10 Highs (and Lows) From ‘The Voice’ Final 5 Performances (Guest Blog)

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

Well folks, we are down to the Top 5 on NBC’s “The Voice.” There are no more instant saves or second chances, so cradle your heating pad and wrap up in a warm blanket. Let’s talk about my favorite and least favorite moments from this week’s episode (in order of appearance).

1. Coach wardrobe check
The show opened to find coach Adam Levine dressed like he should be sitting by a fire singing about chestnuts and coach Blake Shelton wearing a Cole Vosbury inspired beard. Side note: My roommate wore a beard just like that to be a goat sheriff for Halloween (no offense, Cole!).

2. Waiting for lift-off
James Wolpert did a fine job on “With or Without You,” but I don’t know that the iconic song was right for this stage of the competition. Part of the song’s charm is the steady build without an obvious climax, but in this context it felt like James was treading water in a situation where every second counts. Also? I hate to be harsh, but I think we’ve heard enough about last week’s illness. Almost everyone on Season 2 struggled with illness at some point due to the grueling schedule, stress and vocal fatigue. Hell, my roommate had to go to the hospital one night and get onstage the next night. It’s an unfortunate side effect of the scenario, and unless you have laryngitis, it shouldn’t continue to be a topic of conversation.

Also read: ‘The Voice’ Top 6 Results: The Better Musician Gets America’s Save (Video)

3. Breakfast at Adam’s
It’s 80 percent less heartbreaking than “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and involves Team Adam hanging out having a brunch and some bonding moments. These segments were nice, but are we really supposed to believe Adam made those eggs? Come on, y’all. I’m no fool.

4. Tessanne, MD – Life Coach
I love that Tessanne Chin has basically become everyone’s personal counselor on Team Adam, giving words of wisdom and encouragement to her teammates as good or better than their coach’s advice.

5. You’re never fully dressed without a smile
Will Champlin did a solid job on “Carry On,” opening up and hitting all the right emotional notes (even if his pitch was a bit uneven). However, all the coaches went on about was how they loved seeing him smile and how he should do more of it. Really, coaches? You remind me of all the creepy men on the street that randomly say, “You’d be pretty if you’d only smile.” You know what? That’s patronizing and total BS, so step back. Will is cool with or without a smile (however, I do think that song could have used more banjo).

Also read: 11 Best (and Worst) Moments From ‘The Voice’ Top 6 Performances (Guest Blog)

6. Keep your day job(s), Carson.
Host Carson Daly tried to impress his new friends from “The Sing-Off” with an impression of Blake that amounted to a weak drinking mime. You know what, Carson? It’s a good thing you have like five day jobs to keep you busy, because that was kinda dismal.

7. Don’t think about the puppies!
Thanks to Jacquie Lee’s more inspirational, uptempo arrangement of “Angel,” I almost forgot those poor shivering puppies in that haunting ASPCA commercial. ALMOST. Jacquie did a beautiful job (and successfully showed more restraint than she has before), but still. This song is kind of sacred and makes me really sad and should be taken out of rotation immediately before America has a tissue shortage. P.S. Hey coach Christina Aguilera, the song isn’t about “innocence and love.” I’m pretty sure it’s about suicide, but good work reframing that!

8. Hey, did you know “The Sing-Off” was coming back?
How would you know with all the subtle lead-in advertisements? No seriously, I can’t hate. Any show that utilizes Ben Folds and introduced the world to the incredible Ruby Amanfu (pre-Jack White) is a winner in my book.

See video: Watch NBC’s ‘The Sing-Off’ Teaser Airing During ‘Sound of Music Live’

9. Right suit, right beard, wrong song.
Oh, Cole Vosbury, you’re the man. Yay for piano and yay for finding yourself, but boo for doing one of my least favorite country songs and kind of ruining your gentle mojo. We prefer you and your beard soft and tender-hearted. I like the idea of going country, but this was probably not the best time to break out the Garth Brooks song penned by Billy Joel, you know? I still love you, man.

10. The night belongs to Tessanne
Tessanne Chin had me tearing up before she even started tonight. First, she was everyone’s voice of encouragement during “Breakfast with Adam.” Then she was crying in her rehearsals due to some unnamed personal issues. Then she channeled all of that into a stunning and emotionally connected performance that was one of the high points of the season. I was made of stone last night, and it STILL really moved me. I’m Team Tessanne all the way now.

Watch Tessanne sing “Bridge Over Troubled Water” again above.

Also read: Best & Worst 2013: TV’s Biggest Winners and Losers of the Year

My new holiday single “That’s What I Want for Christmas” is available now on iTunes (see the video below)! You can also tune into to see my holiday show live on the internet next Wednesday (12/18) at 6PM! Tickets are available now at Stage-it, and I’m telling you – Christmas music is MY JAM. You don’t want to miss this!

Don’t forget to check out my album “In & Out of the Dark,” which is now available on iTunes. For more updates, follow me on Twitter at @katrinapmusic and visit my website, www.katrinaparker.com.