The quarter-finals on The Voice Season two began this week, with a big twist in tow! Team Blake and Team Christina went head to head, leaving Shelton and Aguilera with the tough decision to immediately eliminate the weakest player after the performances. This show sure knows how to continue to reel us in. Giving us a twist within an eliminations really keeps everyone on their toes and as it gets closer to the finale, that’s exactly what needs to happen. Nobody is safe and everyone needs to be reminded of those high stakes and fight for it. The coach decisions and audience participation has shifted and hopefully this twist is here to stay because it is a good one!
“You make me want to sing country.” – Christina Aguilera to Raelynn
First to take the stage was upcoming country star, Raelynn with “She’s Country.” As Shelton pointed out, Raelynn reminds people that country can kick ass. She is fabulous and whether she wins or not, she is clearly going to find success and happiness in a country music career. As for team competitor, Jordis Unga… ironically Unga delivered a weak performance of “A Little Bit Stronger” and definitely needed to worry about the instant elimination. But how adorable was Unga’s father in as social media coorespondent, Christina Milian interviewed the two?
Now while it was clear that Erin Willett sang her heart out performing Adele’s “Set Fire to the Rain,” any Adele song is very difficult to take on. No one can deliver an Adele song like Adele, so why bother trying? Willett was as great as she could have been performing an Adele number, so that definitely saved her from the instant elimination. That meant either Unga or Jermaine Paul would be going home and we all could guess even before Paul took the stage that it would be Unga taking the hit. Paul was great, hit all of the right notes (vocally and emotionally) and nailed it as usual. While it may have been disappointing not being able to see Unga’s best, her elimination was for the best. Good looking out Shelton and keeping who we actually want to see. Looking at Team Blake and Team Christina now… Team Blake just might have a stronger team.
First to rock the stage from Team Christina was Jesse Campbell who took on Beyonce’s “Halo.” While at first, his performance was definitely mediocre, Campbell completely brought chills and tears to viewers everywhere by the end of the song. Levine said it best when he said, “I wasn’t feeling this song choice until it kicked in.” Once it kicked in, Campbell completely knocked it out of the park and proved why he deserved to stay. But was it too little, too late?
Ashley De La Rosa bravely took on Jewel’s “Foolish Games.” Hearing what Jewel had to say about the artist earlier in the season, it would have been much more fulfilling for all of the mentors to stay longer so that Jewel could comment on this performance. The new arrangement was great and De La Rosa is definitely growing, but she still has a ways to go. Aguilera is clearly in love with her, so she didn’t go anywhere last night but how far will she go with America’s votes?
Lindsey Pavao took on Katy Perry’s “Part of Me” which proved to be quite a challenge in rehearsals as Aguilera told Pavao that there was no room for hiding with this performance. Come time to hit the stage, Pavao was pitchy but still brought the goods. But were her pitchy spots enough to let the votes slide this week? Hopefully not but we’ll find out on tonight’s live elimination. It would be a shame for this to be our last week seeing Pavao in the competition but based on the eliminations in the past, expect the unexpected. Closing out the show was Chris Mann with Coldplay’s “Viva la Vida” which could not have been a better match. We really needed to see Mann let loose and this was a perfect starting point for such. Knowing what Mann is capable of outside of what he is best at, he deserves to stay and make it as close to the end as possible so Aguilera’s decision to keep him and eliminate Campbell was a smart one. Adam Levine was clearly shocked that Campbell got the cut, as were many viewers who may have thought that Campbell delivered last night. But what exactly did he deliver because range wasn’t it and range is something that Mann can do better as he continues to grow outside of his genre. It would be a pleasure to see Mann continue to explore this in the coming weeks, but with another elimination tonight… America could vote Mann out this very week, not wanting to wait on that potential. Needless to say, tonight’s live elimination is going to be another shocker no matter how the results come out. Anything goes!
Viewers were also treated to the world premiere of Maroon 5′s new song, “Payphone” featuring Wiz Khalifa along with Team performances with the coaches. Aguilera invited Crenshaw High School choir to perform live with her and her team as the gang took on Aguilera’s own, “Fighter.” As a huge fan of Aguilera, who else was wildly jealous to see the hopefuls singing one of Christina’s songs with her, on stage, in front of millions? That said, it was also very awkward seeing Aguilera’s getup and the choir in their getup… wardrobe didn’t communicate on this one? Both match the “stronger” theme but are still on opposite sides of the spectrum. Also, Lindsey Pavao shined in the group performance, small as her part was. Really, why did no one sign her before The Voice? This week’s performances as a whole were very much enjoyable but were on the same bar since no one in particular really raised the bar. Still, every moment was cherished since any one of these artists could have given their last solo performance in this competition last night along with those instant eliminations. Knowing how unpredictable results are on The Voice, hold onto your seat for tonight’s live elimination!
Watch The Voice live episodes Mondays 8-10 p.m. ET and Tuesdays 9-10 p.m. ET only on NBC.
*Photo Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC