Emmy Nominations – Who Got Served and Who Got Screwed Again

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The 2012 Emmy nominations have been announced and we’ve got all of the major categories listed as well as our initial, emotional reactions.

Outstanding Drama Series
Breaking Bad
Downton Abbey
Boardwalk Empire
Homeland
Mad Men
Game of Thrones

Reaction: What’s to debate here? All deserve it to some degree. Even in a down season, Downton Abbey is still phenomenal television, even if it’s not your cup of tea. My only gripe is that last year Abbey was considered a Miniseries and now they take the place of an equally deserving show. Nothing is budging Breaking Bad or Mad Men, and there’s no one else more thrilled to see Homeland and Game of Thrones included. Boardwalk Empire belongs too, but again, Sons of Anarchy will sadly never be in the Emmy conversation for whatever reason even though this past season wasn’t its most consistent. There were series that were going to be left on the outside looking in and SOA, The Good Wife, The Walking Dead and Justified were left out this year.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Julianna Margulies – The Good Wife
Elizabeth Moss – Mad Men
Michelle Dockery – Downton Abbey
Kathy Bates – Harry’s Law
Claire Danes – Homeland
Glenn Close – Damages

Reaction: There is nothing but rage, absolute rage. Someone please take Bates out and place Sons of Anarchy‘s Katey Sagal! It’s absolute B.S. And where’s Sarah Michelle Gellar for playing dual roles in Ringer. I’m kidding about that last comment, people, I’m kidding.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Anna Gunn – Breaking Bad
Archie Panjabi – The Good Wife
Maggie Smith – Downton Abbey
Joanne Froggatt – Downton Abbey
Christina Hendricks – Mad Men
Christine Baranski – The Good Wife

Reaction: It’s a glorious day to see Anna Gunn break into the category and get some recognition for Skylar White. It’s well-deserved and been a long time coming. Downton Abbey was a bit too soapy for me this past season but I can see why Smith and Froggatt are nominated. The Good Wife is filled with great actresses up and down that cast so there was no doubt that Baranski and Panjabi were going to be nominated. No Joelle Carter this year, but if all goes right, next year could be her year knowing her potential storylines in Justified.

Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series
Joan Cusack – Shameless
Uma Thurman – Smash
Julia Ormond – Mad Men
Loretta Devine – Grey’s Anatomy
Jean Smart – Harry’s Law
Martha Plimpton – The Good Wife

Reaction: Good choices, especialy with Plimpton and Cusack. Thurman was one of the few memorable things about Smash, but does anyone believe that show qualifies as a Drama series? It’s more like a comedy…

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Hugh Bonneville – Downton Abbey
Steve Buscemi – Boardwalk Empire
Bryan Cranston – Breaking Bad
Michael C. Hall – Dexter
Jon Hamm – Mad Men
Damien Lewis – Homeland

Reaction: This is one of the toughest categories year in and year out. Anything Homeland is hot, but Cranston is putting on a clinic each week on Breaking Bad. Hall is getting a bit long in the tooth in this category and is a bit outclassed, so I would have cheered more had Fringe’s John Noble took his place who is long overdue for some recognition for playing a dozen versions of his character Walter Bishop. We still love you, John. And Timothy Olyphant was also left out for what was his finest season as Raylan Givens.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Aaron Paul – Breaking Bad
Giancarlo Esposito – Breaking Bad
Brendan Coyle – Downton Abbey
Jim Carter – Downton Abbey
Jared Harris – Mad Men
Peter Dinklage – Game of Thrones

Reaction: Again, a knockout category and I’m glad I don’t have a vote for this one. Harris had a season to remember, and I’ve never rooted for an antagonist before like I did with Esposito’s Gus Fring. What’s not to love about Dinklage’s Tyrion Lannister? And both Carter and Coyle are strong on Abbey but I’m surprised not to see Alan Cumming from The Good Wife, also no Walton Goggins for Justified? Bah!

Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series
Mark Margolis – Breaking Bad
Jeremy Davies – Justified
Jason Ritter – Parenthood
Ben Feldman – Mad Men
Dylan Baker – The Good Wife

Reaction: How the hell do you leave Neal McDonough off this list? What an absolute crime! He deserves the spot more than fellow Justified guest, Jeremy Davies who is great on the show, but McDonough was riveting. We’ll be rooting for Breaking Bad‘s Mark Margolis (DING! DING! DING!) who got to finally step out of the wheelchair and show people a great performance in the Breaking Bad episode, “Hermanos.” Ritter who got no respect in The Event, did remind people of his talent in Parenthood.

Outstanding Miniseries or Movie
American Horror Story
Game Change
Hatfields and McCoys
Luther
Sherlock

Reaction: Even with Downton Abbey leaving this category, it still stacked. BBC is well represented with Luther and Sherlock. American Horror Story qualified and that helped it not to get lost in the Drama series. I’m glad it’s recognized. Hatfields and McCoys made a late charge and it’s fresh on voters’ minds.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie
Connie Britton – American Horror Story
Ashley Judd – Missing
Nicole Kidman – Hemingway & Gellhorn
Julianne Moore – Game Change
Emma Thompson – The Song of Lunch (Masterpiece)

Reaction: Lots of reliable Academy and fan favorites make this category extremely competitive this season, but something tells me that Moore will get it for portraying Sarah Palin. Judd’s action role in the canceled Missing, AKA TV’s Taken, is a bit of a odd pick.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie
Kevin Costner – Hatfield & McCoys
Idris Elba – Luther
Benedict Cumberbatch – Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia
Woody Harrelson – Game Change
Bill Paxton – Hatfield & McCoys
Clive Owen – Hemmingway & Gellhorn

Reaction: – Connect yourself to Ernest Hemmingway in any way, shape or form and you will get attention. I’ll be rooting for either of the BBC representatives in Elba and Cumberbatch because both are so clearly distinct in the massive sea of good television.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie
Ed Harris –  Game Change
Denis O’Hare –  American Horror Story
David Strathairn –  Hemingway & Gellhorn
Martin Freeman – Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia
Tom Berenger – Hatfields & McCoys

Reaction: I’ll admit to seeing only Freeman and O’Hare, who I both enjoyed for different reasons. Knowing this Academy, Harris is the front runner in portraying McCain.

Outstanding Host in Reality TV
Tom Bergeron – Dancing With the Stars
Cat Deeley – So YOu Think You Can Dance
Phil Keoghan – The Amazing Race
Betty White – Off Their Rockers
Ryan Seacrest – American Idol

Reaction: I’m rooting for White. I am not afraid to admit that I watch this show and yes, I do think it’s funny. Also, does anyone really care about the rest of these puppets?

