The Voice Weekly Wrap-up and Top 6 Power Rankings: R.I.P., Team Xtina

Well, I totally saw that coming.

Okay, maybe I didn’t see that coming. What Dez Duron, the sole remaining representative of Team Xtina, lacked in excitement and creativity, he made up for by being the kind of bland attractive that Christina Aguilera stocks her team with every season, counting on America's hordes of hormonal tweens to carry the votes. You know, if we’re being cynical about things.

Mostly, I just don’t think Aguilera is capable of seeing beyond her own favorite genre of music. Her blinders inhibit her ability to build a team that appeals to a wide array of viewers. Even Mr. “I Want to Win with a Country Singer” Blake Shelton has proven himself capable of diversifying. Sure, he’d love to win with a country singer, but if it comes down to losing with a country singer or (possibly) winning with a girl rocker, he’ll take the girl rocker.

Pop is probably the most widely appealing genre of music featured on The Voice. That’s the whole point of it—to appeal to as many people as possible, to be POPular. The cost of watering down a genre of music so that there’s enough for everyone is that pop music can be accused of being bland and forgettable and I believe that’s what ultimately led to Team Xtina’s downfall. All three of Christina Aguilera’s top three—Adriana Louise, Sylvia Yacoub, and Dez Duron—were perfectly capable singers and genetically gifted human beings, pop-star staples. But their performances were consistently underwhelming, boring, and unmemorable. Dez Duron’s ode to Broadway last week was the highlight of his time on The Voice. It was mature, it was fun, and it was different. It made me see the guy in a new light. I was sorely disappointed to see him return to the status quo on Monday with the vapid Bieber tune, “U Smile,” and apparently so was the rest of America. He received the fewest votes, along with Team Cee Lo’s Cody Belew (and Belew's ongoing identity crisis.)

Here are our power rankings for those who remain, as well as Cee Lo Green’s duet with Kermit the Frog because it was so weird and awesome.


6. Terry McDermott (Team Blake)

Last week, I wondered when The Voice would run out classic rock tunes for McDermott to sing. Apparently it was this week, with McDermott opting to change up the formula a bit and sing “Over” by Coach Blake Shelton. In one of those weird instances where I agreed with Christina Aguilera about something and had to spend the rest of the night reevaluating my life, we both thought that, while it was a nice change and “Over” is a pretty-enough song, McDermott’s lower register is clearly not as strong as his higher one and the tune drew obvious attention to it.


5. Cassadee Pope (Team Blake)

After a beautiful, heartfelt performance last week, it was back to the girl rocker routine with “Are You Happy Now?” The acoustic guitar kind of looked like a silly prop once you take into account that she was backed by a full rock band and jammed like a rock star. The sound and the visual just didn’t gel.


4. Nicholas David (Team Cee Lo)

Adventures in “baby-making music” continued with Team Weird Beard covering the Marvin Gaye tune “What’s Going On.” Loved the cataract sunglasses and the Willie Nelson braids and the leather blazers.


3. Melanie Martinez (Team Adam)

Melanie Martinez decided to sing that song from the Internet Explorer commercials (“Too Close”) because she was going through a break-up. Adam offered to beat up her ex, and it was awkward. Her cover was decent, but I wish she’d go back to being jazzy and awesome instead of wallowing in indie heartbreak tunage.


2. Trevin Hunte (Team Cee Lo)

Trevin Hunte singing Whitney Houston—has there been a more perfect match made on The Voice? Backed by a children’s choir and rocking a tastefully sparkly blazer, Hunte easily redeemed himself after the blah-fest Usher cover he did last week. Yay!


1. Amanda Brown (Team Adam)

Ok, I groaned when Brown and Coach Adam decided to sing an Adele song. I freaking love Adele, but these covers just never seem to end well for the contestants. Unless you are Adele, trying to sound like a carbon copy of her in a competition just seems like quitting. I’ve never, ever, heard an Adele cover this season, or in previous seasons, that comes close to the original. And frankly, Amanda Brown’s cover of “Someone Like You” didn’t channel Adele either... but it wasn’t trying to, and that’s why it was awesome. Brown and Levine completely ran off with the song, cranked up the tempo, and gave it more of a rock flavor. It was awesome.



Were you sad to see Dez and Cody go? How would you rank the Top 6? Should Cee Lo and Kermit perform together more often?

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Trevin was ok, but as someone else said, he's gotten boring. He's a one-trick pony, which was proven when he couldn't pull off Usher and then had no issues with Whitney. He's good, don't get me wrong, he has amazing talent, but he's only got one thing get can really do.

Amanda was AWESOME! I love Adele, and I have no issues with people covering Adele songs, as long as they sound ok, but this went above and beyond! I'd love to hear Juliet Simms sing that version, too.

