"The Voice" has gotten its top 12 contestants who will do vocal battle in the live rounds, as Usher wrapped up the playoffs Tuesday when he picked his soulful finals-bound team of three: Bria Kelly, T.J. Wilkins and Josh Kaufman.
Their success came at the expense of metalhead-turned-bluesman Stevie Jo and jazz-inflected pop singer Melissa Jimenez, who were eliminated from the team Tuesday.
T.J. earned his slot on the leaner, meaner Team Usher with his take on Chaka Khan and Rufus' "Tell Me Something Good," while Bria secured hers with a cover of the Rolling Stones' shambling, country-tinged ballad "Wild Horses" that showed, perhaps for the first time, a more vulnerable, nuanced side.
Josh, though, who as a recent Team Adam steal was perhaps the least secure on Team Usher, was the night's biggest hit. He dispelled his coach's concerns in rehearsals about the tall task he'd taken on with singing Bruno Mars' "It Will Rain" with a desperate-sounding, gospel-infused rendition that showed the ordinarily low-key soul singer's range.
The selection of those three singers to represent Team Usher heading into the live rounds on "The Voice" capped a tough few nights of playoffs.
On Monday night, Adam Levine and Shakira had had to make their own grueling decisions on whom to send on to the live rounds. For Adam, that meant sticking with Delvin Choice, Christina Grimmie and Kat Perkins. For Shakira, that meant Tess Boyer, Kristen Merlen and Dani Moz.
Last week, Blake Shelton whittled down his own team, and unsurprisingly, he left it heavy on the country. Joining veteran powerhouse Sisaundra Lewis are throwback country belter Audra McLaughlin and honkytonk-ready Texan 17-year-old Jake Worthington.
"The Voice" airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8/7c.