'The Voice' recap: Ushering in the final 12

T. J. Wilkins

T. J. Wilkins

Jason MacNeil, Special To QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:24 PM ET

The Voice Tuesday night featured one amazing performance and a few good ones for Usher to sort through.

T. J. Wilkins – who said Usher was a “hero” of his – got things underway with the funky, groovy Tell Me Something Good. The Chaka Khan and Rufus cover showed Wilkins' strong soul side while working the stage like a pro. Shakira said his voice was his “ace under his sleeve,” causing Adam Levine to chuckle. Meanwhile Levine and Blake Shelton enjoyed it. However Usher made no guarantees to the singer despite adding he did the song justice.

The singer who made the boldest move was easily Melissa Jimenez, who met Usher originally onstage during one of his concerts at New York's Madison Square Garden. Usher described it as a “live or die” moment and sadly she seemed to perish in the competition with a stripped-down rendition of Beyonce's Halo. It seemed problematic at times in Levine's eyes despite fleeting moments of beauty. Shelton also noticed some breathing techniques that needed improvement.

Stevie Jo took a risk somewhat being “a long-haired metal-head singing the blues” in Levine's eyes. Jo went with B.B. King's The Thrill Is Gone and worked his way into the blues classic effortlessly. Shakira criticized how he stretched some of the notes too long but otherwise enjoyed it. As for Shelton, he loved the voice but also how Jo worked the stage as if he was “sneaking up on a rabbit.”

The one contestant who will give Sisaundra Lewis a run for her money is Bria Kelly. Kelly, who Shakira said was “second-guessing” herself in earlier rounds, dazzled the judges and audience with a golden cover of The Rolling Stones' Wild
Horses. Kelly brought her own guitar onstage with her but didn't need the axe given her amazing set of pipes which resembled Melissa Etheridge or Natalie Maines. All loved it and Usher all but brought her into the next round with his praise, stating she shone in the moment.

Probably the other singer which signed his way into the next round was Josh Kaufman. Kaufman covered Bruno Mars' It Will Rain, a tune Usher said was difficult to do. Yet Kaufman delivered a very solid take of the song, winning the audience from the very first lyric. While kneeling down briefly might have been a mistake, Kaufman had Levine wondering if he made the right choice in letting Usher steal him. Shakira and Shelton also loved it with Shelton stating his wife Miranda Lambert looked forward to watching Kaufman sing.

Left with making the final choice for his Top Three, Usher gave accolades to the five singers as a whole but selected Bria Kelly first. Usher said Kelly was a major talent and believed she'd go deep into the competition. The second
contestant to go through was Josh Kaufman with T.J. Wilkins rounding out Usher's trio.


Photos