It’s that time, people. The moment you’ve all been waiting for: The semi-finals of “The Voice.” Yes, the semi-finals promise to be exciting, original and unlike anything you’ve ever seen on reality television. Ahem.
But before we get on with it, we still need to choose the semi-finalists for Teams Adam and Cee Lo.
But first, an observation:
Like my new look?
During the introduction of the coaches, you can’t help but notice Christina’s new hairdo. Yes, it’s a crimped pink and platinum bun. Yes, I said crimped. I’m not sure what museum they got a crimper from, since I haven’t actually seen one since 1988, so kudos to whatever archeologist dug that up. But I love the 80s, so I’ll let it go.
If you haven’t been following the show, the two semi-finalists for each team are narrowed down by two tactics – America chooses their favorite through an elaborate voting system and each respective coach chooses one by just blabbing it out.
First up is Team Cee Lo. After watching a recap of last week’s performances, Carson reveals who America spent a ton of money on downloading their favorite cover on iTunes. And America chooses:
The brunette Thompson twin is either really excited for or trying desperately to sabotage poor Vicci – she produces a shrill, deafening shriek in Vicci’s ear that is about one octave below a dog whistle. But I’m glad someone’s excited. When questioned by Carson about her win, Vicci displays about as much emotion as Jennifer Connelly did during her Oscar acceptance speech.
I’d like to thank the Academy, and God and… zzzzzz…
Now it’s Cee Lo’s turn to break some hearts. But hey, Cee Lo is hurting too. This is a hard decision and he loves all of his team members equally. But he has to do what’s best for the team, and even the Thompson twins and sexy cowboy should agree that that choice is:
…who displays all the emotion of Gwyneth Paltrow during her Oscar acceptance speech.
OMG. OMG. I am awesome with awesome sauce poured on top!
Now it’s Adam’s turn to send two contestants home. “I don’t want to do it,” whines Adam. Get a grip, Adam, this isn’t Sophie’s Choice. Let’s get this over with. For Team Adam, America chooses:
…who couldn’t be more gracious and thankful. After years of close calls and broken recording contracts, Javier doesn’t seem to have an arrogant or bitter bone in his body. He’s a true professional whose hard work and perseverance may finally have paid off – and let that be an example to you American Idol contestants with no talent who want instant fame.
Now Adam has to choose – and he asks if he can send Carson home instead. After the split second it takes to process his “joke,” Carson chuckles uncomfortably. If I had someone sitting next to me on my couch to hi-five, I would. But no, Carson is here to stay and the show must go on. So Adam throws a bunch of back-handed compliments his contestants’ way. Devon is the most improved singer, which is the kiss of death. And Adam has no qualms telling us Casey and he butted heads and didn’t get along through the process – not to mention no one turned their chairs for her during the blind auditions, so she’s out. Plus he says he already decided before the show to choose Jeff Jenkins. But right as he’s about to announce Jeff’s name as the winner, something strange happens – and this sound comes out:
What? Poor Jeff Jenkins. I hope Barry Manilow has an opening on his tour.
At least we don’t have to wait until the next episode to hear the semi-finalists sing. But not until Carson interviews the judges about redundant stuff I’m exhausted of repeating and explains the voting process, which is again different this round. The votes are split evenly between America’s votes and the judges’ scores. So technically, millions of votes versus one judge isn’t exactly even, but I’m so over it at this point.
And on to Broadway star Frenchie Davis. Christina has chosen the song, “Like a Prayer” by Madonna, which Frenchie admits is out of her comfort zone. Don’t worry, says Christina, we’ll make it look good with lighting effects and dancing alter boys – and she keeps her promise. Frenchie performs her song at the top of a staircase that leads to nowhere while dancers in white gospel frocks spin around her. Frenchie looks terrified of having a Black Swan moment.
Wasn’t it perfect?
Halfway through the song she is escorted down the steps by one of the alter boys, but there’s a slight malfunction. He’s blocked by another dancer who is making the most of his camera time and refusing to move. But she clears the steps eventually, hits her crazy long notes and accepts her compliments from the judges. Just a quick note – there’s not a lot of criticism this round. The judges are over it and just want to go home and have a cocktail at this point. So if you’re looking for a show with catty singer-judges, well I hear Kara DioGuardi just signed on to something.
Even though it’s a family show, Blake says her performance gives the middle finger to anyone who thought Christina made the wrong choice. And Christina said something nice, but I didn’t hear it because I was too distracted by her hair.
But enough of my ADHD. We have a lot to get through here. Next up is Nakia, who’s singing Adam Lambert’s “What Do You Want From Me?” No way, there is no way I can do it, says Nakia. Cee Lo gives him some encouragement, but Nakia clears it up for him: I don’t want to do it, says Nakia. But beggars can’t be choosers, so he’s stuck with it.
