How do you cram two elimination sessions onto a broadcast of The Voice already well-crammed with features and gimmicks and Twitter, not to mention the occasional singer? Usurp the Queen, sideline the group numbers (Cee-Lo’s oddly ’70s, Adam’s oddly Gokey), then whittle a little off every segment until there’s finally enough room for Teams Christina and Blake to stand small upon the stage like the slightly incremented Idol bottom three and luxuriate in the drawn-out seconds until the inevitable. And I do mean inevitable–except for one
last-minute probably well-deliberated sympathy pang from Blake, the expendable singers were expended to little surprise.
Take Xtina’s round. Never mind her pouting, tearing up, un-tearing up and lamenting the “hardest decision of her life” (exaggeration time!)–once Beverly went through thanks to America’s love of shimmying, Christina’s pick was decided. It wouldn’t be Raquel, especially not after she cushioned her praise with “You’re 16….” Not Lily, not after those dancers. But Frenchie: the belter, the second chance, the Idol screw-you incarnate.
Blake’s round started with little surprise. Of course Dia was America’s vote; the public loves earnest acoustic hip-hop covers, they probably crave genuine breakout moments from a show whose Moments have thus far existed solely in an NBC-approved, endlessly recapped echo chamber, and maybe ten people remember Meg & Dia. (The namedrops will continue until The Voice acknowledges this.)
Then Blake chose Xenia. Oh, Xenia. We love you, but you shouldn’t be here. Blake’s rationale for his save was that he felt Xenia could “grow,” but it’s like he’s hunched over a flowerpot, hissing “Grow, my little pre-algebra blossom, grow! at the shrinking sprout inside. We’ve waited weeks now for this supposed growth spurt, and Jessie J songs are no fertilizer. What exactly is Blake hoping to accomplish other than delaying the inevitable? And why not give the spot to someone who’s already shown growth, like Jared Blake? Think of the stare!
So that was your parceled-out despair, as Carson Daly took periodical pains to remind Xtina and Blake before the parceling. But what of the triumph? Whence this week’s breakout moments? Well, two happened, thanks to a potent mix of un-snarkable talent, producers’ pimping and some truly horrendous song choices for the rest of the competition.
For our take on Team Cee-Lo, click NEXT.