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The Voice recap: Semifinalists revealed

For The Baltimore Sun

The pressure is on in Season 9 of "The Voice." And that was pretty evident based on what we saw on stage as the top 9 semifinalists were revealed.

Last night, nerves may have gotten the best of more than just a few artists.

During the question-and-answer portion of the show, Madi Davis seemed a little flustered when Carson Daly asked her what she learned from her coach, Pharrell. Although her response — “To be open” — was pretty generic, Madi saved herself with her awkward yet playful laughter.

Unfortunately, that couldn’t be said for Team Gwen’s Korin Bukowski. After two weeks of sliding by eliminations, Korin was finally forced to pack her bags when Braiden Sunshine, an artist from the same team, won over the audience during the live votes. Whether it was just nerves or a poor song choice, Korin’s rendition of Colbie Caillat’s “Try” was far from her best performance.

Korin struggled through the song, forgetting much of the lyrics, and fought to maintain her confidence when all eyes were on her once again. Although it was painful to watch, coaches offered encouraging feedback — mostly from Gwen, who got on her feet to tell America how much she deserves another save.

It might’ve been a little awkward for Braiden — who stood beside Korin during their coach’s speech — but lucky for him, his name ranked higher than the two-time Twitter-saved veteran.  In the last on-screen graphic, Braiden came in with 51 percent of America’s votes. The close result proves how important live voting is for the fate of the bottom two artists.

As for the rest of the semifinalists, Team Blake’s Emily Ann Roberts, Team Adam’s Jordan Smith, and Team Gwen’s Jeffery Austin were the top three artists that America voted to see again. Blake and Adam lead the competition with all three of their artists remaining while Gwen holds onto her final two and Pharrell is left with just one.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the four teams:

Team Adam – Jordan Smith, Amy Vachal, Shelby Brown

Team Blake – Emily Ann Roberts, Barrett Baber, Zach Seabaugh

Team Gwen – Jeffery Austin, Braiden Sunshine

Team Pharrell – Madi Davis

Was Pharrell too optimistic in sharing that he was “super confident” in Madi’s talents? Will we be seeing another artist from Gwen’s team in the next elimination round? Who really has what it takes to push themselves, stay inspired and control their nerves, as Adam said, to claim the title this season?

With only nine artists left, every performance is a defining one. On next week’s episode, Dolly Parton will make a special appearance to assist artists and show off her vocals on stage. Let us know what you thought of R. City joining Adam in their collaboration of “Locked Away” and tell whether you liked Sia singing her new single, “Alive.” As great as the competition canget, coach and guest star performances make the show all the more worthwhile.

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