Rockers, and Heartthrobs, and BritBrit Covers, Oh My!

This week, The Voice was all about Team Cee Lo.

This week, on The Voice, it was Team Cee Lo and Team Adam that had to say goodbye to two of it’s members.  Kicking it off was my future husband, Jamar Rogers, from Team Cee Lo with Bon Jovi’s ‘It’s My Life’.  Jamar was amazing, as always, and played it smart, slowing down the tempo of the song, allowing him to truly belt it out.  Judging from the coaches’ comments, they all think he’s going to win too.  With his talent and inspirational life story, he’s the perfect last man standing. Add in the fact that he actually deserves to win, and you’ve got yourself the best thing to come out of The Voice season 2.

Katrina Parker from Team Adam was next, singing Christina Perri’s  ‘Jar of Hearts’ (which was popularized by another reality show, So You Think You Can Dance) with great emotion and grace.

She is beautiful, and her performance was incredibly moving, but I’m still not sure how I feel about her.  The coaches, however, adore her,

so it was no surprise when she was saved from the bottom two the next night, but, I’m getting ahead of myself.  (Side note: is it just me, or do they put her in way too much make-up? She didn’t look like herself on Monday, but like an Adele wannabe.)

Team Cee Lo performed ‘Dancing in the Streets’, in what will go down in history as the best team performance on The Voice (so far…).

Cee Lo managed to pick a song that was both fun and allowed for each of his team members to shine.  Not to mention, the production value Cee Lo always brings to his performances.  They started off the performance inside a black and white television! It does not get better than that.

James Massone, aka Ladykiller #2, embraced his new ‘heartthrob’ status with his performance of Billy Joel’s ‘Just The Way You Are’.  I was impressed with James’ smooth vocals and sweet stage presence.  Plus, how well did he rock that bedazzled (spiked?) letterman jacket??  I was sold on him after this performance, and agree with Carson’s assessment that James is a ‘classy young man’.  It’s really great seeing him find his style on the show.  He also gets major points by being a bit bashful when confronted with how much lady love he’s been getting.  Whenever Cee Lo brought it up, which was often, James smiled sweetly and blushed a bit.  Sweetie to the core.  The coaches weren’t sold though, and Cee Lo ended up sending him home during Instant Elimination.

Next up was Team Adam’s Mathai.  In the package before the performance, Adam was shown pushing Mathai to do ‘I’m Like A Bird’ by Nelly Furtado, even after she voiced her protests.  She didn’t connect with the song, but Adam was adamant.  After the pretty solid performance, Christina told it like it is, saying that Adam should have let her choose a song she truly connected with.  Adam truly dropped the ball on this one.  The song is great, but I got the feeling that Adam thought of a song to fit Mathai’s unique voice instead of a song that would fit Mathai as a performer.  There’s no doubt Mathai’s voice reminds me of Nelly Furtado, but that doesn’t mean that that’s what she’s supposed to be singing.  Her last chance song, which was her choice, was definitely better and allowed her to give a more energetic performance.

Adam seemed uncharacteristically out of touch with his contestants this week.  During Mathai’s performance, Adam was surprised to see an aerial acrobat swooping in half way through.  He actually criticized that choice, insisting that he did not sign off on it.  When Christina confronted Adam about his lack of involvement with the final performance, Adam had no defense.  I also felt that Adam dropped the ball with his contestant, Pip, the bow tied boy wonder.  Pip sang ‘Somewhere Only We Know‘ (originated by Keane), and was pushed to let go of his musical-theater background by Adam telling him to be unafraid of perfecting the notes and pitch.  The result?  A mess of high notes at the end, and a one way ticket home.  While I don’t disagree with the decision, I think that Pip deserved more than he got from Adam.  His blind audition was phenomenal, and he deserved a chance to sing another song like that one–not to rock, but not pop–a song where his true vocal ability could be showcased (musical-theater or no).

Adam’s final contestant, Micky Mouse Club alum, Tony Lucca, got the biggest crowd reaction with his cover of the Britney Spears classic ‘Baby…One More Time’.  As a Britney purist, I can’t decide how I feel about his take on the song.  The arrangement kept most of the original melody and chords, but stripped it down for more of a rock sound.  Tony sounded great, but I just don’t think he deserved as great of a reaction as he got.  I felt like half of the excitement came from how ‘clever’ everyone thought it was that he played on his Disney past.  While I was happy to see him do something different (Xtina was right two weeks ago, when she told him he needed to show some range), I’m still not sold on his Britney cover.  It might be the fact that the package made it look like Tony didn’t have very much respect for the original Britney track.  It was shown as a solely strategic decision, and never once was the power of the original discussed. Still, his performance went over so well, it was no surprise when he was saved by voters the next night.

Team Cee Lo finished off the night with power house Cheesa and rocker Juliet Simms.  Cheesa rose to the challenge of doing Whitney Houston.  She gave me instant chills.

When you sing Whitney Houston and get a standing ovation from Christina, you know you killed it.  Christina also loved Juliet, who is not my cup of tea, with her rock style and slightly detached performance style, but the coaches love her.  When Cee Lo found himself choosing between Cheesa and Juliet on Tuesday night, he went with Juliet in a move that I was shocked by, honestly.  I was really hoping he would keep Cheesa, especially after her last chance performance of Kelly Clarkson’s heartbreaking ‘Already Gone’.  I thought her song choice was much better than Juliet’s, who, coincidentally enough, sang Natalie Imbruglia’s ‘Torn’ (see my last blog post).

Adam decided to let go of Mathai, choosing to save Katrina in probably the most unsurprising elimination ever–his love for Katrina has never been secret…really, was anybody surprised?

Of course, with every week that passes, the goodbyes get more emotional, and this week was no exception.  The boys, Pip and James, took their Instant Eliminations in stride, and left with grace and dignity, which was truly lovely to see.  Both teams seemed to have grown incredibly close, giving each other long hugs goodbye.

And now onto the Semi-Finals: Jamar Rogers and Juliet Simms representing Team Cee Lo, Tony Lucca and Katrina Parker on Team Adam, joining  Chris Mann and Lindsay Paveo from Team Christina and Jermaine and Erin from Team Blake.  My money’s still on Jamar for the win, what about you?  How did you feel about this week’s eliminations?  How did you think Adam did as a coach this week?

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