'The Voice' recap: Three finalists named; two singers go home

Adam Levine's plea to 'The Voice' viewers pays off: Christina Grimmie heads to the finals

"The Voice" results show on Tuesday night featured a flurry of performances — by Rascal Flatts as well as Season 5 finalists Jacquie Lee and Will Champlin and winner Tessanne Chin. It also told us which three singers in this season's top five would make it to next week's finals — and which two would head home just shy of them.

Revealing results in no particular order, Carson Daly announced that Jake Worthington of Team Blake had been "saved" from elimination by America's votes and downloads. Sometime later, we learned that Team Usher's Josh Kaufman had made it through as well.

That left all three of the top 5 women— Kristen Merlin of Team Shakira, and Kat Perkins and Christina Grimmie of Team Adam — in danger of going home. They would sing for the Twitter Instant Save.

Both remaining members of Adam Levine's talented team in the bottom three? Were the coach's risky choices on their behalf this week — filtering Grimmie's voice through a vocoder, for example -- to blame? Even before Levine learned his singers were at risk, he had expressed regret while insisting he felt none. "Of course" he still stood by his choices, but, he admitted, "It was kind of an off week" for his team "sadly at the wrong time." Still, he said, he believed both Perkins and Grimmie deserved to advance.

Only one of the three women could, however, and Shakira carefully laid out the reasons Merlin deserved to be the one. She's a great "storyteller" with a distinct voice, who "emotes every time she sings," Shakira wanted us to know. What's more, she later said, the country singer had "no poses" and is "not a typical cowboy girl."

Merlin sang Carrie Underwood's "Blown Away," though she may not quite have blown us all away, she did well. Blake Shelton let Merlin know that she, as a country artist, had his support.

Perkins sang another Underwood song, "Good Girl," and proved, as she had during her two previous experiences in the bottom three, that she's a great singer. Usher said she'd come out "swinging like a vicious Kat" and electrified the audience, as usual. "I hate that you are here [in the bottom three] again," he told her, adding that he really hoped America would continue "to stick with" her.

Grimmie was the last of the three to perform, and after she turned in a nuanced performance of Timbaland's "Apologize," Levine made an unapologetic plea to everyone watching. "If you get her to the finals, this girl is going to win," he promised. "You've just got to get her there."

Levine's begging — or Grimmie's singing — did the trick. She got the instant save and joined Worthington and Kaufman to compete for the win in next week's finals. Who would have predicted? Oh, yeah …

Are you sad to see Perkins and Merlin go? And do you think Team Usher's Kaufman will win the whole thing and topple the long reign of the Levine/Shelton "bookends," as Usher called them, on "The Voice"? Or will Worthington win it with sweetness? Or will Grimmie do what her coach promised and emerge to take it all? Make your predictions now.

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