The fourth season of The Voice
is drawing to an end, and the final five will be winnowed down to three within a matter of hours. In Monday night's episode, each of the contestants performed two songs — one a dedication of their own choosing, the other a coach selection — and revisited their hometowns to reconnect with family, friends, and fans. With two contestants still in the running, Blake Shelton is at a clear advantage going in, but there's no telling what lies ahead when everyone's bringing their A-game.
Here's the rundown of the night's big performances!
Usher kicks things off with a performance of his new single "Twisted," offering a nice reminder that as talented as these contestants are, they still have some distance to cover if they want to become international superstars. After some seriously suggestive dancing (there will be FCC complaints about those tasseled skirts, rest assured), Usher glitters with sweat — but he's still cool behind his shades.Team Usher: The Swon Brothers
The Swon Brothers dedicate their performance of Bob Seger's "Turn the Page" to the musicians who've played with them, past and present. It's solid as ever, but still there's nothing remarkable about it — they don't have the vocal firepower of the other contestants on this show, but they make up for it in general likeability. Blake opines, "I really think as far as big steps and development, I think we've seen the biggest growth in the Swon Brothers in this competition, over anybody else."Team Shakira: Sasha Allen
Carson Daly draws giggles from the audience as he attempts to introduce Sasha Allen through a thick of manufactured smoke. Allen dedicates Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" to her children, Sierra and Phoenix. She gets off to a meandering start but recovers quickly, an angelic presence in a gauzy white dress. Adam commends her making it through a "monster song" with grace, and somewhere in the stream of Shakira's gushy praise she does an adorable imitation of her own mother demanding that Sasha sing Whitney Houston.Team Usher: Michelle Chamuel
The first home visit relayed is Michelle Chamuel's visit to Amherst, Massachusetts, where she is welcomed by her friends, family, and beloved bandmate from Michigan. She pays a visit to the Woodstar Cafe, where she was employed until quite recently, and is presented with a hot pink cake emblazoned with The Voice logo. Her visit culminates with a performance of "God Bless America" at Fenway. It's pretty clear that everyone back home is very, very proud of their bespectacled girl.
Michelle sings Zedd's "Clarity," and it's everything we've come to expect of the fan favorite — with fist pumps, squats, and everything. The audience goes wild, as always, and Adam Levine has to shout a little to admit, "I feel like a broken record because every week I just tell you how much I love you ... I don't know what else I can say but ... I love you?" Michelle is so humbled by the audience reaction that she can't figure out how to get off the stage.Team Blake: Danielle Bradbery
Danielle's return to Cypress, Texas, is about what you'd expect for an adorable 16-year-old who's on the path to reality television superstardom. She's greeted by a thick of tearful cousins and friends at her suburban home, and is later met with a full-on parade at her high school. Lady is LOVING the attention, not that we can blame her — she's freaking 16. Later, her mother tears up as she sings the national anthem at a Houston Astros game.
Danielle sings Tim McGraw's "Remember Me," and though there's little to no chance she's ever experienced anything traumatic enough to inspire a song like that, it's still stirring. Plus she's got a couple of trendy Jennifer Aniston braids going on. It moves Blake Shelton to a standing ovation, prompting Carson to shout, "Sit down, Grandpa!" Usher calls it "amazeballs." Adam notes that technically, there is no way she could have sung it better. Blake whoops and professes his love.Team Adam: Amber Carrington
Amber Carrington dedicates her rendition of Katy Perry's "Firework" to her best friends, fondly reminiscing about the times they've piled into a car and sung Katy Perry songs at top volume. The performance is a spectacle, with digital fireworks bursting all about as she hits all her blaring high notes with more consistency than the woman who wrote the song. Afterwards, Blake shakes his head, makes his serious face, and declares,"I'll be damned by just the power of your voice" (that's a compliment). Adam notes that Amber doesn't "fit in" in the competition, but that's what's great about her — she can do anything.Team Blake: The Swon Brothers
The Swon Brothers' homecoming in Muskogee, Oklahoma is a little more low-key than Danielle Bradbery's, but it's still plenty adorable. The pair pay a visit the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame, where they're presented with the 2013 Rising Star Award. Vince Gill beams in over a projector to congratulate them via video message (it's not really a great time to travel to Oklahoma). They also performed to a sold out, heavily female audience at a local theater, get a boyband reception, and have a week named in their honor. Not bad.
Zach and Colton sing Kenny Loggins' "Danny's Song," and if this is their final performance on this show, it's a great one — their finest since the George Jones tribute, to be sure. Usher commends them for making "the world" love and understand country, because he misunderstands how far-reaching this show is. Blake calls it "unbelievable" and "perfect" and assures them that someday they'll look back on this night as one of the most pivotal in their career.Team Shakira: Sasha Allen
Sasha Allen's New York City reunion with her daughter Sierra is intense and lovely, with both parties tearing up. In a radio interview, she explains that it's not easy being away from her kids, but she's just doing what she can to make life better for everyone. She caps off her visit with a performance at the Village Underground, where she sang during her college days.
Sasha then channels her inner disco diva for a performance of "Bad Girls." It's a terrific performance, a perfect 70s explosion complete with flirty backup dancers (they do individual dances in front of each of the coaches' chairs) and a shiny disco ball. Usher voices his appreciation of the private show. "You started as this competition as a voice," Shakira notes, "but we didn't have a clue of how great of a performer you could turn into." Um, Shak? Sasha was on Broadway
before this show.Team Blake: Danielle Bradbery
Danielle dedicates her performance of "Who I am" to her best friend Haley and her parents. It's very sweet, even if the set designers decided to get literal with the presentation (she sings in front of a digital scrapbook of her childhood). The extra tug at the heartstrings comes when Danielle gestures to her teary parents in the front row. Carson quips, "Everybody around me is crying. What just happened?" Usher gives shout-outs to all the ladies in his life, he's so inspired. Blake assures the viewers that Danielle is as down-to-earth as she seems.Team Adam: Amber Carrington
Both sides of Amber's family have gotten together to celebrate Amber's return to Rockwall, Texas. Carrington's adorable little sister, who looks about 7, explains that she loves to hear Amber sing because she "brings the heart and love to me." Amber then visits the boutique where she once worked, followed by a trip to the music hall, where her grandparents discuss how proud Amber's late mother would have been of her accomplishments. She also gets a key to her hometown.
The smoke machine makes a return for Amber's performance of Maroon 5's "Sad." Adam closes his eyes and sways through most of the song, which is rather pretty but weirdly unfamiliar — was it wise to go with a lesser-known song this far in the competition? Blake makes a playful swipe at Adam as he praises Amber, but admits he can't wait to buy her album someday. Adam gushes that Amber sang it better than he ever could have, adding, "I'm so overjoyed right now I don't even care about anything tonight other than the fact that was incredible."Team Usher: Michelle Chamuel
Michelle dedicates her performance of Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time" to her coach Usher, declaring, "Usher, you've become like family to me." It's precisely the song she needs to remind America that she's already completely charmed them, allowing her to showcase her remarkable dynamics. The audience cannot stop screaming long enough to let Shakira talk, but she manages to assert, "You are on a permanent crescendo." Usher thanks her for the dedication and declares, "You're the winner. You're perfect the way you are."