It’s time to start off Turkey Week with a heaping helping of The Voice. The Top 10 are here to sing for your votes once again as two will be sent home.
But since filling two hours with only 10 songs is basically impossible, no matter how much The Voice stretches it out, Jennifer Hudson is in the house to help and introduce a sneak peek at the second season of Smash. If you’ve already forgotten, Smash is about the making of a musical about Marilyn Monroe. It started strong, but about halfway through season 1 it turned awful and received reviews so bad that they made Guy Fieri’s American Kitchen and Bar look like a five-star restaurant.
This is The Voice!
Wardrobe Watch: Adam Levine is dressed like the Brawny paper towel guy. And Cee Lo Green’s billowy red shirt makes him look like he’s heading to Fangtasia after the show.
Christina Aguilera and Blake Shelton: “Just a Fool”
I’m getting sick and tired of The Voice being used as a way for the coaches to promote their albums. However, I appreciate the fact that Xtina is dressed as China White from the CW’s Arrow.
Sylvia Yacoub (“Girl on Fire” by Alicia Keys)
Good, she’s not taking on another Titanic-level song. This is a whole lot better than last week, more akin to her breakthrough performance during the Live Playoffs. She even starts at the piano again, which really suits who she is.This is definitely the direction she should go. The coaches are all full of raves.
Terry McDermott (“Summer of ’69” by Bryan Adams)
Sigh. This is the most recent song he’s sung in the entire competition, and it’s from 1985. I’d love to hear him sing anything recorded in the last 25 years.Having said that, this rocks and totally kicks ass. The dude is a total effing pro who shouldn’t even have to waste his time competing on The Voice to get a record contract. Xtina points out that he sings on his tiptoes, which is cute.
Melanie Martinez (“Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes)
Uh-oh, last week the two singers who were eliminated were among the first three to perform, so Melanie is all but guaranteed to go home now. But the problem is I kinda love it. Her weird vibe works on this song, and she actually sings it very well. She also plays the guitar and her photography is shown in the background. I hated this girl the first time I heard her, yet I find myself liking her more and more every week. Xtina kind of hates her because she doesn’t do big, diva runs. Cee Lo just thinks it’s cool.
Cody Belew (“Crazy in Love” by Beyonce)
Wow. Just…wow. I can not be more in love with this song choice. Jennifer Hudson offers some advice, which fits since she worked with Beyonce on Dreamgirls. The performance itself is epic and awesome. It’s madness. He’s wearing a leather jacket with the left arm ripped off. He gyrates, sings the big notes and, when it’s all over, he comes back for a little dance encore. I don’t know if it’s a good vocal, but it’s easily the best performance I’ve seen all season. Xtina loved the diva in it. I hope this was a big enough spectacle to keep him around.
Bryan Keith (“New York State of Mind” by Billy Joel)
Yup, he’s going after the Hurricane Sandy sympathy vote with this one. Sorry if I sound cynical, but I am. I’m not cynical about singing, however, and Keith has an amazing voice and delivers a truly remarkable vocal performance. The only real problem is that this does nothing to help my inevitable sugar crash after Cody’s high-energy performance. Still, it sounds great. Cee Lo admires Keith’s “pair” for daring to take on this song. This causes Adam to turn into a teenage boy, giggling because they’re talking about testicles.
Amanda Brown (“Stars” by Grace Potter)
This is a big, powerful, emotional song. It’s also her second Grace Potter song, following her Knockout win with “Paris (Ooh La La).” And it’s unbelievable. After last week’s huge misstep, she came back stronger than ever and nailed it. I was just kind of left breathless, letting her remarkable voice wash over me. This is going to be one difficult choice tomorrow, because there are nothing but great performances all night. She literally gave me chills.
Nicholas David (“Lean on Me” by Bill Withers)
When he meets the guest mentor, he says “Holy buckets, that woman is Jennifer Hudson.” OK, he may start to win me over with awesome lines like that. He’s playing the piano this week and he’s backed by a massive gospel choir. I guess it’s OK, but I still don’t get the appeal of his voice. He seems to get swallowed up by the gospel choir in my mind. Sorry, but all fhe other singers are so strong that I have a hard time liking him. The coaches all love him. Blake calls Nicholas a legend and Xtina calls that “a big, juicy compliment” and then compares him to chicken soup. Cee Lo thinks Nicholas is the voice of a generation. I agree, but the problem is that the generation he’s talking about is gone. Cee Lo then talks about this song reminds him of his dead dad. Well, I think it’s safe to say Nicholas will be around for another week.
Trevin Hunte (“Scream” by Usher)
So, he’s finally trying to show off a side other than his big ballads. I’m having bad flashbacks to Avery Wilson doing Chris Brown’s “Yeah 3x.” Luckily it’s a whole lot better than that and he finds some places to show off his insanely great range. But aside from the big glory notes he gets to hit, it’s not his best. I’m glad that he tried something different, but now it’s time to go back into his ballad box and never leave it again.
Cassadee Pope (“Over You” by Miranda Lambert)
Blake and Miranda wrote this about losing Blake’s brother, and for Cassadee, she’s singing about losing her grandpa. This is like an emotional punch straight to the gut. It’s an amazing vocal and Cassadee gets very emotional, tearing up by the end. Man alive, this is a shockingly great night and all the contestants are bringing their A-games.
Dez Duron (“Feeling Good” by Michael Buble)
This episode of The Voice was full of remarkable performances. It was like a delicious dinner, so it’s only fitting that we end with some eye candy for dessert. It’s hard for anyone to take Dez seriously when Carson Daly is pimping him out to the ladies in the audience like an emcee at a bachelor auction. It doesn’t help that Xtina has decided Dez is a sexy crooner, a cross between Channing Tatum and Michael Buble. However, despite being treated like a piece of man meat, he still kills this song and does a truly great job. Seriously, he’s a GOOD singer. I know it’s hard to see beyond his hotness, but he’s actually talented.
Now comes the hard part: voting. How can you choose? Almost everyone in the Top 10 delivered their best performance to date on this show, so picking two to send home is gonna get tricky. There’s definitely going to be a major upset tomorrow.
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(Image and videos courtesy of NBC)