The coaches on
There were sneaky last-minute spins to try to outmaneuver the competition (backfired!), crude jokes at one another's expense (something about rainbows and orifices it's best not to dwell on), and a not-bad, not-unfunny imitation of Shakira (nice work there, Adam). There was even a moment when several coaches abandoned their chairs altogether in order to woo a universally wanted singer.
That coveted singer was Cary Laine, a boot-wearing, country-music-loving mama from Alabama by way of Wyoming, who spun all four chairs with her rendition of "Better Dig Two." Though
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Laine's adorable little son wasn't the only one who was surprised when Laine picked not Shelton, but Levine. "What?" he exclaimed.
"I felt like Adam really wanted me on his team. He really fought for me, " Laine later explained.
Laine's performance, which arrived at the end of the hour-long show, was one of several strong, coach-battle-sparking showings.
Others included …
Delvin Choice, a musically gifted
"It would be really cool if he won because that's the spirit of the show, not to give up," Levine said of his new team member.
Madilyn Paige, 16, of Provo, Utah, who captured the interest of Usher and Shakira with her sweet, delicate take on
Usher said he was looking forward to watching Paige "unfold."
Noah Lis, a 22-year-old from Palmer, Mass., who says he wants "to bring back the old jazz and pop standards but also introduce a new take." He sang most of his rendition of Billy Paul's "Me and Mrs. Jones" to the backs of the judges' chairs, and it wasn't looking too good for him. But then, at the very end, Levine and Shelton spun, and it turned out they'd been holding out strategically.
Shelton dropped the name of his pal Michael Buble (though, in fact, Levine had dropped it for him first) and said
"I'm really pumped that Noah chose me," Shelton said, adding he had "always wanted to work with a crooner."
Deja Hall, a 16-year-old dynamo from a military family, who impressed three out of four judges -- Blake, Shakira and Usher -- with her rendition of Cyndi Lauper's "True Colors." Shakira, who got so excited by Hall's singing she almost missed her button when she tried to hit it, called the teen's voice "beautiful" and "angelic." From the first moment she saw her, she said, "I haven't been able to stop smiling.… It doesn't matter who you choose, you're going to be a star." Shelton's hollers that he knew how to win the show fell on deaf ears. Shakira it was.
Hall credited the "connection I had with her," adding, "I just believe she was the one."