For The Baltimore Sun
9:16 AM EST, November 6, 2013
After Monday’s live shows, it was hard to believe "The Voice" could get any better. It looks like Team CeeLo and Team Christina took notes, bringing absolute fire for Night 2 of the live rounds.
Before the show kicked off, Coach Christina performed,. With breakout band Great Big World, she sang “Say Something” for the first time on national television. After her moving performance, it was time for the remaining 10 contestants to move the coaches and American and sing their way into the top 12.
Team CeeLo: Amber Nicole and Cassadee Pope's “Wasting All These Tears”
Seventeen-year-old Amber Nicole had big footsteps to follow, coming from a family of singers (a father who sings and an older sister who was former coach Usher's vocal coach).
After losing her spot on Team Christina, Amber got her second chance when CeeLo picked her up in a steal. CeeLo’s job was to challenge her and showcase her talent with his song choice. He decided to make a bold move, choosing season three-champion Cassadee Pope’s “Wasting All These Tears.”
After a roaring performance, coaches Adam and Christina loved it. Blake felt she did the song justice (of course he would know; he coached the girl who sings it). Amber proved that she isn’t just r&b but a little bit country as well.
Team CeeLo: Jonny Gray and The Verve's “Bittersweet Symphony”
Former Airmen Jonny Gray is all about a song with a message, and his coach CeeLo felt the perfect song for him to perform would be The Verve’s “Bittersweet Symphony.” Jonny’s mission for his performance was to nail the rasp and the art of his voice, and he did.
Performing without his signature hat, Jonny managed to wow the audience and the coaches. Adam and Christina both commended him on his raw talent. Coach CeeLo couldn’t be happier that Jonny nailed one of his favorite songs.
Team CeeLo: Tamara Chauniece and Gloria Gaynor's “I Will Survive”
Tamara had a lot to look forward to. After going back home and gaining the support of her mega-church family, she was ready to take on the competition and perform for her spot on the top 12.
Due to her strong essence and willingness to do whatever it takes to make it in the competition, Tamara’s coach CeeLo chose the Gloria Gaynor classic “I Will Survive” for her to perform. After a stellar vocal performance, coaches Adam and Blake were stunned by her beauty and her talent, both deeming it her best performance of the competitio. CeeLo was not surprised, proud that Tamara pulled off the performance of a lifetime.
Blake was right. All of the contestants shouldn’t get used to the rave reviews. Next week is game time and we can bet that the coaches will show no mercy and say whatever they can to make sure their teammates are in the lead!
Team CeeLo: Kat Robichaud and Mary Lambert's "She Keeps Me Warm”
It was time for Kat to take a step back from the high kicks and the “robi-shuffle” and slow things down a bit.
Coach CeeLo wanted to show the world that Kat isn’t just a one-style type of girl, that there is more to her than her signature edge. For her performance, CeeLo chose the Mary Lambert hit “She Keeps Me Warm.” (Yes without Macklemore, and that is a relief).
After having a very sweet moment with a random audience member, it was time for Kat to hear what the coaches had to say. Adam and Christina loved her energy but wanted to see a little bit more from her. CeeLo felt she executed the performance flawlessly; he didn’t want to see anything else.
Team CeeLo: Caroline Pennell and The White Stripe's “We’re Gonna Be Friends”
Wrapping up the night for Team CeeLo was Caroline Pennell. Since making the decision to press his big red button and pick her for his team, CeeLo has become best friends with Caroline. Not only is she the youngest member of Team CeeLo, but she's one of the team's hidden gems.
For her song choice, CeeLo chose The White Stripes' “We’re Gonna Be Friends,” a song that would showcase her vocal talent and performance skills.
In the end, all the coaches wanted to be friends with Caroline. CeeLo reminded both coaches and audience how special young Caroline is to the show, and to his team.
Team Christina: Josh Logan and Gnarls Barkley's “Crazy”
What a bold move, performing one of a coach’s biggest hits. But when you're soul man Josh Logan, of course, that's not a problem.
Coach Christina had enough faith in Josh that she challenged him by choosing Gnarls Barkley’s (aka Coach CeeLo’s) “Crazy.” Not only did Josh add his own flare to the song, but he impressed CeeLo to the max.
And CeeLo wasn't the only one impressed by Josh’s rendition of the tune. Blake and Adam were jealous he wasn’t on their teams. Coach Christina gave Josh the stamp of approval, saying he is one contestant that she wants to see stay.
Team Christina: Olivia Henken and Katy Perry's “Roar”
Olivia Henken needed to step away from her country roots and perform a song that would make her stand out. Coach Christina felt Katy Perry’s “Roar” was the perfect song to set Olivia apart from the rest of the competition.
Although her performance started off shaky, with a few nerves showing, Olivia pulled it together and earned rave reviews from the coaches. Of course Blake expressed how she should be on his team, but Coach Christina wasn’t having any of that.
Team Christina: Stephanie Anne Johnson and Ray Charles' “Georgia on My Mind”
When Christina thinks of versatile, Stephanie Anne is the contestant on her team that defines that word 100 percent. That is why, going into the lives, Christina felt comfortable giving Stephanie a song that was much older than she is, but would fit the classic tone and feel of her voice.
Coaches Adam and Blake were shocked that she could pull off such a challenging song, while Coach CeeLo and Christina were not surprised at all, loving every second.
Team Christina: Matthew Schuler and Miley Cyrus' “Wrecking Ball”
Matthew Schuler (aka “The Mike Tyson of 'The Voice'”) took the stage to perform what would be one of the last songs you would ever expect him to perform. Coach Christina felt it was time to showcase a more relaxed and poppy side of Matthew -- and what better way to do that than with a Miley Cyrus song!
Christina chose “Wrecking Ball” for the former rugby star. After a stellar performance (that was better than the song itself) three hearts were left broken -- the hearts of the coaches who didn’t have Matthew on their teams.
Coach Christina soaked up the moment, realizing that she may have the one player everyone should look out for.
Team Christiana: Jacquie Lee and Nina Simone's “I’ll Put a Spell on You”
How was it possible for someone to deliver a stellar performance of a song that is twice their age?
Team Christina’s final contestant of the night, 17-year-old Jacquie Lee, had a lot to prove -- and she did. Christina felt it was time for Jacquie to perform a song that was as big as her voice, to show off a more mature side of her talent. After Jacquie’s performance, all of the coaches were literally left speechless, leaving a few seconds for Christina to tell her how honored she is to have her on the team.
There you have it. After two nights of watching the top 20 perform, it is time to text, buy songs on itunes, call in and vote, then hope that your favorite makes it to the top 12. On Thursday night, America and the coaches will determine who makes it to the next round. Will your favorite make it?
I really hope mine do!
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