Terry was good, but yeah, his voice just isn't that great in the lower registers. He needs his high classic rock songs.

Oh, about Dez. I thought his version of U Smile was incredible. Not as good as last weeks performance, but still better than most of his other ones. I think the reason that he was voted off was because America is getting sick of Christina and her garbage. The way she gives backhanded compliments to people she doesn't like. She's a bitter, angry woman for some reason, and she really needs to stop.

Cody is an amazing performer, but not the Voice. And when you do Freddy, you better make sure you are the Voice!

Melanie did a great version of that song. One of my favorite songs nowadays, and I loved her version. She still has the soft raspy to her voice, but she's learning to project more, and it sounds good!

Nicholas is amazing. He looks weird and sings incredibly! Such soul that man has!

And last, Cassadee. Ahh, Cassadee! Cassadee is my favorite for winning this whole thing. She has such talent, such an amazing voice, and can go from soft to hard and sad to angry to happy so easily. I picked her way back in the beginning to go all the way, and even if she doesn't, I'm so very glad she's made it this far.
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I am so, so, so very bored with Trevin by now. I was rolling my eyes during his performance of another beautiful (I will not deny that) but very similar ballad. It's just not music I will be buying. Nicholas is another person that makes me so sleepy. His voice is lovely, but his performances are the type that make me want to curl up and go to sleep, not keep watching. I could never go to a concert of his. I'd be asleep in mere seconds.

On the other hand, I love Cassadee. Her voice is powerful, and she can do the angry thing and she can do the emotional thing and she can do the rocker thing, and yes, it's all in the same vein - but that's because she knows who she is. And she's amazing at what she does. Is she everybody's favorite? Of course not. But how she charts on iTunes should be proof enough that she'd sell albums, which is what we should want from a winner on the Voice. Terry is another performer that I absolutely adore. I loved his rendition of "Over," and I personally enjoyed hearing his lower register. He's exciting to watch. An oldie like Nicholas, but definitely not boring. I won't be falling asleep during his concert.

As for Melanie and Amanda... I love Melanie, but I can't see her winning. Maybe I'm underestimating her, but I know I'd buy her album, so I definitely won't be surprised to see her go far. I still don't understand everybody's love over Amanda. Yes, she's good, but I get tired of her screamo. This week's and last week's performances have been, by far, her best, in my opinion. She's sung with power - not screamed just because she can.

Glad to see Cody gone. He brought nothing new to the table. I found him to be a bit of a joke. His voice could have been killer, but I just could not take him seriously. As for Dez... sexy boy, sexy voice, bad coach. That's my take. I was crossing my fingers for Cody & Trevin to be eliminated... but ah well. I'm not really disappointed.
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As sad as it is to see Cody go, it really was time. The remaining artists are all incredibly talented and Cody and Dez were definitely the weakest links. That said I'm kinda over Trevin and Amanda. They both have amazing voices, there's no denying that, but there isn't really anything unique and original about them. Trevin especially seems to be a one tirck pony, as demonstrated by his Usher performance last week. I think Melaine really is a suprise front runner, despite Christina's obvious disdain for a performer who doesn't belt. She and Casadee are the only artists in the competion charted in the top 10 on iTunes two weeks in a row.
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Melanie is relevant but her voice is very basic and I don’t think she should win the voice because her voice is clearly the weakest of everyone left in the competition. I can't honestly think of a moment where she wowed me with her vocals in this competition. Sure she puts on great performances and has cool music but that doesn't result in having the best voice. Maybe she has good commercial success after the show I'd be fine with that but I hope America leaves the voice winner to someone who actually has the better voice.
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I miss Cody. He's more entertaining than Trevin and I'd have been sad but ok to see Trevin go if Cody could have stayed. But Cody's last performance was the first one he didn't seem to enjoy, so I wasn't surprised. So happy that Dez is gone now. He's a little wooden for me. What's with Christina giving crap reviews to ALL the other performances!!??! "Melanie, I liked your set but the song didn't go anywhere, Amanda, I feel like we haven't seen you." And then kissy kissy over Dez. Not really digging that. I agree with the decisions. I think amanda might win but wouldn't it be cool if Nicholas did? I want to hear his cd regardless. And he is such a sweet guy!!
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Considering I was pretty much a fan of all the top 8, I was going to be disappointed however the results came about. Dez had one of his weakest so I kinda expected it but Christina totally killed him with her song choices. Cody - that guy has entertainment written all over him but I didn't like his performance this week. So down to a strong 6.

