13 Highs (and Lows) From ‘The Voice’ Live Shows Week 2 (Guest Blog)

A Season 2 alum, I blog about the NBC competition show for TheWrap every week

This week was do or die for the remaining 12 on NBC's “The Voice.” There are no more coach saves; it's now up to America to decide who will stay and who will go. Pretty thrilling, eh? Now let's grab a hot cocoa, sit by the fire and talk about my highlights (and lowlights) from last night's episode.

1. Crowd surfing – another “The Voice” first?
In the most electrifying moment this week, Kat Robichaud crowd surfed during her rendition of “Sail,” all while continuing to sing consistently like a BOSS. Add this to her long lists of firsts for “The Voice,” which also includes hugging a random audience member. What's next? A sky dive from the Sprint Skybox? I don't know, but I'm excited to find out.

2. Zorro rides tonight!
I'm so relieved coach Cee Lo Green decided to let his freak flag fly again with Monday's Zorro-inspired ensemble. It almost cancelled out his cranky moment with coach Blake Shelton where he got testy about Blake's claim that Austin Jenckes was the people's pick for “best drinking buddy” (almost). Hey now – play nice, Zorro.

Also read: ‘The Voice,’ ‘X Factor’ Hit All-Time Ratings Lows Thursday – But Here's Why

3. Hallelujah and amen.
Jeff Buckley's version of the Leonard Cohen penned “Hallelujah” commands deep reverence from music lovers (and for good reason). Covering it can be a daunting task, but Matthew Schuyler rose to the occasion with a haunting take that achieved the right balance of the delicate with the bombastic. This completely connected performance was my favorite this week.

4. The NEW bromance.
Watching Matt Lauer flirt with Carson Daly in the Sprint Skybox, it became clear to me we have a new bromance blooming. Adam-Blake (“Bladam”??) have had five seasons to shine, but this is fresh and new and involves “Carmatt” bonding over Movember, caressing cheeks and taking private tours of Adam's trailer together. Carmatt takes the lead.

5. Can't Take My Eyes off You.
Blake (and women everywhere) swooned when Ray Boudreaux covered “All of Me,” a more tender undertaking than his usual “Swamp Pop.” Coach Christina Aguilera wasn't so easily swayed by her nether regions, giving the critique that his vocal performance fell a bit short. Was that the most brutally honest moment of the night? Possibly, but I think we could have used more of that honesty with some of the other contestants, eh?

Also read: 16 Best (and Worst) Moments From ‘The Voice’ Live Shows Week 1 (Guest Blog)

6. Blake's Cup of Joy.
Blake was pretty giddy this week, so let's take a bet on what's in his cup. Water? Vodka? You watch and decide, because he was REALLY happy to be there.

7. Cee Lo's Riding Playlist
It was nice to get a sneak peek at Zorro's (I mean Cee Lo's) horseback riding soundtrack, and Jacquie Lee rose to the top of it with her performance of “Love is Blindness.” I'll admit I'm not always a fan of Jacquie's vocal tone, but once again I was enamored by her no-holds-barred passion onstage. She delivers an explosive performance every time, and I have no doubt she'll be around for another week.

8. Putting these demons to bed.
Was Will Champlin's rendition of “Demons” the most impeccable vocal of the night? No, but it was intense and pretty awesome regardless. He definitely fought his demons and won – technical perfection not required.

Also read: ‘Sean Saves the World’ Gets 5 More Episodes From NBC

9. A pleasant aroma.
“The sweet smell of victory” is what Cee Lo smells when he hears Caroline Pennell perform, but I don't think he was doing her any favors with last night's “Wake Me Up,” which smelled like a bad fit for her particular brand of magic. Cee Lo – Caroline should easily make it to the finals. If you wanna keep smelling victory, give her songs that WORK!

10. Best singing while navigating stairs.
This has to go to Tessanne Chin for her lovely take on “My Kind Of Love,” 80 percent of which was performed while walking down a flight of stairs. WHY SO MANY STAIRS, producers??

11. A boy becomes a rock star.
James Wolpert transitioned from Joni Mitchell to The Killers, all in one week. While “Mr. Brightside” wasn't always on the money pitch-wise, James still owned the stage from top to bottom, inspiring Adam Levine to say “Dude, you just turned into a rock star in front of our very eyes.”

Also read: 11 Standout Moments From ‘The Voice’ Knockout Rounds (Guest Blog)

12. Remember Movember.
In honor of Movember, Austin Jenckes and Cole Vosbury put their own stamps on some unexpected song choices – Austin with the very country “It's a Great Day to be Alive” and Cole with the soulful “Adorn.” Cole's beard edged out Austin's because MIGUEL, but both did well.

13. Mr. Rogers vs. “The Fonz.”
Who won the battle for Adam's wardrobe last night? The sexy Mr. Rogers or the sexy “The Fonz?” Ladies – let's analyze those photos again and again until we figure it out. It's a tough job, but somebody's gotta do it!

Coming up: What do you think about the new “Instant Save” option, and who do you think will survive tonight's eliminations? Leave your thoughts in the comments, and I'll see you next week!

Don't forget to check out my new album “In & Out of the Dark,” which is available on iTunes NOW: https://itun.es/us/2BjbP. For more updates, follow me on Twitter at @katrinapmusic and visit my website, www.katrinaparker.com.

  • Ericson

    Hey, Katrina! Great recap. I think shippers of the Adam-Blake bromance refer to the two as “Shevine”. But that's just them. And you are you. And you are AWESOME!

