Pop Culture

Usher's shocking steal isn't all that shocking on 'The Voice'

Trae Patton / Today
Usher's supposed dramatic steal was really pretty dull.

Promos for “The Voice” before this week began promised us something shocking. One of the new judges, the commercials claimed, would do something crazy with one of their steals. Since Shakira had already used both of hers, this meant Usher was the coach to watch.

What would he do that would cause chaos? Would he try to steal one of his own singers? Poach someone before one of the other coaches had made up their mind? Not use his steals at all and go into the knockout round with fewer singers? Ask to bring someone back from the blind auditions and insert them directly into the knockout round? The possibilities were endless.

And ultimately meaningless.

On Monday, the most controversial thing Usher did was wait until the last possible second before using his first steal to nab C. Perkins as he was dejectedly making his way offstage. On Tuesday, he went all wild and crazy and … picked a singer who sang in a language he didn’t understand.

The Earth kept on turning.

This was after the marquee battle of the night, courtesy of Team Shakira, who had the matchup of Latino singers in Mary Miranda vs. Cathia. After some mildly interesting sniping back and forth, they took the stage to sing Shakira’s own “Antes de las Seis.” Those not familiar with Shakira’s music may have nevertheless guessed from the title that the lyrics are in Spanish, but the coaches were impressed nonetheless.

“Didn’t understand a word, obviously, but I felt all of it,” Adam Levine said. “You’re both amazing singers.”

Next up, Blake Shelton. “It’s a little bit out of your territory,” host Carson Daly noted.

“What on Earth does that mean?” Blake said.

“That means you barely speak English,” Carson responded.


But don’t sell him short. Blake can be egotistical in multiple tongues.

“I didn’t know what you all were singing about, but I’m pretty sure it was about me,” Blake said.

He got the boost he was looking for. “I wrote that song for Blake. He’s broken my heart so many times,” Shakira responded.

Miranda Lambert won’t be happy with that.

Usher took a different tack. “I don’t know if it was a bad thing or just narcissistic on her part to pick her own record to have you sing,” he began, but got no further before Shakira interrupted with a lengthy and spirited defense.

“Never get into an argument with a Latin woman,” Usher said.

And then, perhaps to make it up to her, he stole Cathia after Shakira declined to pick her. So all’s well that ends well, even if it’s not exactly what NBC promised.