‘The Voice’ Live Playoffs, Pt. 1: Game On For Team Adam & Team Blake
But that might all change when Cee Lo Green's contestants perform later this week, on Wednesday. Considering that Cee Lo attended Monday's "Voice" taping in a ruffle-shirted, Afro-topped getup that made him look like the illegitimate lovechild of Pam Grier and Prince, anything's possible when the Playoffs return for episode two.
Anyway, for the first episode of "Live Playoffs" (side note: I am so not into this "Playoffs" lingo; keep sports talk out of my singing shows!), it was all about the singers on Team Adam and Team Blake--and the coaches as well as the contestants were feeling the pressure, since hypercompetitive Adam Levine and Blake Shelton, the winning coaches of the past two "Voice" seasons, were both keen to replicate their victories in Season 3. So both teams' contestants joined forces for a high-energy group performance of Boston's "Peace Of Mind" (why has there never been a Boston Night on any of these talent shows?), it was game on.
Let the Playoffs begin!
Joeslyn Rivera - This 17-year-old got the "death spot," singing first, but she seemed totally confident opening the two-hour show. Her cover of Demi Lovato's "Give Your Heart A Break" started strong, but she did struggle midway through, and she hit some wonky notes towards the end. However, her vivacious performance could not be faulted. "Damn it! I knew I wanted you on my team," said the competitive Blake. Cee Lo said Joeslyn "rose to the challenge" of the difficult song. (Demi is underrated, y'all.) I am not sure how long Joeslyn can last on this show, but it was to her advantage that she wasn't competing on the same night as Team Xtina's crew of young girl-pop thangs, so she may survive this initial live round. But she was only the first to sing, and she had some very tough competition ahead of her...
Melanie Martinez - Melanie clearly does not have the strongest voice in a season filled with big belters, but I still find her to be one of the most fascinating contestants of the bunch. How could I not be fascinated by a coquettish, artsy, two-tone-haired indie girl who's only 17 but chooses to cover Ray Charles's "Hit The Road Jack"? (The song choice was her idea, not Adam's.) She started off shaky and nervous, but her confidence grew as the song went on, and by the end, that sweet, bow-topped Melanie charm was in full effect. "You're just not that interested in fitting in, you just want to be Melanie, and I love that," said Blake. Christina Aguilera hemmed and hawed, making diplomatic statements like "I appreciate your vision as an artist," and I had a feeling that she wanted to harshly critique Melanie...but for some reason, she refrained. Melanie's thing is just so not Christina's thing. Adam, of course, being Melanie's own coach, was the kindest, saying, "I didn't find myself comparing it to [Ray Charles's] version, because it was so wild and different. As far as artistry and making it your own...this was an amazing performance." I am worried that not everyone is going to "get" Melanie, or that she will not be able to survive in a competition teeming with so many traditional powerhouse singers who may eventually overwhelm her. But I hope she does survive, at least for a while, because I am dying to see what she performs next. I also want to see just how many color-coordinated Hello Kitty hairbows she owns.