    • Katrina Parker

      Haa, but of course they already have a name (I should have known!) – “Shevine” sounds far more attractive than “Bladam.” ;)

      • David Perkins

        ‘Adamelton’ could be a dessert.

  • David Perkins

    The final voting results on the iTunes Top 200 Songs chart tells us who should be in the Top Nine and the Bottom Three. Actually, there was a nearly 50-point gap between the weakest of the Top 9 and the best of the Bottom 3 — so it's not a difficult prediction. If iTunes rules, Austin, Josh and Jonny will face the Instant Save Tweeters on Tuesday night.

    This week, all 12 of the contestants made it onto the chart, and six of the 12 held more than one position on the chart with songs from previous weeks. Caroline and Cole managed three songs each on the chart. 
Matthew, James, Jacquie and Will had two spots each. Hence, they're all safe.

    The new Instant Save could be very interesting. I have an inkling that the Tweeters will skew to the 18-49 demo (which doesn’t include me), so I have no idea how it might unfold. My best guess is that the new Top 10 will be (in no particular order) Matthew, Jacquie, Cole, Will, Caroline, Ray, Kat, James, Tessanne and whomever wins the Tweet Sweep. Austin? Jonny? Dunno.

    • Katrina Parker

      Wow, this is a very in depth analysis (I'm impressed). I'm curious to see how the “Instant Save” will unfold myself – twitter is a tricky beast.

      • David Perkins

        Thanks. While it's fun to watch how the performances fare on iTunes overnight, it's also important to determine if the performance has ‘legs.’ Last week, for example, Tessanne's performance cracked the Top 20 relatively quickly, but then sank like a stone the next day. No legs, and not a good sign of lasting popularity. Matthew, Caroline, Jacquie and Cole have songs that perform well on the chart overnight, and then stay on the chart for days and days after the show. Danielle Bradbery did this in S4, and we know how that worked out. Based on this analysis approach, I'd say that Matthew, Jacquie, Caroline, Cole, Will and James are your current top six — in no particular order. Great song choices and/or horrible mistakes can shake up this leaderboard, and there's a long way to go.

    • David Perkins

      Not bad, if I do say so myself. The analysis had 9 of 10 correct. I had Kat and Austin in the wrong positions. Kat did well on iTunes this week, while Austin failed miserably. But, Austin was much stronger than Kat on iTunes last week and during the taped rounds, so it's not a complete surprise that Austin has a greater fan following than Kat. Certainly, the Instant Save is a very interesting new twist. I like it.

  • David Perkins

    Some thoughts on the Instant Save. Naturally, the comments to posts on various sites that cover The Voice results are overwhelmingly negative. (No surprise there. I never expect droves of people will flock to the web to post positive feelings about anything. The web is a treasure trove of negative sentiment!) The focus of the negative comments: 1. Pacific and Mountain Time voters got cheated. 2. Jonny got cheated. Okay, I can agree that we poor left coasters had to spoil a largely dull results show in order to Tweet our saves. And, perhaps Carson shouldn't have asked Adam and Blake who they thought would be saved via Twitter. (Both said Jonny. Oops.) Despite its inherent time zone problems, I kinda like the Instant Save. It adds a tad of drama. (There's nothing like a good old cliffhanger, even if it's forced.) It gives otherwise committed viewers who love The Voice a reason to slam NBC's biggest hit. (Keep that spotlight pointed here!) Besides, it gives America the chance to save itself from… well, itself. (How could voters be wrong twice in 24 hours?) And, think of what it means for Twitter's stock price! These are all good things. Right? Hmm.

  • Jeanne Clarke

    I absolutely am in love with Will – while he may not be top top vocalist – he can sing – he's got a strong, powerful voice – and he's been the “underdog” – but just might be the one to watch out for. Last night – for the first time – he got voted – voted in! Without saves, steals, or picks. He improves by leaps and bounds each week. Will is getting noticed in a good way, and steadily moving up the ladder.
    I also love Jacquie and Caroline and Matthew and Cole – but James? I noticed in the group singies the weakness in his voice. Acoustically, he does better – but with a full band? Not quite so strong.

  • CeCe1

    Very disappointed that Josh was eliminated. For my money he and Ray have the most genuine, natural talent and are the most marketable. Ray particularly brings a whole new style and genre to the mix and something missing in the current market.

    Tessane has an amazing voice but I can't see where she would fit in the market place and while Caroline is very gifted I think we've heard many other voices like hers in the last couple of years.

    Kat bugs the heck out of me. She just tries too hard and strains her vocals every time.

    • David Perkins

      I tend to agree with your comment, in principal. But now, The Voice has moved on from being a show strictly about ‘The Voice’ to a show about ‘The Voice with the Largest Fan Base.’ Moving forward, popularity is nearly as important as talent. And, over the next couple of weeks, popularity will surpass talent as the key factor. (Sadly.) At this time of the season, The Voice voting audience is starting to ‘settle in’ with its personal favorites, In the way that you don't think Tessanne or Kat have a chance, there are as many others that think similarly about Ray. These opinions will solidify before Thanksgiving. In the next two weeks, those artists currently in the bottom half of the Top 10 absolutely must make brilliant song choices. Otherwise, they're toast. Very talented toast, but toast nonetheless.

      • CeCe1

        Sad but true. I actually wish they would allow the finalists to choose their own songs at this point. They know who they want to be and which songs suit them best.

        • David Perkins

          Exactly. All of the artists have built their own fan base, and each of these fan bases is loyal because of the artists’ individual appeal and musical style. It's time for the coaches to stop tinkering, and allow the artists to be themselves. Otherwise, they risk losing what they've built.