The stakes are high “The voice,” but the emotions are getting higher and higher.

With the live playoffs officially within a week’s time, the eliminations only get more difficult for the coaches. Or as Ariana Grande put it on Monday’s show, “No more knockouts… more decisions I’m not emotionally equipped to make.”

“It’s really hard to watch the right people come home,” added John Legend on the third and final night of the round of 16. “Once you get to the knockout stages, everyone’s good. These decisions were tough for all of us.”

Mega-mentor Ed Sheeran and Legend predicted that one of the toughest decisions would be between Team Legend’s Paris Winningham and Jershika Maple. They were right.

“You have a great team and a tight pick ahead of you,” Sheeran told Legend. “If I had a flight, I would steal one of you.” (Blake Shelton is the only coach with a left fly.)

Last week on ‘The Voice’:Kelly Clarkson feels ‘like a jerk’ after pairing up teen singers who turn on him

Maple, 24, chose Natalie Cole’s “Inseparable” as a tribute to her mother. Winningham, 33, switched genders to Chris Stapleton’s “Tennessee Whiskey” because “it has that soulful feel” and “fits my voice like a glove.”

They both received a standing ovation for their performances. “I can’t sit down because that would be disrespectful,” Clarkson joked, noting that Legend is “so fucked up.”

The legend stole Maple from Clarkson in battles. The coaches didn’t let him forget it.

“Kelly shouldn’t have let you go,” Legend said. Shelton added, “I can’t believe Kelly.… I felt like Jershika was going to come over here and pour some more salt in the wound and you did. I love you for that.”

The caption says that Maple gave a “master class” and noted that the “voice of Winningham was the star” of his stripped down version. “It’s not fair that I have to choose one of you,” he said.

Grande said she was “emotionally drained” after watching their “incredible” performances, admitting that she “started to blossom” while Winningham sang. The new coach has demanded that the rules be changed to allow the two singers to move forward.

“Can we change the rules of this show just once?” Grande asked. No rules were changed, but the two singers remained in the competition, thanks to Shelton.

After Legend nicknamed Maple the knockout winner, Shelton used the last stop of the round on Winningham: “I mean, he sang a country song for god’s sake.”

Home viewers had no say in who came forward and who got knocked out in battles and knockouts, but that’s about to change.

As a first step, each coach named a singer eliminated in those rounds for “another chance” to make the playoffs live, host Carson Daly announced.

Vaughn Mugol named Grande, Legend chose Samara Brown, Clarkson chose Aaron Hines and Hailey Green named Shelton, the singer he sent home after performing his single “God’s Country”.

Viewers can vote by tweeting #Voicecomeback with the name of the favorite artist.

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