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.
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?
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.
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.”
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.