I LOVED Cee-Lo and Kermit. That was probably my fave part of the evening although Terry, Nicholas, Melanie and Cody's Rhythm of Love was pretty awesome. Probably my favorite group performance.
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Sorry, but thank god that Dez is gone. I like Trevin, but he needs more time. I think Cody has to stay instead. And I'm not a fan of Cassade. We are in the same page of Cristina choice of contestant.
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I hate watch this show when I have nothing else on. By all rights, Amanda or Melanie should win. Amanda is crazy versatile and Mel is pretty original. Under the right conditions I could buy an album from either of them. The rest we have all seen, and there is dozens of them out there save for maybe Nicholas, but he could only ever be a niche singer. There just isn't much call right now in music for a real soul singer. It isn't to say that he couldn't have a career. He can. But he doesn't have the wide spread appeal.

I am happy to see that Christina no longer has a contestant in the race. She will never win this competition. She only picks and keeps contestants that stroke her very very large.... ego. And they only pick her because they are fans. The rest of the coaches take care of their people.
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I am so frickin bored by Trevin. It sounds like the same song every single time... As much as I love Melanie (my fav), I think it would do her well to change it up a bit. She proved she could during the group number. Once you have established your sound to the point where she has, I think it's good to show diversity as well. Cassadee... bored with. Never impressed me to be honest. Agree with who should have to go though, even though I quite like Belew, he just isn't up there with the rest.
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I'm pretty over Trevin, and Amanda refuses to pic a musical style: R&B, diva, rock (kinda?). I wasn't a fan of Dream On, and I don't think she's rock at all. And Melanie has the same sound at the same intensity all the time, it is cool for like a verse and then I want something more. I'm still loving Nicholas, Terry, and Cassadee. But it is a really tight competition.
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Amanda is going to win. I love her and she can do anything.
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my opinion on the contestants keep changing every week and that shows how great they are cuz they can have a weak week and then next thing u know, they're back with full strength!... i wish they could all be the winners
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I honestly disagree with you on Trevin. I thought he was missing a lot of notes and his phrasing was terrible. He kept running out of breath. I feel like it just proved that at the end of the day, he's a one trick pony. He can hit a glory note sure, but he isn't quite as good as everyone makes him out to be.
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I thought it was awkward when Christina said that she Brittney Spears and Justin Timberlake ruled Pop Music... I definitely agree that Timberlake did and for a while so did Brittney, but Christina always felt like the weird one that you keep chained up in the attic, to hear she thought otherwise made me kind of sad for her, not like tears in my eyes, but just to be that oblivious... in her native tongue I say "No Me Gusta"
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hmm apparently American's native tongue is Spanish now... who knew...

"Aguilera was born in Staten Island, New York"
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That's my bad I took her reemerson as the latin Queen to mean she was from south of the border not south of New England... Thanks for the heads up
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First off a few notes I think America got it mostly right this week. I actually found myself sad to see Dez go despite him betraying me with the Bieber cover. Christina was back to her regular rude self this week during the performances and I can’t help but wonder if that had anything to do with the votes.

Top 8 Rankings (not cumulative)
Amanda: Was a cool rendition of a really tough song. Adele is sort of a different beast but I think Amanda actually made it her own and was back to kicking some ass. Glad she didn’t suffer from the first performance blues.
Nicholas: Perfect song choice for him and I have to say I got so much joy out of seeing his reaction to the legend Bill Withers walking in the room it was so cool. This was in my opinion his strongest performance vocally, it didn’t have emotion like Lean on Me but I was most impressed this week with his voice and the coolness and clarity he brought to the table.
Terry: While I’m glad he switched it up this week for the voter’s sake; I don’t know if the song choice again really appealed I was fully expecting him to leave this week because he seems to struggle connecting with the audience so I was pleasantly surprised to see him get another week. I think he should try a song by someone like Kings of Leon or another relevant rock band next week or if he does a classic do something like Hey Jude or Imagine. This will not only show off his voice but also get the popular vote.
Cassadee: Well she got to go last so I knew she would be safe plus she was like number two on the I Tunes charts this week. She went right back to the pop punk thing which I know is her style and at least this week she didn’t cover Avril lavigne and actually picked a pretty good song but she was kind of just good this week not great. The voice is obviously grooming her to be the winner having her go 2nd to last the previous week and last this week. I think they should switch the order up a bit.
Trevin: Back to the ballads this week I don’t have a problem with that but the song was bit boring even though it is a classic. I was also surprised to see him stay he has coasted a bit these last two weeks and I think he needs to step it up next week.
Melanie: I’ll give her this much she can really pick a song that’s relevant and cool I give her a lot of props for that. Was a decent performance by her a lot different from the original (which is awesome by the way!) Vocally it was pretty much the same old same old and I really wasn’t surprised to see her saved because her I tunes success. I still don’t get the obsession but she has another week to change my mind. P.S I really didn’t care about her break up I felt like they were trying to make us feel sorry for her which the competition shouldn’t be about.
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I'm glad Cee Lo's bird didn't try to eat Pepe the King Prawn.
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