The Voice recap: Stripped Down

Team Adam outshines Team Usher in the first round of the live playoffs
Ep. 13 | Aired May 6, 2013

VOICE OF AN ANGEL Team Adam's Sarah Simmons has a breakout performance with Sarah McLachlan's "Angel."

Trae Patton/NBC

TEAM ADAM: JUDITH, SARAH, AMBER, CAROLINE
The song:
"Shake It Out" by Florence + the Machine
The performance: After getting styled at Adam's family's clothing store, the girls cheer up the crowd with their performance of one of my favorite Florence songs. Caroline isn't the vocalist that the others are, but she holds her own. And Amber emerges as a real force to reckon with in this competition.
The feedback: I'm a little bit in love with Team Adam, and I'm not ashamed of my bias.

TEAM USHER: MICHELLE CHAMUEL
The song: "True Colors" by Cyndi Lauper
The performance: After rehearsing the emotional song to a mirror, Michelle hits the stage with nothing but a piano and a few backup singers. Her rendition really shows off her vocal ability, and it makes me like Usher a lot more as a coach.
The feedback: Adam and Blake agree that this is one of the night's breakout performances, and then Usher thanks America for seeing it and makes me question him again. Am I alone in this love-dislike balancing act?

TEAM ADAM: JUDITH HILL
The song: "Feeling Good" by Nina Simone
The performance: Did anyone else flashback to Carly Rose Sonenclar's X Factor audition? Just sayin'. But in terms of Judith, I like how she starts the song — in the crowd with no instrumentation. The rest of the performance is amazing when compared to others, but I think she can do better.
The feedback: Blake: "You're such a freakin' diva!" Usher: "You took us to church." And Adam is obsessed with Judith's cool factor.

Alright, that's a wrap on night one! And despite the fact that we don't get a recap of the performances (thanks, Carson!), you guys can recap it for me. Who were the breakout performers of the night? And what was with all of the metallic costumes? Did you think the songs were really stripped-down? And is anybody going to be able to beat Team Adam?

Finally, am I really alone in my indecisiveness when it comes to Usher as a coach? Please, enlighten me!

Until tomorrow, when Sasha Allen re-enters our lives ...

Samantha on Twitter: @samhighfill

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