Part one of the Live Rounds continued on Tuesday night, and so many of The Voice crew were pulling double duty. Christina Aguilera coached and performed (again). Carson Daly hosted and awkwardly attempted to man the social media segments. Cee Lo avoided a bubbling controversy about what he may have been caught smoking on camera last night while coaching. Adam Levine and Blake Shelton were semi-immune to the heavy workload, but appeared to have put in extra hours looking extra dapper for the evening, so all is forgiven.
For a second night a row, Christina Aguilera accompanied the guest performer, this time on a toned down performance of “Say Something” with A Great Big World. She was legendary, obviously, but dangerously close to becoming The Voice house band (watch out, Paul Mirkovich!).
A tough act to follow, no doubt, but Team Cee Lo and Team Christina were up for the challenge.
Team Cee Lo: Amber Nicole
Well this is a first: A Voice contestant singing a Voice alumni’s big single! Cee Lo challenges his Knockout Round steal, Amber Nicole, to tackle the country genre with Season 3 champ Cassadee Pope’s “Wasting All These Tears.” For the most part, she nails it, but noticeably misses a crucial note at the end.
“[The big note] has to be there, and it was a little under,” says Adam, but adds, “It was refreshing to see another side of you.”
“You’re treading on some sacred ground with Cassadee Pope, but you did a great job,” says Blake, officially putting Cassadee Pope on the same sacred ground that Whitney Houston and Adele inhabit.
“You rose to that occasion with such class,” says her coach, before pontificating about the legacy that is Cassadee “one single and counting” Pope.
Team Cee Lo: Jonny Gray
Cee Lo’s former soldier, Jonny Gray, performs The Verve’s “Bittersweet Symphony.” It’s an interesting choice for the rocker, as there is little opportunity to unleash vocally without some major adjustments. None are made, and despite some powerful notes to end the song big, overall it’s pretty forgettable.
“Towards the end you became that explosive performer that you are, but before that you seemed more contained,” Adam says.
“You were really accurate,” Christina says, but echoes Adam’s sentiment that he was too contained throughout.
“I hope America enjoyed it as much as I did,” Cee Lo says.
Team Cee Lo: Tamara Chauniece
Cee Lo gives Tamara Chauniece the seemingly-impossible task of turning an overdone girls night karaoke anthem into a Live Rounds standout performance. The risky move of assigning her Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” pays off, however, as the powerhouse singer does the song absolute justice. She carries the vocals effortlessly, and her ad libs and attitude help make it her own.
“You had your best performance at the best time,” Adam says.
“That’s a tall order and you did it great,” Blake says.
“The energy was electric. It’s the type of energy that makes us the best show on television,” says Cee Lo. (Hashtag: NBC Pride).
Team Cee Lo: Kat Robichaud
Kat Robichaud tends to overshadow her powerful voice with her even more powerful crazy. Whether it’s the “Robi-shuffle” (patent pending), psychotic eyes during revenge anthems or tonight’s little front row love situation, she’s certainly got the audience’s attention…but will it transfer to votes?
Kat performs Mary Lambert’s “You Keep Me Warm,” and keeps it tender, sweet and controlled — showing this side of herself for the first time. At the end, however, she gets on her knees, looks into the eyes of a stranger and envelopes said stranger in an intimately tender embrace. It’s as weird as it sounds.
“Do you know that person?” Carson Daly asks.
“No, I just love her,” Kat replies. (It’s best to just move past it.)
Adam praises her performance, but missed her signature power. “There are seven gears of Kat and I didn’t see the seventh gear,” he says.
“I thought you had the potential of soaring a little higher on the notes, but I really appreciated your intent with the song,” Christina says.
“I accept you exactly how you are, and I think you did a great job,” says Cee Lo.
Team Cee Lo: Caroline Pennell
Team Ce Lo’s Caroline Pennell exudes more confidence every time she hits the stage. Cee Lo lobs her a hit that falls directly in her wheelhouse, and she gets her signature all over the White Stripes‘ “We’re Going To Be Friends.” It’s devoid of any big moments, but she keeps control throughout and she nails the relatively challenging lyrical rhythm.
