‘The Voice’ Recap: Happy Now?
This is The Voice! Tonight we’ll get performances from the Top 8 in the slow, slow trek to finally kicking some more contestants off this show. Last week you cast the MOST VOTES EVER for The Voice to kick two people off (or save 8, depending on how generous of spirit you feel). Tonight you’ll give the boot to two more (or, you know, save six…gosh you’re nice)!
They’ve changed the rules a little this season and America could vote out one coach this week — most likely on the chopping block? Christina Aguilera, who only has one contestant still in the game. Cee Lo has three, while Blake Shelton and Adam Levine are holding steady with 2 each. First up! Adam Levine collabs with 50 Cent on his new single “My Life.” 50 Cent is wearing sweatshirt with leather sleeves and it looks very warm. His bling has been scaled down significantly. And the track has loads of guitar on it so…that’s unexpected. Judging by Blake’s face, this is not his favorite song. Judging by that long pause, the censors bleeped 50 off the top of his second verse. And again at the end of it. Okay there buddy, clean it up for live television eh?
Judges chatter and then first up!
Contestant: Amanda Brown
Singing: Adele “Someone Like You”
Adam convinced Amanda to turn Adele’s beloved hit single into a rocker. It was a smart decision because Adele’s vocal delivery is so definitive that to put your own mark on it you have to reinterpret the entire song. This way the song can play to Amanda’s strengths instead of Amanda karaoking it. This may be the best work from a judge’s hand all season.
Judges say: Blake agrees and thinks this is consistent with Adam ragging on people doing Adele in blind auditions. Christina says we’re still waiting on her to tap into the magic again. Cee Lo says she’s brave and risky. Adam says knocked it out of the park.
Team Cee Lo
Contestant: Cody Belew
Singing: Queen “Somebody To Love”
He is selling this song like it’s Vegas. If this is what Cody was giving Nashville label execs, no wonder they didn’t know what to do with him. He is so obviously Team Cee Loo with this performance and his voice is actually killer. He’s mixing Elvis and Freddie Mercury in a fascinating combination.
Judges say: One of Adam’s favorite songs, refers to himself as a “scholar of Freddie.” Blake appreciates Cody’s Team Cee Lo makeover. Christina appreciates the vocal challenge and wants to hang after the show. Cee Lo feels the magic.
Quick group performance Terry McDermott, Cassadee Pope, Melanie Martinez and Dez Duron, doing the All-American Rejects “Move Along.” No reason is given for this song choice, although one would clearly be helpful. It suits no one’s voice on the stage. Not even Terry, although he does try to Bono it.
Contestant: Terry McDermott
Singing: Blake Shelton “Over”
The goal here is for us to a) not know this is a Blake Shelton song and b) see something other than “classic rock Terry.” Fun fact: Blake sung this song in the semi-finals of Season 2 of The Voice. It didn’t sound like this. This song really isn’t showcasing great Terry, although he’s trying really hard to make it do so.
Judges say: Christina was oddly succinct. Cee Lo said something nice and nondescript. Adam makes a joke at Blake’s expense about the song and how it’s supposed to sound. Blake says this actually IS how he’s like to be able to perform the song, if only he could sing that high.
Contestant: Melanie Martinez
Singing: Alex Clare “Too Close”
So Melanie is going through a real break up that lead her to pick this song. However, she took this song and Mumford-ed it. It’s a perfectly Melanie take on Alex Clare but it’s also toothless when the whole point of this song is his voice over electronic music as an evolution of Clare as an artist from his acoustic world. So essentially this version strips out everything the original artist intended. While Melanie is clearly feeling it, this is just…like spray painting on a Manet and calling it Banksy.
Judges say: Blake thinks playing the tambourine with your feet is cool. Christina thinks the set was cute because she’s never seen Mumford & Sons live. She also says the song didn’t go anywhere, which is accurate. Cee Lo compliments the set also and then Adam before he gets to anything about this performance, but calls it a success. Adam loves what she does.
Contestant: Dez Duron
Singing: Justin Bieber “You Smile”
In fairness, Dez is clearly going to inject some blue-eyed soul into this Bieber song. He’s giving it a nice facelift into something an adult can sing. As always, he’s straight seducing the audience. Honestly, why is he not in a boy band? He should be in a boy band. At the end of the song, Dez is a very charismatic man who quit Yale to be on The Voice. Quit. Yale.
Judges say: Cee Lo feels “double D” is very well-rounded. Adam loves his groove and that he quit Yale to do this. Blake says basically the same stuff as Adam, down to “groove.” Christina can’t use the word kill enough to describe how much he killed it.
Team Cee Lo
Contestant: Trevin Hunte
Singing: Whitney Houston “The Greatest Love Of All”
After last week’s lackluster performance, Treyvon takes on a song that lets him show off properly, thank God. This guy is a master of the heartfelt inflection while singing. That thing that Whitney had that made you really feel a song, but with your feelings? He’s totally got it. If anyone deserves a full choir to back them up, it’s Trevin. Also! Glittery tuxedo jacket!
Judges say: Adam calls this heaven. Blake’s glad he’s back in his wheelhouse. Christina thinks it was a beautiful job. Cee Lo is proud.
Now back to This Is The Voice! As Christina Milian reunites Terry McDermott with his wife, she talks to their kid while they make out. MOVING ON. Amanda, Cody, Nicholas and Trevin do Journey’s “Any Way You Want It” to fill some time. Cody is on it, Nicholas is hilariously miscast in this song, Amanda is on it, Trevin is confused and his harmonizing with Nicholas is the best/worst thing tonight. Except maybe the absurd dancers on this set.
Team Cee Lo
Contestant: Nicholas David
Singing: Marvin Gaye “What’s Going On”
First off: Bill Withers saw Nicholas David performing his song last week and that’s like insanity because he thought it was okay and came by to comment. Second, this starts with a sax solo and goes into Nicholas with Willie Nelson braids. Why hasn’t he done a Willie Nelson song anyway? His Marvin Gaye is technically proficient but the feeling is a little too Quiet Storm smooth R&B and not really tapping into the civil rights strife this song is about. It’s kind of a well done photocopy.
Judges say: Adam is planning to be a fan forever. Blake didn’t realize until this week that he’s blind (rimshot). Cee Lo loves him so much.
Contestant: Cassadee Pope
Singing: Michelle Branch “Are You Happy Now?”
Cassadee looks an awful lot like Christina Perri right now. The staging on this performance is possibly better than anything Michelle Branch ever actually got. It’s doing a great job building a sense of drama around the song, which is good because her voice isn’t exactly top notch. But for production values, this is a VMA worthy staging situation.
Judges say: Cee Lo says nice things. Adam remembers he opened for Michelle Branch and talks some stuff on the Roxy. Blake feels this was a great birthday present for Cassadee’s mom.
And now: we vote!