Monday night was a big night on NBC's The Voice
: the last in which Teams Adam, Blake, Cee Lo and Christina would exist. Following Tuesday's results show, there will be only four individual finalists, each wanting to be named "The Voice" for season two.
As the competition got tougher, so did the process, which now involves both the coaches and the audience at home. Each coach has 100 points to allocate between the two semifinalists on their team. The amount of points they award each singer will then be added to America's vote for a final point total, and the artist with the highest total will advance as their team's finalist.
Would Team Adam be represented by Tony Lucca or Katrina Parker? Team Blake by Jermaine Paul or Erin Willett? Team Cee Lo by Jamar Rogers or Juliet Simms? And Team Christina by Chris Mann or Lindsey Pavao?
Each artist made a compelling case on Monday, whether it was Chris returning proudly to his opera roots with a jaw-dropping performance of "Ave Maria," Juliet bringing her trademark growl to "It's A Man's Man's Man's World," or Jamar fusing electronica into the classic "If You Don't Know Me By Now." We got one last great chance to see each artist for who they really are and the kind of music they wanted to make.
We also got glimpses into each of their journeys, with photos from their past broadcast to a national audience alongside interviews with their loved ones. "I knew it was going to happen, but I was trying not to look. Some of those 80's dresses were horrifying to see again," said Katrina of her old photos with a laugh. She added, "When my parents were up there doing their interview, I lost it. It was really hard because I'm waiting to sing a song, and it's an iconic song, and I want to be vocally there, and I'm tearing up."
Of her take on "Killing Me Softly," she explained, "Honestly, I listened to Adam [Levine]'s instructions. He really wanted me to keep it close to the Lauryn Hill version, and that's what I tried to do tonight."
Jamar was cheered on by a special supporter: season one finalist Beverly McClellan. "She came backstage and gave me a huge hug," he said. "I was an avid watcher of season one and she was my favorite."
His electronica-infused performance of a classic was a statement for him, after weeks of pining to do a softer song. "I wanted to show people what kind of artist I am," he explained. "[And that] Lindsey's not the only person who can flip songs. I can do it too. I'm more than a story, I'm actually an artist too, and that felt really, really good."
He wasn't the only one feeling good after Monday night's performances. "I feel like I'm just now catching my stride," confided an upbeat Tony Lucca. "It would be fun if we had a few more weeks to keep discovering things. I feel like I'm hitting my stride at the right time."
"This is my once in a lifetime opportunity to sing the way that I want to be perceived," Chris told me, saying that it was "absolutely" important to go back to his opera roots.. "I want to leave this show and people know how I am. And I feel like I've done that."
All of the top eight would be grateful to make the top four. "It would mean a lot," said Tony. "It would mean that I overcame quite a series of hurdles. This team [Team Adam] from the get-go was stocked with great talent. [Adam]'s great. I think the world of him as a coach, as a person, as an artist, so if I could represent him in the finals, it would be a fine salute."
"It would mean the world to me, just to be back and sing again and possibly get the opportunity to show the world that there's more to me," enthused Jermaine. "There's still a little bit more. I have something I've been holding onto for awhile. I really want to let it out."
Yet not everyone is concerned with survival. "I came on here to inspire people and to shake Cee Lo's hand. I've already won," Jamar told me. "I'm just really proud of this crew. I'm really proud of everyone here because how can I compete with them? We're all artists, we all have a dream. That's why I hate the competition aspect, because how can you compare what I do to what Chris Mann does? Or to what Juliet does? It's apples and oranges. I know that my life is far from over whether I go home or stay."
Monday night, coach Blake Shelton
also performed "Over," the next single off his recent release Red River Blue
The final four artists will perform in concert Thursday morning at Universal CityWalk. You can find more details here
The results, as well as performances from season one's four finalists
, will happen tomorrow night at 9 PM ET/PT on NBC.
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Image courtesy of NBC