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Things I learned from The Voice, week five

What did I learn from this week's 'The Voice'? Short people can have their day, you can get away with a Radiohead song (at least if you've won two Grammys), and Cee Lo Green actually does take his sunglasses off. Did this episode throw you as much as it did me?

Another week, more surprisingly addictive shenanigans on The Voice. There were the genuinely funny ones, and then there were a few that were honestly head-scratching. Just when I thought I’d started to figure out what makes this show tick, this episode happened.

Team Christina sent up Julia Eason and Raquel Castro, performing Rihanna‘s “Only Girl In The World.” In all honesty, if I wasn’t watching them perform, I wouldn’t have been able to distinguish one from the other; they sounded very similar to my ear, leaving me with no preference whatsoever. Having said that, I admit to a small soft spot for Raquel, because I was just a year younger than her when I started my career, so I know exactly what she’s going through in terms of nerves and things of that nature. It doesn’t bother me that she’s moving on. I think the best part of the duel for me was Adam Levine (still my favorite person on Earth, in case you were wondering) calling Raquel “five foot one of crazy,” because that describes me just as well as it does her. I may swipe that line.

Blake Shelton picked Dia “No Relation To Peter” Frampton and Serabee to represent Team Blake to the tune of “You Can’t Hurry Love” by The Supremes. There’s a moment in the episode that perfectly sums up my feelings toward this duet; as Serabee wrings out yet another note for all it’s worth, the camera cuts to Christina Aguilera looking across at Adam in wide-eyed confusion, and he gives her a look back that shows he doesn’t know what to say. My thoughts exactly! Dia isn’t half bad (nor does she excite me), but I just don’t know what’s up with Serabee. Half the time it sounded as if she was straining or screeching. I was glad when Blake sent her packing.

Adam was feeling in a “dark and ominous” mood as he asked Devon Barley and Rebecca Loebe to sing “Creep” by Radiohead. Adam wins for most random song choice ever. Now, my colleague Michael Noble is confounded by this, but I like it and here’s why: it shows that Mr. Levine has some serious balls. This is not a song I think anyone else would have picked on a show such as this. Certainly not me – I’d be doing “Only You” from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Starlight Express, which goes in the entirely opposite direction to the point of potentially boring – so I’m going to give Adam props for being willing to color outside the lines on this one.

I figured this battle would be interesting on song selection alone, but I didn’t expect just how great it was. I enjoyed Rebecca’s performance of “Come As You Are” in blind auditions, and figured she would probably narrowly eke out a win, but Devon brought his ‘A’ game. The end result was a version I like almost as much as the original. I was just as conflicted as Adam, who was obviously flustered by this and got himself bleeped yet again. (I find that oddly charming.) Color me surprised that he handed victory to Devon, but I would have been happy either way. Both artists delivered great performances. And how sweet was Adam moving immediately to give Rebecca some reassurance on her way out of the ring? At least in my experience, losing is always hard, but a little positive reinforcement goes a long way toward making it easier.

That brings me to something I really like about this show. I’ve had a chance to sit down with several of the contestants over the past few weeks, and everyone has had such sweet things to say about their fellow contestants and about their coaches. I don’t mean in the “we’re being nice because we have to be” way; they’re genuine. I’ve heard so many positive comments, and that makes me smile. I’m so tired of the cutthroat competition shows where everyone is only friendly as long as it serves their purpose; maybe it’s just me, but that’s not the way I compete. So to hear that there’s a genuine warmth among the contestants, and that the coaches aren’t just whisking in and out for another paycheck, endears me to this show even more.

Okay. Back to the battles.

That left us with Team Cee Lo, and the big guy pitted Kelsey Rey against Tori & Taylor Thompson for a duet of Natasha Bedingfield‘s “Unwritten.” Kelsey delivered a really impressive rendition of “American Boy” in blind auditions, so I was expecting big things from her here, and she was pretty good. Tori & Taylor, on the other hand, were not. Tori stumbled over a line right out of the gate and never really recovered; it was obvious that she wasn’t comfortable with the song, and Taylor had to pick up the slack. I expected that Tori had punched her and her sister’s ticket home, but in a genuine “wtf” moment, Cee Lo elected to give Kelsey the heave-ho. I’m still trying to understand that; the only thing I can come up with is that Kelsey could possibly make it on her own as is, whereas he could work more with Tori & Taylor. Whatever the reasoning, I’ve got to disagree with Cee Lo on this one.

There’s one neat thing I noticed about this week as well: did it seem like we got more footage of the artists rehearsing with their coaches, particularly in the ring? I’ve always wanted to see more of the coaches working with the artists, so that was a nice touch for me.

We’re down to our final battle rounds next week, and I think I’m ready for us to wrap this part of The Voice up and get on to the live shows. All of my favorite artists have performed (and some have been eliminated) so there’s less going for me in these later battles. I’ll be happy to see the likes of Patrick Thomas and Casey Weston come back on my TV, even if I’m worried that the show may turn into a popularity contest when America starts voting.

That aside, even if I’m not quite as worked up over it as I used to be, I still love watching The Voice. Regardless of the song, regardless of the artists, I still find myself putting the computer aside, leaning forward on the couch, and singing along through every tune. There’s just something fun and infectious about this show, and I wouldn’t dare miss it. Even if it does throw me a curveball every now and then.

Photo Credit: NBC

Categories: | Clack | General | TV Shows | The Voice |

2 Responses to “Things I learned from The Voice, week five”

May 26, 2011 at 5:08 PM

Funny thing is, during the tapings for X-Factor in Chicago, there were about 4 performers that sang or wanted to sing Creep as their audition song.

May 26, 2011 at 6:52 PM

More power to them. It’s a great song, and I was glad to hear something so not mainstream.

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