Monday, April 23, 2012

The Voice Season 2 • Quarterfinals 2

As the evening starts off, the judges are on a giggle-bender. Carson struggles to gain focus from the judges, when we learn that Cee Lo is gassy tonight, disrupting the proceedings. We learn that Adam does not mind the instant elimination coming his way, for he loves control. And Cee Lo, he has gas.

Cee Lo Green Adam Levine
Katrina Parker jamar-rogers Mathai James Massone Ton Lucca Cheesa Pip juliet

So, it is time to begin, and it is Jamar Rogers up first for Team Cee Lo. We get to hear more about his discovery of his HIV status, and how he wasn't sure he'd make it to thirty. That was six years ago, and he is now thirty. He will be singing It's My Life by Bon Jovi.

Jamar does a great job with the song, although there are times when he is almost swallowed up by the band, either on the mix in the studio, or over the TV. The judges all loved him, and don't have a single quibble with anything he did. So it is now time to the first performance for Team Adam, and Katrina Parker is up. She will be singing Christina Perri's Jar of Hearts. She is singing the heck out of it, delivering a beautiful, strong performance, while at the same time carrying the delicate emotions demanded by the song. That was an outstanding performance. Turns out, the judges agree with me, and all thought it was great, a breakout moment. What a great start to the show. After a break, Team Cee Lo come out to perform a retro-version of Dancing In The Streets. It started out with a black & white telecast, with Carson in a mod coat. Soon Cee Lo is sporting a new wig, and there is an American Bandstand moment happening on the stage. I am not sure what these group numbers count for, but it was a delightful moment, to be sure. That said, I was particularly surprised how thin and misplaced Juliet's voice sounded, and hope it was just the wrong song and style for her. After another break, Adam brings out the lovely Mathai, who will be singing I'm Like A Bird by Nelly Furtado.

This seems like a great choice for her, but I'm not sure. She sounds great, and there is a joy to her performance, but I wanted a touch of introspection, too. There was lots of flying, you no real loss for not knowing where her home is. Blake thought she sounded great, and Christina thought Adam gave bad advice about wanting her to eat the song breakfast, lunch and dinner. Really, that's what you got, Christina? Adam is thrilled with Mathai, and thought she sounded beautiful. Soon we have James Massone taking the stage for Team Cee Lo, and he will be singing Just The Way You Are, by Billy Joel. Cee Lo calls him Lady Killer #2, for Cee Lo is # 1. In performance, I find he hasn't grown very much, and his voice continues to be thin and frail. Watching him, he doesn't seem to relax his mouth and jaw, giving that sound of restraint. He stayed on key this week, which was an improvement, but it still lacks depth and quality. Blake and Christina were disappointed, but Adam loved it, and Cee Lo equates it to making love. I am ready to move on. After a break, Cee Lo reunites with The Goody Mob to perform Fight To Win. So then it is time for Tony Lucca to represent Team Adam. He will be singing Baby, One More Time, Britney Spears number one hit.

It was really quite good, and a cool twist on the song. It is often taken in a dark and menacing place, but they didn't go there. It was oddly joyous and powerful, and I really dug it. Christina had to take a step back from her criticism two weeks ago, and give him props on the song. Blake thought it was a brilliant choice, and hated Adam for doing it. Adam spoke of needing to stare down the barrel of the Mickey Mouse Club ghost, and put the spotlight on it. Well done. Soon it is time for Cheesa, who, under the direction of Cee Lo, will sing Whitney's I Have Nothing. The performance starts off a touch strained, like it is pushing the top end of her range. I felt she got all tight and crumpled on the song, as if a combination of nerves and range were called into play. After a commercial break, it is time for Pip, who will be singing Keane's Somewhere Only We Go. Adam and he discuss the need to find a niche for him, and he has tended to be a jack of all trades, but a master of none. He starts off well on the piano, quiet and rather nice, but soon it moves into a place that was kinda muddy and just missing. That ending with the falsetto, it missed. I don't think it was a strong performance. Blake mentioned the end was off, and Adam was kind, but not overly so. Team Adam come out and performs John Lennon's Instant Karma. Adam is on the drums, and letting the team take the lead vocals. It is nice, although erratic. That leaves the final performance of the night to Juliet Simms, of Team Cee Lo. She performs Cryin' by Aerosmith.

I am a bit taken aback by the blondness of her hair, it kind of washes her out for me. The song takes off really well for me, but soon falters a bit. Her take on the song is inconsistent, and I feel her attacking the song, and shifting styles, confusing me. Now, the girl can sing, and this worries me a bit. It shouldn't for Blake loved it, and so did Cee Lo. After a break, it is time for instant eliminations. Team Cee Lo is up on stage, and Cee Lo reads a statement, for he is emotional tonight. He will be sending James Massone home. That is who I would have predicted. There is a lovefest, and it is time for Team Adam to take the stage. Adam rambles a bit, and then sends Pip home. Oddly, that is who I thought as well, and this is no a surprise night at all.

James Massone Pip


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