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.