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"The Voice" recap: The top 12 artists perform live for the first time

Trae Patton/NBC
Trae Patton/NBC

(LOS ANGELES) — The Voice was live for the first time this season on Monday, with the top 12 artists competing for America’s vote, advised by their coaches Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Miley Cyrus and Jennifer Hudson.

Each artist took the stage with a special dedication.

Here are the highlights of Monday night’s show:

Team Miley’s pop/soul singer Brooke Simpson kicked things off by dedicating Kesha’s “Praying” to America, noting that it’s a song about hope and strength. Miley advised Brooke that “this two minutes and 25 seconds is your introduction to who you are right now.” Following the performance, Cyrus said that while it was too early to say that she stole the show, Simpson “just might have.”

Red Marlow, from Team Blake, performed Shenandoah’s “Church on Cumberland Road,” dedicated to his dad, who taught him to play the guitar. During rehearsals, Blake, addressing the camera, said the key for Marlow to nail his performance was to “connect with the audience.” Afterwards, Adam called Red’s performance “as real as it gets.” Shelton — referring to Red running across the stage, high fiving the crowd — noted that it was the first time he saw Red’s ability to entertain, as well as sing.

Team Jennifer’s Shi’Ann Jones, 15, tackled “Vision of Love” by Mariah Carey, and dedicated it to her coach, for helping her to come out of her shell. Speaking to the camera during rehearsals, Jennifer said she wanted the audience see her “heart and passion like she’s singing for dear life.” Blake said the teen picked the perfect time to become the “highlight of the show.” Hudson said Jones sang with “a reason and a purpose” and “outdid herself.”

Jon Mero, representing Adam’s team, put his spin on Major’s “Why I Love You,” dedicating it to his hometown, Des Moines, Iowa and to his church for all their support. Levine urged his artist to “learn it, then overlearn it, then get super-lost” in the song. Miley called it a “perfect performance,” adding Jon “stepped up the competition.” Adam was also pleased, noting that Mero was “rooted in the classics, but doing something for tomorrow.”

Addison Agen, representing Team Adam, dedicated Sarah Bareilles’ “She Used to be Mine” to her mom – a teacher and worship leader who also raised six children. Adam thought it was the perfect choice for the 16-year-oldm because it represented “a more adventurous…stronger side” of Agen. Following the performance, Addison’s former coach, Miley, praised singer’s confidence and poise. Adam called her an inspiration to many young women, explaining that she’s “a pillar of class and dignity and soulfulness.”

Team Blake’s country/R&B singer, Keisha Renee, put a country spin on “Midnight Train to Georgia” by Gladys Knight & the Pips, dedicating it to her mother. Shelton was on board with the selection, explaining to the camera that it demonstrated Renee’s willingness to “step out of the box.” Following the performance, JHud said Keisha’s voice was “like silk.” Blake declared, “If you have eyes and ears and didn’t experience how beautiful that performance was, there’s something wrong with you,” adding that it one of his all-time favorite performances he’s seen on The Voice stage.

Cyrus’ California soulful rocker Janice Freeman closed out the show with Brandi Carlile’s “The Story,” dedicated to her husband, who supported her through a battle with cancer. Jennifer threw her shoe in Freeman’s direction — her expression of approval – and the other coaches followed suit. Miley, noting that her hands were shaking and she was nearly brought to tears, called the performance her favorite of the night.

The Voice returns Tuesday night at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.

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