Monday, April 9, 2012

The Voice • Team Adam & Team Cee Lo

Adam Levine Cee Lo Green

Tonight we have the long-awaited live round for Team Adam and Team Cee Lo. For me, Adam has the strongest team this season, and Cee Lo has the most inconsistent. So it should be interesting to see how this show pans out, and who will do well. The voting opens after the show, and closes at 10AM Tuesday morning. The results at 9PM on NBC. And after the lackluster show from last week, I hope to have a better time tonight.

The first contestant on the stage is Katrina Parker, representing Team Adam. She sings Tonight, tonight by Smashing Pumpkins. My first thoughts were fear, for that is an amazing song. Turns out, that was a pleasant surprise, for I loved it. She sounded great, and also very different than the original. Christina thought she sounded good,but wanted her to rock out more, and Cee Lo thought the song was good, but misproduced. The first member of Team Cee Lo we get to hear tonight is Cheesa, singing the great Thelma Houston song, Don't Leave Me This Way. She promises to be updating the Disco classic. And while the song showed her to have a good strong voice, I felt nothing contemporary in that performance, mothing that really stood out. They interviewed Jamar, and he gave a big speech about not having friends, instead having family. And this being all about second chances, for which he is grateful. I feel the need for diabetes testing. Then we bring out the second member of Team Adam, Tony Lucca. He will be performing In Your Eyes by Peter Gabriel. That is a brilliant song, and he did a great job with it. He avoided Gabriel's version, and claimed the song for his own. I loved it. Carson went to Christina Aguilera, who thought he was rather one-dimensional and capitalizing on famous names, some of which she dropped there. Adam just stepped up, and said he was so very proud of Tony, and thinks he did a great job.

Kim Yarborough is up next, for Team Adam. We seem to have skipped over a member of Team Cee Lo, so the rumors of Erin Martin's hospitalization were true. Kim will be performing Adele's Rolling In The Deep. She is a powerful vocalist, with a wealth of experience to call on. The song started out a tad off, both in tone and a bit off-cadence. I just think it isn't particularly wise to tackle Adele, who is just so damn amazing. Blake thought it was good, once the problems in the first chorus were ironed out. Cee Lo thought it was a bad song choice, and I can't say I disagree. James Massone sings Don't Know Why, a song written by Jesse Harris, but made famous in 2002 by Norah Jones. Wow, this one just confuses me. Well, he starts to sing, and my fears come true - the song spotlights the faults in his voice. He wonders off key, and his voice is just so slight, and he spends so much time checking out the audience, he loses the meaning to the song. Blake likes it, and Christina thought it was nice, but admits it was a bit pitchy. Wow, after the earlier critiques, that is what she had to offer? That performance was not good. For Teem Cee Lo, we get Juliet Simms. The rocker will be singing Roxanne by The Police. That is an iconic song, to be sure. Interesting, although Cee Lo describes her voice as classic rock, she wants to avoid being pigeon-holed, and then sings a classic song. She delivers it, and is wonderful. I think there are some affectations I could see filtered out, but still did a great job.

Mathai is up next for Team Adam. She will be singing Ordinary People, the amazing song by John Legend. Her performance starts out nicely, but about two thirds of the way through, I thought it meandered a little bit, but brings it home at the end. Christina thought it was nice, but "loungy." Blake enjoyed it, and loved her confidence. Adam is quite proud of her performance tonight. That performance is followed by Tony Vincent for Team Cee Lo. He will be singing Everybody Wants To Rule The World by Tears For Fears. Wow, that is a great song, and one that has been covered by so many. Tony starts his performance, and I am immediately confused. He delivers light Pop, and gave nothing to the song. It became a more elevator music, not a biting social commentary. Blake was put off by the production, and thought it took away from the performance. Christina loved the production, but thought the song was too restrictive. Cee Lo agrees, and apologizes for the song choice. Really? Ever heard the original? The restriction isn't in the song... Karla Davis is the next member of Team Adam to perform. Not wanting to labeled as a Country singer, she would like to sing Airplanes by B.O.B. The song featured the vocals of Paramore's Hayley Williams. It is an odd performance, showing a lack of breath control, and some nerves coming through. The pitch drifted both sharp and flat at times. This seems to me like a missed opportunity for Karla, and that is a bit sad. Christina tries to be nice, and mention that it was a great surprise, and a few runs were nice. Blake tries to be nice and blames Adam for the song choice. Adam agrees there were some nerves, but thought she did well.

Wow, it is time for Erin Martin, who must have gotten out of the hospital after all. Cee Lo thinks she should perform the great song by The Bangles, Walk Like An Egyptian. Well, I guess it was not as bad as I thought it would be, but that is not saying much. It still wasn't good. Blake was of course distracted by the shirtless guy dancers, while I was more distracted by the lack of vocal performance. I will just move on. It is time for the next member of Team Adam, and it is Pip. He is singing When You Were Young by The Killers. There is a theatrical nature to The Killers, making it a fine choice. He does a nice job with it, although his voice lacks a bit of depth, and a natural edge. He managed to manufacture and edge at times, but that just isn't the same. That said, his voice is richer than several of the performers tonight, and I would like to see him get more time with Adam. The final performance of the night goes to Jamar Rogers of Team Cee Lo. He will take to the stage with Are You Gonna Go My Way by Lenny Kravitz.

It was good, but I thought his vocals lacked the edge of Lenny's original. His take was not drenched in irony and double meanings, was much more flat out. That said, it should be more than enough to get through for Team Cee Lo. In fact, I would think Tony, Mathai, and Katrina getting through, leaving Pip and Kim to fight for Adam's pick. Team Cee Lo should have Jamar and Juliet coming through, and maybe Cheesa and Tony Vincent getting through. I would guess James Massone and Erin Martin, along with Karla Davis, will be heading home.


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