They say timing is everything. And last night the "most epic steal ever" happened on The Voice, as Usher literally waited till the very last second to push his buzzer for ousted contestant C. Perkins.
After losing to falsettoed Kris Thomas during week two of the battle rounds, Perkins graciously thanked his coach Shakira and went down the line to shake everyone's hand. As he approached Usher on his way out the door, the R&B icon giddily hit his button, bringing Perkins back to life in a split second.
What got Perkins to that point? Honestly, we're not quite sure. Yeah, he was good, but so are a lot of people on this show. But after he and Thomas sang Bruno Mars' "It Will Rain," many of the coaches' comments pointed to a mediocre performance at best. Shakira thought the pair "did better in rehearsals," and even Usher said the song was too "complicated" for them and they both needed "help." So, all we can assume is that Usher likes a challenge.
As for why he waited until the absolute last second to steal, Usher said: "I let him sit on it a little to let him see what it feels like to not have it, so he'll never take it for granted." Or, maybe Usher is a seasoned pro who knows how to make headlines. Well played, sir. Well played.
With the teams filling up and the steals running out, there were some no-brainer match-ups – like hipster duo Midas Whale overtaking dreadlocked bluesman Patrick Dodd to stay on Team Adam Levine – but there were also some other odd choices, à la C. Perkins.
In another "he was good, but not that good" moment, Adam stole 24-year-old Washington D.C. singer Orlando Dixon, who lost his spot on Team Usher after a battle with Joe Cocker-esque Ryan Innes. There was nothing special about his take on Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine," but he did earn empathy during rehearsal when he suffered a tear-filled breakdown in front of Usher and guest mentor Pharrell Williams over being "broke." Maybe that's what won Adam over?
Speaking of sob stories, R&B singer Vedo took the cake for the night. During the blind auditions, we learned that his mom had terminal cancer – and, sadly, she has since passed away. So, we found it a little weird that Usher picked Bruno Mars' "Locked Out of Heaven" – a song clearly about sex – for Vedo to sing against Jessica Childress. "I want him to fully commit to what he feels and put that on the record," Usher said of the song selection. Um, OK, it has the word "heaven" in the title, but other than that, the two of them were singing about how "your sex takes me to paradise."
But let's just pretend that's not creepy or anything. It was an easy win for Vedo, especially since Usher has said he's looking for "stories" viewers can relate to (read: vote for). And he certainly found one that will tug on America's heartstrings. As Vedo sobbed backstage about how he wished his mother could have been there, Usher was sure not to miss being part of the on-camera moment, going backstage to bond with his team member. (Here, on the opposite end of the spectrum, we were surprised no one stole Childress, who all the coaches gushed about.)
Other artists making the cut were Latin child star Monique Abbadie for Team Shakira, Savannah Berry for Blake Shelton's team and Luke Edgemon, who Blake stole from Shakira.
As the battle rounds wrap up tonight, Usher is the only coach who still has a steal. Might he be plotting another "epic" moment?
Previously: Usher Gets Huffy