Outstanding Reality – Competition
Dancing With the Stars
The Amazing Race
Top Chef
So You Think You Can Dance
The Voice
Project Runway

Reaction: If we’re talking reality here, why is Dancing with the Stars here? The Voice could be roped into that strange celeb/reality blend too because in all honesty, our eyes are on what Christina Aguilera will wear and say next. The Amazing Race will be the odds on favorite, as usual, especially with Survivor being absent. I’ll still be rooting Top Chef and Project Runway but again, Survivor’s absence is a big surprise. Let’s just be thankful that American Idol wasn’t nominated.

Outstanding Variety Series
The Daily Show
Colbert Report
Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Saturday Night Live
Real Time with Bill Maher
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon

Reaction: It’s the usual suspects except Conan O’Brien is missing. That move to TBS has not done much for Conan outside of security. It seems like everyone’s forgotten what network he’s moved to. I also don’t think this was one of SNL’s better years either.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Zooey Deschanel – New Girl
Edie Falco – Nurse Jackie
Tina Fey – 30 Rock
Julia Louise-Dreyfus – VEEP
Lena Dunham -Girls
Amy Poehler – Parks and Recreation
Melissa McCarthy – Mike and Molly

Reaction: The Academy is in love with Fey, Poehler, and McCarthy. Fey can do no wrong despite 30 Rock not currently being as great as the earlier seasons. Poehler and Parks and Rec probably had its best season, and it’s probably no coincidence that both that and Veep’s  leads were nominated in an election year. Well played HBO and NBC. I like Deschanel, but I’m surprised she got nominated, then again, I’m not. Dunham and Falco are no surprises here after their seasons but I feel like this category is missing some stronger candidates.  Also no Alison Brie and no Krysten Ritter… double sigh. Waitaminute, does anyone else notice how they got seven nominations when most others had only six? Lots of gripes are going to come at this one…

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Mayim Bialik – The Big Bang Theory
Merritt Wever – Nurse Jackie
Kristen Wiig – Saturday Night Live
Sofia Vergara – Modern Family
Julie Bowen – Modern Family
Kathryn Joosten – Desperate Housewives

Reaction: When is the Academy going to grow some balls and nominate Kaitlin Olson for It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia? I’m eye-rolling at the Modern Family nods but mildly applauding Bialik’s nomination. Wiig is the only thing that saves SNL half the time and I have to admit that I never been desperate enough to tune into Housewives since the first season. Where are the girls of Happy Endings? Cheryl Hines or Allie Grant of Suburgatory? Bah! The comedy nominations get me pissed every single year.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Don Cheadle – House of Lies
Louis C.K. – Louie
Jon Cryer – Two and a Half Men
Larry David – Curb Your Enthusiasm
Jim Parsons – The Big Bang Theory
Alec Baldwin – 30 Rock

Reaction: People need to stop recognizing Two and a Half Men, seriously. Every time Cryer and this show are recognized, it shows why Hollywood keeps making brain dead comedies for the networks. Parsons, Baldwin, and David were almost written in months ago. Snooze. Here’s where Louis C.K. gets his nomination along with his writing and directing. Him winning would be an incredible upset knowing these voters, but there’s no one else who actually deserves it more than him.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Ed O’Neill – Modern Family
Jesse Tyler Ferguson – Modern Family
Ty Burrell – Modern Family
Eric Stonestreet – Modern Family
Bill Hader – SNL
Max Greenfield – New Girl

Reaction: Again, no disrespect to MF, but the Academy should be ashamed at nominating four goddmamn actors from one show in one category. There are other shows out there you know. Damon Wayans Jr. should be on this list. Also Nick Kroll from The League should be here and I also think that Garrett Dillahunt deserves a nomination for Raising Hope. Want another diss? How about James Van Der Beek on Don’t Trust the B—- in Apt. 23. Hell, anyone but a Modern Family cast member–this season anyway.

Outstanding Comedy Series
Big Bang Theory
Curb Your ENthusiasm
30 Rock
VEEP
Modern Family
Girls

Reaction: Wow, Curb Your Enthusiasm made a resurgence in the comedy awards. Was hoping Louie would crack this category once and for all but somehow 30 Rock got yet another nomination even though it’s been sitting in park for the last few seasons. The same could be said about Modern Family. I’m not sure if Archer entered as a comedy or animated series, but it should be here nonetheless. Wilfred is a cutting edge show that requires more thought than just laughing straight jokes but it seems to go over many heads. Episodes was another snubbed victim. VEEP and Girls took away spots normally held by network comedies and that’s nice, but Louie still deserves to be in this category and so does Community. Booooooo!

Outstanding Animated Program
American Dad – Hot Water
The Penguins of Madagascar – The Return of the Revenge of Dr. Blowhole
Futurama – The Tip of the Zoidberg
Bob’s Burgers – BurgerBoss
The Simpsons – Holidays of Future Passed

Reaction: Where’s Archer? One episode of Archer is more entertaining than all of the nominees back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back.

Outstanding Short-Format Animated Program
Regular Show – Eggscellent
Adventure Time – Too Young
Disney Phineas and Ferb – The Doonkleberry Imperative
Robot Chicken – Fight Club Paradise
Mad – Kitchen Nightmare Before Christmas / How I Met Your Mummy

Reaction: Knowing that Adventure Time, Regular Show, Mad and Robot Chicken all have nominations this year but Sons of Anarchy doesn’t sums up the type of twisted turmoil happiness and anger bestowed on people like us who follow television.

 

Other notable nominations and notes:

  • In the comedy writing category, both Community (Remedial Chaos Theory) and Louie (Pregnant) got nominations. So essentially the Butterfly Effect and TV’s longest fart joke got nominated. See how random the Emmys can be?
  • Louis C.K. also got a directing nomination for “Duckling” which may have been the greatest half hour of television last year.
  • Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan got a directing nomination for the series climax, “Face Off”
  • Mad Men dominated the drama writing category with three nominations; Homeland picked up one too for its Pilot.
  • Nominated for Main Title Design: FX’s American Horror Story’s creepy opening, Cinemax’s Strike Back, Starz Magic City, PBS’ Great Expectation, and Fox’s New Girl that lasts less than 10 seconds. How is Game of Thrones not nominated?
  • Burt Reynolds did not get an Emmy nomination for Voice-Over performance in Archer. Dammit!

Well, those are our initial reactions, want to share yours? For a complete list of the Emmy Nominations including the technical categories, click here.

