The Voice Season 4 recap: Beginning of live playoff rounds comes to end

America sure has a tough decision to make. 

Voters will trim The Voice performers from 16 to 12 Wednesday, sending one singer home from every team.

Artists from Team Blake and Team Shakira hit the stage Tuesday, capping off a very steady beginning to The Voice live playoff rounds. 

After Team Blake offered a bit of countrified foreshadowing with Little Big Town's "Boondocks," Shakira youngster Garrett Gardner pulled up in front of a piano and sang one of the world's most well-known songs: John Lennon's "Imagine."

While Adam feared he took on too much initially, many a female fan seemed to enjoy the performance. Gardner received positive notes from the rest of the judges, including Blake, who called him "the total package."

Next up was Holly Tucker, who belted LeAnn Rimes' "How Do I Live." Blake appeared a bit nervous for the Texas native prior to the show, and told her she just needed to let go and have fun. But her performance brought her coach to his feet, finishing her big vocals with a just as impressive falsetto. 

Usher applauded Tucker for her "take-charge approach," and Shakira said she was incredible.

Team Shakira performer Kris Thomas chose "When I Was Your Man," by Bruno Mars, a song that fit well with his blend of power and control. 

The majority of feedback was good, but Adam hesitated to say he loved Thomas' song, critiquing him for appearing "very tense." Blake, as he often does, countered the Maroon 5-er, saying he appreciated Thomas' nerves.

Now for the only duo left in the competition, and one of only two to have ever survived to The Voice live rounds. Muskogee's The Swon Brothers continued Tuesday's country theme with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's "Fishin' in the Dark." 

Despite half the judges not knowing the song, the choice seemed to fit the brothers' stylings. Armed with guitars and an active crowd, the judges' general consensus was the Oklahoma pair knows how to have a good time.

Shakira's third singer of the night was Karina Iglesias, the former Team Adam product. Iglesias wowed the judges with "Let's Stay Together." With a very intense rendition of the Al Green classic, Iglesias "gave everything she had to offer," from her coach's perspective.

Justin Rivers, Blake's last performer of the night, sang Diamond Rio's "Meet In The Middle," and generally impressed the coaches. Blake not once, but twice labeled Rivers a darkhorse of the competition.

And then there was Danielle Bradbery, the 16-year-old that took the stage for only the fourth time Wednesday night. Blake picked Pam Tillis' "Maybe it was Memphis" for the teen, whom he seems to have very high aspirations.

"I'm gonna go on record, you're one of the most important artists who's ever been on The Voice," Blake said after her performance. 

The rest of the coaches also praised Bradbery, with comments like" this is the beginning of a very long career" to "I think you're one of the ones to beat."

But give it up to the producers of the show, because the final act of the night took the cake. Shakira's Sasha Allen absolutely owned The Beatles "Oh! Darling" with incredible range and seductive vocals.

All four judges appeared stunned, if not at her performance, at Adam's decision last month to let her go. Blake immediately laughed at his fellow jokester, but quickly turned his attention to Allen.

"Everybody who just saw that just fell in love with you," he said. And Shakira had even more flattering words for the budding superstar. 

"One of the best voices I've ever heard in my life ... one of the best ever." she said.

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