Four singers were eliminated, cutting the competition down to a Top 12 on Wednesday's edition of NBC's "The Voice."
Each of the celebrity coaches had to eliminate one contender, but making that decision was toughest on newcomer to "The Voice," Shakira.
After Sasha Allen and Kris Thomas were saved by America's vote, Shakira was forced to choose between saving powerhouse vocalist Karina Iglesias or raspy-voiced rock singer (and teenager) Garrett Gardner.
Shakira admitted she lost sleep knowing the elimination was on the way, and actually put her contestants' names in a bag, asking the Lord for a little help on Tuesday night.
"I said, 'Oh God, please help me. Maybe you [can] you guide my hand and I will take one of the papers.' And I... took out one of the papers with the name of one of my artists in it," Shakira said.
In the end though, it was Shakira's decision alone, and she saved Garrett because she said she felt she could "still affect change" in him, and help him "grow and be even better."
Karina's elimination was likely a shock for many fans of the show who saw her talent on display in the memorable Team Adam battle round opposite Judith Hill earlier in the season. Learning she was departing, Karina thanked her adopted coach (who previously stole her after Adam saved Judith).
"I just wanna thank you for giving me the opportunity to get this far and to be able to work with you," Karina told Shakira. "You've inspired me and this isn't the end and I love you very much."
Returning Coach Adam Levine -- like Shakira -- had a tough time too picking who he would save, but that was due to time constraints. His decision - to save either coffee house singer/songwriter Caroline Glaser or the big-voiced Sarah Simmons (America saved Amber Carrington and Judith Hill) -- was left until the final minute of the show.
"Voice" host Carson Daly had to push Adam to make his call as the credits rolled. Finally, Adam revealed he was saving Sarah, letting his steal from the Battle Rounds - Caroline - go.
From Team Usher, America's votes saved Michelle Chamuel and Vedo, and after learning the news about the latter contender, Usher actually put his head down and thanked God. The new coach admitted he didn't think he would have to choose between Josiah Hawley and Cathia (his steal from the Battle Rounds). In the end, he saved the male model and Cathia went home, the third contender stolen from another coach who was sent home on Wednesday.
Blake Shelton's two female singers - teen Danielle Bradbery and Holly Tucker -- were saved by America. Faced with the decision of choosing Justin Rivers or The Swon Brothers, Blake opted to keep the duo in. But, Justin got some good news before he left the stage. Blake could be overheard on the broadcast telling Justin he would give him his phone number and the country superstar promised to call him.
Aside from the elimination results, Carson revealed at the top of the show that there were some voting irregularities, but the company that monitors them corrected the problem. While the text and online votes were thrown out for fairness' sake, Carson said removing them did not effect the outcome for any team.
"The Voice" continues next Monday night at 8/7c on NBC.
-- Jolie Lash
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