Another week, another round of instant, heartbreaking eliminations on "The Voice." This time, Teams Adam and Cee Lo are on the chopping block, and after Tuesday's live eliminations (and tonight's instant cuts courtesy of the merciless coaches), each time will be skinnied down to two each.
Tonight was not kind. We lost this blogger's personal favorite. Carson Daly wore Buddy Holly glasses. Cee Lo had gas. All around, a sad evening for television.
Team Cee Lo
James Massone: Billy Joel's "Just the Way You Are"
Cee Lo's plan of attack for James seems to be capitalizing on his newfound appeal as a Ladies Man. It's working. Goodness, this kid's voice belongs in some Casablanca nightclub; it's just that smooth and soulful. Even though Blake and Christina said they thought the performance was (paraphrasing) a bunch of meh, Adam spoke up, calling James an old-school heart-throb.
Cheesa: Whitney Houston's "I Have Nothing"
For someone who perpetually over-sings and aspires to be "diva-esque," this was an obvious choice, and perhaps even more obvious was the show's resident diva, Christina, giving Cheesa props for putting her own unique spin on the song. Cee Lo, too, loved his contestant's performance, saying it was time to invest in the industry's next female power vocalist. Thank heavens I'm nearly broke, because that's an investment I'd rather not make.
Jamar Rogers: Bon Jovi's "It's My Life"
HIV-positive Jamar and Cee Lo had a touching moment during rehearsals, when Jamar confided in his coach that Cee Lo's music helped him survive some of the darkest moments in his life. Blake commented that the song choice was perfect for Jamar, and that there was never a better pairing between song and artist, but I disagree. I'm rooting for him, honestly, but the performance was lackluster, and the song simply wasn't a good match for Jamar's voice, even if it did give his a chance to showcase some powerful chops.
Juliet Simms: Aerosmith's "Cryin'"
The most important take-away here is that Juliet was wearing wings. WINGS. "It reminded me of duck season," Blake said, "feather flyin' everywhere." I always forget that I like Juliet, and this song was strong, powerful, earnest and well-done. This girl's got heart.
INSTANT ELIMINATION: James Massone. "I got you. I got you," Cee Lo told James as he hugged the eliminated Boston singer, and a million girls' hearts broke with the cut.
Katrina Parker: Christina Perry's "Jar of Hearts"
The audience was silent for most of Katrina's performance; they seemed that captivated. Katrina's voice, coupled with this song, was pretty moving, but in a very … predictable way. Blake called it a breakout performance, and Christina commended her for her consistency on the song. Adam told her she'd evolved into one of the best singers on the show, but I'm still pretty lukewarm when it comes to Katrina.
Pip: Keane's "Somewhere Only We Know"
Oh, a perfect combination, this man and this song. Pip went from quiet and sincere as he played the piano, to strong and belting-it-out in a matter of seconds, and for the first time in a while on this show, I got chills. The coaches — and social media correspondent Christina Millian — joked about how Pip was as much a heart-throb as James, but I have to disagree. I want to see Pip take this entire competition, James be damned.
Mathai: Nelly Furtado's "I'm Like a Bird"
Holy blast from the past, Batman! I could barely remember what this song sounded like to begin with, but was reminded once Mathai starting singing — because her version was so different, and so much better, than the original. It was upbeat without being bouncy or poppy, it was light and deep at the same time, and Mathai's voice soared all over. Beautiful.
Tony Lucca: Britney Spears's "… Baby One More Time"
This was, in so many ways, just a giant middle-finger to Christina, who had previously criticized Tony as being one-dimensional (and we can't forget about her FORGETTING WHO TONY WAS during his blind audition), and it was awesome. Adam didn't want his contestant to be a throw-away rocker, and with Tony's unique, refreshing take on fellow-Mouseketeer Britney's debut single, I doubt that will ever be the case. The coaches loved it, even if Christina tried her best to ignore it for what it was: a slap in her face.
INSTANT ELMINATION: Pip. This is basically a Dickensian tragedy. Oh, God, Adam, WHY DIDN'T YOU GET RID OF KATRINA?
Oh, hey, the coaches sang, too: While Adam and his team performed "Instant Karma," Cee Lo owned tonight's performances, debuting an inter-galactically amazing new song with Goodie Mob called "Fight To Win," and "Dancing in the Streets" with his team. Which brings us to:
Please don't let Carson Daly ever say "groovy" again for as long as he lives.
Conceptually, the old-school, black-and-white intro to "Dancing in the Streets" was pretty cool, but let's break this down a little bit. Did Jamar really need all of those patterns happening at the same time in his outfit? Did Cheesa really need to over-sing, again? Did Cee Lo really need that wig? Did Carson Daly really need to do a seconds-long stint as a chipper, American Bandstand-esque host, complete with Buddy Holly glasses? The answer to every question is "no."
Apparently this is point in the show where the contestants get makeovers. Did Kristina really need that much makeup? Are they trying to make her look like Adele? What happened to the cute '50s chic she had going till now? Why did James need so many studs on his jacket? Why is Juliet blonde? WHY IS PIP NOT WEARING A BOWTIE? "Where in the hell is the bowtie?" Blake asked him. "It's like me with no alcohol." (I like Blake more and more every week.)
What on earth caused the fits of giggles the coaches were powering through during opening remarks? Oh, just farts. Classy, Cee Lo. Classy.