‘Homeland’, ‘Breaking Bad’, ‘Sherlock’, ‘Community’ and Louis C.K. Among Winners at Critics’ Choice Television Awards

It may not have the prestige of the Emmys, but The 2nd Annual Critics’ Choice Television Awards took place Monday night at the Beverly Hilton Hotel and at least one TV awards ceremony got most of the winners right. Winners are voted by The Broadcast Television Journalists Association, AKA people who watch television for a living.

breaking bad walt and hank

Drama
In the often-debated drama categories, Showtime’s Homeland took Best Drama Series and Claire Danes took Best Actress. Representing AMC’s Breaking Bad were Bryan Cranston and Giancarlo Esposito, who both took home hardware for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor in a Drama respectively for their Season 4 battle royale. Mad Men‘s Christina Hendricks picked up Best Supporting Actress, while Lucy Liu picked up the Best Guest Performer for her fine turn in TNT’s Southland.

Comedy
Network television picked up a great deal of the comedy awards but were more evenly distributed. Yes there are other comedies besides ABC’s Modern Family and media darling, Community picked up Best Comedy Series and FX’s do-it-all, Louis C.K. picked up Best Actor for Louie. There was a tie in the Best Actress in a Comedy Series shared between New Girl‘s Zooey Deschanel and Parks and Recreation‘s Amy Poehler. Julie Bowen and Ty Burrell won the Best Supporting Actress and Actor awards for their portrayal of suburban wannabe-hip parents of three teenagers in Modern Family. Paul Rudd’s Guest Performance on Parks and Recreation got him the prize as well.

sherlock

Animated/Movie/Mini-Series/Reality/Misc.
Another BuzzFocus favorite, Archer took home Best Animated Series for its best season yet, and BBC/PBS’s Sherlock, (Hear our podcast of Sherlock vs. the CBS pilot, Elementary), earned Best Movie/Miniseries and star Benedict Cumberbatch took home Best Actor in a Movie/Miniseries. Julianne Moore brought hardware home for HBO for her portrayal of Sarah Palin in “Game Change”.

In the Most Exciting New Series, Fox’s The Following starring Kevin Bacon is catching the eye of many critics, beating out other nominees including Fox’s The Mindy Project, ABC’s Nashville, USA’s Political Animals, and HBO’s The Newsroom. Others receiving Critics’ Choice Awards were Anthony Boudain: No Reservations for Best Reality Series, The Voice for Best Reality Competition, Jimmy Fallon for Best Talk Show and Tom Bergeron and Cat Deeley shared the Best Reality Hosts.

We’ll soon see if this will be a barometer for the upcoming 2012 Emmy Nominations. Who are you rooting for?

‘The Voice’ Season 2 Episode 21 Review (Season Finale): Winner Crowned!

The season two finale of The Voice was quite the extravaganza as former contestants and a number of today’s biggest artists joined the finalists for the big moment. As predicted, Jermaine Paul took the title at the end of the two hour live finale and what a well deserved win this was. But there was plenty of music leading up to that moment, some good, some bad.

As part of the finale celebration, each finalist chose former artists of the season to perform with on the the stage one last time this season, each individual reminders why Paul was indeed the best person to win. Tony Lucca from Team Adam performed “Go Your Own Way” with Jordis Unga. Lucca not making it into the final two was wildly disappointing but I cannot say that I missed Unga. Never a big fan of hers, last night’s performance did not help her case. Unga seemed very uncomfortable in her dress and with the song and that’s just not a good recipe. While Lucca shined, Unga seemed to be in pain and that was not at all satisfying for anyone. So these two don’t exactly win for best performance of the night from former contestants but good luck in the music industry now!

Chris Mann from Team Christina chose to perform “Bittersweet Symphony” with Lindsay Pavao and Katrina Parker. What a great performance! Team Christina really had some incredible talent this year. Any of them could have won this show had Paul not been invited to audition for the show. Now while the timing of the ending among the three vocalists could have been tighter, this was easily one of the most exciting performances of the night as it brought together two of my favorite artists, Pavao and Parker with Mann as the cherry on top. Fabulous performance. This one takes the win.

Sera Hill, Kim Yarbrough, Cheesa, and Naia Kete also returned to the stage to deliver “Superstitious” and ended up confirming why none of them won. Hill still cannot dance and sing at the same time and that is as far as we”ll get into for that. Of these four, Cheesa and Yarbrough had the biggest chance of getting farther in the game. Hill has a fantastic voice but needs more vocal training to polish her control and training in general as a performer. Kete is a hit or miss performer and the other two are fabulous and simply did not have the support they needed to stay in the game. Cheesa’s voice is also an acquired taste, so it is completely understandable why she did not last in the game. After all, it took me about a week or to before her elimination to fall for her. In the end, their eliminations were for the best. There is always room for improvement and their loss in the game was really a gain, unforgettable lesson and stepping stone to where they will end up. Good job ladies and good luck!

Juliet Simms from Team Cee Lo was lucky enough to perform “With A Little Help From My Friends” with Erin Willett, Raelynn, and Jamar Rogers as well as “Wild Ones” with Flo Rida. The former was fantastic, one of the best performances of the night from the artists. Who else misses Willett, RaeLynn, and Rogers especially? I definitely did not appreciate or see Rogers’ vocal talent as greatly as I do now, after the fact. That’s disappointing. Who else can see now what everyone has been talking about, saying that Rogers was a front runner and could have won this whole thing? Anyway, in the second performance, Simms was off key towards the end and we learned that she is definitely not a commercial artist. Moreso, it was confirmed. We all could have done without Simms joining Flo Rida of all artists to sing with. This was just not a great match. Bless her heart, she sang that song to her best ability but it was just not a great fit.

Finally, Jermaine Paul of Team Blake performed The Jackson Five’s “I Want You Back” with Jamar Rogers, James Massone, and Pip. Rogers was quite a hot item last night! This was another fun performance, not as memorable as the guys may have wanted it to be, but it was definitely thrilling at the time. As for the all star performances, Justin Bieber returned to The Voice to perform his new single, “Boyfriend.” Did anyone else feel a disconnect with the performance due to the production value? Something seemed to be missing, making the performance mediocre. His vocals were on point, but how often are they not? Daryl Hall and John Oates also performed their first ever hit “Rich Girl” while the best performance of the entire night went to Multi-Platinum country music trio Lady Antebellum, who performed “Wanted You More.” What a group. If you have not listened to their music to date, you must make it a point to do so as soon as possible. Thank me later.

