‘The Voice’ recap: Amber Carrington and Sasha Allen head home

Shakira and Adam Levine are out of the race on “The Voice.” On Tuesday night, viewers sent home each of their remaining contestants, Team Shakira’s Sasha Allen and Team Adam’s Amber Carrington. Team Usher’s Michelle Chamuel and two members of Team Blake, Danielle Bradbery and the Swon Brothers, are the three contenders set to compete in next week’s finals.

Tuesday night’s results -- revealed amid performances by Fall Out Boy, last season’s second- and third-place “Voice” finishers Terry McDermott and Nicholas David, and season two’s Tony Lucca -- also scuttled any doubt that Blake Shelton has figured out, better than any other coach, how to play this game to win. After all, he has not only coached the winning contestants (not to mention last year’s runner-up, McDermott) for two straight seasons, he also has a two-out-of-three chance to win it again. And he’s managed to get a duo -- the first duo in “Voice” history to make it out of the Battle Rounds -- all the way to the finals.

“I’m just the drunk that tries to stay out of their way,” he said self-effacingly Tuesday night of his strategy for coaching his contestants. But there’s more to it than that.


Usher even gave Shelton props this week for helping him figure out how to compete as a coach on “The Voice.” It’s about connecting with people emotionally, he said. Shelton’s been saying that for a long time. People listen to music that tells a story -- that touches their hearts as well as pleases the ear -- and they vote on these shows the same way. It’s probably not for nothing that, when critiquing his team members’ performances, Shelton praises their personalities as much as, if not more than, he does their singing. Usher has clearly learned that lesson and done well with it.

Which is not to say the three remaining contestants don’t deserve to be there on their vocal merits. They do. But so, arguably, did Allen and certainly Carrington.

One can’t help but wonder what Shelton would have done with Carrington, who arrived in the competition as a country singer with a heart-tugging backstory and a clear ability to connect emotionally with a song, had she been on his team. While Levine took her further from her country roots as the competition went on, sending her out there with hard-to-tackle songs by Adele and Katy Perry, and boasted about how Carrington could be anything she wanted (Shakira took Allen on a similarly muddy path, incidentally), Shelton may have helped her find her country groove and her audience.

He has a track record for helping his artists discover who they are and where they fit in and works at making that clear to “The Voice’s” vast audience. Like a real mentor.

So it’s down to Michelle Chamuel, Danielle Bradbery and the Swon Brothers. Who do you think will win?


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