'Voice' Recap: Eight Is More Than Enough
On The Voice this week, the top 8 sang live and slayed the iTunes charts in multiple categories, and for good reason. They were on fire. But still, someone had to go. Actually two someones had to go. But we will save that heartbreak until the end this time. White knuckle it through the rollercoaster that is “The Voice.”
Team Adam Levine:
Enter James Wolpert as a tuxedo-clad Freddy Mercury disciple killing Queen’s “Somebody to Love.” And of course he had sang this song before in his college a capella group, because he’s a big nerd.
But you have to watch out for those sneaky four-eyed wonders because they will kick your ass with their drive to succeed and relentless need for the gold star.
“That is the tallest order to sing Freddy Mercury like that,” Adam Levin said after. “You could go on tour with Queen tomorrow and hold your own.” Cee-lo went a step further saying it was one of the “best performances in the history of ‘The Voice’ ever.”
Tessanne Chin’s take on Gwen Stefani in “Underneath It All” was sublime, showing off her Jamaican roots, big hoop earrings and dance moves. And don’t think she didn’t find her runs for her power vocals underneath it all, as well. She went from last week’s Gladys Knight to dancehall and owned that sassy shit.
This is a different Tessanne than the one we’ve seen so far, feeding into Christina’s desire to hear more of that universally-loved accent. We just sort of feel bad for Gwen Stefani because this Jamaican girl just made that song her own.
“It was just so tailor made for you,” Adam told Tessanne, calling it the most well-rounded thing she could have possibly sang on the show. Christina agreed, saying it tapped into Tessanne’s “truth.”
Will Champlin knew it was time to take risks and nail the big moments. He looked to the classics and pulled out Etta James “At Last” and he totally took it down like a soul-drenched diva. It was beautifully chilling.
Coach Adam took a chance to tell the world more about Will and why he wasn’t surprised at all that Will nailed it. “It doesn’t matter how high a note is, you just want to nail the highest possible note in the history of music,” Adam said, calling him a fighter.
And surprisingly, critical Christina was even more complimentary, adding that she eats, breathes and lives “At Last.” She has sang it her entire career and knows every technical moment. “Very, very great job, tremendous job,” she said.
Caroline Pennell came in this week looking for her “moment.” Florence and the Machine’s “Dog Days Are Over” pushed her to climb out of her comfort zone and command the stage in a new way.
America lost interest in Caroline a bit last week with her John Denver tribute, kicking her to the Bottom Three for the first time during her tenure on “The Voice.” Ceelo expressed his adoration through something heartfelt he wrote for her, which was a little intense. It felt like he was saying goodbye.
There was little fawning all over Caroline this week. “You did the best thing you could have possibly done at this point and time,” Adam said, which we guess was a compliment.
Team Blake Shelton:
Blake just will not let Cole Vosbury hide behind a big piano, a guitar or a band, which seems to be Cole’s go-to every time he meets with his coach. Even the hat is a bit of a distraction from taking all of Cole in. He’s always trying to hide behind something, and Blake just keeps pushing back the smoke, mirrors and facial hair.
This week, Cole put it all out there with a stripped down version of Vince Gill’s “I Still Believe In You,” connecting with the song’s desperation on a level that had his coach mesmerized and on the edge of his seat.
“You did country proud tonight,” Blake told Cole. Cole went from being a cool dude we’d want to share a PBR with to a guy we would haul our asses to a crowded venue to see, not an easy task.
Ray Boudreaux stepped out of his comfort zone with the Spencer Davis Group’s “Gimme Some Lovin’” and we are so, so thankful he did. First, this song is fucking great and cannot help but put a smile on our wretched little faces. But this song is the first time we have actually seen Ray show some personality and zing. We can actually picture him as a music superstar now, which we most definitely could not before.
“Man, what the?” was all Blake could muster up to begin with. But what stole it for him was when he went for the bigger notes and put his own stamp on it. “Unbelievable.”
Team Christina Aguilera:
Matthew Schuler chose Imagine Dragons’ “It’s Time” because the lyrics describe where he’s at right now, he told us during the coaching sessions. That was all fine and well for Christina, but she brought in Jerry, her choreographer, to bring on a military stomp aspect to help him command the respect he deserves. The coaches loved it, but not a lot was said about his vocal prowess, we’re assuming because it is just universally agreed that he is awesome.
Jacquie Lee had to leave the sweetness to the Splenda. Christina made it clear it was time to let loose, abandon that little 16-year-old kid and muster up an angry soul sister ready to punch Michael Jackson’s “Who’s Loving You” in the face.
Sweet, sweet little Jacquie Lee is a force to be reckoned with.
There’s an old soul in there somewhere that taps into the heartbreak in these songs even though Jacquie hasn’t been alive very long, Adam said. It’s a testament to her talent that she takes the listeners to the depths of heartbreak without having had her hollow little muscular organ crushed yet.
Ceelo summed it up best: “It’s like you swallowed an old lady or something.”
On Tuesday night, it came down to the Bottom Three based on votes people called or texted in and iTunes sales: Ray, Matthew and Caroline. It was then up to American tweeters and their instant save powers as to who would head home. In the end, they chose Matthew to stick around, sending Ray and Caroline packin’.
No more Team Ceelo. We’re guessing that didn’t feel like ecstasy at all.