Tonight, twelve more singers battle it out, and six will move on to the live shows.
First up from Team Christina are Geoff McBride and Sera Hill, singing Aretha Franklin’s Chain of Fools. In rehearsal, Geoff was paired with Lionel Richie, who found Geoff’s volume and delivery to be unbelievable. He asked if Geoff could do without the dark glasses, saying he needed to be able to make eye contact. Jewel advised Sera to bring on more emotion, heart and story.
Geoff took off the shades, replacing them with regular glasses, which he even removed at one point in the song. Sera brought out the dramatic diva, as well as a sexy outfit. Vocally, Geoff was incredibly sound. Cee Lo was pleasantly surprised by the energy. Blake said that both clearly gave everything, and had to go with who turned him on. Adam quickly interrupted to say that Sera was a show, but that Geoff removing his glasses did it for him, and went with Geoff. Oh, and Blake went with Sera. Xtina liked how Sera worked the crowd, and liked that Geoff didn’t back down. Her gut told her to go with Sera. Ah, youth over experience? This was a tough call. I liked Geoff, but either was worthy.
Team Blake put Charlotte Sometimes up against Lex Land. Blake selected Foster the People’s Pumped Up Kicks. Blake chose them for their personalities, as Charlotte is boisterous and Lex is more introverted. I think we can see the outcome already. Charlotte was mentored by Kelly Clarkson, who liked her comedic personality, but advised she tone it down. Miranda Lambert saw a mystery in Lex, and told her that she can’t seem to be intimidated.
Charlotte was dramatic, Lex was brooding, and both actually sounded better when singing the chorus together. Xtina liked Lex’s sexy voice and Charlotte’s stage presence and articulation. Cee Lo also liked Charlotte’s articulation and Lex’s sexy voice, and favored Charlotte. Adam thought Lex opened up as the song progressed and went with her. Blake liked the surprise of Lex, and said that she had been pitchy, but took risks. He couldn’t take his eyes off of Charlotte, and said that she had control of her performance. The not-so-surprising winner was Charlotte. I never cared for Lex’s style, and didn’t get what the fuss was all about with her anyway.
Team Cee Lo pitted Sarah Golden against Juliet Simms with Rod Stewart’s Stay With Me. Babyface advised Sarah to keep her countrified yodel. Ne-Yo told Juliet to pick her spots for when she used her growly scream.
This was a weird song choice, and they seemed to be singing at different tempos. Sarah had the better vocals, but Juliet brought the attitude…and outlandish outfit. Adam was biased for Juliet since the Blind Audition. Blake was impressed with Sarah’s harmonies. Xtina said the song didn’t do Sarah’s voice justice, and went with Juliet. Cee Lo conceded that the song choice was a challenge for Sara (um, he picked the song), and declared Juliet the winner. Yeah, in this match-up, Juliet was the clear choice. Sorry, Sarah.
Whitney Myer and Kim Yarbrough represented Team Adam. They performed No More Drama from Mary J. Blige. Adam advised both to be connected to the song. Alanis Morissette mentored Whitney, who gave her stylistic tips about holding her words out, and advised she not try to overpower Kim, focusing on her own uniqueness. Robin Thicke advised Kim that she was missing tension in the song, and had the chops, but needed the emotion.
Kim had a strong start, while Whitney was more pitchy. Blake thought they were awesome, and felt as if he were at a diva concert. He liked how they both knew and used their strengths, and picked Carson. Xtina liked Whitney’s higher end and Kim’s richness in her tone. Cee Lo said that the song was meant for a “woman” to sing. I guess he meant Kim. Adam liked how they could handle each other, and that they both had bright futures ahead of them. He went with Kim. He got it right.
Team Christina was back with baker Lee Koch vs Lindsey Pavao singing Nirvana’s Heart Shaped Box. Lee drew Jewel as his advisor, and Xtina said he needed to get into the song and study the structure of the melody. Jewel advised that he needed to enunciate and sell the lyrics. Lionel Richie mentored Lindsey, who loves Nirvana. Xtina told her she had a tendency to get in her own head, and Lionel told her to listen to the lyrics and tell the story. Xtina, let your mentors do their thing. You’ll have plenty of time to add your 2 cents worth.
This was just an odd song choice. Cee Lo thought that Lindsey was cool, soft and confident. He said the lighting sometimes made Lee look like Jesus, and went with the “divine intervention.” Adam called the performance delightfully creepy, and had liked Lee from the beginning. Blake didn’t know the song, so couldn’t really relate to the comments. He would have picked Monster Mash for a creepy song. Xtina liked how Lee put “Lee” into the song, and she also like how Lindsey experimented with her falsetto.Lindsey’s versatile vocal approach won out. It’s a shame, because Lee really took and used the input he was given. Back to baking bread, I guess.
Team Cee Lo closed the show with Jamar Rogers and Jamie Lono singing Foreigner’s I Want to Know What Love Is. Babyface told Jamie that he needed to loosen up a little and connect with the song. He definitely needed confidence and was too nervous, as his voice kept cracking in rehearsal. Ne-Yo advised Jamie to use the emotion.
Poor Jamie. He was pitchy and his voice cracked. Jamar was soulful and convincing in his lyrics. Adam thought Jamie was in the zone until the song turned into a power ballad and he lost his handle. He said that Jamie owned the song and was ridiculously good. He also said that the true losers were the 3 judges that had failed to turn around for Jamar in the Blind Audition, and that he felt like an idiot. Blake loved Jamar’s vibe. Xtina thought that Jamie has a unique and interesting voice, but that the chorus was not a good fit vocally. Jamar and his singer’s vein wowed her. Cee Lo thought Jamar’s performance was a display of power and confidence, and that Jamie had been so nervous that he wanted to give him confidence. Jamar was the clear stand-out. Both cried.
Were these fair match-ups? Were the choices made by the judges the right ones? Overall, yes and yes. The song choices could have been better in Cee Lo’s case, as they seemed to favor one singer over the other. Let’s see what next week brings!