When it came time for the second live "Voice" results show of this season, determining the Team Cee Lo and Team Adam contestants who would make it through to the top 16, there weren't too many surprises (unlike last week, when I was personally shocked that Team Blake's amazing Jordis Unga didn't inspire America to vote). As I expected, Cee Lo Green's fantastic Juliet Simms and Jamar Rogers deservedly made it through, as did fan favorite James Massone. (I was decidedly less excited about that last result, but hardly surprised; I knew James was popular, and I'd expected that his fans would blame his terrible Monday performance on Cee Lo's terrible song choice, Norah Jones's "Don't Know Why," rather than find fault with James himself.)
On Team Adam, the top vote-getters were Mathai (who stunned with her lovely "Ordinary People" this week), Tony Lucca, and Pip. Some viewers may have been surprised that Tony made it through after his former "Mickey Mouse Club" castmate Christina Aguilera's scathing criticism, but I actually think her cruel (and uncalled-for) critique helped him earn sympathy votes, so I wasn't at all shocked that he made it through. (Having more than 500,000 Twitter followers and the support of his old "MMC" chum Justin Timberlake also didn't hurt his odds, of course.) And although Pip was also bluntly critiqued this week, even by his own coach Adam Levine, I knew he was popular as well. It was a small shock that the wonderful Katrina Parker didn't make Adam's top three, but considering that she sang first in the kiss-of-death spot, I understood how that happened.
Even before the remaining contestants gave "last-chance performances" for a respective fourth spot on their coaches' teams, Adam and Cee Lo's decisions about which singers to save already seemed clear. And when Cee Lo's final contestants competed for a spot on his team, Tony Vincent was obviously bald-head-and-shoulders above the rest. After failing to win America's vote after recreating Marilyn Manson's "Beautiful People" music video or Bob Geldof's psychotic-breakdown scene in The Wall during his bizarre dictator-themed performance this Monday, he still didn't shy away from creepy theatrics during his last-chance performance on Tuesday, doing the Manson version of the Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams" and eye-sexing the camera throughout--and while this was a risk, it was the most interesting performance of the entire night.
Cheesa did a very strong job with the ambitious power-ballad "All By Myself," and actually all three of Cee Lo's fellow coaches thought Cheesa should be the one to stay--but I thought she got a little too growly towards the end, which made her seem desperate. And besides, her performance was very old-fashioned, very "American Idol" Season 2. Tony brought the drama and edge that was supposed to set "The Voice" apart. Sure, Tony's "Sweet Dreams" performance wasn't exactly the kind of performance that America would get behind, but it seemed like the sort of freakshow that maverick decision-maker Cee Lo would appreciate.
But at the very least, it was obvious that the marginally talented/marginally clothed Erin Martin had to go. Her cover of Elton John's "Your Song" was probably her best performance yet--there were some genuinely nice, sweet, tender moments in there--but as Blake Shelton said, "the song got away from her at the end." It wasn't exactly an Ellie Goulding-esque cover version, and it certainly wasn't good enough to beat out the other two powerhouses.
Cee Lo confessed that his "mind said Tony," while his "heart said Cheesa." I'm sure some other unmentionable body part of his was screaming, "ERIN!"--but fortunately, Cee Lo didn't listen this time. Yes, I was disappointed that Cee Lo went with his heart over his head and picked Cheesa over Tony, but at least a real singer made it through.
As for Team Adam, when Katrina went up against Kim Yarbrough and Karla Davis, she made her coach's decision especially easy. Her last-chance performance of No Doubt's "Don't Speak" was exquisite, while Karla's cover of Bonnie Raitt's "I Can't Make You Love Me" was too whispery and weak, and Kim's rendition of Jennifer Hudson's "Spotlight" was competent but not exactly spotlight-worthy. All of Adam's fellow coaches advocated keeping Katrina, and Adam, savvy game-player that he is, readily agreed. I still think Katrina has a chance now that she's officially in the top 16, but I suppose how far she goes in the future will depend on her song selections and the order in which she gets to sing. Maybe she'll get the pimp spot on her next live performance episode.
So for those to you keeping track, or trying to, this week's results mean that Team Cee Lo's Jamar, Juliet, James, and Cheesa, and Team Adam's Pip, Mathai, Tony L., and Katrina, will now enter the top 16 quarterfinals alongside Team Xtina's Jesse Campbell, Chris Mann, Lindsey Pavao, and Ashley De La Rosa, and Team Blake's RaeLynn, Jordis Unga, Jermaine Paul, and Erin Willett. There will definitely be a few singers I'll be missing in the quarterfinals that my own heart and mind were rooting for--Tony Vincent, Jamie Lono, Lee Koch, the Shields Brothers--but overall, this top 16 is a very strong bunch indeed. I'm looking forward to seeing them compete next week, so come back for another full recap then.
- Monday's full "Voice" recap
- Jamar Rogers talks HIV battle
- "The Voice Australia" sneak preview
- "The Voice" cast photos