Along the way, filling in the time, a special scene of Parks & Recreation as well as a skit from Saturday Night Live cast member, Kenan Thompson with a The Voice tie in were shown. These are much more entertaining time sucks, I mean fillers than what other music reality competition series do so job well done here! More fulfilling for the finalists though were the cars they were given, especially to Simms who did not have a car prior to this. What a wonderful consolation prize. This will help out the artists in more ways than can be numbered here, so NBC has done a beautiful thing here helping these artists (not to mention, their families) out here with this need.

The time finally came to announce the winner and as expected, Chris Mann came in fourth. Had Christina Aguilera not made the comments that she did earlier in the season, Mann would have been third or second but I do not think that he would have won. The classical music comeback in mainstream is just not today or tomorrow. The actual shocker of the night came when Tony Lucca came in third and Juliett Simms came in second. For sure, I thought that the results would be in reverse. Simms just did not seem like a second place contender. She has fought hard for that second place spot but to know that America does want to hear a voice like hers, it is refreshing and surprising. Surprising because I have yet to hear people like Dana Fuchs on the radio who reminds me of Simms in so many ways. Separating second and first place were 4% of votes with Paul rightfully taking the win. Knowing that Team Blake took the win this year, it felt like justice since his team last year was brilliant but no one in the competition stood a chance with Colon in the game. And this year, the playing field was more level, so the new group of talent on Team Blake really got to shine. Team Blake has really got it! Congrats Paul and Blake Shelton on the win and get ready Shelton to kill it next season! What a great season this has been. Having lost some stand outs, everything happened just as it should have happened to get Paul to this winning moment so no regrets with the voting and results all season long. Congratulations Paul! If you liked what you saw last night, stay tuned for season three!

*Photo Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC

‘The Voice’ Season 2 Episode 20 Review: Lead In To Finale Excites!

The lead in to the big finale on The Voice has come and what a thrilling night of performances the finalists gave, fighting for the title. This week, each artist performed a solo, a solo tribute to their coach, and a duet with their coach as the competition reached its boiling point and the artists fought against the other teams rather than within their teams.

Jermaine Paul’s final solo performance of the competition was R. Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly.” This song worked wonders for The X Factor‘s Melanie Amaro so perhaps this song is a good luck charm this music reality competition season and could be the number that takes Paul to the winner’s circle. Paul’s tribute, to his coach, “God Gave Me You” as well as his duet, “Soul Man” with Blake Shelton were equally as strong. And watching Shelton step into Paul’s shoes, diving into a foreign genre was very fun to see and it worked very well, so this was the icing on the cake. Seeing Shelton grinning throughout the duet, that was one of the most beautiful moments of the season. I love when artists cross genres, enjoy it, and do it well, even if only for one song. Paul was consistent with his incredible performances this week so without question, it’s Team Blake for the win.

Paul certainly deserves it more than Juliet Simms based on last night’s solo performances. Simms took on Cee Lo’s own, “Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley and hit a few rough notes. Unfortunately for her, that’s as rough as the performance got. There was no angst, no emotion, no fun in that performance… it was really disappointing. What a terrible song to choose for Simms’ final solo performance. This song did not allow her to soar vocally or physically as wild as she usually does across the stage and that classic Simms we are used to seeing was missing. She was more comfortable performing “Born To Be Wild” with Cee Lo but it wasn’t until her tribute performance did we really get the Simms that we wanted. She connected the most with this song and it showed. But one song is not enough to win. Paul’s still got it.

Chris Mann and Christina Aguilera took on “Prayer” and delivered one of the most moving performances of the season. For his solo performance, Mann took on Aguilera’s own, “The Voice Within” and I did not like it. He sang the song well but not well enough to win this competition. Not only that, hearing a male sing this song, something about that was distracting and took me out of the song. His tribute to Aguilera, “You Raise Me Up” was much better, his true shining moment of the night. Also shining beside him I believe was T.L. Forsberg who was featured in the 2010 documentary, “See What I’m Saying: The Deaf Entertainers” which you should add to your Netflix queue right now. As for Mann’s chances of winning, his coach may have killed that dream after fueling the fire on the one sided Tony Lucca feud. Mann has loyal viewers voting for him but were they enough to win this competition before Aguilera went on her anti-Lucca rant? Are there enough classical music fans to tear away the win from Paul? It’s possible but probably not likely. More on that rant…

Tony Lucca brought a unique spin to Jay Z’s “99 Problems” and boy was it entertaining. Lucca is clearly fighting just as hard for the title as Paul is. If anyone has higher odds of winning, its Paul and Lucca. It’s a good thing the coaches have zero input in choosing the winner themselves because Lucca would definitely be out a coach in Christina Aguilera. Whatever Aguilera has against Lucca, it is clearly out in the open now for those who doubted it. She will not let up on him! She and Britney Spears may have had crushes on him as kids but she is not at all loving the spotlight that Lucca is getting today. Does anyone think that this is unprofessional of Aguilera, taking out her frustrations on Lucca on live TV in front of millions? Not to mention, hypocritical since she has quite a dirrty persona herself. Anyway, Lucca’s second song, no one could argue with. “Yesterday” by The Beatles with Adam Levine was fantastic. They trumped Aguilera and Mann’s duet easily. As his tribute to Levine, Lucca’s final performance was Maroon 5’s “Harder to Breathe” and while good, there was nothing particularly special about it. Lucca’s duet was his best but 2/3 is not bad! The competition comes to an end tonight and my eyes are on Paul and Lucca, moreso Paul. Who do you think will win? Joining the finalists for the season 2 finale will be Justin Bieber, Flo Rida, Lady Antebellum, and Daryl Hall and John Oates so stay tuned for plenty of performances in just a few hours, leading into the big win!

Stay tuned for the season finale of The Voice TONIGHT 9-11 p.m. ET only on NBC.

*Photo Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC

‘The Voice’ Season 2 Episode 19 Review: Simms & the Boys Make It To Finals

Our finalists for The Voice Season 2 have been determined and the results were naturally the opposite of what was laid out in hopes in Monday night’s review. To compensate, finalists from season one returned to the stage to update us on their music careers and perform. There were some very exciting special guests performers joining half of them on stage, so as sad as the night was, saying goodbye to four incredible vocalists, the performances definitely softened the blow.

As a reminder of how the voting works for the semi-finals into the finals, the coaches have 100 points to distribute among their final two competitors. America’s votes are also divided up and the points added to the coaches’ votes. Whoever has the most votes advances to the finals. Up first for results was Coach Christina. Aguilera gave her artists, Chris Mann and Lindsey Pavao a 50/50 vote, to let America be the deciding factor.

This was a very tough decision since the two artists are so drastically different. In the end, it all came down to what America wanted to hear more of… and we did not need the votes to find out that America is not ready for the sound of Lindsay Pavao. That’s why so many artists like her are indie. Otherwise, we’d be hearing more of this sound all over the radio. While this was a disappointing result for Team Christina, Pavao will go far in her market so definitely be sure to follow her if you are a fan or know someone who may be interested in her. We have not seen the last of the most creative artist this season.

Adam Levine put his two cents into his vote and gave Tony Lucca 60 points, leaving Katrina Parker with 40 points. Levine was right to choose Lucca over Parker in terms of connecting withe each other more, easier marketing…money, etc… but it was still very disappointing to see Parker go. America chose Lucca too, giving him the advance and honor of representing Levine in the finals. Hopefully Parker gets offers in the music industry soon so that she does not have to return to her desk job. Between Mann and Lucca, my vote for the win is Lucca.

Going the Aguilera route, Blake Shelton also went 50/50 with his artists, Erin Willett and Jermaine Paul. “I don’t want to be a part of the decision making process anymore,” said Shelton. He went on to say that they’ve done all that they can do so it’s up to America now and America went with Paul. Was anyone else surprised? It kind of seemed like Willett was going to take this, the inspiration that she is for all of those not so picture perfect aspiring female singers out there.

So at this point, the final four was shaping up to be an all male final four, the exact opposite of my hopes for this season. Even though Willett did not advance, this is probably one of the most memorable birthdays that she will have and no one can take that wonderful memory from her. What an experience this has been for Willett. We are so proud of how far she has come, especially in the midst of such a storm. Go Willett!

Finally, Cee Lo Green gave Juliet Simms 60 points, leaving Jamar Rogers with 40 points, based on Monday night’s performances which was definitely the right call. America felt the same way, putting Simms in the lead, pushing Rogers out of the finals. Of the four finalists, Lucca is first place, Simms second, Paul third, and Mann fourth in my eyes. Of course my predictions have been way off the latter half of this season, so whatever I am hoping for, the opposite will surely happen. Who are you rooting for to win the title?

Season One finalists, Dia Frampton, Vicci Martinez, Beverly McClellan, and winner, Javier Colon all made appearances last night. Frampton is a beautiful singer but that single of hers almost put me to sleep. Anyone else? Martinez performed with The Voice‘s own, Cee Lo Green but McClellan had the best special guest performr, Cyndi Lauper. Javier Colon showed us once again why he won last season. What a talent. He showed them how it’s done! It’s incredible how we all knew that Colon would win this competition before it had even really begun. We didn’t have one of those standouts this year but many came close and one of those finalists will win next week. Will Team Adam take the win again or will the love be spread?

Watch The Voice live episodes Mondays 8-10 p.m. ET and live eliminations Tuesdays 9-10 p.m. ET only on NBC.

*Photo Credit: Mitchell Haaseth/NBC

‘The Voice’ Season 2 Episode 18 Review: Semi-final Performances Bring Tough Competition

The semi-finals of The Voice Season 2 is here and just a week away from finals, the competition is very close. With the competition so tight, viewers would expect the artists to fight for their lives but it seems only a few of them are really performing as though this were their last chance performance. It’s worth performing with that urgency every time. Levine said a few weeks ago that he was wondering why it took so long for the artists to perform their hearts out. But it didn’t keep up. This week, some artists slipped back into their old ways and were simply mediocre. But some artists who have not necessarily been fan favorites, standouts over the past few weeks shined. And we know that anything goes with The Voice results shows so tonight’s results should be nerve-wrecking as ever.

Tony Lucca from Team Adam started the night off to a great start with “How You Like Me Now” but was it enough to keep him safe? This number did not seem to be enough of a “How do you like me now in the semi-finals heading to the finals?” kind of song. With four people going home tonight, Lucca had a lot to prove this week. The clock is ticking, so soon enough we will find out if Lucca’s fun song was as safe as it may have sounded… or the hand that pulled the plug. Katrina Parker owned the stage with “Killing Me Softly” so between the two, this is steep competition. Both deserve to go through but with Lucca’s past success, do you think that Parker should be the one to continue on now?

As for Team Cee Lo… this week the realization hit that against the other competition, I am not particularly impressed by Juliet Simms or Jamar Rogers. While the coaches loved Rogers’s performance of “If You Don’t Know Me By Now,” nothing blew me away here. Simms has her moments. With her it’s hit or miss for me. This week was a hit as she completely owned the song, “It’s A Man’s World.” Simms definitely deserves to take the final spot and represent Team Cee Lo in the finals but will she take the win? It’s possible but I’m not betting on it. As per usual, the coaches had nothing but praises for Simms and if their words sway votes, Simms is definitely safe.

Team Blake did a good job this week though there was not outstanding moment here. The beginning of Erin Willett’s performance of “Without You” was a little rough but she picked it up and did a great job, delivering one of her most original renditions and emotional numbers to date. Jermaine Paul also delivered well enough with Journey but on another note, does anyone else have the desire to hear Paul sing Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston’s “When You Believe?” Between Willett and Paul, Paul won this round even though Willett has been more of my favorite from Team Blake this season. What do you think?

Over on Team Christina, Chris Mann went his classic route and performed “Ava Maria.” So close to finals, this was a dicey move to make. Saving the best for almost last Monday night, Lindsey Pavao took on Bon Iver’s “Skinny Love.” Whether or not you were familiar with the song beforehand, Pavao made us fall in love with the song and reminded us that she is a voice worthy of winning the competition. Between Mann and Pavao, I’d much rather see Pavao in the finals. That has been long established. But based on how America has voted in the past, Pavao could find herself out of the competition. But either way, Pavao will get signed, don’t you think?

And then there were the performances that had a lot less pressure behind them. Team Adam and Team Ce Lo gave the fans a great group performance but Team Christina and Team Blake were much more memorable with their high energy performance of “Edge of Glory.” Blake Shelton also performed his new single, “Over” which you should definitely purchase on iTunes as soon as possible, even if you are not particularly a fan of country music. The lyrics will move you. Hopefully we’ll get to hear more of Shelton on the stage before or on finale night. As for I want to see in the finals.. Katrina Parker, Juliet Simms, Erin Willett, and Lindsay Pavao fighting for the title would be a fulfilling sight to see. A coincidence that my choices are all female but with Javier Colon winning last season, it’s time for a lady to take the win this year. The big question is, which female artist will take it home?

Watch The Voice live episodes Mondays 8-10 p.m. ET and live eliminations Tuesdays 9-10 p.m. ET only on NBC.

