04/23/2013 AT 10:00 PM ET
Goodbye, battle rounds!
The Voice’s coaches finalized their teams for the knockout rounds on Tuesday, paring down their roster from 12 singers to just six, plus the two new teammates they each added with their strategic steals.
Usher was the only coach who had an available steal and he used it to nab a Latina pop singer from Team Shakira in the final moments of the show. Shakira pitted Bronx native Cathia, an aspiring Latina pop star, against Cuban-born Mary Miranda – and in a bold move assigned the singers to perform her own song, “Antes Des Las Seis.”
Usher teasingly wondered whether the choice was “narcissistic,” but fiery (and slimmed-down) new mom Shakira explained, “I wanted to see if they would try to imitate my voice or make it their own.”
Make it their own they did, and the two earned praise from all four judges for the song they performed in Spanish.
Although Shakira told the young women, “I like you both equally,” she ultimately chose Mary, singling her out for her signature vibrato and her voice that “is just so sweet … like cotton candy.”
But after Adam Levine threw an encouraging look to Usher, the new coach slapped his buzzer to save Cathia, who burst into tears of joy.