‘The Voice’: Team Blake Inches Closer to a Win

Blake Shelton on "The Voice" (NBC)

Blake Shelton, once again, is the coach to beat on “The Voice.” With tonight’s two-fold elimination for Team Adam Levine, only Team Blake remains whole.

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Judith Hill and Sarah Simmons said goodbye in a one-two punch for their mentor. Adam looked stunned. “What?!?” he mouthed after Carson Daly delivered the news.

He might be rethinking his strategy, set out at the top of the show. Carson asked Adam how important it is for his contestants to take risks, and Adam said he wasn’t going to let them play it safe. “Or you could be like Blake and let them do whatever they want and not coach them at all,” he said, after Blake coughed BS through Adam’s talk.

Indeed, Blake has tended to play it safe with his contestants this season, making country singers be even more country than they seem comfortable with at times. While Adam encourages his one country contestant, Amber Carrington, to branch out to other genres. Considering that Amber’s now Adam’s only shot at the win, will he continue to stretch her limits, or let her veer toward country like Blake would?

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In other news, Shakira appeared to have absolutely no confidence in Sasha Allen remaining in the game. “If she’s sent home tonight, it’s because her coach made a mistake” with the song selection, she said.

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Then, when Sasha was sent to safety, Shakira literally shot out of her chair screaming and jumped up on stage to hug Sasha. She then couldn’t get back down due to shoe issues. Usher practically had to lift her off the stage. It was adorable and a wonderfully unscripted moment of pure joy and surprise from Sasha’s coach.

And Michelle Chamuel continued on, keeping Usher in the game. Usher believes that Michelle is in it for the long haul, because she “created a movement.” That movement being the squat.

Sprinkled throughout the night were duets by the Top 8. Almost all of them were excellent pairings, starting with Judith and Michelle. Being around innate talent like Judith brings out competitive fire in Michelle. She sounds great whenever she sings with people who have way bigger voices than she does.

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Sasha and the Swon Brothers teamed up for “Don’t You Wanna Stay,” and though Sasha slays anyone around her, Swon held their own as solid, supportive backup to her anguished wails.

Danielle Bradbery and Sarah Simmons joined together for a beautiful rendition of “A Thousand Years.” Sarah wisely left her grit at the door, and just did it straight up—next to crystal clear Danielle, that was a good bet.

Only Amber and Holly Tucker were an unequal pairing. Amber is so natural next to Holly’s pageanty delivery. Side by side, Holly was out of her league.

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We also got a new confessional, about guilty pleasures and a few other topics. We learned: the little Swon likes “The Notebook”; Shakira has dirty feet; Michelle eats plain lettuce; and if Usher were a superhero, he’d be called “Captain Muscles.”

Confession: my guilty pleasure was the extended preview we got for “America’s Got Talent,” that featured Nick Cannon as a James Brown inspired Uncle Sam, singing Brown’s “Living in America.” This is Cee Lo level entertainment.

Christina Milian’s stupid moment of the night: up in the skybox, standing next to Michelle Chamuel and Michelle’s mom, Christina asks Michelle who that lady next to Usher is in a picture on a screen. Michelle is like: Uh, my mom—aka the woman standing right here in front of you.

One last guilty pleasure: watching Christina Milian be oblivious to the people in her direct sightlines. It’s disturbing but hilarious.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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