"The Voice" 2014 trimmed its field of hopefuls from 10 during the hit reality show's April 29 results show on NBC. The final outcome left two coaches with a distinct advantage over their fellow mentors.
Host Carson Daly opened the show by confirming that former No Doubt front woman Gwen Stefani and Pharrell Williams will join the season seven mentoring cast. The segment continued as Usher hit the stage with his surviving teammates, Bria Kelly and Josh Kaufman, to sing "Always on the Run" by Lenny Kravitz.
Carson then summoned the top 10 to the stage to reveal the first batch of the week's results. Saved to sing again as members of the top eight were Team Adam Levine's Christina Grimmie, who scored the week's sole iTunes vote multiplier with her take on Drake's "Hold On, We're Going Home," and Team Blake Shelton's power vocalist Sisaundra Lewis.
Following a break, Carson checked in with the celebrity mentors to ask for their thoughts on the season to date. While Adam said he planned to keep listening and paying attention to his contestants' thoughts and needs, Shakira called the competition very tough and said she was "hoping for the best" for her two remaining hopefuls. Usher said he was "confident" in his finalists' work and Blake Shelton called song choice "everything," noting that "the worst thing you can do is play it safe."
Moments later, the finalists again trooped on stage for more results action. Saved to sing again were Team Shakira's Kristen Merlin and Team Usher's Josh.
Team Shakira followed with a live version of the international super star's "The One Thing." The season's first confessional followed, as America learned about Bria Kelly's bizarre fixation on cheese, Usher's affinity for cooking in his underwear, Blake's desire for a marshmallow-only version of Lucky Charms, Jake Worthington's ear wiggling talent, and Shakira's disdain for the sound of alarm clocks.
The elimination continued as Carson proclaimed two more artists safe to sing again. Joining the top eight were Team Blake's Audra McLaughlin and Team Adam's Delvin Choice, leaving just four hopefuls awaiting their respective competition fates. But they didn't have to wait long for the news, as Team Blake's Jake was sent to safety following a segment featuring the contestants' thoughts on the challenges of competing.
With the all-important Twitter Instant Save hanging in the balance, Team Usher's Bria, Team Adam's Kat Perkins, and Team Shakira's Tess Boyer sang for their lives. Bria was up first with Heart's "Crazy on You." Blake hoped the effort would buy her another shot at the title, and Usher echoed the words, but closed out his commentary by reminding the tearful Bria that she's not defined by what others think of her.
Tess followed with Pink's "Who Knew." Adam called her "an amazing singer" but noted that all of the hopefuls were amazing, while coach Shakira said she was "devastated" to see her in the bottom three yet again. Tess smiled through tears as Shakira begged America to vote to keep her in the competition.
Last up to sing for her life was Team Adam's Kat, who delivered what was easily the strongest save-me performance in Grace Potter and the Nochturnals' "Paris (Oh La La)." As the ovation went on, Blake opined "if that doesn't buy you" another chance, "I don't know" what will. Meanwhile, Adam said he was "shocked" to see her in the bottom three.
Moments later, Tess and Bria joined Kat on stage to hear the results of the instant save. After each mentor stumped for their respective candidates, Carson revealed that rocker Kat had earned a spot in the top eight, which sealed the departures of both Bria and Tess.
"The Voice" 2014 resumes May 5 on NBC with the top eight performance show. The results show will follow on May 6.