Team Adam and Team Cee Lo took the stage to compete for their spots in the Top 8.
Wednesday night on The Voice the quarter-finals continued as Team Adam and Team Cee Lo had to prove they were in it to win it to avoid being eliminated by their coach at the end of telecast. And for the most part, I thought that the singers did well. There were some missteps with song choices and pitch issues, but at the end of the night, I felt like the strongest singers prevailed. Check out what I thought about the contestants’ performances below.
Team Cee Lo
Jamar Rogers | “It’s My Life” – Bon Jovi
I am a big fan of Bon Jovi, and I always get nervous when their songs are performed on shows like this. (You should have seen me back during season six of American Idol, when it was Bon Jovi week. My anxiety was out of control.) Anyways, I thought it was smart to pick a song that not only was arranged to showcase Jamar’s voice, but also allowed him to make a connection with the audience. A lot of the time on shows like these, the audience at home is looking to connect with the contestants through their performance, and I think Jamar accomplished just that. He took a song with a great message, re-did the arrangement of the song to build up the intensity in his performance, and then he just sang the crap out of it. The bar for the night had officially been set.
James Massone | “Just That Way You Are” – Billy Joel
I’m not gonna front; I’ve been raising an eyebrow at Cee Lo’s song choices all season and Wednesday night was no exception. For a split second, I thought Cee Lo picked Bruno Mars’ “Just The Way You Are” for James, which I thought would have been great to see a younger contestant go a more contemporary route. But this is Cee Lo we’re talking about! Of course James is singing Billy Joel!
Honestly, it wasn’t my favorite vocal in the world from James. He’s one of the contestants, for me, that hasn’t left me feeling excited about their performance since their blind audition. But he does have that charismatic charm about him, which makes it hard not to be a little smitten about the boy from Boston.
Cheesa | “I Have Nothing” – Whitney Houston
Cee Lo really gave Cheesa a huge task this week by taking on a Whitney Houston song. As someone who is still coping with what happened to some of the best Whitney tracks after Glee got their hands on them, I was not thrilled to hear that Cheesa would be doing “I Have Nothing.” I mean, I totally get that Cee Lo thinks it’s time for the next big powerhouse female vocalist to emerge, but Whitney is Whitney. And I feel like in a way Cee Lo was trying to get Cheesa to duplicate her previous performance of “All By Myself.”
With “All By Myself,” there was a certain aspect of despair depicted, because she truly was singing for her life. And I didn’t get that from her performance of “I Have Nothing,” which was technically very good. She rocked some strong notes, albeit she passed on the one note that could have made it the performance of the night, but overall it was good. I just wish Cee Lo had given her like a Beyonce song or any other artist to show that she can be a current powerhouse vocalist and go head-to-head with today’s chart toppers after this season of The Voice wraps up. Cheesa has a lot of potential, I just don’t feel like this week she had the right song.
Juliet Simms | “Cryin’” – Aerosmith
Cee Lo’s rocker girl took on a classic tune last night, but ultimately, I was completely distracted by the giant wings that were strapped to the back of her outfit. Vocal-wise, I thought the beginning of the song sounded relatively okay. For me, her pitch was really all over the place once she got into her wailing. I thought it was a great song choice for her, but just wasn’t executed as well as it could have been.
Katrina Parker | “Jar of Hearts” – Christina Perri
I have to say that I am not a huge fan of “Jar of Hearts.” The song is a bit on the sleepy side, in my opinion. However, Katrina sounded amazing. Her vocal performance was strong, controlled and believable. Basically, gurl can sang.
Mathai | “I’m Like a Bird” – Nelly Furtado
I think Adam Levine had all the best intentions in giving Mathai this song to sing. Nelly Furtado and Mathai have a similar singing style, but maybe this was too safe of a song choice? I’m all for Mathai rockin’ some Nelly Furtado, but maybe Adam should have given her “Maneater” or “Do It,” which would still fit her voice, but would have allowed her to showcase more of a pop performance.
For me, Mathai’s blind audition was her best performance of the season. “Ordinary People” was okay and “I’m Like a Bird” was still just okay. I really think taking on a big pop tune would have made her stand out more this week.
Tony Lucca | “…Baby, One More Time” – Britney Spears
Tony easily had the best song choice of the night. Even though it was an idea that he and Adam had thought about doing way before Christina Aguilera took a swipe at him a couple weeks ago, it definitely was a smart way to respond.
I really liked the darker, bluesy vibe that he brought to the arrangement. His vocals could have been stronger, although I thought his last note was fantastic. I think he needs to stay in the grittier, more soulful pocket of his voice, and his coach needs to figure out the right song to send him to the finals.
Pip | “Somewhere Only We Know” – Keane
I was really pulling for Pip to do well this week. I didn’t mind his performance from a couple weeks ago, but he needed to really bring it. I thought Adam picked out a great song for him. Vocal restraint can be a beautiful thing and I figured the verses would nicely build up to chorus, where Pip could really utilize his range.
At first, I thought Pip’s performance was going really well. I loved seeing him just at the piano having a moment. And then the band kicked in during the second part of the verse. Pip was up and movin’ around the stage, which seemed rushed and a little cheesy, but he was staying mostly on pitch. But he started doing unnecessary vocal runs before the chorus, which is when I felt he vocally lost control of his performance.
I really feel that if Pip had stayed at the piano or had sung the song on a stool, where he wasn’t up and moving around, he could have saved this performance. And not that The Voice Band isn’t awesome, but I just thought the simplicity of the piano arrangement was working wonders for Pip’s performance.
At the end of the night, Cee Lo eliminated James Massone and Adam eliminated Pip. In my opinion, this was the right way to go for two different reasons. First off, both of these performers were had the weakest performances on their respective teams. And secondly, it’s no secret that both James and Pip have strong fan bases, so I feel like both coaches eliminated these two as a strategy to keep them from knocking out another performer with America’s Save.
Speaking of America’s Save, last night it was revealed that America saved Jamar Rogers from Team Cee Lo and Tony Lucca from Team Adam. No big shock there. Cheesa and Juliet would sing for Cee Lo’s save. Mathai and Katrina would sing for Adam’s save.
Mathai | “Cowboy Cassanova” – Carrie Underwood
Overall, I didn’t think this performance was too shabby. The song let her show more aggressiveness in her vocals, which have been just kind of flowy the past couple of weeks. However, I think Mathai’s nerves got the best of her. The only thing I really didn’t care for was her phrasing at certain points. That said, if this had been her song the night before, I think her performance would have been just stellar.
Katrina Parker | “Perfect” – P!nk
This song was an absolute ~perfect fit for Katrina. The wonderful raspy quality about her voice was showcased, and even though she obviously was fighting off nerves, she carved out a bit of a moment when she needed to have one most.
Cheesa | “Already Gone” – Kelly Clarkson
Talk about picking a song that foreshadows her immediate future. Not an ideal song choice for that particular moment, but it would have been nice to hear something like this from her in earlier rounds. For being an obvious bundle of nerves, she had an alright vocal performance.
Juliet Simms | “Torn” – Natalie Imbruglia
Not a song that I would peg her to sing, but I thought she sounded pretty good. I actually really like this side to her voice, albeit she did sound panicked towards the end of the performance, but overall she had a pretty decent vocal.
So who did the coaches save?
Cee Lo saved his rocker girl Juliet Simms and Adam saved Katrina Parker. Again, I think the coaches made the right decision & kept the strongest singers. I think the Top 8 is an interesting mix of contestants this season, but it will probably come down to Team Adam and Team Cee Lo for the top spot.
What did y’all think of this week’s performances and results?