Adam Levine had one of the strongest teams this "Voice" season, and with contestants like fiery rock-mama powerhouse Amanda Brown and artsy indie girl Melanie Martinez in his camp, it looked like he had a real chance of repeating his Season 1 victory. But all that changed this Tuesday, when in one fell swoop, both Amanda and Melanie were voted out of the competition--leaving Adam (like Christina Aguilera last week) without a team.
On the bright side, this means Adam now has more time for side pursuits like guest-starring on "American Horror Story," dating Russian supermodels, singing the hooks on rappers' singles, and campaigning against Hollywood nightclub the Roxy. But on the much more serious and much darker side, this means two of the most interesting ladies of Season 3 are--poof!--gone. This night was a tough one.
Amanda had one of the more dramatic story arcs on "The Voice" this season. She started off as an underdog who only inspired one chair to spin around for her in the Blind Auditions, and then she didn't even win her Battle Rounds sing-off against Trevin Hunte (when she was originally a member of Team Cee Lo). But once Adam wisely rushed in for the Steal, and she joined his team, she quickly gained momentum--and after she amazingly performed Aerosmith's "Dream On" during top 20 week, she actually established herself as THE frontrunner of the entire competition.
While Amanda did stumble a bit after that (notably with her uneven cover of Florence + The Machine's "Spectrum"), her performances like "Dream On" and "Stars" still stand out as some of the overall highlights of Season 3, and I always thought she'd be in the final four. I really am having trouble grasping the fact that this rock 'n' roll queen won't be around next week to rock the mic.
As for the irrepressibly unique Melanie--the youngest contestant on the show, at age 17--she did sometimes struggle on "The Voice," appearing thin-skinned and sullen during her critiques, pushing her wispy and whispery voice to its limits, and taking major risks with some of her leftfield song choices. But she was always my favorite female contestant of this season, and certainly the one that I thought would make the most interesting albums after "The Voice" was over. I certainly hope that this talented free spirit still gets to make those albums, no matter what, and I certainly will be among the first of her many "Little Bows" fans to buy them.
What was possibly most annoying was that on Monday, Christina had suggested that Fiona Apple's "Criminal" would've been a better song pick for Melanie than Lenka's "The Show," which Adam had selected for his young protégé. This was one of Christina's more astute comments of the season, and on this Tuesday's results show, only minutes before Melanie was cut, Melanie "ironically" (host Carson Daly's description) sang "Criminal" as an excellent duet with Team Cee Lo's Nicholas David. So why didn't Melanie get to do "Criminal" on MONDAY night--when it would have mattered, and when it could have saved her? The mind boggles.
But Melanie seemed to be suffering so much earlier this week--particularly when Adam made her mime her way through a painfully cutesy school-play-style performance of that ditsy Lenka ditty, and when Christina harshly critiqued her by basically shouting Fiona Apple songs at her. So maybe her elimination this week was a way of putting her out of her teenage misery. Regardless, I don't think this is the last we'll be hearing from this little lady. If Adam is smart, he will sign her to his 222 Records label, just like he did with last season's Tony Lucca.
And someone BETTER sign Amanda Brown, too. To let this dynamite natural woman slip through the music industry's cracks would truly be criminal.
So now it's down to just Team Blake (Cassadee Pope and Terry McDermott) versus Team Cee Lo (Trevin Hunte and Nicholas David) in the next two weeks' final showdown. Will Blake Shelton enjoy his second consecutive "Voice" win? Will Cee Lo Green finally taste victory? And where will all those Team Adam and Team Xtina votes go? Watch this space.