Welcome to our second consecutive day of The Voice recaps, b-rollers! Tonight’s episode is only an hour long, praise be to God. Let’s dive right in!
We open with several very wide shots of the studio, in which we see a clump of people at center stage lit by roving lasers and cheered on by screaming audience members. It takes us a good 45 seconds to get a close-up, so I’ll guess that these are our contestants surrounding Carson Daly, but who can be sure. Was this shot from a satellite or something? It seems unnecessarily artistic.
Anyway, Carson introduces our judges, and thankfully, Cee Lo has ditched the spandex get-up for a sharply studded red jacket that would severely injure that cat. Also, Carson explains how this evening’s results will work, and makes a not-that-complicated scenario sound like a calculus equation. For the record, of the 6 contestants (per team) who performed last night, 3 were already voted through by AMERICA, the other 3 will sing a “save me” song, and their team mentor person will keep one. Not that hard, right? Carson practically breaks out a whiteboard.
First, though, is the evening’s “filler.” Gym Class Heroes comes on to perform a song called “Ass Back Home,” (I’d like to buy a verb, if I may). The most notable part of the song is that the lady singing lead is wearing a shirt only in the academic sense; there’s some cloth, and a large sculptural sorta-backward angel wings thing (barely) covering her chest, and both Christina AND Cee Lo must be really covetous of this ensemble. Also, Adam’s team “performs” with Gym Class Heroes, but in reality, they are holding microphones and standing so far back that they’re basically mingling with audience members. And the song is 92% less interesting than “Stereo Hearts,” so color me bored. Let’s move on.
Next, we get to see montages in which this evening’s contestants receive the privilege of watching their mentors Blake and Christina do famous people things (be interviewed at a country radio station and appear on The Tonight Show, respectively). Apparently they’re learning really useful skills for surviving the music industry, such as the comfort level of Jay Leno’s green room couches. It’s so fascinating! No, it’s not. I’d like some results now, please.
Done and done! Blake’s team is up first, and the three saved by the goodwill of AMERICA are (in no particular order, except for the order in which Carson Daly announces them): Erin Willet, who rocked Stevie Wonder’s “Living for the City”; Jermaine Paul, who tanked “Livin’ on a Prayer” but has clearly wowed voters with his potential and deep well of rage; and RaeLynn, who openly swears in surprise, even though I’m not at all surprised since the country voting bloc is huge and mobilized (see: Scotty McCreary, American Idol champion, and I use the word loosely). This means that Jordis Unga, Naia Kete and Charlotte Sometimes will sing for their lives, in a “please let me stay on television” way rather than a Hunger Games way.
And now, we find out who will be saved from Christina Aguilera’s team – cue the light show! (No really, it’s blinding). The three contestants who are moving on are: Jesse Campbell, who has no idea where to go and may have momentarily forgotten that his name was “Jesse Campbell”; Lindsey Pavao, who nearly collapses with joy; and Chris Mann, who proves that the moms of AMERICA are thrilled about the possibility of a handsome young Andrea Bocelli-type on the scene. Unfortunately, this means that either Sera Hill or Ashley De La Rosa will have to leave us this evening (Moses Stone will also sing, but let’s be serious).
Our first last chance singer is Naia Kete, who has oddly and unfortunately chosen Beyonce’s “If I Were a Boy.” She tries to make it reggae, then goes for the big notes and veers spine-curlingly off-pitch. Thank you for your time and effort, Naia. The exit is stage left.
Charlotte Sometimes takes the stage to sing “Iris” by the Goo Goo Dolls. She’s slurring AGAIN (seriously, Charlotte, work on this please) and also having some pitch issues, which may be nerves. She’s got a nice presence and shows a lot of emotion – she clearly comes from a theater background – but she should’ve maybe chosen a not-boring song. That would have helped. Still, she’s clearly a favorite of Blake, which has to make her the front-runner to stay, yes?
Well, unless Jordis Unga slays it, that is. But in the pre-commercial teaser, Jordis looks emotionally overwhelmed and ready to faint, which bodes poorly. When Carson announces that she’ll be singing “Wild Horses,” I pray, “please God, don’t wail on this,” since this delicately beautiful song should not be turned into a power ballad. And she doesn’t! She shows wonderful restraint and delivers a lovely, plaintive performance that is her best yet. And so Blake saves her, which shocks me because it is so damn logical. I also surprise myself by feeling badly for Charlotte, who I’ve finally warmed to. Blake comes over to Naia and Charlotte to apologize and wish them well, and they smile and nod and don’t give a damn, they’d rather just sprint offstage and cry. But they pretend, bless their hearts.
And now it’s time for Christina’s team to beg for reprieves. Ashley De La Rosa starts it off with “Paris, Ooh La La” which is a hellaciously awesome choice, if I do say so. She’s raw and full of attitude, as well as a slew of pitch problems. I kinda love it, though I have to smother my inner pitch Nazi with a pillow.
Next up is Sera Hill, and this will stun you, but she has chosen a big R&B diva song, “Vision of Love.” She’s also wearing an asymmetrical dress that I’m liking significantly less than last night’s pantsuit. She seems effortless, though the song ebbs and drags (and she hits a rough patch towards the end). She’s been much better in the past, though she’s undeniably talented.
Meanwhile, when Carson announces that Moses Stone will sing The Script’s “Breakeven,” I loudly exclaim, “Really?!” He sings it pretty well, and thankfully doesn’t add a rap element, but he’s trying so hard to work the stage that he runs out of breath. It’s okay to just stand and sing, buddy. In fact, it’s encouraged. Christina is left with a difficult choice, since none of her three contestants was superlative, but she does the right thing and chooses Ashley, who was, at the very least, interesting. (Meanwhile, when Christina minces onstage to offer parting wishes to Moses and Sera, I wonder how she’s managed to sit, walk or breathe in her extremely tight dress, since she must be Spanx-ed into that thing within an inch of her life. It goes without saying that her breasts play a prominent role in her “look” this evening.)
Carson welcomes back to the stage those who are moving on to the “live quarterfinals!” Guys, this stupid March Madness thing is finally over. Please don’t toss out any brackets or quarterfinals. Anyway, the contestants wander aimlessly around the stage like euphoric sheep as Carson randomly yells their names, so it’s a wonderfully organized and highly entertaining curtain call. He also says good night on behalf of the Voice judges and Christina Milian, who was nowhere to be found tonight – is she chained in the Sprint Social Media Lounge, tweeting for her freedom? Tune in next week to find out!