“For the first time tonight I heard purely you,” says Adam. “You did a beautiful Caroline rendition of that song.”
Blake gets weird with his assessment, saying, “I could literally be getting an amputation, and if somebody was playing her music and she was singing, all I would be thinking about is cotton candy.” So…good?
“Your voice is so sweet,” says Cee Lo. “I think America loves you, and they’re not wrong about it.”
Team Christina: Josh Logan
The out of sync clapping is in full force when Team Christina’s Josh Logan performs “Crazy.” His acoustic performance of the Gnarls Barkley hit delights Cee Lo and the rest of the coaches, but let’s be clear: it certainly doesn’t hold a candle to the original, or even the Season 1 coaches’ performance of the song.
“You have such great taste in music,” says Cee Lo. “I’m glad that that song means anything to anybody.”
“It just seems like you’re capable of doing anything vocally, but sometimes the runs were overwhelming my experience,” Adam says.
“What you did up on the stage today was so original and it was so Josh,” says Christina. “You’re such a skilled vocalist, and I appreciate that about you.” Then she compares the critiques of Josh to early critiques of Mozart, because who wouldn’t compare a mid-level Voice contestant to one of the most lauded composers of all time?
Team Christina: Olivia Henken
It’s Katy Perry with a twang when Olivia Henken sings “Roar.” It’s nice to see a variation from Olivia’s all-country setlist, and she does a fine job with the challenging song. Olivia shows her chops with a few truly amazing notes to close things out, and performs the pop hit with a surprising amount of conviction.
“That was really risky as a country artist and it worked,” says Blake.
“You did my heart so proud,” says Christina. “You can do it all, and I’m so happy that you got to do that here today.”
Team Christina: Stephanie Anne Johnson
Stephanie Anne Johnson has been ping-ponged from team to team a bit, but she’s back on Team Christina after a Knockout Round steal back. It’s a good thing, too, because she has her best performance thus far with “Georgia On My Mind.” Stephanie gives the iconic Ray Charles song a fresh perspective, and hits some huge notes that has Cee Lo regretting letting her go.
“I’m entertained, I’m amazed and I’m jealous,” says Cee Lo. “You really commanded the crowd tonight.”
“You opened it up and kind of changed it, and didn’t make me dwell on the original,” says Adam.
“You have such a unique quality and richness to your voice,” says Christina. “It’s so solid.”
Stephanie then earns bonus points by demonstrating her opera skills at Christina’s behest. This girl’s got everything!
Team Christina: Matthew Schuler
Up next is indie rocker Matthew Schuler, who sings Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball” better than Miley Cyrus ever will (imagine that!). His performance is surprising, powerful and the total guilty pleasure of the evening. If only he had been lowered onto the stage on a wrecking ball, the power ballad/night/entire season would have been complete. It certainly shakes the competing coaches.
“I just hate how much I love you,” says Cee Lo.
“You light a fire under me to make my team even better,” Adam says.
“This is the guy that we gotta look out for,” Blake yells back to his team in the audience.
Christina is filled with pride. “You always bring such a charisma,” she says. “You came in like a wrecking ball, and you smashed it.”
Team Christina: Jacquie Lee
Closing out the night is the youngest artist in the competition, 16-year-old Jacquie Lee. The innocent-looking singer sings Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ “I Put a Spell On You” with so much power and conviction, that she’ll need to present her birth certificate for anyone to believe that she’s really just 16. Her ad libs are fantastic, and she growls fearlessly to the delight of Coach Christina.
“The was the absolute best,” says Cee Lo. “You are most certainly the future.”
“You made Cee Lo a vicious competitor. I’ve never seen it,” says Adam.
“I’m honored to be your coach,” says the proud Christina. “I cannot wait to see your growth from here.”
The votes will be tallied by Thursday’s results show, where the audience advances two contestants per team, and the coach saves a third. Who’s got your vote?
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