"The Voice" 2014 resumed April 15 on NBC with the third and final night of playoff round action, which saw the last three members of the top 12 pass safely to the live shows. So which of Usher's five hopefuls were given the chance to sing for America's votes and which were sent packing just a week short of achieving their musical dreams?
T.J. Wilkins, the south central Los Angeles native who hoped to make a better life for his family, opened the round with his take on "Tell Me Something Good." Shakira noted that the'd played to the audience very well and called him "so soulful" and "so committed," while Adam Levine called his true desire to entertain "a breath of fresh air." Blake Shelton said he was "on board 100%" with T.J. being alive in the competition and Usher praised him for bringing back the "carefree" feel of R&B and soul music.
Another talented R&B singer, Melissa Jimenez, followed as the evening's second performer. The versatile Jimenez hit the stage with diva Beyonce's monster hit "Halo." Shakira called her stripped-down take on the tune "very brave" and Adam agreed, but noted moments that were both beautiful and troublesome. Blake confessed to being less familiar with the song than the others, but called it "pretty dang good." Finally, Usher, like Shakira and Adam, praised her for going for the prize and taking a big risk.
Third in the order was rocker turned R&B artist Stevie Jo with B.B. King's "The Thrill is Gone." Blake likened his performance style to that of someone "sneaking up on a rabbit" and called him "the real deal," while Adam confirmed "you know I've always loved you" and praised his ambition. Shakira said she appreciated several aspects of the performance and Usher said he, like Blake, was a fan.
Bria Kelly, who Blake called the biggest threat on Usher's team, followed with her haunting, high octane take on "Wild Horses." Adam said he'd "always lamented not" having her on his team and called her one of his favorites. Shakira marveled over her unique, raspy and sultry sound, while Blake called the soft side of her voice "as golden" as Usher's shoes. For his part, Usher applauded her for her originality.
Closing out the playoff round was Josh Kaufman, who was stolen by Usher after losing his second battle round to Team Adam's Delvin Choice. The Indianapolis father of three, who turned four chairs during his blind audition, offered up Bruno Mars' "It Will Rain." Adam said he was "so relieved and so happy" to see his former protege still in the competition, while Blake said he was one of his wife Miranda Lambert's favorites of the season. Shakira called herself "one of your biggest fans." Usher called the performance "incredible" and said that it made his impending decision even more challenging.
After mulling his options, Usher faced the five artists and complimented them on their excellent playoff offerings before making his picks. First to advance to the live shows was Bria, followed by Josh and T.J.
The three newly minted members of Team Usher round out the top 12 that will perform for America's votes during the first live show of season six on April 21. The other finalists include Kristen Merlin, Tess Boyer, and Dani Moz of Team Shakira; Delvin Choice, Kat Perkins, and Christina Grimmie of Team Adam; and Audra McLaughlin, Jake Worthington, and Sisaundra Lewis of Team Blake.