Welcome to The Voice, week 2 of the live shows. Did you spend all week voting for last week’s singers via all possible avenues? Team Xtina and Team Blake sure hope so, because tonight, four of them will be saved by our votes and the coaches’ good graces, while four will lose their shot at becoming The Voice.
According to my rankings of last week’s performances, I’d put Raquel and Lily from Team Xtina and Patrick and Xenia from Team Blake on the chopping block, but honestly, anything (and anyone!) goes when it comes to a split bracket-style elimination process like this. I’d be surprised if we didn’t have a surprise elimination tonight. But please, don’t let it be Dia!
Tonight: Team Cee Lo and Team Adam will get their chance in the spotlight. We’ll reunite with Nakia, Vicci, Curtis and Tori and Taylor on Cee Lo’s side, and Javier, Devon, Casey and Jeff on Adam’s team. Adam was confident on Leno last night that his is the team to beat, but it’s all up to the vocalists now.
Who will get eliminated? Will Nakia, Vicci, Javier and Jeff maintain their fan-favorite status? Will Xtina continue to hit on the contestants? So much to find out tonight! It’s time to recap The Voice, liiiiiive!
Carson reveals we’re going to learn the top vote-getter and the coach save for each of last week’s teams. It’s Xtina’s turn first. She starts almost-crying (fake… crying…?) at the thought of seeing two of them go. Her opposing hair braids are shaking at the idea of tearing two of her babies away. But this is showbiz, honey. Time to break some hearts.
Team Xtina Eliminations:
America’s Save: BEVERLY MCCLELLAN
Yay! Beverly 4 Lyfe. Beverly: “I’m shaking in my shoes, thank you America!” Xtina says Beverly has broken through boundaries, and she’s proud of her strength and raw talent.
Xtina’s Save: She says it might be the hardest decision she’s EVER had to make in her entire life! Ha, sure. Then she goes down the line and compliments each girl’s talents, like it’s the end of cheer camp or something. It’s time for her decision, and Xtina saves … FRENCHIE DAVIS! Double yay!
ELIMINATED: RAQUEL CASTRO and LILY ELISE
Hard knocks for the younger members of Team Xtina, but I think that played out the way it should have. Now, the breaks: Blake Shelton will make his decisions at the end of the show, so we’ll have to wait to find out who else made it through. BLAST!
Tori & Taylor Thompson, “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy”
Cee Lo assigned the teens this classic 40s Andrews Sisters track to challenge them, and it really is a challenge. “So hard. This song is so old,” they say during rehearsals. When it comes to the performance, it feels unpolished. Once again, the almost-twins are relying on their cuteness above all. The vocals are erratic — at times not even audible. They sound out of breath not even half way through the performance. This song is way too fast and way too iconic for them. Carson says, “It’s flag daaaay! That was peeeerfect! Cee Lo is a mad geniuuus!” Are we watching the same show?
The coaches say…
Adam: “Good old fashioned entertainment. That was … incredible.”
Blake: “Were the outfits your idea, Cee Lo? Dude, you’re sick.”
Xtina: “I love the use of dancers, of costume, you know how to entertain an audience.
Cee Lo: “You did a wonderful job. The style, the performance, the articulation, it was all great. You make me proud to be an American, and I salute you.”
Pretty sure these girls are just too cute for the judges to dole out the harsh truth that this show is supposed to be about voice, and that performance didn’t have it.
Casey Weston, “Black Horse & the Cherry Tree”
Casey says Adam needs her to bring the “boom factor” to this KT Tunstall song, which is all about attitude, timing and intonation. There’s a crazy animated horse and cherry tree background that’s a little (OK, a lot) distracting and on the nose, but Casey brings just the right mix of her own personality while staying true to the song. There is simply too much going on behind her — backup singers, a freaking drum circle and that animated nightmare scape — and Casey’s voice doesn’t get its due. But it was still a good performance.
The coaches say…
Blake: “I’m about to download that in a second.”
Xtina: “That was really fun. I loved the drummers. Make sure in the future you don’t let the background overpower your performance.”
Cee Lo: “You grew into it. You did a wonderful job.”
