing, four artists take one step closer to winning $100,000 and a juicy record deal.

And the best person to ask about how great that feels is Cassadee Pope — Season 3's winner. Pope returned to her stomping grounds to sing "I am Invincible,” the first single from her upcoming album, on the Culver City, Calif., stage, and she looked as great as she sounded. As soon as her song caught speed, her stage presence was praised by the crowd. Head bobs from Adam Levine and Blake Shelton were good indicators of this.

And needless to say, Shelton was proud to be her former coach. As a four-time winning coach, I wouldn’t be surprised if Shelton won it again this time around. This round of eliminations left him far ahead all the other coaches — especially Pharrell, who’s officially out of the game. Shelton still has two artists left standing: young and spunky Emily Ann Roberts and father of two Barrett Baber. And it’s no surprise that Levine's beast weapon, Jordan Smith, was the first saved by America’s votes.

Team Adam's Amy Vachal and Shelby Brown, and Team Gwen's Braiden Sunshine were the first to be eliminated. That meant Zach Seabaugh (Team Blake), Madi Davis (Team Pharrell) and Jeffery Austin (Team Gwen) went head-to-head to win over America in the instant Twitter Save round.

The results were pretty clear: Austin was the fan favorite. After his powerful performance of Ed Sheeran’s “Make It Rain,” he blew the audience away and locked his spot in next week’s finale.

But Seabaugh shouldn’t be too worried about his career in music. After his rendition of Tim McGraw’s “Live Like You Were Dying,” Shelton recognized the singer's God-given talent and promised they’d stay good friends. Davis also shared a special moment with her coach, Pharrell, and shed tears multiple times throughout the show.

Voting is more important than ever this season, as shown by Monday night’s numbers — the most in “The Voice” history.

With only four artists remaining, only one artist will leave the stage as the Season 9 champion. We'll find out who it is next week. 

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