The Voice coaches Shakira and Adam Levine had to eliminate two members of their own teams to narrow down their contestants to a top three in this week’s Playoff rounds.

Team Shakira: Dani Moz, Tess Boyer, Kristen Merlin

Kristen Merlin, who has had minimal screen time so far, started things off strongly with the country rock song “Two Black Cadillacs.” Adam and country authority Blake Shelton declare Kristen a force to be reckoned with, and Blake praises her country prowess, saying it was as good as any live performance could be.

Deja Hall, one of the youngest contestants of the season, decided to sing “Battlefield” by Jordin Sparks. Hall is solid, and the coaches applaud her for her increased confidence onstage, but her performance fails to inspire any gushing.

Next up, former NFL cheerleader Tess Boyer performed Christina Perri’s “Human.” Tess blew the coaches away with her strong performance, and the coaches could not say enough good things about her. Boyer bounced around teams throughout the competition, starting out on Team Usher, then being stolen by Blake and then eliminated again before finally landing on Team Shakira through yet another steal. Usher and Blake admitted that they felt stupid for letting her go, and tried to take a bit of the credit for her amazing performance, but it was Shakira’s coaching that truly helped Tess deliver a controlled performance.

Shakira’s only male contestant, Patrick Thomson was next up on The Voice stage, performing Ray LaMontagne’s “Trouble.” Shakira coached him mostly from an emotional perspective, encouraging him to truly sell the song instead of focusing on selling his voice. And the coaching paid off. The judges loved his performance, with Usher saying that it was the first time Patrick truly revealed himself on stage.

Rounding out Team Shakira was Dani Moz, who decided to sing “Edge of Glory” by Lady Gaga, piano and all. Shakira encouraged Dani to let herself go in the song, telling her, “You know who wins, the ones who really let their souls be seen.” Dani certainly takes the advice to heart, delivering an emotional performance and making Shakira proud. Dani was also notably the only Team Shakira contestant to play an instrument (the piano) during to accompany their vocals.

When time finally came for the eliminations, Shakira was clearly torn, but quickly declared Tess and Kristen in the top three. The remaining contestants, Deja, Patrick and Dani each had the chance to plead for their lives and say goodbye. Deja said she was excited to see where her voice could go from here, but Dani’s heartfelt and soulful approach – “The important thing for me was to let my soul be seen” – won her a place in the live rounds.

Team Adam: Delvin Choice, Kat Perkins, Christina Grimmie

Delvin Choice, an early favorite, was first up for Team Adam. Delvin went with a classic song for his first bit solo performance on The Voice stage, performing Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together.” Delvin kept his performance simple, earning mountains of praise from his coach and the other judges, especially from Usher, who simply labeled him “a threat.”

Jake Barker was up next and decided to sing Adam’s own song, “She Will Be Loved” by Maroon 5. Jake insists he wants to be the falsetto guy, but he simply didn’t have the voice to follow through and ends up delivering an off-pitch imitation of Adam Levine.
The judges try to let Jake down gently, but it’s unlikely he’ll be able to go to the live rounds.

Kat Perkins, one of Adam’s personal favorites, was next to perform. The self-defined rocker chick went with Journey’s “Open Arms.” Kat delivers, and Adam’s love for her only grows stronger after her solo performance.

Morgan Wallen followed Kat Perkins, and he decided to go with a country song. Morgan had a strong rasp, but his performance was a bit stale. However, his performance did have Usher admitting that he should have guided Morgan towards country music when he was on his team.

Finally, Christina Grimmie took the stage for the last performance of the night. Christina shocked the judges with her powerful performance of “I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz, which she dedicated to her mother. Adam encouraged her to control her voice, even when doing belts and runs, and Christina delivered. After her performance, Blake shouted at Adam that she was the best vocalist on his team and the only criticism he could come up with was that her shirt was too shiny. Usher called her the baby Celine Deon.

Adam was so impressed with Christina, he decided to save her first, saying she was the best of the night. Delvin was the next contestant to be sent into the live rounds – no surprise there – followed by Kat.

The Voice playoffs continue Tuesday at 8 p.m. on NBC wit Team Usher.

Olivia Truffaut-Wong

More on The Voice:

> 'The Voice' Recap: Blake Shelton Picks His Top 3

> 'The Voice' Recap: Blake Steals Madilyn Paige From Team Usher, Rounding Out The Top 20 To Perform In Live Shows

> 'The Voice' Recap: Battle Rounds Part 4 Usher Uses His Last Steal For Team Shakira's Cierra Mickens

> 'The Voice' Recap: Battle Rounds Part 3 Blake Uses His Last Save For Tess Boyer

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