Adam: “I am so happy. I know you were a little not-so-excited about this, but it was amazing. The energy in here was incredible, and you killed it.”
I hope the over-production didn’t kill Casey’s chances of moving on, because her voice is lovely, and she did KT proud with that one. Not sure I’d say it had the “boom factor,” though.
Vicci Martinez, “Jolene”
I’m so happy Vicci is singing “Jolene,” this song is gorgeous and so suited for her soulful voice. You go make Dolly proud, Seattle sister. Vicci goes for an intimate feel at the beginning, sitting down with her guitar, but it’s when she gets up and begins to walk around that the performance also takes off. It’s a little jarring when she ends the song with a sort of vocal explosion, but that stays true to Vicci, and I like the pathos and eeriness she brought throughout.
The coaches say…
Adam: “Such an honest performance. I really believed you the whole time.”
Blake: “She truly is explosive. I’m a huge fan.”
Xtina: “It was a very heartfelt performance. I loved the use of the whole stage. I was getting in the mood. Kinda sexy.”
Cee Lo: “You worked that stage like a professional. You took my advice. I love that song, it was the perfect choice.”
Devon Barley, “Stop and Stare”
Devon is one of the competitors I haven’t really been “sold” on just yet, so I’m excited to see this performance, especially because it’s all about him letting down his guard. Unfortunately, Devon’s voice is outmatched by the song on the vocal and emotional level. It’s just not a believable performance for me, and though he carries through and really lets himself loose, he has some pitch problems. On the plus side, I like the minimalism of the set with Devon, and he did have some real shining moments at the end.
The coaches say…
Blake: “Just powerful. I love that it’s just a guy on stage singing his heart out.”
Xtina: “I’m into you. I love how powerful you got. Really great. … Sexy.”
Cee Lo: “I think it’s great. Absolutely great performance.”
Adam: “A few pitch issues in the beginning. You beat those issues, and you were so supremely confident up there. Great job.”
TEAM CEE LO PERFORMS, IS THE BEST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED TO TV
First, Cee Lo takes his team on a spa day because he’s the BEST, and gives them white robes while he lounges in a majestic red and black robe and necklace (“he looks like Satan,” says Carla) as they talk about how special and blessed they all are. If looking like Satan is wrong, I never want Cee Lo to be right. I love him and his dedication to his unique fashion sense. Then they get awkward massages while Satan-Lo claps in glee. That whole segment was a masterpiece.
OH, HOLD THE PHONE: This is even better. Cee Lo is in an afro, and his whole team is dressed like 70s hippies to sing “Everyday People.” Diff’rent strokes, for diff’rent folks! Cee Lo is THE diff’rent folk, and it is my new life’s wish just to hang out with him all day every day. Team Cee Lo just earned my undying allegiance.
Back to the performances!
Nakia, “Sex on Fire”
Nakia is taking his fashion cues from Cee Lo, but the Kings of Leon song choice seems wrong to me. He’s got his hair slicked back and two sexy fire-spinning ladies (once again, getting very literal here) behind him as he channels his inner sex god and … surprisingly, I’m sort of feeling it! Nakia’s got raspy power, and he truly commits to the performance, even falling to his knees in the middle and giving the camera an “I wanna eff you” face. Vocally, he’s on point. I was skeptical at first, but he sold it to me.
The coaches say…
Blake: “He pointed at me and he said, “Your sex is on fire,” and I felt the burn.”
Cee Lo: “That was a great job, dude! What an impressive job tonight.”
We must be running low on time, because Xtina and Adam didn’t get a chance to rave about Nakia’s fiery sex.
Jeff Jenkins, “Jesus Take the Wheel”
Jeff really connects to the song because it reminds him of his late mother and the dark times that he went through after she passed away. He is just too precious for words, but I’ll try: Here’s the thing. Sung by almost anyone else, my two-sizes-too-small Grinch heart would decry its performance as too saccharine and preachy. But with Jeff, I believe it, because I like him. I also like his performance. It was beautiful and restrained, and you can tell he was really feeling it.
The coaches say…
Xtina: “It was beautiful, Jeff.”
Adam: “You did such an incredible job, I almost forgot that this is a competition. There’s something about your presence and the power of your voice that demands so much attention.”
