America may have already cast its votes yesterday, but for us Voice-ophiles, the real voting continues tonight with part two of the playoff rounds! Hoping to top Monday’s performances, teams Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo Green were up on the chopping block, rallying for their chance to make it to the Top 12.
For their part, the two — shall we say, “patriotically” dressed — coaches of the eve challenged their charges to show some “variety." And after a well-placed plug for Christina’s new album and the obligatory group performance, these batch of singers got to it. So here we go!
One of Team Christina’s biggest standouts, Adriana Louise, kicked off tonight’s show with a punchy version of Katy Perry’s “Firework.” And no wonder Katy’s always got tons of cotton candy and whipped cream around, because girlfriend has to be supremely hopped up on sugar to keep up with the rapid-fire pace of that song.
Though it was well suited to Adriana’s extensive range, the super-quick beat didn’t completely work for the live format, and took her a minute to get a hold of. But once she hit her stride, she lit up the stage like a, well, you know, showcasing that clear star quality.
The coaches applauded her ability to keep with the tune, with even coach Christina Aguilera more than ready to call out that Adriana hit some notes that Katy herself hadn’t in her original version. Play nice, Christina.
And then we had Cody Belew, who’s upset that Avery Wilson last week quickly transformed him from cute underdog to coaches’ favorite. The endearing farm boy left his plaid at home for this one, opting instead for a slick grey suit and even slicker bouffant as he took the stage with George Michael’s “One More Try.” Though new to the golden boy act, he slipped into the role comfortably, and with his infectious personality and smooth voice (which reminds of another country boy with a hip roll, Elvis), it wasn’t hard to see why he’d made it this far.
He won over all of the coaches with his rendition, with Adam Levine admitting that he was now a “believer” and his coach Cee Lo already calling him a “seasoned professional.” And with that performance, we were more than willing to give him "one more try" in the next live rounds.
Usually, we awkwardly groan through NBC’s thinly veiled attempts at cross promotion of their various other television shows, but the minute Carson introduced Taylor Kinney, aka Lady Gaga’s boy toy, we were more than happy to listen to him talk about whatever it is he was promoting.
We did, however, have to move on, and if we had to be separated from Taylor, NBC knew what they were doing by giving us another treat in the form of De’Borah. The quirky singer who’s stood out from her first blind audition made sure everyone knew she was in it for the long haul with her rendition of P!nk’s “Who Knew."
The thing with De’Borah is that it’s so obvious that she having such a blast on stage, it’s impossible not to just rock it out with her. And the coaches were along for the ride, with Adam saying that there was “nothing regular about her” and Christina calling her “the real deal.”
Next up was Peruvian hotness Diego Val. Clearly playing this one strategically, coach Cee Lo Green tasked Diego with Enrique Iglesias’ ballad, “Bailamos” — a decision the singer was less than sold on for some reason. On stage, the song should have been a slam dunk for the “Peruvian Magic Mike,” and while he made sure to live up to his rehearsal mantra of “keep[ing] it sexy,” he didn’t really connect with it in the way that we know he could have.
Adam and Christina agreed, saying that he never really got into the tune and even seemed a little “bored.” More than anything, though, coach Cee Lo thought his cool demeanor maybe didn’t fit the overt Enrique edge that the performance required, but had faith in America’s girlish masses to take him to the next round.
Officially a “current event” in Cee Lo’s words, MacKenzie Bourg was working on staying that way after a memorable knockout performance a few weeks ago. Singing One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful,” it’s pretty clear that they were sticking with a formula that worked, catering to that all-powerful tween demographic. Already looking like a member of 1D on stage, Mackenzie turned out a talented, if unimaginative, performance.
Adam blatantly called him more “American Idol” than “The Voice,” which may have said more about that show than this one. In a way, Mackenzie fell victim to the teeny bopper double edged sword, and while he appealed to the middle-of-the-road pop public, that also meant he didn’t take any chances. If he did make it to the next round, the coaches warned that he would have to do a bit more to stay in the game.
One of Christina’s pop powerhouses, Devyn Deloera decided to try and slow it down this week and show a softer side to her rocking vocals with Leona Lewis’s “Bleeding Love.” Starting off on stage alone with only a low back beat to accompany her voice, the young lady in red more than handled the song, although we didn’t quite see the soft side she was looking to play up.
Cee Lo wasn’t convinced of her efforts tonight either, but had faith in her overall, while Christina, who clearly sees a bit of herself in the young star, was more than happy with her singer’s performance, soft or not.
Arguably the most unique voice of the competition, Nicholas David had no trouble getting his vocals together, but his so-called “swag” was a different story. Telling him that people could be “superficial,” Cee Lo vaguely insulted and complimented his original vibe, while giving him some swaggy advice that kind of fell on deaf ears.
On stage, Nicholas clearly wasn’t worried with keeping up with the likes of J. Biebz, performing Barry White’s “You’re The First, The Last, My Everything” with enough soul to make the late great Barry proud. Adam certified it “baby making” good, which is frankly the highest praise around, and coach Cee Lo told him that he could take it all the way if America let him. Who knows, though. We’re a fickle bunch.
Another one of Christina’s pop princesses looking to slow it down, Sylvia Yacoub raised the stakes by accompanying herself on piano for her performance. Singing Katy Perry’s “One That Got Away,” Sylvia did what Devyn sort of fell short of, actually delivering a restrained, yet beautiful performance that was the perfect mix of an intimate show and high-energy concert.
Showing off her multitasking talents, a clearly emotional Sylvia earned a “fave of the night” from Cee Lo, while her coach Christina called her a “true artist.” After that performance, though, we’re with coach Adam, who said that she wouldn’t have any trouble making it to the Top 12.
Second chance smooth operator Dez Duron was challenged by coach Christina to step out of his comfort zone this week. Singing “Wanted” by Hunter Hayes, Dez turned out a seductive rendition of the country hit — or at least we think he did, since it was hard to hear the whole thing over the audience’s never ending squeals of delight.
While coach Blake Shelton grumbled bitterly about losing on Dez and another chance at a country star, Adam complimented his fashion choices more than his voice. (Hey, you can’t discount the power of those deep v’s and balmer jackets). No. 1 fan Christina Aguilera gave him a standing ovation, gushing as she called him the “full package” in front of a legion of agreeing fans.
And last we had the consummate show closer, Trevin Hunte. The lovable young star, who looked like he’s shed a few pounds and gained a well-deserved heap of confidence since the taped rounds, was ready to bring it home. Taking his new svelte persona to the next level, he took the stage with Michael Bolton’s “How Am I Supposed To Live Without You” in a stripped down version that allowed him to showcase that brilliantly pure voice without any frills.
And, of course, in true Trevin fashion, his voice succeeded in making the coaches and audience all melt. “Captivating” by nature, Trevin’s talent is undeniable and his challenge if he makes it to the next round will be showcasing a different side to his already stunning range.
That’s it for the playoffs. Don’t forget to tune in tomorrow, Nov. 8, to the first results show! What did you guys think of tonight’s performances? Who would make your Top 12?