Nakia is up to his usual tricks. He starts off playing piano in a ballad version of the song, but quickly takes the microphone and awkwardly kicks over his piano bench to hit the stage for a round of intense gazing and pointing at the audience.
To book Nakia for your next party, call 1-855-VOICE-02.
That felt great, Nakia says afterwards. Nobody asked, says Carson, but you’re not shy, that’s for sure. Nakia doesn’t realize a slam when he hears it, but it doesn’t matter. He sounded good and the judges loved him, so that should give him some peace when Vicci kicks his ass and sends him home. Adam even goes so far as to say he sang it better than the person who originally sang it, even though he has no idea who that is. Oh, I remember, it’s Adam Lambert, the runner up on AMERICAN IDOL last season. The passive aggressive slams just keep coming towards that show. And Blake says it was “Awards Show” quality. Doesn’t that usually mean bad? And the only thing Cee Lo talks about is the fact he switched up his wardrobe to black and white and made his team members match him.
Next up is Dia Frampton, who’s continuing to surprise with a cover of REM’s “Losing My Religion.” Dia is a multi-talented musician and this time she’s hocked her piano for a guitar. But the shy, embarrassed Dia we’ve all grown to love has been replaced by a bossy go-getter who gets to pick her own song and spends her rehearsal time directing to band what to do. She even gets the audience to clap along with her during her performance.
Who are you and what have done with Dia Frampton?
But as usual, it’s an interesting take on the song and she does well. Unfortunately, this is the time that Christina decides to put her foot in her mouth. Christina, who’s been having a hard time understanding Carson all episode, rambles some nonsense trying to get to her point, which is that Dia would make a very interesting gay man – then she laughs. Silence. The other judges stare straight ahead. Immediately the camera cuts away from Christina and Carson goes to the other judges. Somebody got a slap on the hand for that later, I’m sure.
Why don’t we make it even more uncomfortable by having Casey Weston perform next? Adam has not been shy about his relationship with Casey, which has been volatile at times. It’s no secret they don’t see eye-to-eye, so to make their relationship easier Adam decides to give her another challenge. She’ll be singing “I Will Always Love You,” which although made famous by Whitney Houston was originally sung by Dolly Parton. During rehearsal, Adam constantly reminds Casey not to sing it like Whitney, which really frustrates her. But she works on it and it shows, because during the performance she sings it just like Dolly Parton. Don’t worry – they give it the Whitney touch by dressing her in a flowing dress and blowing wind in her hair.
The Dress? Whitney. The Cowboy Boots? Dolly. The Voice? Casey. Identity confusion? Priceless!
But Casey sounds good and she looks good. Blake, who’s been supportive all along, calls her hot (she’s 18, so it’s ok). Adam doesn’t acknowledge Blake’s comments, but finally swallows his pride and calls her amazing, but
not before they have it out over all their problems. It’s like the “Bad Girls Club” up there.
No semi-final show of “The Voice” would be complete without a performance from at least one of the judges. Adam’s band is here to sing their latest single, “Moves Like Jagger.” Good for Maroon 5, who have most likely been marooned while waiting for Adam to finish this gig. Ha ha.
So I finally understand why Adam Levine is considered a sex symbol. He may embrace his inner-dorkiness on the show, but you put the guy in a designer suit and he is HOT! And it doesn’t hurt that he’s got swagger. Even Cee Lo seemed to be enjoying himself watching Adam move. The song was… well, I couldn’t tell you. I was too busy staring at him to listen. I’m sure it was good if they premiered it on national TV.
Of course, the moment was completely ruined when Christina entered the picture. With her ripped “Boys” T-shirt that was cut so low her bra was sticking out, Christina didn’t quite fit with the ambiance.
One right and one wrong does not make a right.
Oh boy, says Carson. They clearly like each other. I beg to differ, Carson.
To go from bad to worse, Carson cuts to Allison in the V-Room. There must not be a lot of time for Allison, since we’re already an hour into the episode before they finally get to her. Allison doesn’t have a ton to add, except for that Adam Levine is hot. But she does manage to let Javier speak about the pain of being away from his family without cutting him off, so we’ll give her a point for listening.
Beverly McClellan is singing B.B. King’s “The Thrill Is Gone,” which she fully embraces. Good attitude. We learn that Beverly can play piano and she’s nervous about going up against Frenchie, but she doesn’t stay nervous for long. Christina is interested in showing Bev’s softer side, which we see for about 10 seconds of her performance before she starts rocking out. But it’s nice – Bev at the piano, singing softly with strings in the background. Then suddenly the music changes up and Bev is back to her usual self, belting into the microphone and sashaying around the stage.
I cannot be contained!
Bev gets her usual compliments from the judges, but when it’s time for Christina, she’s not paying attention. Huh? What? Am I on? But it doesn’t matter. Christina was happy with her performance. Vote for Bev.
Oh Javier. The whole world has been waiting for one of your sweet ballads this week, my friend. And Javier knows it. He sings “Fix You” by Coldplay. Wait. Isn’t Javier Colon the lead singer of Coldplay? No? Really? Well, he sounds just like him.
Javier is not letting the excitement get to his head. He’s had record deals fall through before and singles not get any air time. Knowing rejection is part of the deal, Javier is cautious. But he’ll do what he does best, and that’s singing songs by women. Oh, wait…
And of course, he does this song perfectly. Again. And of course, he’s multi-talented, trading his piano for a guitar this time. The only surprise is he takes his hat off at the end, revealing for the first time his bald head. The judges are so used to how perfectly he sings that his head is all they can talk about. So he’ll be sticking around.
She didn’t mess up last time, so let’s give Allison in the V-Room another chance. Ok, we learn that Adam and Casey are trending, good. OK, she asks Casey if she’s single, that’s fine. To Allison’s dismay, Casey provides her with a one-word answer: “Yes.” That means more work for Allison. “So is this changing your life?” Yeah, says Casey explaining her newfound fame. “So if a fan asked you out, would you go?” asks Allison. “Uh… I don’t know,” replies a very disturbed Casey. And Allison just can’t hold back. “Yes. Say Yes! You must learn what your fans want and they want you to say YES,” screams Allison, foaming at the mouth.
I’m taking away that point I gave you earlier, young lady. For the record, you’re at negative seven.
Now here’s a little something for you country fans. Blake Shelton sings “Honey Bee,” which is apparently a big hit in the country world. And it goes a little something like this:
If you’ll be my soft and sweet
I’ll be your strong and steady
You’ll be my glass of wine
I’ll be your shot of whiskey
You’ll be my sunny day
I’ll be your shade tree
You’ll be my honeysuckle
I’ll be your honey beeeeeeeeeee!
Did you know that Blake Shelton is about 6’4” and has piercing blue eyes that constantly give him the look of a serial killer? Needless to say, the carpet doesn’t match the drapes on this song choice. But as ridiculous as he looks singing it, the country girls seem to love it – after all, he is the CMA Mail Vocalist of the Year. And not the one from 1972 – the current one. The cheesiness factor is upped when Dia and Xenia join him at the end. They don’t quite match this song either. In fact, no one does.
I may be a big guy but I have a soft touch, ladies.
Well, at least Xenia got a vocal warm-up. She’s up next. Unlike the other judges, Blake is letting his team members choose their own songs. Xenia chooses “The Man Who Can’t Be Moved” by the Script, which no one on the show has ever heard of. Blake adores Xenia and has really taken her under his wing. She’s finally getting some confidence – she’s so confident she only goes by one name now, like Madonna or Nakia. Unfortunately it’s a terrible song choice and she’s still so uncomfortable with movement that she takes tiny little steps to get to the front of the stage.
How do women walk in these things?
The judges compliment her unique voice, but Adam calls the song sleepy. Regardless, she’s a star in the making, and Blake just hopes that Xenia will remember him when his career is over and she’s red-hot.
The final performance of the evening is Vicci Martinez, who’s performing “Dog Days are Over” by Florence and the Machine. It’s bittersweet for Vicci, whose musician dad gave up all his dreams to become a plumber and support his family. Now that her dad’s gone, Vicci wants to make him proud.
I’m sure he is. With her Sanjaya mohawk and drum set, Vicci gives the most high-energy performance of the night. In true Vicci Martinez fashion, she does squats, jumps and runs around the stage during her song. The chick even did push-ups backstage before the show. She moves around so much I can’t even get a decent screen grab of her.
And for my next trick I’ll be submerged in a pool of ice while suspended above a high-rise for 36 hours!
But the judges don’t care about my problems. After the audience finally stops cheering, Blake calls it the most powerful performance of the night. Cee Lo says yes, the dog days ARE over, and you’re about to be a star. Then he gets all spiritual and says a bunch of weird stuff.
The judges must vote for their favorites, but their votes are not revealed until the results show, which is the next day. Great. Now we have two of these a week. In the meantime, Carson reminds us, you can vote by downloading their songs on iTunes. And the more songs you download, the more chance the contestants have of winning. And the more money the show makes, although I’m sure that’s not their intention. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge. Zzzzz….