'The Voice' puts eight on stage
Posted November 27, 2012
Christina Aguilera has one, Blake Shelton has two, Adam Levine has two and CeeLo Green has three. The remaining eight singers on The Voice sang Monday night to avoid another elimination on Tuesday.
But before the contestants were on, it was time for a coach to premiere a song. This time, it wasn't Christina; it was Adam Levine, singing the chorus for rapper 50 Cent's My Life. The best part of the song? Seeing Blake bobbing his head to the song, which had several bleeped words.
Then, the final eight were on.
Former background singer Amanda Brown of Team Adam performed the oft-covered Someone Like You by Adele, but rearranged it to sound more rock and roll. Did the belting, black cape and rock band measure up to her memorable Dream On performance a few weeks back? Christina said the vocal performance was powerful, but didn't have "that magic" Amanda had in Dream On. Blake approved. CeeLo admired Amanda's bravery for choosing such a risky song. Adam, who is often hard on people for covering Adele, said, "You knocked it out of the park."
"Freddie Mercury is a hero for me," said country boy-turned-diva (as Christina has called him) Cody Belew of Team CeeLo. Somebody to Love by Queen was right in Cody's wheelhouse. This time rather than attempt to dance (as he did last week), he stuck to his vocal talents, albeit from atop a piano, surrounded by a gospel choir. Adam, himself a huge Freddie Mercury fan, called the performance "fantastic." Christina enjoyed it, and wanted to hang out with her fellow diva after the show. Blake applauded CeeLo's mentoring skills, and CeeLo called the song "wonderful," or "wun-da-ful," as he says it.
And for something a little different: Four contenders teamed up for Move Along by All-American Rejects. Cassadee Pope, Dez Duron, Melanie Martinez and Terry McDermott proved their voices don't mesh very well together. Cassadee still shined, though.
After picking his own song Over for mentee Terry McDermott to cover, coach Blake said, "I think the song is better suited for Terry than it ever was for me" in the pre-taped segment. Scottish Terry turned Blake's song, which won song of the year at this year's Country Music Association Awards, into a rock anthem a week after Cassadee found success doing that with Blake's other song,Over You. But the coaches weren't "over" this whole contestants-singing-the-coach's-song thing. It was "unexpected, but solid," said Christina. Adam, a fellow "male with a high voice," as he said, pointed out Terry's "precision with which you hit those notes." CeeLo said something about Terry's voice being "in straight lines... like a long highway," an analogy that was lost on this viewer. Blake said, "You just performed the song the way I always wish I could"
Seventeen-year-old Melanie Martinez of Team Adam, who said she's going through a break-up, sang Too Close by Alex Clare. She, in her two-toned hair, sang in her usual emotional and raspy way. Though there was a guitar in her lap, she tapped the tambourine with her foot pedal (she's into that) more than she did any strumming. By the time host Carson Daly awkwardly commented "I hope whatever guy you're breaking up with is watching," Melanie was almost in tears. Christina said the song "didn't go anywhere," but it was "my favorite performance from you," and the set, which included a wooden stage and a string of yellow lights, "was dope." CeeLo also liked the set and "cool" rearrangement of the song. Adam said Melanie successfully made "the person that you have this trouble with feel dumb." Poor Melanie just kept a serious face and shook her head.
Team Christina's former Yale football player Dez Duron turned Justin Bieber's U Smile into a soulful tune backed by a piano and horns. Though the song sounded different, the screams were still of the Bieber octave for cutie Dez and his deep-V and blazer. Blake and Adam liked the "groove," but CeeLo said it wasn't Dez's best. Christina, supporting her only singer left in the competition, said Dez "killed it, killed it, killed it, killed it!" It's too bad she couldn't remember the name of Team CeeLo's Mackenzie Bourg when she compared Dez to the eliminated singer's knack for rearranging pop hits.
Trevin Hunte, 18, of Team CeeLo was back to performing power ballads. In a big way, which included images of waterfalls, a choir, an overactive fog machine and a sequined suit. His performance of Whitney Houston's The Greatest Love of All showed Trevin's emotion and power. Adam said, "this is heaven." Blake called the song "truly amazing." Christina said Trevin's vocal ability is a "monster-beast." CeeLo said, "Whitney would be proud" of Trevin's version of the late singer's song.
Before another song was sung, The Voice had a surprise! Terry, who was missing his family, was united with his (hot) wife and son. After social media correspondent Christina Milian tried to toss the show back to the host, Carson said, "I'm watching Terry and his wife make out. That's good TV."
Four more performed together: Amanda, Cody, Nicholas David and Trevin sang Any Way You Want It by Journey. Amanda and Trevin got to show off their rockin' high notes.
Soul singer Nicholas David sang Lean On Me last week, so Coach CeeLo introduced him to the writer of that song, Bill Withers, in his pre-taped segment. This week, the crowd loved Nicholas' crooning of What's Goin' On by Marvin Gaye. Blake, poking fun at Nicholas' dark sunglasses, said, "I didn't realize until this week that you're blind," but then got serious. "Thank you for letting The Voice be the stage that introduces you to the world," he said. CeeLo said, "We could use more of that (musical) healing" from Nicholas, as people deal with the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. By the way, Nicholas announced he has a third baby on the way!
Team Blake's punk rocker Cassadee Pope channeled her complicated relationship with her father when she sang Michelle Branch's Are You Happy Now? Though the fans, strobe lights and fog machine were distracting, Cassadee was in her element with the song, strumming her guitar and showing off her sweet-sounding voice. CeeLo said, "You got a great voice and you know it." Adam, who was "scared by the smoke machine," said, "Considering how explosive last week was, you really did a great job." (He also talked about his disdain for The Roxy.) Blake said, "You just sang the crap out of that song."
Voting results are revealed Tuesday, 8 ET/PT, NBC.
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