Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Voice U.S. S5 Recap: IT'S GONE LIVE! Part 2: The Other Electric Sequeloo

Excitement; passion; steamed; low-sodium; freedom; pretentiousness; tired Calvin Klein perfume gag (And the rest of Rob Delaney's new book title)...all of these are pseudo sufficient ways to express tonight's level of excitement for night 2 of the Live playoffs for The Voice.

Tonight, the nouns and/or marklar of Team Cee-Lo and Team X-Tina hit the stage and try not to sound like they're seals being clubbed (Which even then, a seal being clubbed sounded like Enya compared to how Nic Hawk did on last night's show.) Below are the events that transpired tonight for better and worse...just like jokes about marriage.

Let's play rough and get it on! [*PROGRAMMING ALERT: Something I forgot to mention in the last post...I found out what everyone was singing ahead of time and some a-hole is singing "Wasting All These Tears" by the She-Devil of S3 tonight. That's right...someone on either Team X-Tina or Team Cee-Lo is singing it...and I bet it's Mason-Dixon Barbie, Olivia Henken.*]

X-Tina once again opened the show with A Great Big World singing "Say Something". Credit to her for opening both nights of the Live playoffs. Also, A Great Big World has a man that might just be the wackiest piano player ever...he tuned his inner jumping bean at one point during the song, but the piano work was beautiful.

First up for their re-trial in the Court of Public Opinion, Amber Nicole of Team Cee-Lo singing "Wasting All These Tears" by Cassadee Pope...O_O (Apparently Mason-Dixon Barbie has taste in music). Her big challenge was to just not end up fender ketchup because apparently...black girls can't know of country music; whatever...sing what you please [more or less]. She took the stage and while she can sing better than Cassadee, her lower registers sounded better than her attempted money notes. Kind of a catch-22 this week, but Amber may win some type of high risk = high reward type of logic from the voters. The coaches although improving by commenting on the performance, seemed too nice again like last episode.

Second, Jonny Gray of Team Cee-Lo singing "Bittersweet Symphony" by The Verve. His initial rehearsals were really shaky. Song choice is interesting [ignoring Cee-Lo's "Americana" comment about an artist singing a UK rock group song, of course] for him. Then his performance happened and frankly...he was way too shaky and pitch issue ridden. At least his hair is fabulous (Pocahontas ain't got shit on this hair right now.) The coaches were a bit too merciful again. They did note some technical things, but love is the message they want to send and nothing else.

Third, Tamara Chaunice of Team Cee-Lo singing "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor. I thought this was good for her, but disco usually equates to a death knell on this show. Any artist that goes disco in the Lives leaves the week they do it. Come showtime, she dropkicks that song down a flight of stairs. I liked her energy, but admittedly...it's kind of/sort of not hard to fuck up disco. The coaches go meta by realizing that they're being excessively nice to one another...and keep doing so. Oh well -_-

Fourth, CopyKat...err Kat Robichaud of Team Cee-Lo singing "She Keeps Me Warm" by Mary Lambert. Even I give her credit for this song choice. When she hits the stage...personally, the band's arrangement made everything seem a modicum off. Her singing will never garner favor, but I'm actually impressed with her stage antics of hugging a random woman in the audience. O_O Credit to Adam and X-Tina for calling CopyKat out for not trying to hit the high notes in the song. Sorry, but The Voice calls for singing. I love Adam and X-Tina so much for calling somebody out for a change.

Fifth, Caroline Pannell of Team Cee-Lo singing "We're Going to Be Friends" by The White Stripes. Her challenge is to find the technical pacing of the song. Not a tall order on paper. Her performance kicks in and she proceeds to Shanghai this bitch into submission. Intrinsically, I kind of think she may be typecast for subdued soft songs (Either alliteration or the wortht thing I've ever tranthscribed.) The coaches understand the love for her...and Blake just entered creepy territory claiming he could be "getting an amputation" and enjoying it...she could've been "singing about killing people" and he enjoyed it. Blake; I'll tell you what I told you during Barry Black's Blind Audition...shut your goddamn non-trumpet mouth.

Sixth, Josh Logan of Team X-Tina singing "Crazy" by Gnarls Barkley [Cee-Lo's extracurricular exhibition of adorably unhinged existence]. Doing a song by any coach is begging for double the scrutiny and twice the criticism (The JOLT Soda Complex if you will). His cadence form the beginning is so off...his singing barely registered at all and frankly I was waiting for it to be over. Considering Cee-Lo's song was being performed, I was hoping a critical side would emerge from him. The coaches give their piece and Cee-Lo did acknowledge that "Crazy" was written from a rather niche position [like an rapper/MC would do it]. That much justified "Coach's Corner".

Seventh, Olivia Henken of Team X-Tina singing "Roar" by Katy Perry. Her challenge is to make bubblegum pop into tobakkey chewin' Southern fried country song [tomay-oh, potay-oh]. Ooooh; I wasn't expecting much and got what I expected...O_O Her dress was pretty, but this is The Voice and not Project Runway. The coaches decide to grant her mercy by giving her a "Participation Ribbon" comment by saying more or less, "You took a pop song and made it into a tobakkey chewin' Southern fried country song."

Eighth, Stephanie Anne Johnson of Team X-Tina singing "Georgia on My Mind" by Ray Charles. Perfect song choice, in my opinion to see if she has grit in her singing. When she performed, Jesus was smiling. I loved how legendary she sounded but not in an imitating way. The coaches for once could slide on being too nice on this one. I heard nothing wrong with her performance tonight. Yes this is me typing saying something positive about someone.

Ninth, Matthew Schuler of Team X-Tina singing "Wrecking Ball" by Miley Cyrus. I'm really hoping this song choice doesn't hurt him in voting. His challenge is to get out of his head when singing and to keep people on edge as to what he does. His performance kicks in, and the breathy parts were underdeveloped compared to his jaw-unhinging projection. He did indeed take the coal and turned it into a diamond. The coaches not named X-Tina were in "You're not on my team! RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGE!" mode.

Finally, closing the Live playoffs for S5, Jacquie Lee of Team X-Tina singing "I Put a Spell On You" by Screamin' Jay Hawkins. This could be the biggest miscast on paper because "No T, No Shade"...Jacquie looks like an extra from High School Musical. Hardcore soul like this is for no half-assed singer, so I was glued to see if Jacquie could live up to the expectation. Come showtime, she bitchslapped/Shanghai/dropkicked that bitch into submission. The crowd was loud as hell and I knew why...she was awesome.

All in all, who will make the Top 12 shall be interesting to see on Thursday.

Next up for scrutiny, the Results show of the Live playoffs.

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