The Voice: Mentoring for Some, Complimentary Spray Tanning for Everyone Else

The Voice S02E14: Live Quarter-Final Performances

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.

Weak sauce.

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.


6. Lindsey Pavao (Team Christina)

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?

5. Erin Willett (Team Blake)

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.

4. Raelynn (Team Blake)

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!”

3. Ashley de la Rosa (Team Christina)

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.

2. Chris Mann (Team Christina)

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.

1. Jermaine Paul (Team Blake)

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?

Comments (9)
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Chris Mann ---not so much man as robot. I cringed while he perfectly enunciated every single word of the song. It was painful. Why not just sing an aria - Neussun Dorma? I'm sure he would be excellent at that one. But please, no more pop...or Coldplay - ever!
In Christina's vague explanation fo ousting Jesse, she had put together the strongest team. Does she know only one can win The Voice and she just kicked off the strongest voice on her team? Color me confused. Sending Jesse home only showed, this wasn't about the voice. Jesse Campbell was gracious and professional even in rejection, but I guess having been in the entertainment business he knows how it goes, ppl make promises that are worth nothing.

Only person to look forward to now for me is Jamar Rogers in the CeeLo camp, I can't even remember who is on Adam's team or for that matter the remaining on Blake and Christina's team except the Opera guy. Too bad Jesse didn't pick Adam.

I've gotten to where I don't even like this show now. season 1 was WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY more talented. Ashley De La Rosa and Lindsey Pavao are the only good ones on Team Christina.. so obviously Chris Mann will win.. and everybody but RaeLynne should stay for Team Blake so she'll be the one who stays probably. Juliet Simms is the only one worth it on Team Cee Lo so she'll probably make it to finals but not win.. I have no real opinion on Team Adam lol they're all good but I don't think I'd buy any of them so I can't say much
The final four are already chosen. Hell the winner is probably already chosen. So what is left other than sitting back and exploiting the hell out of the show for ratings. The final four is going to be Raelynn (I know, I know I'll get to it) Chris Mann or Ashley, Juliet and Katrina. Juliet will win and that is about that. Why? Because out of all of the singers this year. Juliet and Raelynn are the only ones to sell any worth while number of songs on iTunes. And juliet did it with a horrible song. Raelynn will get there because Blake smartly sees dollar signs. He will sign her and make a fortune off her because she will be a country star. Juliet will win because she has the right balance of talent, passion and likability. She has a great voice and a great look and that is what sells.

What really makes me sad is the lack of depth in the whole lot of them. Last year the top four was easy to pick because they traded back and forth for the top spot on iTunes sales and consistently cracked the top 25.. And this year only two have cracked the top 50. Raelynn and Juliet.
Great article! I really think that people are really giving Christina and her choice a really bad rap - I see the method behind the supposed "madness" of voting Jesse off. I think she was considering both his range as a singer, but also a marketable singer who will live beyond this show and actually have a real career. That being said, I still think that the fans not being allowed to have a say on the vote kind of sucked - it also sends me back to the online music contests I tend to prefer.At least ones like MakeAStar offer a real voting experience for their fans via the their website - that contest is totally fan decided based on votes at their website. The Voice should think of at least incorprating some of these type of elements.
your picks of 1, 2 and 5 will NEVER sell a single record. They are good singers.

But they are also as dull as cardboard.
I thought it sucked that Jesse went home. His voice is amazing. But, I guess maybe she thought there were limits??? It would have been smarter for her to spend more time explaining WHY rather than prepping her team with the "I love you and you are all great" stuff. I also think that Blake booting Jordis was lame, I will say he did get pushed to make his decision quickly (partialy cuz Ms Christina took FOREVER) but I think that Erin should have been sent packing. I am assuming that tonight she will be eliminated. As for Christina's team...I don't know. I am not a fan of Chris Mann, but he is a good singer and then Lindsey is pretty one sided but for some reason I like her voice. Not sure who will go home there....I just have to say that Jermaine and Ashley better not be going home or I'll be pissed at the people who vote!
Christina picked Jesse to go because he was the only contestant who hadn't taken a chance and who hadn't grown as a performer. Judging by her speech, he also didn't listen to his mentor as much as the other ones. She couldnt kick off Ashley (who might win this) and the other two have at least tried to tackle other musical styles. Sadly, Jesse finally gave a heartfelt performance last night, the first I've seen. He's got a lot of talent but he always came across asgoing through the motions, until last night. I am very sad to see Jordis go. But she probably would have gotten the least number of votes. She is a super talented performer and I don't think she'll go unnoticed by a good agent.
Great read!

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