The Voice: Ranking This Week's Live Performances (Team Cee Lo and Team Adam)

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The Voice S02E11: "Live Performance, Week 2"


Howdy folks. We’ll get to this week's rankings in just a moment, but first, there’s a bit of housekeeping to take care of.

I’m a bit bothered by the idea that we should hold RaeLynn to some sort of gentler standard than everyone else based purely on her age. It seems like, well, like it defeats the purpose of a fair competition. She is not the first Voice contestant I’ve lampooned. With that said, RaeLynn is a talented 17-year-old, but suffice it to say that when you go on television, people are not going to universally shower you with praise—just like how, when you write for a website, people are inevitably going to disagree with you. A more direct line to criticism is the price to be paid for working in the public eye, but I apologize if you think I overstepped my boundaries in last week’s results show review. It wasn’t my intention to legitimately offend anyone. We’re just here to have fun.

BUT a quick fact check is in order: This fat ass is fueled by kettle corn. Extra movie theater butter would make a terrible mess of my keyboard. Gross.

Now on with the show, for it must go on!

And on and on and on. Seriously, these two-hour episodes kill me, compounded tonight by the ebolarific streptococcus-pneumonia-plague I have going on. If my judgment seems wildly off tonight, let’s just chalk it up to the fever, mmmkay?


12. Karla Davis (Team Adam)

During rehearsals, Adam asked, “Where’s Bertha?” meaning Karla’s strong, big voice—and I asked myself the same thing during her performance. She seemed to whisper her way through most of BOB’s “Airplanes,” and I thought that singing the rap parts of the song was awkward. It would have been a neat way to show off her versatility if she had rapped.


11. Pip (Team Adam)

In one of those rare instances of me agreeing with Christina, I fully support her assessment that Pip just tried too hard to be a “rock” star during his cover of “When You Were Young.” I could almost see the wheels turning in his head: “Okay, belt here. Be gritty HERE. Should I headbang? Is this a headbanging song?” (Only when you’re playing drunken Guitar Hero in your dorm room during finals week.)


10. Erin Martin (Team Cee Lo)

You know, I was pleasantly surprised by Erin’s performance tonight. I was expecting a train wreck and she held her own pretty well. It was easily her strongest performance, and in rehearsals, it was refreshing to see her actually appear to heed her mentor’s advice. However, I agree with Blake’s observation that there was really only so much she could do, vocally, with her chosen song. And though I’m not really a fan of the hugely choreographed spectacles, it was “Walk Like an Egyptian.” You can’t do “Walk Like an Egyptian” without EGYPTIANS. So it worked. High five, Miss Martin.


9. Kim Yarbrough (Team Adam)

I don’t get the masochistic drive so many contestants on The Voice have to prop themselves up next to Adele. It just doesn’t end well. Cee Lo hit the nail on the head when he stated that “Rolling in the Deep” is just too current and popular of a song, that it’s impossible not to hear a cover and immediately compare Kim to Adele herself. Frankly, that’s just not fair. Kim isn’t competing against Adele. But the comparison can’t be helped and while Kim held her own during her performance, it was certainly lacking something. More specifically, it was lacking Adele.


8: James Massone (Team Cee Lo)

I dug it. James mellowed out to a cover of Norah Jones’ “Don’t Know Why,” flirting with the ladies and showing off some swagger. I really dug it. It wasn’t perfect. He could have projected a little more. The entire song was performed at the exact same volume with basically no dynamic range, but it was a solid performance.


7. Cheesa (Team Cee Lo)

Cheesa’s rendition of “Don’t Leave Me This Way” was fun. Her attire was unfortunate, but this is The Voice, not Fashion Star, so let’s keep the focus on her singing...even if she did look like an Easter egg. Her singing was awesome, though. I think this might have been Cheesa’s strongest performance so far. It was solid, tight, and she looked like she was having a blast.


6. Katrina Parker (Team Adam)

I was not expecting that. I was not expecting the Smashing Pumpkins to be invited to this party. But it was good! Katrina took one of their songs that, honestly, isn’t one of my favorites, and made it very much her own. It was sweeping, theatrical-in-a-good-way. Christina said she could have rocked out more, but I liked her just the way she was.


5. Tony Lucca (Team Adam)

Tony’s performance of That Peter Gabriel Song from Say Anything, “In Your Eyes,” again reminded me of how much I love toned-down choreography. It was just Tony owning the stage. And he totally owned it. Just not as much as...


4. Tony Vincent (Team Cee Lo)

No doubt channeling his residual American Idiot influences, Tony’s theatrical take on “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” was spot-on. It was so entertaining. I always find myself with at least one exception to the simple choreography standard, and this was it. “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” is such a light song and I think it really attested to Tony’s creativity beyond his music that he was able to give it a bit more dimension.


3. Mathai (Team Adam)

Mathai continued to impress me this week just with how EASY she makes it look. Her cover of “Ordinary People” was a little lounge-y, sure (Christina and I are apparently sharing the same hivemind this week), but I don’t mind lounge-y and Mathai's voice is just so pretty. It might be the prettiest one on the show, like little tinkling bells or some other, equally cliché visual.


2. Jamar Rogers (Team Cee Lo)

Jamar pulled out a Lenny Kravitz song, “Are You Gonna Go My Way,” to close the show since The Voice likes to take all the guesswork out of things by saving its status quo best for last week after week after week (after week after week). And sure, it was phenomenal, but we knew it would be phenomenal because it was last. Jamar’s energy is totally infectious, though. Even my NyQuil-soaked brain perked up for his performance.


1. Juliet Simms (Team Cee Lo)

I dislike the song “Roxanne” because...I don’t know. I've never been able to get into it. It isn’t my thing. So the fact that I was totally pumped by Juliet Simms’ performance says a great deal. I was startled by how awesome she was, starting out slow and soft and then just rocking the hell out. It was like if Stevie Nicks and Sting had a fierce, angry, bastard child.


What did you think of tonight’s performances? How would you rank everyone? Don’t forget to tune in tomorrow to see who survives!

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