by Carly Mallenbaum, USA TODAY
On The Voice's live semifinals, there was yet another rule change: Only one will be sent home, leaving three spots in next week's finals. Monday night, the final four, two from Team Blake Shelton and two from Team CeeLo Green, took the stage for a chance at filling the three spots.
But first, Christmas music king Michael Buble sang Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) in a white tux amid white smoke and a band dressed in white. (He was promoting his Christmas special later that evening.)
Trevin Hunte of Team CeeLo visited his family and school in a taped segment. Then, the 18-year-old R&B singer performed the most intense ballad he hasn't yet sung, an emotional Wind Beneath My Wings dedicated to his middle school. His belting, crying and, yes, sweating moved the judges. Adam said he had suggested earlier that Trevin "might as well" sing Wind Beneath My Wings, because it would "kill everyone." Adam was not disappointed. Neither was Christina, who said she has sung the song several times, but never "as crazy-great as that."
In his video, Team CeeLo's Nicholas David returned to his new house in Minnesota for public appearances and to see his pregnant wife's ultrasound. His song, an intense You Are So Beautiful to Me, was obviously dedicated to his family. Nicholas had a soulful and tearful performance, judging by the close-up cutaways of his coach, wife (who was at the show) and himself. He was tuckered out by the end of his performance, opting to sit in one of the chairs from his elaborate set before the judges spoke. "You're just one of the most soulful people I've ever met," said Adam. CeeLo said that he and Nicholas had some artistic differences at first, but the song "was so heartfelt, so beautiful."
Before Blake's finalists did their solos, the coach brought his entire team back to sing White Christmas with him as fake snow fell. Then, his final two were on.
Cassadee Pope returned to West Palm Beach, Fla., for a performance and family reunion. Back onstage, she sang Keith Urban's Stupid Boy in a sparkly gown. She successfully made a country song "pop-palatable" as host Carson Daly has called it, because "she has the ability to connect with a lyric," says Coach Blake. Her skilled and expressive high voice promises to turn the song into another iTunes hit (after her rendition of Over You). Christina was clearly impressed. "Sometimes your voice sounds so good, it sounds almost auto-tuned. Blake, you have a true superstar on your hands," she said.
After Terry McDermott's homecoming segment, in which his Scottish relatives surprised him, he took the stage for Let it Be. Backed by a choir with images of stained glass, he did his typical rock performance, belting the high notes and carrying the mike stand. His clean vocals easily won over the judges. Adam told Terry he did "an incredible job" on a beloved song. Blake said, "In my heart, I believe that that was musical perfection."
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