'The Voice' live blog: The Top 5 take the stage for the semi-finals

the-voice-itunes-day-nbc.jpgIt's the beginning of the end, "Voice" fans. Season 5 is beginning its quick march to the finale with Monday's (Dec. 9) live semi-finals. As the Top 5 take the stage for one song each, which of our favorites will hit all the right notes? And who will fall flat? Let's find out!

Before we get into tonight's competition, all five finalists take the stage to sing "Best Day of My Life" together. It's a really fun number, though Cole Vosbury's microphone seems to suffer a few malfunctions. Also, Blake Shelton is wearing a fake beard. Happy Monday!

For tonight's first performance, James Wolpert will be taking on U2's "With Or Without You," which coach Adam Levine is hoping will be a huge, anthemic performance -- one to prove that America made the right choice with their Instant Save last week. It's the right song choice. James sounds terrific throughout, really hitting those emotional high notes with seeming ease. The crowd in house eats it up.

Adam admits that the performance went beyond what he thought James could do, while Christina Aguilera says she loves the song and had pushed for it as a coach performance. Blake says James needed a moment like tonight and might've "dug himself out of the hole."

After a quick glimpse of last season's winner Danielle Bradberry, sitting in the audience cute as ever, it's time for Will Champlin to take the stage. This week, Adam's given him "Carry On" by fun. Right off the bat in his performance, it's clear he's shaken up the arrangement, elongating the intro to have a bit more emotion. Also? He's not wearing his glasses, making this maybe the first time we've seen him without them. Interesting. Throughout the performance, there are moments where he seems to be reaching for some of the higher notes, but he absolutely nails that falsetto at the end and seems wildly proud of himself.

Adam says he's happy because he's not sure he's ever seen Will this happy before, as he gushes with pride for his artist. CeeLo Green echoes that, saying it's cool to see Will "all swaggy up there." Blake jumps on the praise train, saying he was wrapped up in it. He encourages Will to let his happiness shine through more, saying it'll take him far.

Oh, yay, more Sprint Skybox. What would we have ever done without that great Blake impression from Nick Lachey?

Back to the music, it's time for Team Christina's Jacquie Lee. This week, Xtina says she wants her last artist standing to get a little more soulful, giving her Sarah McLachlan's tearjerker "Angel." After watching her coach join her in the recording studio (not on the day Zap2it was there, unfortunately!), Jacquie takes the stage and just absolutely stuns. Her voice is so steady, so strong, so clear. It's a really terrific performance.

Christina says Jacquie blew her away, doing things tonight she wasn't even expecting, adding that she showed power by knowing when to pull back. CeeLo says that just when he thought he was jaded without an artist to support, she reminded him that he's supporting everyone. Big night for the young girl.

Up next, it's Cole, who got some guidance from not one, but two coaches this week, with original coach CeeLo stopping by for a visit with the bearded wonder and Blake. This week, he's taking on Garth Brooks' version of Billy Joel's "Shameless." It's a lovely performance, as Cole's performances tend to be. For fans missing their country on "The Voice," it'll likely be a winner for them.

Blake says that he thinks Cole's finally found what he's meant to do, while CeeLo praises Cole for reaching the full potential he saw way back in the blind auditions.

For our final performance tonight, it's time for Tessanne Chin to wow us once more. Adam tasks her to take on Simon and Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water." And just as she always does, her performance is something of a masterclass. Tessanne has been the only consistently incredible artist all season. She is just a force to be reckoned with -- and that final note tonight is just further proof of that.

With barely any time for comments from the coaches, Carson tries to get some thoughts from Adam, though the applause in the house will barely let him. "That's crazy what just happened," he says of the performance. He calls it the most flawless performance he's ever heard on the show, which Blake says is hard to argue with.

And that's that. One quick hour with five talented folks. Who was the best tonight? And who stumbled? Sound off in the comments below!
Photo/Video credit: NBC
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