The Voice
Season 4 – Live Top 12 Performances

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Carla Sparks: C- | Grade It Now!
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The Heat is On, the Air is Off

Carson lets us know after the commercial break that the air has kicked on. I'm almost disappointed, because I wanted to see what would happen when things got more and more desperate in the Voice Technodrome.

Sarah Simmons of Team Adam sings next. She was in the bottom for his team last week, but will probably be OK this week. She considers herself an "alternative" artist and wants to experience with all different types of sounds. That will not serve her in the end. She needs to figure out who and what she is soon. This week, Sarah is singing "The Story" by Brandi Carlile. Adam is excited for Sarah to have the opportunity to rock out a bit more.

Sarah is not draped in a caftan tonight, and I'm glad. Sarah sounds good, but I'm not sure this is the best song for her. She doesn't really float on top of it the way she has with her other songs, and it's much more scream-y. So I guess that's a side of her voice, too.

Blake, who has also removed a layer, thinks the performance was amazing. Shakira isn't familiar with the song but compliments the way it suits Sarah. Adam will accept that compliment without reservation. Adam compliments Sarah's "refined grit" and tells her she's one of the best singers they've had. No offense, everyone else in the last three seasons.

The Swon Brothers, Blake claims, are a different kind of country than his other two country artists. I guess I'm glad he saved them. They asked to do "Who's Gonna Fill Their Shoes" by George Jones, since he just passed away. They are doing an acoustic version that Blake is convinced will stand out.

"This is just the Swon Brothers and America," one of the brothers says lamely.

I like the idea behind this performance, but I think the Swon Brothers are becoming a little less likable as people. The little one who usually does the high harmonies doesn't sound as good on his own. They sound great together, though. Blake gives them a standing ovation.

Usher has put his shirt back on, to my disappointment. He calls this performance an incredible tribute. Adam says they are representing country well and the rendition of the song was beautiful and made him forget it was a competition. Blake reminds everyone that this was the Swon Brothers' choice to do this song and he declares it their breakout moment.

Carson's jacket is back on, so he looks more put together. I like the way the audience half-booed Usher having his shirt back on. Carson created a nice moment there. Anyway, Sasha Allen sings next for Team Shakira. Shakira chose "Alone" by Heart for Sasha because it has some high notes. Shakira warns Sasha against being too Broadway.

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