The Voice now transitions from the all-to-awkward pairings in sing-offs judged by the coaches to an actual live performance. I’m not really so sure why these have to be live shows, as the voting is not instantaneous and we won’t know the results until next week. I think it’s more of a dare and a challenge. I can’t be the only one waiting for the slip and the potential FCC fine.
Ruining Good Will
The show opens with a big ole round of government cheese with the hosts singing a couple of Queen songs. Adam pretended to bust out a guitar solo, but I think it was just major chord fiddling. Eh, it’s been a while, so I could be wrong. Xtina comes out over-singing in ill-cut shorts. She’s older now and maybe a bit more womanly shaped, and she’s still at least 30 pounds less than me, but good god, find a tailor. We can look good in shorts…just not those. Blake can just give up singing Queen and Cee Lo looks odd without the shades and the new ‘stash. In any event, no one should turn their chair around for this cavalcade of ear assault.
The new rules
So here’s the new sitch…for this episode it’s Christina’s team against Blake’s team. We’ll get eight individual performances and people will call in for the singers they want to “save” from elimination. The judges will also have one “save” vote, but it’s not addressed if the same person should be saved. That’ll take Christina’s and Blake’s teams down to two members next week. On that show, Adam’s team and Cee Lo’s team will perform. And really, that means we’re looking at American Idol, NBC style.
Aside from all that, there’s this “Live V-Room” nonsense. Some random blonde chick hosts it and I’m not covering it. It has the contestants who are up for performances playing with tablet computer gizmos like they know what they are doing and she’s prattling on about what people are posting on Twitter. Twitter is so 2008. I don’t care.
What the hell are these songs?
First up performing Raquel Castro singing “Blow” by Ke$ha for Christina’s team. (Wait, what? A singer with a dollar sign in her name…good gods, I’m old. Never heard of this business.) First of all, Raquel should dial down her association with that certain verboten Kevin Smith film (it’s not like she was in “Clerks”) and her perky performance is more in tune with a YouTube sensation. But then on stage, oh, dear lord, she’s got backup dancers. She’s mastered that big-voice thing Christina likes and sounds okay in that dance pop way but these backup dancers are just weirding me out. Cee Lo thought it was wonderful, Adam was impressed that she danced while she sang, and Blake admits she’s awesome even though his team is competing against Christina. Christina’s proud that she brought the performance and kept it together with the outfit and heels. She says what I was thinking—it’s impressive that she didn’t fall in the six inch heels. Really, what 16 year old should be in 6 inch heels? I’m not pearl-clutching, but, hey, start out at 4 inch, okay? You’ve got a good 10 years to work up to the sixes.
First up for Blake’s team is Jared Blake, prolific child-producer, singing “Use Somebody” by Kings of Leon. Blake sees Jared as conflicted between country and rock, which has made him a bit indecisive. He certainly is decisive about continuing to wear that dumb-ass bandana around his head. But for his performance, he swaps out his everyday bandana for a black sparkly one. He started out playing the guitar but then tossed it and walked out to sing in the middle of some enthusiastic fans, who really are his family members or regular folk paid well by NBC. Christina likes his stage presence but wasn’t so sure that the guitar toss didn’t throw him off. Cee Lo says Jared deserves to be there and Adam found the song choice to be absolutely perfect. Blake is tired of the “last chance” and “second chance” story around Jared—this is his time and he needs to embrace that he’s a rocker. I’ll buy half of that. I’m tired of the second chance story too.
Okay, I’ve heard a couple of these…I can put off grave selections for a few days.
Beverly McClellan for Christina’s team performs Melissa Etheridge’s “I’m the Only One” under the burden of a bad chest cold. She’s wearing a military style coat and a plaid skirt, like a mini-pleated kilt. It’s an odd look but works for Beverly and her belting singing. It’s a great song for her to sing, since she kinda sounds like Melissa Etheridge regularly. Cee Lo professes his undying love for Beverly and Adam says she’s amazing over the chattiness of Christina, talking about how Adam is going to need a new pair of pants now that he’s seen Beverly. Blake is now finding her sexy and awesome. Christina then starts talking about Beverly’s stage performance when out in the live audience someone yells, “Adam she said you would &%$# yourself!” I was waiting for that live TV moment, and it finally happened. I guess they don’t have this on a seven second delay.
