Last week, viewers were outraged when two of "American Idol's" supposed frontrunners, Jessica Sanchez and Joshua Ledet, were up for elimination, with Jessica almost going home before the judges saved her. But in that case, the viewers had no one to blame but themselves: It was the public vote that had determined that controversial outcome. However, this Monday on "Idol's" rival show, "The Voice," the public didn't even get the chance to vote, and the judges weren't doing any saving. In this case, the judges and producers, not viewers, were to blame.
So at the top of Monday's "Voice" quarterfinals episode, host Carson Daly announced that some cockamamie new rule had been invented on the fly, one that dictated that the judges whose teams were competing this week, Christina Aguilera and Blake Shelton, would each be forced to instantly eliminate a contestant. Why? Who knows? Producer Mark Burnett can do what he wants, I guess. Maybe he was ripping a page from "Idol" producer Nigel Lythgoe's playbook by trying to create a "shocker" that'd get everyone talking. But if so, this was a tactic that will probably backfire on him. The judges acted all upset about this new rule, but they just came across as villains--and they probably weren't nearly as upset as viewers were--when they eventually cut two of the show's most promising talents: Jesse Campbell and Jordis Unga.
Jesse Campbell is eliminated!
I'd thought Jordis, despite her surprising lack of votes in the semifinals, was really growing in the competition, and I'd always thought that Jesse had a shot at winning the entire show. So I really think Christina and Blake made massive mistakes with these choices, and I imagine many other "Voice" viewers are similarly riled up right now--especially by Blake's decision to keep the mushmouthed and growly RaeLynn over the undeniably more gifted Jordis. (Christina admittedly faced a tougher decision, although I still think she should have let Ashley De La Rosa go instead of Jesse.)
Perhaps Christina and Blake had some sort of secret strategy in mind. Since their remaining six contestants will still be up for the public vote this week, the judges might have wanted to ensure that their favorites got through by preemptively eliminating those favorites' biggest threats. (For instance, maybe Christina cut Jesse to ensure that Chris Mann and Lindsey Pavao would get all the votes instead.) But Christina--after what was such a babbling and rambling deliberation, Carson was acting like "The X Factor's" Steve Jones trying to hurry her up--just said something about going with her gut and choosing the most versatile singers. Blake simply went with the previous public vote, although we'll never know if Jordis would have gotten more votes this week if the public had been permitted to decide her fate. Regardless, I think at such a late stage in the competition, with the finale only three weeks away, this decision should have been America's to make.
Jordis Unga is eliminated!
Both Jordis and Jesse took the news very hard. Single dad Jesse had just dedicated his performance of Beyonce's "Halo" to his young daughter, who was sitting in the studio audience, and he looked positively crushed. And Jordis, who'd already suffered many setbacks in her career (a loss on "Rock Star: INXS," an Epic Records album that got shelved), had just optimistically declared, "I think it's gonna work for me this time!" Watching these two get the boot was like watching some bully drop-kick a pair of defenseless puppies. Maybe worse.
A sad night on "The Voice"
Le sigh. At least Christina still has three very strong team members--Lindsey Pavao, Ashley De La Rosa, and Chris Mann--and Blake has two real contenders, Erin Willett and Jermaine Paul. (RaeLynn is another story.) Like I said, these six contestants will be up for the public vote this week, so here's a recap of their quarterfinals performances, so you can make an informed vote and right Christina and Blake's wrongs...