‘The Voice’ Recap: Shakira Performs “Empire” On Live Eliminations

Caila Ball-Dionne | April 23, 2014 5:31 am

Oh The Voice, how did you manage to make this season’s live eliminations even more contestant-crushing than in previous years? Now, in addition to standing on stage as the results are slowly rolled out throughout the episode, and in addition to the live save component, the bottom three contestants are subjected to 90-second last-ditch performances meant to convince the voting audience to save them.

Yes: right as their confidence is shattered by the news that they are in the bottom three, the contestants have to “sing for their lives,” as Carson Daly so dramatically states it, for the 33% chance of making it to the next round. Evil? Deliciously so. Love it? Definitely.

Before that whole sudden death situation, coaches Adam Levine, Shakira and Blake Shelton perform live! No Usher this week? Nah: there needs to be some things left to the imagination/end of the season.

First up, Adam performs Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer” with Christina Grimmie, Delvin Choice and Kat Perkins. Team Adam rocks black-and-white ensembles, perhaps as a nod to Adam’s signature black jeans and white t-shirt look.

Next, Shakira performs “Empire” from her self-titled album in a body suit and black lace pants. If that isn’t hot enough for you, there is fire involved. Needless to say, it is completely fierce, if completely lip-synched. Also needless to say, the audience cannot clap along correctly, even when the stakes are as high as Shakira.

Blake Shelton performs Travis Tritt’s “Put Some Drive In Your Country” alongside his team after that. Audra McLaughlin, Jake Worthington and Sisaundra Lewis all have solid performances, though when Jake performs sans hat, it’s very off-putting. Come on, Jake: that accessory is the key to your earnest country power. Hold on tight to it at this critical point in the season.

At this point, the votes are tallied, and nine out of the ten who will advance can take a break.

Saved by the Votes: Team Usher: Josh Kaufman, Bria Kelly Team Adam: Kat Perkins, Delvin Choice, Christina Grimme Team Blake: Audra McLaughlin, Jake Worthington, Sisaundra Lewis Team Shakira: Kristen Merlin

Then it gets real. Having found themselves in the bottom three, Team Shakira’s Dani Moz and Tess Boyer, and Team Usher’s T.J. Wilkins now need to convince Twitter users everywhere of their entertainment worth. It’s time for a Blind Auditions redux with three 90-second performances.

T.J.sings Edwin McCain’s “I’ll Be,” and ends the song down on his knees. It is miraculously solid considering his precarious position.

“All I have to say is #SaveTJ,” says Usher of the performance. Carson then corrects him that the actual way to #SaveTJ is with #VoiceSaveTJ. (#PayAttentionUsher)

Dani then sings Adele’s “Turning Tables.” Her chopping block performance is also remarkably sound.

“You guys heard her: she’s amazing,” says Shakira. “Give her another chance.”

Finally, Tess sings Kelly Clarkson’s “Dark Side.” It’s pitchy, and there are breath issues one would expect from such a rushed, high pressure performance.

“I have to admit that I’m really surprised to see you standing up there. I thought you nailed it last night,” says Shakira. “You are one of the best singers on this competition.”

She may have had pitch issues, but Twitter doesn’t seem to mind. The Instant Save goes to Tess Boyer! Without a moment to say “Thanxbai,” Team Usher’s T.J. Wilkins and Team Shakira’s Dani Moz are sent packing. Such is life on these tightly-timed live shows.

Did the right contestants make it to the Top 10? And what did you think of these do-or-die performances?