May 7, 2013 at 11:08 PM ET
An inexperienced country girl auditions for a reality singing show. She plays the role of small-town star in the big city for a little bit, but grows quickly and blows through the competition. She takes the crown at the end of the season, goes on to become a country music superstar, and validates the show’s premise that it exists to uncover musical genius and not just to generate ratings and product placement opportunities.
That worked out great for both “American Idol” and Carrie Underwood in that show’s fourth season. "The Voice's" coaches seem to be holding out hope that 16-year-old Danielle Bradbery will play the same role for their show's own fourth season.
Bradbery was the last of Blake Shelton’s singers to perform on Tuesday, and she was fine. Her rendition of “Maybe It Was Memphis” was a great job for a teenager giving what she says was just her fourth-ever performance, but it wasn't something viewers are going to be telling their grandchildren they saw.
That wasn’t how the coaches saw things, however. Even allowing for the fact that they wouldn’t offer much criticism if William Hung somehow appeared onstage, they all foresaw huge success in her future.
“This is definitely the beginning of a very long career, and I’m so proud to see you’re making your way,” Usher said.
“In the wise word of my friend Blake Shelton, I have just one thing to say: Holy crap,” Shakira added.
“Danielle, I feared this happening because you’re not on my team and I wanted you so badly, but I’m just going to go ahead and say it … I think you’re one of the ones to beat,” Adam Levine said. “You’re one of the best singers in this competition. You’re coming along so quickly, it’s terrifying.”
And as for Blake? “That song …you brought it to a new generation. You made it important and relevant again, and people are going to buy the crap out of what you just did,” said Danielle’s coach. “I’m gonna go on record and say right now that Danielle is one of the most important artists who has ever been on ‘The Voice.’”
All right then. No pressure next week, Danielle!
Blake also talked up Holly Tucker, who said that she’d previously had problems in music because she didn’t look like a Barbie doll, as though her face scares small children or something. She’s perfectly fine looking and pleasant, as Blake reminded her. And since the country star likes everyone, he also had fine things to say about the Swon Brothers and Justin Rivers.
The best thing about Shakira’s team was Sasha Allen’s performance to close the show, which gave the other three coaches the chance to play one of their favorite games, “Make Fun of Adam for Letting Sasha Allen Be Stolen.” Indeed, Shakira can thank Adam for half of her remaining foursome, since Karina Iglesias started out on his squad as well.
“Karina, you were not stolen from me. I foolishly gave you up to Shakira,” Adam said.
Yes, Shakira gave her that second chance, but Wednesday’s results show will tell whether the fans agree with Adam now, or with Adam when he decided not to keep her in the first place.