I have given up. I have. At this point I’m just hoping for a Purrfect sighting in the future because when it comes to taking this show seriously, I just can’t do it. There isn’t enough Absolut in the world, man.
Granted, I wasn’t big on taking it too seriously to begin with. The Voice is American Idol for grown-ups, and it impressed me for a while with its seeming rejection of drama. But the problem with rejecting the dramatics that are so closely associated with Those Other Talent Shows is that, well, things get boring…and it’s not a simple matter of drumming up some hysterics. For the most part, the contestants on The Voice are mature professionals who don’t pick fights with one another or exaggerate rivalries for screen time. To start doing it now would be painfully obvious, so The Voice just keeps on going, pretending to be a talent show despite the fact that it’s been little more than a popularity contest for the past several weeks. It’s like high school student government, but worse, because it actually matters. Kind of.
And what do we get instead of drama?
Let’s see, last night we had one-trick wonder Raelynn reminding us she’s a country-fried badass every time she was allowed to talk. We had Adele-Lite Erin Willett. We had Chris Mann, the Opera Guy.
Add to that a group of coaches/judges who have just given up on actually, you know, coaching. Carson Daly revealed that the live quarter-finals would conclude with a surprise insta-judgement where Christina and Blake would each have to send one of their team members home immediately. Admittedly, tonight’s performances were solid all around and the judges’ seats were certainly hot ones, but for God’s sake, a little insight with regard about their decision-making process would have been nice.
Blake sent Jordis Unga packing because he couldn’t make a decision himself (everyone was just that good), so he fell back on America’s vote of a few weeks back when Jordis had to sing for her life (and did so quite well). Why was Jordis kicked off tonight? Because America said so. Three weeks ago.
And then there was Team Christina. All four of her team members performed pretty freaking well, and she fretted over the decision like a good coach before unceremoniously sending Jesse Campbell home. I’m glad I vacuumed today, because my jaw hit the floor and stayed there for a while. Jesse spent most of this season being lauded by Adam and the other judges as “the guy to beat” and was easily one of the strongest members of Christina’s team. Christina’s rationale for cutting him? She had to put together the strongest team.
Well...that’s helpful. Could you maybe elaborate on that, Xtina? I’m not mad, I’m just curious.
No? Nothing? Okay, we’ll find you another bottle of oompa loompa orange spray tan.
I went ahead and ranked Those Who Remain, though I’m not sure why because I’m still busy trying to figure out what reality I live in. I’m a masochist.
There weren’t a lot of “wow” moments during Lindsey’s cover of Katy Perry’s “Part of Me,” which isn’t so much Lindsey’s fault as it the song’s fault. It’s a techno-laden dance song. It’s a club song. It's not a live performance song, and what Lindsey did with it was good enough, but not particularly interesting.
Cee Lo dug her choreography and I can get behind that. I loved the two dudes holding the mic for her at the beginning of the performance. Any Star Wars fans in the house? Their facepaint was delightfully Quinlan Vos, yes?
Sweet choreography aside, though, I thought this show was called The Voice?
Erin tackled a cover of Adele’s “Set Fire to the Rain.” She held her own, but there’s “holding your own” and then there’s being Adele.
I have a long history of disliking Adele covers. This is why.
I’m so glad Blake and Raelynn found the time to remind us all that Raelynn is a pure country badass. It’s so easy to forget. And just our minds had wandered during the obligatory rehearsal scene/reaffirmation of Raelynn’s country pedigree, the song she performed was called “She’s Country.”
Now, was it a bad performance? Not at all. It was eons and eons better than her attempt at “Wake Up Call” from a few weeks ago, an improvement which I totally credit to Blake’s encouragement to ease up on the growling.
But was it something new? No. Raelynn got on stage and did the same performance that she always does. Remember folks, “She’s country!”
Ooh. A Jewel cover. “Foolish Games.” It’s the sound of scorned middle school girls weeping in the corner between every N’sync song circa 1998 and yet Ashley managed to take it somewhere different. A little less sad, a little more fierce. A dress that didn’t look like it came from the Kohls spring fling section might have been more complimentary, but the dry ice fog added some legitimacy to the seriousness of the performance. Covers of “Foolish Games” have a habit of coming off as karaoke fodder or being straight-up awesome. There is no middle ground. Luckily, Ashley hit the awesome target rather than the Shakespeare’s Pub on Sunday night target.
Clearly, I misunderstood Chris Mann’s comment about “stripping down” on stage because I spent the entire performance waiting for his shirt to come off.
Yes, I’m shallow. It makes things fun.
He was talking about a stripped-down MUSICAL performance of Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida” that had me squealing at the television and contemplating how hard the Boyfriend would judge if I decided to maybe toss my Batgirl underoos in the direction of that glorious 2D stage.
It was pretty bomb. I mean, Chris is a robot and to an extent, suffered from the Pip problem of Trying Too Hard to Be a Badass, but if there is any cover material that doubles as training wheels for becoming a rockstar, Coldplay certainly qualifies.
A softer side of Jermaine Paul came to the party last night and I miiiight have to go download his cover of “Against All Odds” by Phil Collins. Or at the very least, the original track. And now I wave my Ignorant of '80s Music Flag high and admit that I totally thought it was a Mariah Carey song. I know, I know. I am appropriately shamed, though to be fair, the Boyfriend (aka: The Amazing Walking, Talking Encyclopedia Musica) ALSO didn’t realize that it was a Phil Collins song, so I feel slightly vindicated.
Anyway, Jermaine Paul brought the WOW. His performance was emotional. It was sexy. It was easy on the ears. When I realized that Jermaine had placed at the top of my silly little list, I was surprised because I wasn’t terribly impressed with his Bon Jovi cover a few weeks back. I pegged him for a middle-of-the- pack contestant. But man, I love being surprised. Do it again, Jermaine! Do it again!
Despite already losing two contestants this week, we have another round of eliminations tonight. Don’t forget to tune in at 9pm! In the meantime, how do your own personal rankings look? And do you think Blake and Christina owed their team members more informative answers?