Blake Shelton narrowed his team down to the top 3 artists who will perform in the live rounds of The Voice: Audra McLaughlin, Sisaundra Lewis and Jake Worthington.

The Voice finally reached the Playoffs after weeks of Blind Auditions. As Carson Daly explained at the beginning of the episode, during the Playoffs each artist will get to choose their song to perform for their coaches in the hopes of making it to the live rounds, where their fates will no longer be decided by their coaches but by American voters.

Audra McLaughlin was first up, singing Martina McBride’s “A Broken Wing.” The judges loved her performance, and Adam Levine even admitted she could be one to beat, calling her “spectacular.”


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Following Audra’s powerhouse performance was Ryan Whyte Maloney, taking on Shinedown’s “Second Chance.” Usher gives Ryan encouraging feedback, comparing him to Adam Levine. Shakira is a little less enthusiastic, and Adam appears pretty neutral.

Madilyn Paige offered a change of pace with her performance of “Clarity” by Zedd. Madilyn gives it her all in a performance full of elaborate lighting and almost powerful belts, earning her some words of love from her former coach, Usher. But her solid, yet lackluster performance left the judges a bit at a loss. Blake said he was incredibly proud of Madilyn, but also expressed that he had no idea what he was going to do when it comes time for him to decide who moves on to the live rounds and who will be sent home.

Country favorite, and a mini-Blake Shelton, Jake Worthington was next up on the stage, performing another country tune, “Anywhere With You” by Jake Owen. Jake’s sweet charm – he dedicates his song to his girlfriend of 3 years – was on full display in the rehearsal clip, where he told Blake that his girlfriend was the “only girl that’s treated me like a skinny guy.” The judges were unanimous in their love for Jake. Shakira did away with any technical critique and telling Jake, “You’re a star.” And Blake called him “the real deal.”

Sisaundra Lewis was the last contestant to perform, taking on Billy Joel’s “New York State of Mind.” Sisaundra goes with a toned down performance, with a simple piano accompaniment that allowed her voice to shine. In rehearsals, Blake had to ask her to tone down the rifs and keep the tricks to a minimum, warning her against over singing. Sisaundra more than comes through, giving a slowly building performance that ended in dazzling vocals.

The judges give Sisaundra their very warmest praise, and Blake agrees when it comes time to decide which three contestants will be moving forward to the live rounds. The first two artists Blake decides to keep are Sisaundra Lewis and Audra McLaughlin, leaving Madilyn, Ryan and Jake with one last chance to tell their coach why they should move on to the live shows. Jake offered the judges his most sincere thanks, winning him a place in the live shows and, no doubt, in the hearts of the viewers who will be voting in the live rounds. He was so moved at being chosen, he took off his signature cowboy hat.

Next Monday, two coaches will be in the hot seat to decide which three contestants they will pick to compete in the live rounds.

The Voice airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on NBC.

– Olivia Truffaut-Wong

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