*Photo Credit: Justin Lubin/NBC

'The Voice' Season 2 Episode 17 Review: Cee Lo’s Elimination Shocks

After this week’s performance show, eliminations on The Voice were half shocking, half predictable. Team Adam has shown themselves as a force to be reckoned with and Team Cee Lo has shown themselves to be a team that is not afraid to take chances. Whether or not the chance taken with tonight’s elimination was the right one remains to be seen. After a special performance from Florence & the Machine and Team Cee Lo, the results came in and America’s saves may have been the most shocking results of the night. The saves put the coaches in a corner and Adam Levine seemed to fair much better than Cee Lo Green based on this week alone. Levine’s choice was easy as one of the contestants has not been impressing lately but Cee Lo had quite a big decision on his hands… and either way, he would have upset viewers.

From Team Adam, Tony Lucca was saved by America, leaving Katrina Parker and Mathai to battle it out for the final spot with last chance performances. Mathai decided to sing “Cowboy Casanova” by Carrie Underwood but her song choices have been so weak over the past few weeks, an elimination seemed a given. Mathai has a certain sound and not a whole lot of power, so finding a song that will fit her or that she can find to fit has clearly been a challenge. It’s unfortunate because Mathai is such a talent but she really needs her own material to shine, not other people’s. With this in mind and accounting for the way the game is played, Mathai was out of luck for the win from the get go. Adam Levine even admitted that he was still waiting for Mathai to explode as she never really took off after the blind audition. She may have performed Nelly Furtado’s “I’m Like A Bird” but she didn’t she never did show us that she isn’t a one trick pony. In time. Mathai needs to grow more before winning a competition like this, clearly.

So Adam decided to save Katrina Parker instead. Parker blows it out of the water every time she needs to be saved, so there really was no doubt that Parker would be moving further in the competition. Parker sang Pink’s “Perfect” so well, it would be a treat to have her sing it again with Pink herself come finals. Yeah? Christina Aguilera also brought up a great point about anticipating Parker’s original music. I have been thinking that since Parker’s blind audition but everyone should definitely be anticipating Parker’s original tunes now, after seeing week after week what she is capable of. Like Blake Shelton said, Katrina came out like a tornado… and she continues to so her fellow competitors had better watch out. If the coaches have their way, Katrina will be handed the win this season. What do you think?

On Team Cee Lo, America decided to save Jamar Rogers, which may have come as a shock to some as Cheesa and Juliet Simms appeared to be the heavy hitters. The surprises did not end there as Cee Lo decided to save not Cheesa but Juliet. Cheesa has delivered phenomenal performances in the recent weeks, winning over thousands of fans who were not big fans of her in the beginning. So for Cheesa to win over more and more fans so recently only for her to be eliminated, it is very disappointing. We were all just beginning to love her. That said, her “save me” performances fell flat and Simms soared. What’s funny about these two artists is that you either love them or you don’t. Their sounds are very distinct so it’s hit or miss. But with Cheesa now gone, viewers will either find themselves rooting for Simms, Rogers, or another team altogether. Cheesa, who may have seemed like a front runner on Monday night, is out of the competition, so where does that leave Team Cee Lo? Is Simms going to bring it home for Team Cee Lo? Does Rogers stand a chance at winning this competition? Between Team Cee Lo and Team Adam, it’s difficult to say now who will win. So stay tuned for the Semifinals as there are only so many artists left and remember to vote!

Watch The Voice live episodes Mondays 8-10 p.m. ET and live eliminations Tuesdays 9-10 p.m. ET only on NBC.

*Photo Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC

‘The Voice’ Season 2 Episode 16 Review: Team Adam & Team Cee Lo Battle

The Voice may not have come out as strong as it has in the past but it still managed to deliver two hours of great entertainment. From Christina Aguilera’s lips, a Mickey Mouse Club reunion could be in the works! In the meantime, Cee Lo Green had his own reunion on stage, and his team rocked out much harder than Team Adam come time to shine. Could the finals see a Team Cee Loo winner this year? Could Team Adam not even be a contender in the finals?

Team Adam has a group of strong vocalists on his hands but this week, the songs that they were given did not show off the best parts of their vocals and impress. Before Katrina Parker even got to the stage to sing “Jar of Hearts,” we all knew that this would not be her most extraordinary performance. She showed us that during her last performance so there may have been higher expectations here. So while Parker’s performance was good, there didn’t seem to be any reason to be blown away. Also, her Adele look, again, did not help at all. As Aguilera said, “You are Katrina Parker and own that.” Once Parker stands in her own glory and not someone else’s she will be able to shine. Until then, we won’t even begin to see what this woman has to offer.

Not fairing much better this week on Team Adam was fan favorite, Mathai. I will forever be grateful to Adam Levine for giving Mathai a Nelly Furtado song, as Furtado is one of my favorite artists and what a perfect match this was…especially since no one typically uses Furtado’s songs on reality music competitions. Mathai was understandably nervous about sounding too much like Furtado, but she didn’t in the end. Similar as she is, no one can sound like Furtado. All of that said, Furtado does have songs that would better suit Mathai, making her performance of “I’m Like A Bird” not seem so forced and mediocre. But the problem is that those songs are on Furtado’s albums and how many people really know any of her songs that aren’t singles?

Getting the loudest applause from Team Adam last night was Tony Lucca after putting his own twist on Britney Spears’s “Baby One More Time.” After what Aguilera pointed out earlier in the series, a move like this was expected. But it was more Aguilera’s duty than anything else to point out that Lucca, back in the spotlight, cannot rely on his Mickey Mouse supporters to vote, especially if he only shows us one side of him. What Aguilera said was only meant to build Lucca up. So while Lucca’s Spears performance was a fun media move, he does need to get back to business if he’s still in the competition next week. It also must be mentioned that we all should take Aguilera’s comment this week to heart. “Let’s get Britney Spears on this stage and let’s do a real Mickey Mouse Club reunion!” Hear that Britney, Justin, and Keri? Bring back the entire gang! That would boost ratings (even though The Voice is doing very well in that department). Finally from Team Adam was Pip who started off his performance of “Somewhere Only We Know” very well but then got a little too caught up for his own good. No matter what he performed though, Pip did not seem to stand a chance against his team mates as it seemed in rehearsals that Levine had already made up his mind about giving Pip the ax. After last night’s performances, it would not be surprising to see Mathai eliminated tonight but Parker and Lucca also have the same chance of saying goodbye. Lucca covering Spears was hit or miss and Parker’s performance could be described as the same so predictions for tonight’s elimination can go anyway. Losing Mathai would be a big disappointment as would losing Parker but Lucca… he’s got quite a fanbase already so he could start a Kickstarter and be on his way. Yeah?

