The Voice – Live Show Review – Team Adam vs. Team Cee Lo

OK, before recapping the performances on last night’s episode of The Voice, let’s talk about the judges’ outfits. Awesome, right?

  • Adam Levine: Lookin’ fine in a blazer, but the dark colors didn’t jump out on TV. Grade C+
  • Cee Lo Green: Brings it ever week, last night was no different. Grade A
  • Christina Aguilera: Christina’s toned down hair and makeup lately is really working for her – keep it up! Grade B+
  • Blake Shelton: A brown jacket? Blake, you are sitting with some stylish people! Step it up! Grade C-

OK, now click through for a recap of the performances from Team Adam and Cee Lo.

Team Adam – Katrina Parker singing “Tonight, Tonight”

Katrina is sort of Adele Lite, so this was a super weird song choice for her. I mean, The Smashing Pumpkins? Really? The performance was boring in parts, and she had a few pitch problems.

Team Cee Lo – Cheesa singing “Don’t Leave Me This Way”

I love this song. Cheesa had a rough start, and then it felt like she kind of got lost in the first chorus. In the second chorus I felt like she owned it more and was having fun AND singing well. Still, it wasn’t my favorite performance.

Team Adam – Tona Lucca singing “In Your Eyes”

I like Tony, but this song did him no favors. It just wasn’t a great performance, I don’t think it reflected what he’s capable of, and I wouldn’t have voted for him based on this. Which is too bad, because I love his version of “Devil Town” from the Friday Night Lights soundtrack. Christina gave a tough but honest critique when she called Tony “one-dimensional” and said “Obviously, you have me and your old Mouseketeer buddies behind you, and Justin in particular [Justin Timberlake tweeted his support], but I hope this is about the voice, rather than a celebrity sway.” You can’t really argue with her, can you?

Team Adam – Kim Yarbough singing “Rollin’ In The Deep”

Yes, this is a killer song and Kim has a killer voice. But it’s a tad overplayed at this point, isn’t it? Everyone and their dog (literally) has covered this on YouTube and various singing contest shows. Kim was OK, but Adele is hard to pull off and there’s a lot of competition. There was nothing special or memorable about the performance.

Team Cee Lo – James Massone singing “Don’t Know Why”

I liked that this Norah Jones song forces James a little out of his comfort zone, because at first I thought it brought out a really nice quality in his voice. I was never a huge fan of James (maybe because of the hair band?), so I was excited to hear him do something a little more classic sounding. But man, those choruses were ROUGH. He couldn’t hold the falsetto together, and it was almost painful to listen to.

Team Cee Lo – Juliet Simms singing “Roxanne”

I like Juliet a lot, and I like this song. I also like a couple of covers of this song by female rockers, so I had high hopes for Juliet. I loved the slow-jam arrangement at the beginning of the performance, and I thought this performance showed some of Juliet’s range without losing what she does best. I really, really like Juliet and I want to see her go far in this competition.

Team Adam – Mathai singing “Ordinary People”

Mathai is a polarizing contestant, because she’s got one of those cutesy, growly, jazzy, babyish voices that seemed to be plentiful this season on The Voice. (See: Erin Martin) I liked Mathai’s style, but her battle round performance wasn’t fantastic. However, I love “Ordinary People”. I wasn’t sure how this would go, but I was pleasantly surprised. I really enjoyed the performance, and it felt very true to Mathai’s voice. She’s not trying to be anything she’s not, and I think people will either dig it or they won’t.

Team Cee Lo – Tony Vincent singing “Everybody Wants To Rule The World”

So, I have a soft spot for Tony for a few reasons. He’s been in Broadway shows that I love. He has a new baby. He emailed me to thank me for a positive review.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t my favorite performance from Tony and I’m blaming that entirely on the song choice. I get that it showed another side to his voice and his stage persona, and that’s great. But it was kind of…cheesy? And it just didn’t really show off his voice the way his past  performances have. I loved his battle round performance and I’d like to see Tony advance based on that, but I didn’t love this one.

Team Adam – Karla Davis singing “Airplanes”

The problem with turning a rap song into a singing song is that it’s not particularly melodic. It’s possible to do this kind of thing – think Kris Allen killing it on “Heartless” by Kanye West a few seasons ago on Idol. But Karla’s vocals were overpowered by the backup singers, and it did nothing to show off her range. Weak sauce.

Team Cee Lo – Erin Martin singing “Walk Like An Egyptian”

Erin Martin is definitely more quirk than talent, and though you can’t say she was chosen for her looks since The Voice does blind auditions, her looks certainly aren’t hurting her now. Erin is gorgeous and slightly weird, so she probably could have a #1 hit in today’s music scene. But on this show, she doesn’t fit in.

Team Adam – Pip singing “When We Were Young”

What does Pip want to be? A pop-jazz singer? A pop-rock singer? If he wants to do the kind of thing that The Killers do, then this was a fail. If he wants to be Michael Buble, then he shouldn’t have performed this song. I wish he’d let loose a little more. He didn’t look like he was having fun – maybe because he looks like an altar boy, but it just wasn’t edgy enough. Pip’s voice is good though, so I wouldn’t be totally disappointed to see him sing again.

Team Cee Lo – Jamar Rogers singing “Are You Gonna Go My Way”

Jamar is already a fan favorite, and you really can’t go wrong singing a song by Cinna Lenny Kravitz. I love Jamar’s rocker vibe – he pulls off the idea that he’s a rock star, rather than a guy imitating one. Jamar is definitely going to be one of my favorites in the competition.

Based on these performances, I think Christina and Blake have stronger teams than Cee Lo and Adam do. Not a lot of performances stood out for me this week.

On Team Adam, the only person I feel passionately about is Mathai. I guess I’d like to see Pip, Tony Lucca and Kim join her. On Team Cee Lo I love Jamar and Juliet Sims the most, and I’d like to see Tony Vincent and…I guess James Massone join them.

What do y’all think?

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