The Voice is back! After taking a night off so Diane Sawyer could pull a Will McAvoy and Karl Rove could complain about math (oh yeah, and President Barack Obama got reelected), the live playoffs continue with another two-hour event where Cee Lo Green and Christina Aguilera’s singers take the stage.
Recap: Live Playoffs, Night #1>>
It’s a fun night on The Voice because some of the best are here, including my two predicted finalists, Trevin Hunte and De’borah. I’ll do my best to provide my thoughts on the night’s performances, but there’s a chance I may be a little Diane Sawyer-ish myself since my home state of Washington just legalized gay marriage and marijuana. Eat your heart out, the rest of the country.
Tonight’s Cee Lo Green outfit is an American-inspired hand-woven poncho. Christina Aguilera is also in pro-America garb with her white and red hair and a blue dress. She claims she WASN’T thinking about being patriotic with her outfit. LIAR!
The first night of Live Playoffs had an impressive 40 percent of the songs that have been covered by Glee. I’m looking for a similar showing tonight.
Last night Christina invited her team to her house to listen to her new album. As always, it’s all about her. Cee Lo gets a little political, saying that Americans proved they have great taste last night.
Team Cee Lo and Team Xtina (“Sing” by My Chemical Romance)
We’re starting with a Glee cover! Since I’m all about playing favorites, I adore De’borah and her spastic movements as well as the awesome Mackenzie Bourg. De’borah moves like a baby deer trying to avoid stepping on a crack on the sidewalk.
Team Xtina: Adriana Louise (“Firework” by Katy Perry)
Mini-Xtina #1 is taking on the second Glee song of the night. She starts among the cheering crowds and she seems incredibly nervous and uneasy. That kind of colors the vocals the whole time and they’re not great. She gets better as things move along, but it felt scattered and off to me. The coaches are all nice and diplomatic. Xtina makes excuses about how Adriana is really nice and the song is very hard to sing.
Team Cee Lo: Cody Belew (“One More Try” by George Michael)
Cee Lo chose this slower, more serious song for the wild man. Why would you strip away the best thing about Cody, his frenetic energy? I guess it’s pretty good, the vocals aren’t terrible, but this slow, soulful style doesn’t fit him.
Team Xtina: De’borah (“Who Knew” by Pink)
She does what she does best, adding plenty of soul and texture to a pop song and turning it into a total original. She leaps around the stage like the Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County. It’s just all-around great.
Team Cee Lo: Diego Val (“Bailamos” by Enrique Iglesias)
I love this song. Like, a lot. Although I’m not sure it’s right for Diego. Once again, Cee Lo Green is proving terrible at forcing his singers to sing songs that are wrong for them. He does a surprisingly good job with the vocals and he tries to be a little sexy, but he doesn’t have the total sensuality of Enrique. As Adam Levine correctly observes, parts were suave, but other parts were indifferent. In order to sing this song you need to be 100 percent committed to seducing the audience and he isn’t. Xtina also critiques the song choice, basically telling
Cee Lo that he should stop making his singers do songs that aren’t comfortable for them. Cee Lo ignores all of that and thinks sex appeal alone will get him votes. Dude, he’s competing against Dez Duron. Diego has no chance of winning the sex appeal vote against Dez.
Team Cee Lo: Mackenzie Bourg (“What Makes You Beautiful” by One Direction )
1D!!!! The Voice is taking on The X Factor‘s bread and butter (One Direction is performing tomorrow on The X Factor) in the third Glee cover of the night. This dude already makes me squeal like a teenage girl, so having him sing this song is just going to exacerbate the problem. The whole thing is just plain cute. Resistance really is futile. Adam Levine thinks Mackenzie is more of an American Idol and not really a potential winner of The Voice. Shut up, hater. Xtina actually offers some HELPFUL criticism by telling him to take on a song that’s more vulnerable next time. I get it, and it might be cool to see if he has that range, but I still love exactly what he does.
Team Xtina: Devyn DeLoera (“Bleeding Love” by Leona Lewis)
It’s Mini-Xtina #2 doing YET ANOTHER song by a former British X Factor contestant. That has to be intentional, right? This episode is literally airing against The X Factor. It’s kind of uneasy, vocally. Most of it is quiet, which doesn’t fit her, and then it ends with her getting all aggressive, which doesn’t mesh at all. The other coaches are pretty harsh and she definitely loses to Adriana (assuming they are, in fact, different people).
Team Cee Lo: Nicholas David (“You’re the First, the Last, My Everything” by Barry White)
He should probably be singing “One of These Things Is Not Like the Other,” because that accurately describes him on Team Cee Lo. I can’t hear this song without picturing Peter MacNicol’s John Cage dancing in the unisex bathroom. The whole performance just reeks of wedding singer. Adam claims Nicholas succeeded at making him want to make a baby, which is the true test for any Barry White song. The coaches love him, but I suspect voters will strongly disagree. Cee Lo calls him timeless. I call him dated.
Team Xtina: Sylvia Yacoub (“The One That Got Away” by Katy Perry)
Mini-Xtina #3 is also doing Katy Perry, but it’s completely different. She sits behind a piano and gets very serious and emotional. It’s powerful, effective and blows away those other two Mini-Xtinas. She’ll definitely be joining De’borah in the Top 12 from Team Xtina.
Team Xtina: Dez Duron (“Wanted” by Hunter Hayes)
Hooray, it’s time for Hottie McHotterson! And he’s singing a country song! This is like pure, 100 percent vote-pandering in the best possible way. The singing is quite good too, not that it matters. Even Adam Levine has to concede this hot young punk is pretty good. You can tell Adam is super jealous he’s not the best-looking guy on the show anymore.
Team Cee Lo: Trevin Hunte (“How Am I Supposed to Live Without You” by Michael Bolton)
Trevin doesn’t really need the pimp spot, but the fact that they saved him for last clearly lets you know the producers know he’s probably going to win this entire show. This song seems perfect for Trevin, though I wish it would include random Pirates of the Caribbean shout-outs like Bolton’s best work. The performance is exactly what you’d expect, an unbelievably moving and touching vocal masterpiece. But it’s that expected-ness of it that makes it not quite as great as something like Amanda Brown on Monday. The coaches agree that he has everything it takes to win. Xtina wants Cee Lo to push Trevin more.
That does it for the playoffs. Thursday night on The Voice at 8pm we’ll see who makes the Top 12. These two teams seem pretty obvious. I will be shocked if Adriana and Devyn are still here next week, and as for Team Cee Lo, it’s a toss-up. I think Trevin and Mackenzie are shoo-ins, but I have no clue what guy will get the third spot.
(Image and videos courtesy of NBC)