Team Cee Lo has a much stronger team on his hands, don’t you think? Jamar Rogers gave a rocking performance of Bon Jovi’s “It’s My Life” but the roller coaster went idle as James Massone came forward not too long afterwords to take on Billy Joel’s “Just the Way You Are.” The coaches were not in love with Massone’s performance this week and with the rock stars on Team Cee Lo, it came as no surprise to see Massone take the hit in the instant elimination. Cheesa delivered another magnificent performance this week taking on Whitney Houston and Juliet Simms gave a killer performance of Aerosmith’s “Cryin’.” If Simms’s safety was even a question, she guaranteed her safety this week, no? But should she have gotten ahead of herself with the elaborate wardrobe? Was it too much for her? With Massone out of the picture, Rogers could be heading home tonight. Simms is not every viewer’s dream vocalist, a shame that may be, so she could find herself heading out of the competition. But the thought of that is so wild, imagining it actually happening is difficult to do. Cheesa won over thousands of viewers in recent weeks, so she may not be going anywhere. If she is eliminated, people definitely thought that she was safe and didn’t bother voting. But tonight, it is Rogers we are looking to see go home. We’ll find out tonight.

As for the performances that did not count towards elimination… host, Carson Daly and Team Cee Lo gave a fun performance that we can all see was dedicated to Dick Clark as they appeared on stage to sing “Dancing in the Street.” Beautiful performance there. This was definitely the best team performance of the night. Later on, Team Adam performed John Lennon’s “Instant Karma! (We All Shine On)” but it didn’t particularly hit any buttons. In fact, this may have been the weakest team performance all season. The idea was great but the execution failed. Cee Lo Green and the Goodie Mob also gave a special performance of their new single. While ehe song itself was enjoyable, the performance was much too odd to really be able to connect with the song so head to iTunes to hear the song with the distraction. This week of The Voice did not exceed expectations so the results tonight will not be very momentous but the competition is narrowing down rather nicely. Who are you rooting for?

Watch The Voice live episodes Mondays 8-10 p.m. ET and live eliminations Tuesdays 9-10 p.m. ET only on NBC.

*Photo Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC

Prepare To Go Insane Over ‘American Horror Story’ Season 2 – One Theory On What To Expect

jessica lange ahs

The clouds swirling around the second season of FX’s American Horror Story are starting to clear up, allowing fans to look into the crystal ball. Before Season 1 ended, co-creator Ryan Murphy hinted that the new season would bring back Jessica Lange to star. Lange would go on to win a Golden Globe for her performance as the politically incorrect nosy neighbor Constance. Murphy also dropped seeds that the setting would relocate to the East Coast, a place hinted at in the Season 1’s penultimate episode, “Birth.” Murphy spoke Wednesday at a panel in North Hollywood at the TV Academy, promoting AHS and revealed more concrete details.

The Second Season “is set on the East Coast at an institution for the criminally insane that is run by Jessica,” Murphy said. The Hollywood Reporter reports that the table conversation in “Birth” shared by Constance, her medium friend, Billie Dean and Violet about how the house is like a battery that feeds off of the negative energy given off those who enter the house. An asylum or prison was thought of by the press early on as a potential Season 2 location. Now it’s been confirmed.

Murphy continued to say. “It’s a completely different world and has nothing to do with Season 1; there’s not a mention of Season 1,” and then added this, “The second season is set in a completely different time period.” As viewers were preparing for last season’s final episodes, they were wondering how the deaths of the lead stars (Connie Britton and Dylan McDermott) would factor into the new season but Murphy and co-creator Brad Falchuk surprised everyone when they rolled out that the series is an anthology set where each season would be about new characters, new settings, new hauntings and yes, a new mysterious intro sequence.

Murphy has also said in the past that there will be a historical angle to their horror and the second season will retain that. American Horror Story took an interesting spin when a handful of real murder cases made their way into the story including Elizabeth Short AKA “The Black Dahlia,” the mystery around Sal Mineo’s death, and the Richard Speck sorority murders. In other words, start brushing up on your criminally-insane history.

Other things that have been revealed about Season 2 in recent months.
• Murphy wants to keep a supernatural element to the series but not in the same way its featured in other shows. Don’t assume the rule established in Season 1 (those who were murdered in the house haunted the house) will apply in Season 2. He also enforces a “no werewolves and no vampires” rule.

• In addition to Lange, Zachary Quinto (Chad), Evan Peters (Tate), Lily Rabe (Nora Montgomery), and Sara Paulson (Billie Dean) will return but will play completely different characters than those from Season 1. When thinking opposite, think about the types of personalities each displayed. Peters could play a meek and weak individual, too passive to act out on his desires. Rabe could play a woman who isn’t as helpless and is more in the foreground instead of someone who pulled her husband’s strings. Additionally, Paulson could also step away from the sidelines and be heavily involved with the main story. The possibilities are quite endless.

• French actress Lizzie Brocheré has been cast as a Season 2 regular. Whether she will play an ally or adversary of Lange’s may be determined next week when producers present their shows to the network.

• Quinto may or may not play one of the criminal insane.

Maroon 5 frontman and one of the judges on NBC’s flagship musical talent show, The Voice, Adam Levine will be joining the cast as a sexy, gritty character who is one half of a couple called “The Lovers.”

• More actors from Season 1 could appear as new characters so don’t rule out Connie Britton, Dylan McDermott, Alexandra Breckenridge, Frances Conroy, Kate Mara, Denis O’Hare and the actors who played Constance’s children just yet.

• Speaking of Constance’s children, her fourth unnamed child was never explored and Murphy said at Paley Fest that they do want to address that at some point. How? See my guess below.

My Theory So Far
So what can we gather from this as it pertains to setting revealed? I am convinced that the setting will be in North Carolina referring to the Roanoke Lost Colony story that Billie Dean spoke of in Season 1 and it is consistent with Murphy’s East Coast designation. Now, these are all guesses, but educated guesses. The history of slavery, the civil war, plantation houses, and the colonizing of the United States could all be mined for Season 2 especially if this is a period piece, as well as the horrors that have taken place in asylums and mental institutions.

jessica lange ahs 2

Lange will play a different character but I’m guessing she’ll retain some of that bite and impoliteness that she showcased in Season 1. It did help win her a Golden Globe amongst other awards after all, and Constance was one of the most exciting characters on television in recent years. I can’t imagine she’d play such a departure from Constance especially if she’s running an insane asylum. She’ll need to be tough, make hard decisions, and not be liked by those admitted. If she is the recurring “main” character of the anthology, perhaps she is the one constant– it’d be a nice play on her character name, wouldn’t it? Now Constance grew up in Virginia, not North Carolina but the states are neighbors and would create similar backgrounds to two supposedly different characters.

