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

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!

Comments (11)
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Bravo to your response to Blake's fat ass comment (and response to the whole thing, really). That tweet of his incited the most rage in me because it was just so condescending towards a person's chosen profession. Not all of us want to be rock stars- shocking! You could not have responded more perfectly.
WTF happened to Team Adam ?

This is seriously what America choose to save ?
"It was like if Stevie Nicks and Sting had a fierce, angry, bastard child." Couldn't have said it better myself. She was by far the best of the night and owned the stage.

Also, Blake was probably my favorite judge on the show up until his comments regarding your review last week, now I dunno. You were dead-on and nothing you said was out of line. For him to comment on it in her defense is one thing, but to continue to harp on it is taking it too far. Maybe he's playing the protective father, and I get that, but Raelynn was too bad to warrant that kind of defense. Keep doin what you do.
And Raelynn was absolutley awful, so no worries there!
The only performance that left any sort of impression on me was Pip, I love him he is cute and talented. I could care less about most everyone else, this season is such a disappointment compared to last year. Also James was creepy, Erin super annoying and Kim just plain boring
I think that on Team Cee Lo Lamar, Juliet and James will be saved and out of the 3 remaining...he'll probably be choosing between Erin and Chessa...I really hope that Erin and Tony go home...I don't like either of their voices. For Team Adam I see Mathai, Kim and Katrina moving on with Adam saving.maybe Tony... Pip is just to boring to me and that Tony guy was not engaging enough for me, but that is just my opinion and he did a better job than Karla. Obviously tho the bottom 3 have a chance to redeem themselves from their mistakes last night, so we'll see...too bad NCIS:LA and Ringer are on at the same time...I won't be able to watch or DVR the voice tonite :(

I agreed with your assessments from last week. And pretty much all of the ones this week. Save for Erin, just because Ceelo managed to find the one song she couldn't ruin doesn't mean I still can't stand her voice. It is like fingernails on a chalkboard.

I completely agree with you in regards to Juliet, I hate that song. In fact now that i think about it. I pretty much hate every single Sting song there has ever been. They don't make sense his voice is lame and most of them are just annoying. But damn she sung the hell out of that song and I was forced to download it, in spite of the fact that the iTunes version isn't even close to the live version. That girl is a live singer and I think she may take it all. She and Mathai are the only ones I think could have hung in with the group from last year.
At first I was gonna say that I don't blame Blake for protecting a young girl's feelings of whom he's probably become close with (that sounded a little more creepy than I intended), but then I realized that he went a little too far with the personal attacks. Color me surprised. He seems like such a cool overall good guy. Not that he isn't. Just a little overprotective I would say. Anyway

I was pretty disappointed with this night overall. Loved hearing Tonight, Tonight, though. Mathai and Juliet were awesome. I completely stopped liking Erin, and I thought Voldemort was boring this week.
I love that you say "Voldemort" and I know exactly who you're talking about. It's true. And now I can't help but see his whole performance as a sort of Harry Potter homage. It's a very fitting song for the actual Voldemort, wouldn't you say?
Yep, exactly. If they ever made a Harry Potter musical, he would obviously have to be cast as Voldemort or the whole thing would be doomed to fail.
You know, I haven't even watched the episode yet tonight so I can't comment on rankings, but I have to say you had every right to say what you did and I'm sure anyone who visits can back your right to speak your mind. Does Blake even know what kind of site this is? Sure, you guys tear shows apart. You guys get ruthless at times. But you do it with wit and a tongue-in-cheek attitude (or maybe I'm just a bit desensitized from reading too many of Tim Surette's reviews... but regardless). That's what a TV reviewer is supposed to do. ESPECIALLY when it comes to competition shows. Nobody is safe, and they shouldn't be because that is the exact nature of this type of show.

Did you attack her character? No. All you commented on was her ability to sing and your distaste of her voice. The show is still called THE VOICE, after all. So she's 17. So what? If she's not ready for this type of criticism of her skills she shouldn't put herself in front of the entire country to be judged for exactly that. It's ridiculous that he'd single you out and attempt to shame you on twitter for sharing an opinion that differs from his. And from the looks of many of the other comments on there you're not alone in your opinion of her voice.

If Blake actually does read this stuff, he should know that most people consider him their favorite judge. Last year I thought his support of Dia was incredible and I stuck around because I thought he was an amazing mentor for her. Seeing him bring her out of her shyness and show the world all of her musical talent made the show worth it for me. But here's my issue -- RaeLynn is younger and her craft isn't as honed. And that's a fact. Her voice is often pitchy and she can't hold a note as well as the rest of the competition. Do I give her credit for trying? Absolutely. Do I think she has what it takes to win? Absolutely not. She doesn't have the experience yet and she only appeals to a certain demographic. So when America votes somebody through like that, I can completely understand that as someone who reviews this show, you're going to comment on exactly that. It's your job and there's no reason to feel bad for telling it how it is.

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