There's another break in the competition for Carson to chat up Today's Savannah Guthrie and Al Roker, in the first installment of NBC cross-promotion. Once that's over, it's time for Team Usher's Cathia and her version of Whitney Houston's "I Have Nothing," which has been done by Cheesa in season two and Devyn DeLoera in season three. We learn that the song was Usher's choice, though, and he probably didn't know that. While Cathia delivers a good effort, it comes across as more volume than emotion. Shakira doesn't agree with the song choice. Carson doesn't care what Adam thinks. Usher is a bit vague, talking more about how he believes in Cathia than anything else.
He takes a break to team with Adam on a cover of "Superstition" complete with horns. It's pretty darned fun, and it makes you wonder if the show's going to ask Shakira and Blake to collaborate next (it'd be fair, wouldn't it?). Once the coaches have left the stage, it's time for Team Adam's Caroline Glaser. Adam hands her Ed Sheeran's "The A Team," which is a pretty popular song of recent, so that adds to the challenge. She admits to being nervous, but it definitely doesn't come across on stage. Blake comments on his latte again. Adam nearly facepalms.
Adam: Did they pay you or something?
Team Usher's Vedo sings Phil Collins' "Against All Odds," which was previously done by another R&B vocalist, Jermaine Paul. But it's another coach's choice. Vedo doesn't even know who Phil Collins is. After another emotional performance from Vedo that is pretty impressive for a guy who'd never heard of the original artist before, Shakira makes a comment about the universe and Adam busts out a faux-Italian accent. It's one of the most random segments of coach feedback in the history of the show.
The spotlight then turns to the entirety of Team Adam, as they visit Adam's family's clothing store, meet Adam's stylist and get some fashion tips before they gather for their group version of Florence and the Machine's "Shake It Out." But they do not have matching sweatshirts. As you'd expect from a team of ladies handed an epic song by a female vocalist, they nail their collaboration, particularly Amber and the ever-impressive Judith Hill. If one of them doesn't win this season, they could always get back together as a group act.
After that comes Team Usher's Michelle Chamuel, performing Cyndi Lauper's "True Colors." Usher thinks it's a perfect song for Michelle, going so far as to bring out a mirror because he wants her to see how the song applies to her. Her rendition isn't quite as alive as the one by James Massone in season two, but it has an earnestness to it that makes it likeable. Adam thinks it was a breakout moment for her, and Blake is annoyed that he didn't get to say that first. The consensus is another great performance.
Last but not least is the woman everyone is waiting for: Team Adam's Judith Hill. What's she going to do in order to continue wowing the audience? That would be "Feeling Good" by Nina Simone, which Dez Duron did a fantastic version of last season, but if anyone can bring as much soul as he did, it's Judith. Adam thinks this is a statement performance for Judith, specifically citing her former teammate Sasha Allen as tough competition. Not to discount Sasha, but Judith has nothing to worry about based on what she does, which is a rendition that wouldn't be out of place on a Broadway stage. She knows how to command an audience, and considering it's the audience that's deciding her fate, that's a very good thing.
Usher: You came out here and you took us to church.
On that high note, the first live playoff night draws to a close. Tune in tomorrow to see Team Blake and Team Shakira take the stage - and then watch Wednesday to find out which artists won't make America's first cut to be named 'The Voice' for season four.
(c)2013 Brittany Frederick/Big Red Chairs. Excerpts appear at Starpulse with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted. Visit my official website and follow me on Twitter at @bigredchairs.