I think Adam put it well — just by being his adorable self with the talent to back it up, Jeff has a way of winning me over. What about you?
TEAM ADAM PERFORMS, GETS ALL WARM AND FUZZY WITH A HIGH SCHOOL CHOIR
Team Adam goes over to Maroon 5 HQ to eat, chat and get advice about the pros (being famous) and cons (jet lag) of super stardom. Adam says they’re all going to stay BFFs no matter what happens. How cute and not true, but still cute so I want to believe it anyway.
Then, because they are all such BFFs 4 EVA, they sing “With a Little Help from My Friends,” which will forever and always remind me of Wonder Years, so I’m already on the Warm ‘n’ Fuzzy Train with them. Helping that train get in motion is a full-on high school choir backing them up. It’s like an episode of Glee! Also like an episode of Glee, Adam’s also got all his guys in a version of his uniform: A white tee under a black leather jacket. Very smooth. And hey, look, it’s Javier! We love Javier. Can’t wait to see what he’s singing solo after this.
Curtis Grimes, “Addicted to Love”
A surprising song choice for Curtis, but not for Cee Lo — he likes to challenge his team members. Curtis’s biggest assignment is to take it country, but keep it sexy. I bet Blake Shelton is already jealous he didn’t think of this cover first. At first, the countrified sound is a little jarring, and the sexy country strippers are a little much. I don’t think Curtis got all the way there with the sexiness, but vocally he did a good job of putting his own spin on it.
The coaches say…
Adam: “You really wear a cowboy hat. You look sweet in one. It was so cool. A nice, different approach to it. I’m jealous of your voice, it’s really deep and manly.”
Blake: “Aside from the performance, once again, I have a lot of respect for country guys coming out here looking sharp and representing.”
Xtina: “You have such a great manly voice. I love you.”
Cee Lo: “I think you did a wonderful job. It was awesome, I loved the alternative of the song.”
And finally closing out the night is Adam’s “smooth singing family man.”
Javier Colon, “Angel”
I was just about to say I think this song is too slow and sappy for Javier, but then he said it reminds him of a lullaby he’d sing to his kids, so now I’m on board, because what am I, SATAN? (Nope, that’s Spa Cee Lo.) Javier has such a gorgeous range and an angelic voice of his own, that he really brings new life to this song. Like Dia last week, he’s playing piano on the song. And, like Dia last week, I predict this song will be the week’s #1 iTunes seller. Simply beautiful. I think he could win this thing.
The coaches say…
Blake: “You don’t talk about Javier. You go out and buy his records and go to his concerts.”
Xtina: “The one that got away! No matter whose team you ended up on, the audience makes it clear, you are talented. You really made it your own.”
Cee Lo: “Your ability really epitomizes the point of this show. You really do have the voice of an angel.”
Adam: “You were so passionate about doing this song. You really stuck to it, and now I know why. It was absolutely perfect.”
FINAL VOTING RESULTS
That’s it for tonight’s performances. Don’t forget to vote for your favorites by next Monday! And now, for more voting results from last week.
Team Blake Eliminations:
America’s Save: DIA FRAMPTON
Yay, Dia! That was predictable but well, well deserved. Dia: “I don’t have any words right now. Thank you so much for voting!”
Blake’s Save: He’s puzzled, concerned and clearly thinking hard about this decision. He says nice things about Patrick, Xenia and Jared, who all have different strengths. This is rough to watch. Blake decides that he can “affect change” with only one team member left, and that team member is XENIA.
Xenia and Dia both look so ridiculously uncomfortable and shy up there, it’s almost easy to forget how well they both performed last week. They’re shuffling their feet and looking at the ground. Kind of an anticlimactic elimination (well, more of a bummer) of the boys, especially Patrick, but I’m excited to see what both Dia and Xenia can bring to the competition next week, and if they will grow like Blake has faith that they will.
Until then: Which of tonight’s performances earned your votes tonight? Are you happy with tonight’s eliminations? Whether you are or not, it should be clear right now, this show isn’t messing around with the cuts, so be sure to vote for your favorites before it’s too late (next week)!
(Image courtesy of NBC)