Dia Frampton is Blake’s next team member to perform. She sings “Heartless” by Kanye West. Blake has her rehearse singing at the piano to help with the nervous energy, and she keeps the piano on stage, curiously surrounded by a lot of smoke. She really opens up singing and the nerves are properly channeled into the grand piano. Christina enjoyed seeing the fighter come out in her and Cee Lo was impressed with her phrasing on the Kanye song. Adam agrees that this was the best thing he’s seen so far in the show. Blake is glad America finally got to see what Dia can do. Look, I know about 20% of the songs on this show because I have very odd leanings musically. She made this song sound good to me, and even though I had to Google it, I hope she goes far.
Christina took her team out for a little staged dinner (no one ate anything) and said inspiring stuff then the whole team performed Lady Marmalade (from Moulin Rouge not Labelle) with Christina, much like I have in my car since 2001. Word to Christina, please apply the self tanner to your armpits or refrain from raising your arms so damn much—it’s distracting.
Next up for Blake’s team is Xenia Martinez is singing “Price Tag” by Jesse J; Blake has brought in a choreographer to work with Xenia to get her to loosen up a bit on stage, as she generally looks like a scared highschooler. Hey, I thought this show was about voices, not dance moves! So mostly it’s just arm moves, but if she wants to learn some arm moves, she needs to check out a Pipettes show or their instructional video on YouTube. (They’re an awesome Brit retro pop band and do an entire arm aerobic routine with their movements for each song. Plus, matching outfits!) Blake is so proud, he runs up on stage after the song to give her a hug. Christina admits Xenia is becoming one of her favorites and she loves seeing Xenia look more comfortable on stage. Cee Lo enjoyed it and Adam was glad she had fun on stage. Blake sees a star being born on stage right before his eyes. He sees that frequently.
Christina’s Lily Elise is up next and she’ll sing “Big Girls Don’t Cry” by Fergie, not Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, which is the version I know because I’m apparently 100 years old. In rehersals, Christina instructs her with the choreographer to show a bit of vulnerability and not come off so cold. Harsh a bit much, Xtina? Then on stage…oh dear lord, she’s got backup dancers too. She starts out with the “vulnerable” act which is a detriment to her sound, but when she brings out the confidence, she sounds so much better. Cee Lo says she sounds great, Adam thought she did better once the dancers went away, and suddenly I’m having live feed problems. Blake didn’t like the dancers either from what I can glean from the messed up feed. Christina is very proud of how far she came from learning the song and thought the dancers worked and the vulnerability really worked for her. No, dancers need to migrate to SYTYCD and not distract from “the voice” you are supposedly trying to discover.
And now a peak into Blake’s team; he invited the group over to his house for barbeque lunch where they talk and eat off of plastic plates and drinking water. (What, Blake can’t spring for a 2L of Coke?!) The whole team then performs “This Love” by Maroon 5, inflating Adam’s ego all the more, as if his whiney ass needed it. Adam does give them a standing ovation and I’m just struck at how damn tall Blake is. He towers over everyone. Adam notices too, and somehow it turns into a penis joke. After all the Anthony Weiner stuff out, I’m not going there.
Blake’s final performer tonight is Patrick Thomas who sings Lee Ann Womack’s “I Hope You Dance.” He’s singing it for his sister so she follows her dreams; Blake tells him to put the emotion into the song and not be so technical. The smoke machine is back on stage and this guy sucks. Blake should have never picked this guy; the other guy he was against—Tyler, I believe—was so much better. Christina thinks Patrick is a cutie and should take off his pants. Cee Lo sees Patrick as a strong contender and Adam likes the classy, understated performance. Blake likes that he is a classy professional and is making Nashville proud. I just want this vanilla bean off my screen.
For the last performance for Christina’s team, Frenchie Davis “When Love Takes Over” by David Guetta featuring Kelly Rowland. During coaching, Christina advises Frenchie to make more concise, clean runs. She’s got a good voice but during the performance the laser lights and the people dancing on tables on stage are distracting. Cee Lo is happy with the performance; Adam was fairly ambivalent on the song but she made him love it. Blake congratulates her on creating a party atmosphere. Christina loves her stage presence, her wide range of voice and the control she has over it. Whatever. Why is the stage so hot and everyone is sweating? It’s 200 degrees here as I recap, but I’ve got a/c. Someone pay the power bill out there in LA.
So that’s that after 2 hours. One expletive hurled by an audience member, no one fell in their impossibly high heels, and no one sucked (okay, IMO, Patrick did) so bad that the mute button was necessary. Can we all just get these eight singers a contract of some sort and let them fight it out on iTunes for the most revenue generated? They all have markets, just mostly not me. Now excuse me whilst I upload the Book of Mormon soundtrack to my iPod. ‘Cause I’m weird and old like that.