There are at least five historical asylums in North Carolina including Applachian Hall in Asheville, Broughton Hospital, Goldsboro State Hospital which later became Cherry Hospital, Dorothea Dix Hospital, and the Western North Carolina Sanitorium. A composite institution inspired by these could house any type of patient whether they are criminals, mentally insane, or if the time period is far enough back, social pariahs due to affliction, those with genetic conditions such as Down Syndrome, or those who are mentally breaking down in upper age.

Constance was the “leader” of her own band of misfits, using one of her words to describe her family, as they were all imperfect–Tate being the most–with his inclination to kill people. I’d personally love to see Jamie Brewer (Adelaide) and Sam Kinsey (Beauregard) return in some way, Brewer especially, and this could be one way as people were often misplaced in these types of facilities purely because they weren’t accepted by society. This could also be a way to bring in the story of the fourth unnamed child that was unexplored in Season 1. He or she could be one of the admitted, one of the people Lange’s new character is “in charge of.”

There are stories always coming out of people who were wrongly placed in these types of institutions for a variety of reasons – for example, sicknesses such as allergies that were not understood at the time and went wrongly diagnosed. Allow me to explore another one, say someone was exhibiting migraine headaches could simply need some dental work, not a lobotomy. But that was what was done, as seen by the events that inspired Shutter Island and the questionable psychiatric methods in the 1950s. Check out the extras of that blu-ray/DVD, it’s real scary stuff.

Some interesting tidbits about these North Carolina institutions I found were that Appalachian Hall was used as a hotel at one time and Cherry Hospital was a segregated institution up until 1965. It was originally established in 1880 as the “Asylum for Colored Insane”. The Dorothy Dix Hospital was also established in the 19th century; Now, could this be the time period for Season 2, or the 1950’s when trans-orbital lobotomies were being carried out? I’m thinking the latter due to the lack of civil rights by minorities added to the experimental practices of modern medicine and the psychiatry industries at the time could make for lots of material. Further flashbacks would be fair game of course. I also guessed North Carolina because it has a long list of haunted stories and locations to draw from and that’s what Murphy and Falchuk like to do. They also want to keep viewers guessing and a little discomfort and shock value never hurt.

I could be way off base, but the guessing is part of the fun of American Horror Story. I speculated all of this off of what little has been shared and information revealed in the coming weeks could change my theory completely. What theories can you come up with? Which actor besides Jessica Lange are you most interested in seeing in Season 2? Share your thoughts below.

‘The Voice’ Season 2 Episode 15 Review: Team Christina Outshines Team Blake

If you’re wondering which reality music competition show has the most unpredictable results show, it’s The Voice. There are so many different ways to vote and there is so much time to vote, it just might actually be overwhelming to vote as much as possible. This note aside, it is difficult to pinpoint other reasons why every single week has been wildly shocking. This is not at all like last season. Someone we absolutely love always gets the boot each week. It’s like the balance is being kept so perfectly. This is odd though and it makes it difficult to tell whether what is happening will still lead to a fulfilling end. Either way, the team performances and special guest performances have all delivered, so there’s that. The Wanted gave a special performance debuting their new single in the US, “Chasing the Sun.” They lit up the stage and set a great tone for the night. Justin Bieber also made a special appearance to give a first look at the world premiere of his new music video, “Boyfriend.” But we are watching and voting to see one person take the win…

“The song doesn’t play you, you play the song.” – Adam Levine to Raelynn

With the outpouring love and support for Raelynn, America’s save being Jermaine Paul was rather shocking. And Raelynn was thought to be in the clear since she has had so much support from her coach throughout this entire process. This meant that Erin Willett would not have stood a chance, no matter what “save me” song she decided to sing. It turns out “Proud Mary” was a better effort than Raelynn’s. Shocking as Raelynn’s elimination may seem… Shelton already said the the country music community had Raelynn’s back. So perhaps we’ll be hearing news of her record deal before finale night? Based on Raelynn’s “save me” performance, she definitely did not deserve a save.

Everyone gives a weak performance every now and then and unfortunately, Raelynn’s was given at the worst possible moment on the show. Outside of the show however, this could have been the best thing that could have happened. Perhaps the record deal she will get outside of the one she could have gotten on the show will turn out to be better. One thing is certain, Raelynn is not going to be a finalist. But with Raelynn out, is Team Blake still stronger than Team Christina or are they even now? Erin Willett was impressive in the beginning of the season, but throughout past episodes, that spark for me has been lost. So Jermaine Paul seems to be the standout for Team Blake at this point, the one with the bigger chance of winning if either one were to make it to the finals. But against Team Christina, well, she’s got this one. Yeah?

As for Team Christina, America’s save was either going to be Chris Mann or Lindsey Pavao. We cannot say that it was not shocking when Mann was announced as the one America decided to save. Pavao’s performance earlier in the week wasn’t the best, but there was still some hope that America would stand behind her enough to keep her safe. But taking this week’s performance and only that into account, Mann earned his safety fair and square. This meant that Pavao and Ashley De La Rosa had to go head to head for the final spot on Team Christina. De La Rosa attempted to deliver with Lady Gaga but Pavao owned the stage with her clever rendition of “Please Don’t Go.” Levine wasn’t blown away by De La Rosa and neither was I. Aguilera was brought to tears by Pavao’s performance and tears and so was I.

Pavao deserves to be in the finals. She has the voice and is the most original artist there is in this competition, seasons one and two. All she’s missing is stage presence but she is improving there…slowly but steadily. We all knew that Aguilera would make the right choice in keeping Pavao, but now it’s America’s turn to get back on their phones and the internet to vote for Pavao in the upcoming semi-finals and finals so that she continues to stay in the competition and win. Pavao and Mann are forces to be reckoned with. Team Blake, watch out. Between the other teams, you just might get knocked out. Team Christina ties Team Adam with two wildly talented artists (Katrina Parker and Mathai stand out the most from Team Adam with Tony Lucca deserving a notable mention) but it is Team Cee Lo who has the most talent right now. Team Cee Lo could win this season and that is perfectly fine. What do you think? Great results show, but remember to vote people!

Watch The Voice live episodes Mondays 8-10 p.m. ET and live eliminations Tuesdays 9-10 p.m. ET only on NBC.

*Photo Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC