'The Voice' Semifinals: The Top 5 Vie For the Finale Spots, and Usher's Performance Was Mad Hot

The Voice semifinalists performed twice Monday night, and the 10 performances only confirmed what I've been saying for weeks: The competition is stupid tight. I’m still mourning Sisaundra Lewis’s departure, but that doesn’t mean I’m giving the remaining competitors the stank face. Au contraire! Lots of smiles over here. I really, really like this top five. I’m being a very supportive audience member. I am cheering and clapping and raising my hands to the sky. Granted, I’m sitting on my couch, not in The Voice audience, so I don’t know if they can sense my enthusiasm. Eh, I'll keep at it. I reckon it's worth a shot.

What were the fearsome foursome up to Monday night? Shakira donned a gorgeous sparkly wreath. Adam Levine dumped revenge manure on Blake Shelton's truck. Usher performed "Good Kisser." Hold up. Can we talk about "Good Kisser," because oh my god, was I FEELING that song. (Except for the "Don't nobody kiss it like you" line. Excuse me, what?) The performance was the perfect way to start the show. The song grooved, the dancing was crazy hot, the set was dynamic, and Usher was on his A game. The coaches gave him a much-deserved standing O. All of it was so good:

Uff da.

In no particular order, here are my five favorite non-Usher performances from Monday night:

Josh Kaufman singing "All Of Me"

The first time I watched this performance, I wasn't blown away. I texted my BFF about it, and she politely informed me that I was wrong. I watched it again. That time around, I realized just how beautiful a performance it was. The key difference: I'd fixed a wonky speaker. Moral of the story: Don't watch The Voice with wonky speakers.

Kristen Merlin singing "Foolish Games"

Holy shit. I'm tempted to call this the best Kristen performance of the season.

Christina Grimmie singing "Hide and Seek"

That voice box thing was risky, but I was super into it. It paid off. (P.S. I'm always happy to hear that song.)

Jake Worthington singing "Good Ol' Boys"

Jake dedicated this song to his buddies. "You are who your friends are," he said in the pre-performance package. You don't get much more endearing than Jake Worthington. And that note toward the end of the song wasn't anything to sneeze at, either.

Kat Perkins singing "Chandelier"

Oof, what a hard song. But if there's anyone who's going to go for it, it's Kat. And Kat WENT for it. Shak commented that Sia’s singing style is very unique and difficult, and that it was for the best that Kat didn't attempt to emulate it. She did her own thing, and it worked.


Image: Trae Patton/NBC