After some super controversial eliminations last week, judges Christina Aguilera and Blake Shelton had some serious ‘splaining to do!

Blake wasn’t too concerned though, saying that recently booted RaeLynn was “a star” even without the show, and Christina, never one to mince words, brushed it off as a necessary step to naming the next Voice.

This week though, the pressure was on for Teams Adam Levine and Cee Lo Green to prove their worth and fight to keep their spot. Tonight, we were treated to some of the best (in our opinion) singers in the competition, and a special throwback reunion performance by Cee Lo and Goodie Mob.

Jamar Rogers

How can we not love this soulful singer? Sitting down for a moment with coach Cee Lo, Jamar got a little choked up, telling his coach that he “saved his life” with his music.  

And after those touching words that had us reaching for the tissues, we couldn’t think of a more appropriate song than “It’s My Life” by Bon Jovi. With Jamar singing on a stage that was set ablaze with fire, the performance became an apt metaphor for how Jamar himself had been burned in life.

But like a champ, he rose above it, giving the searing rock song a sensitive and meaningful edge, showing that he was clearing singing for his life.  

Judge Blake said that there was “never a better pairing,” for song and singer and coach CeeLo Green, brought to tears by the audience’s reaction, gushed over his mentee, saying he had such a “triumphant spirit” and that “we can’t all but help be inspired by it.”

Katrina Parker

The 34-year-old Katrina Parker, jazzed by her last minute elimination save, was out to nail it this week. Ready to “pick herself back up,” and leave behind her pencil pushing job, Parker knew that she had to bring it if she wanted to see another round.

Singing “Jar of Hearts” by Christina Perri, Katrina stood on stage with some dramatic cascading hair extensions and ankle-level fog, and just ... WOW. Girlfriend sang her heart out. Even though we got a taste of her insane talent last week, she really killed it tonight, letting herself truly fly away with the song.

Calling it a “breakout” performance, judge Blake barely recognized the songstress and Christina agreed, telling her to ignore the haters, and own her persona.

In a backhanded compliment, Adam admitted that she wasn’t one of his favorites in the beginning, but told her that tonight she was “incredible,” so we guess she wins most improved?

Then in what we think was a quasi tribute to the late American Bandstand host Dick Clark, Team Cee Lo sang “Dancing in the Streets,” accessorizing their performance with a few disco tambourines, some go-go boots and a legit black and white television screen effect.

Obviously, Cee Lo jumped at the costuming chance, festooning himself in a crimson suit and chin-length bob, and we got to say, we love when Cee Lo plays dress up.

Mathai 

Zeroing in on her “carefree nature,” coach Adam gave Mathai Nelly Furtado’s free spirited anthem “Like a Bird” (pre-Timbaland era) to sing this week. With Mathai fixated on making the performance just perfect, we could see how the laser-focused singer was headed for a career for medicine.

We were a little nervous for the young singer, not only because she started a little shaky, but because there was a full-grown human being swinging above her, balancing himself in what looked like some IKEA curtains. 

Though she took a little bit to settle, she did eventually find her home in the breezy song. Like us, Blake could have done without the “Captain America” swinging from the rafters, while Christina didn’t feel like she “connected with the song.” Like a supportive father, Coach Adam disagreed, telling her that her “energy was infectious.” 

James Massone

OK, James, we admit you do have that “aww shucks”  bashful attitude that we ladies tend to love, but, up to this point, we hadn’t really heard the vocals to back it up. Though the Boston mechanic is obviously a sweetheart, he really had to step it up this week, because as Cee Lo said, he was “setting him up to win.”

Singing “Just the Way You Are” by Billy Joel and clad in a bedazzled version of his branded ‘JM’ letterman’s jacket, James was pleasant for sure, but we’re not sure if it was enough to get him through to the next round.

Blake wasn’t enthusiastic about the performance, and Christina said that wanted something “a little different” than the girl pleasing serenade. Coach Cee Lo though, believed that he was “natural” and simply “genuine,” and after flashing that boyish smile one last time, we found ourselves somehow agreeing.

Now, a lot of us are too young to remember Goodie Mob, the Atlanta based hip hop group that first brought CeeLo to fame, but even if you can’t remember them then, they made sure you will now with their performance tonight.

Dressed in head to toe gold warrior outfits, complete with gold capes and some sort of black light grills, we couldn’t have asked for a more Cee Lo-esque display. Among pillars and flashing lights, they rocked the stage to “Fight to Win,” and even squeezed some genuine positive emotion from host Carson Daly.

Tony Lucca

Looking to step out of the Disney box and finally take a big chance, Tony Lucca was hoping to push back against judge Christina’s harsh words from his last performance, and prove that he was more than just “one-dimensional.”

Seeing Tony with just a guitar, some somber lighting, and background music, the last thing we expected to hear out of his mouth was Britney Spears’ “Baby One More Time.” But then again, given his Mousekeeter background, should we really be surprised?

It was a definite departure from the usually epic ballad songs we’re used to from Tony, but it seemed like it paid off, given the crowd’s absurd reaction, which Carson dubbed “Bieber level.”

Christina wanted a full on Mickey Mouse Club reunion and admitted she “actually liked it” while coach Blake grudgingly noted that it was “really smart.” Coach Adam applauded Tony’s bravery and “refreshing” take on the iconic pop song.

Cheesa

After blowing the other singers out of the water with her last chance elimination performance, Cheesa was ready to take it to another level with this week’s song.

Hoping to be a “divaesque” singer, she certainly was on the right path, choosing to sing the late great Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing.” In a floor length flowing gown, Cheesa effortlessly fell into the song, and seemed right at home, hitting notes that brought an original edge to the classic.

Coach Christina had to give it up for her courage in doing the iconic song, prompting her to admit that “Team CeeLo was where it’s at.” CeeLo almost had no words for the Hawaii native, but managed to praise her immense talents, telling her that she was the “next generation of women.”

Pip

Though he has his own brigade of fanatics, dubbed “Pipsters,” Pip himself was anything but safe this week. After an underwhelming performance last time, Adam didn’t sugarcoat his chances in rehearsals, saying that he was “at risk” for elimination if he didn’t kill it tonight.

Singing “Somewhere Only We Know,” Pip was without his signature bow tie, and that wasn’t the only thing that was missing. Though enjoyable, we weren’t exactly blown away by his rendition of the Keane tune.

Blake thought it was only “pretty good,” and wished he had kept the bow tie (us too). Coach Adam thought it was a little “meh” towards the end, but like a true coach, said that he was proud of him despite that.

Next we had Team Adam singing “Instant Karma,” and though we love any time with on screen  Adam time, we kind of prefer him front and center, and not on drums in the background.

Juliet Simms

Last up was breakout rock star Juliet Simms. After more than a few closed doors, Juliet finally found her way in with this show, and riding high after a fantastic first live performance, CeeLo assured her that she was finally “where she belonged.”

Wearing life size black wings that were so huge we were impressed she didn’t tip over, Juliet somehow managed to make us forget their presence and just focus on her voice.

She absolutely killed Aerosmith’s “Crying,” and the blizzard of feathers that rained onto the stage was a perfectly dramatic end to a perfectly dramatic performance.

Calling her his “little red Corvette,” Coach CeeLo loved her “rugged” tone and commanding stage presence, clearly setting her up as the standout singer to beat.


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