Four more down on The Voice last night, and now every Coach has their final four competitors. We’ll do a quick little power rankings at the end today, but as always, there’s an actual episode of stuff happening to get through, including fake Adeles, hair-and-makeup-people shoutouts and, of course, way too much Jessie J. Let’s run it down one time.
1. Did somebody say Jessie J? Like an out-of-tune penny, Jessie J just keeps showing up. “Domino” is by far her best / only half-good song, so at least there’s that, but having to look at and listen to her for three minutes (God, that “Dominooooo / DOMINOOOOOO / DOMINOOOOOOOOOO” outro) is a less-than-auspicious way to kick off any programming block. Hopefully the appearances of Jessie J, Neon Hitch and Gym Class Heroes in the last two results shows means we won’t have to see any more of any of them this season. (Hey, didn’t the Coaches perform themselves a couple times last year? When’s that gonna happen again?)
2. Mathai, Tony Lucca and Pip were saved from Team Adam Levine. Not exactly a murderer’s row, with Mathai the only obvious save of the bunch, though I liked Tony Lucca’s “In Your Eyes” more than the coaches did. Pip seemed like a “well, we had to save someobody” choice—I thought it would go to Kim Yarbrough because she had the better track record on the show, but nobody else on Team Adam was all that great on Monday. If I were one of the eliminated dudes or dudettes on Team Christina or Team Cee Lo, I might be a little bit pissed—it’s like being a 50-win Western Conference NBA team that misses the playoffs even though some team with 38 wins makes it in the East.
3. Juliet Simms, Jamar Rogers and James Massone were saved from Team Cee Lo Green. As I alluded to yesterday, I was gonna be mad pissed off if anybody whose name didn’t start with the letter “J” had their name called tonight from Cee Lo’s team. Luckily, the voting public came through, and the three right artists were saved—though not before I had a pang of terror that somehow Erin Martin was gonna sneak into the mix. Hooray, America.
4. The Sprint Lounge is no place I’d want to chill. I had made a note to myself about the Sprint Lounge being the “Most Awkward Lounge Ever,” since it basically involves contestants standing still and waiting to be uncomfortably interviewed by SOCIAL MEDIA DIRECTOR Christina Milian. I was glad to hear Adam make the same observation while being questioned in the second Lounge segment. “It’s a little bit awkward in here,” he remarked. “Can, we like, move around or something? Can we put some music on?” NO MOVEMENT OR MUSIC IN THE SPRINT LOUNGE ADAM. YOU WILL STAND THERE AND BE INTERVIEWED BY CHRISTINA MILIAN WHEN AND IF SHE FEELS LIKE IT.
5. Carla Who? Poor Carla Davis. Even after Monday night’s semi-disastrous performance of B.o.B.’s “Airplanes,” my first thought upon seeing Carla on the stage facing elimination was “Who the hell is that woman person?” Fittingly, though her Save-Me performance of Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me” was solid, it mostly just made me wonder “Hm, what’s that Lex Land up to now? She had a cool voice.” The most memorable thing Carla did all show was to use her post-elimination moment to shout out the under-heralded members of the band and the hair-and-makeup crew. Sorry, CD—you were just a little too nothing for this world.
6. Katrina Parker got the last-second Adam save. Kim failed to super-impress with her rendition of Jennifer Hudson’s “Spotlight,” leaving the door open for Katrina to steal the save with an impressively big “Don’t Speak.” Fair enough—though if I was Adam, I’d be looking over my shoulder the whole way home to make sure Kim’s not lurking behind him in the shadows. By the way, is it me, or does Katrina look and sound more like Adele every episode on this show? She’s about a week or two away from pronouncing “thank” as “fank” and raving about her love for Beyoncé.
7.Ugh, Carson Daly. Without any opportunities to snipe at Blake for his petty stage-show complaints, Carson resumed his prior duties as Smug Ryan Seacrest on Downers. Seriously, who on television is less emotionally invested in their job than this guy? At least Christina Milian seems excited about being useless, all Carson can manage is to unenthusiastically stumble through his rote “Thanks, Christina, and now, Cee Lo has an agonizing decision to make about whether to wear his red leather jacket or his frilly white shirt thing on the show tonight…” type telepromptings. Word to the wise, NBC: Just get the “ON NEXT WEEK’S EPISODE OF MAD MEN” voiceover guy from AMC and save yourself a couple million on can’t-be-assed late-night hosts.
8. Erin Martin wasn’t so bad. She’d been so appalling in her last couple performances that I totally forgot that with the right song, Erin actually has a voice that teeters on charming. There was still a bum note or two too many in her rendition of Elton John’s “Your Song” for her to be a serious threat to be saved, but she escaped the show with something resembling artistic dignity. “I was reminded why I liked Erin so much in the blind auditions,” commented a surprised Blake. Word. Sorry for saying some of that mean stuff, Erin.
9. Cheesa got the last-second Cee Lo Save. She already deserved to be kept for her “Don’t Leave Me This Way” performance on Monday, she just had the bad luck of going against three shoo-ins like the Triple J squad. This time, it was her turn to dispense the bad luck, with an absolutely powerhouse performance of Eric Carmen’s “All By Myself” that might’ve been her best to date. Blake summed it up while raving about Erin and talking about Tony Vincent finally winning him over (with a whatever version of the Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)”, qualifying “Y’all’s two problem is that Cheesa knocked it completely out of the park.” The other three coaches agreed, and Big Cheesa lives to fight another day.
10. Cee Lo’s Team is F’ing STACKED.
Quick Power Ranking Rundown of the Teams’ Final Fours:
1. Team Cee Lo (Juliet, Jamar, James, Cheesa)
2. Team Christina (Jesse, Lindsey, Chris, Ashley)
3. Team Blake (Erin, Jermaine, RaeLynn, Jordis)
98. Team Adam (Mathai, Tony, Pip, Katrina)
Frankly, at this point, it’d be shocking if Team Cee Lo didn’t produce this year’s winner. By my estimation, he’s got four of the six or seven biggest front-runners in the competition, and it’d have to take some seriously poisonous team chemistry for them to not at least get a finalist in there. Meanwhile, Team Adam’s chances of repeating are about as good as the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA—Mathai is his only strong contender, and even she is not without her flaws. Maybe this is why Cee Lo has been acting and dressing so weirdly lately—he’s taking the pressure off his team, Rex Ryan style, as they stealthily evolve into a superpower. Either that, or he’s just Cee Lo.