The Voice: Cee Lo Wigs Out, Adam Levine Gets Inspired By Old VH1 Playlists
Hey, The Voice! It's still pretty good! And right now, there's pretty much nothing else on TV except for Game of Thrones!
On last night's episode, Carson Daly, you'll be happy to learn, moved on from the detestable suit-with-sneakers look he was rocking last week. Unfortunately, he swapped that thing out for a leather jacket over a shirt and tie. Will somebody teach this man how to dress like an adult? If he's going to step into the singing-show-hosting game, he has to look the part. I'm harping on this because it just demonstrates how woefully underqualified Carson is for a job that, as it turns out, must be pretty hard. Ryan Seacrest only makes it look easy; all the little things that the guy does improve his show vastly. Carson has been blessed with a relatively entertaining show; he's just not living up to it. Cee Lo could've fixed all this just by lending Carson his incredibly sparkly jacket, but I don't blame Cee Lo for wanting to hold onto that thing.
Before anyone could get to singing, we had to attend to the business of sending some of last week's singers home. After voters saved one singer from each team, that team's coach then had to save another, which would force the other two to leave the show. After voting saved grimy bald blues-rock singer Beverly McClellan, Christina Aguilera called the culling process "maybe the hardest decision I've ever had to make," which seems like a bit much. She also rambled for a bit about how she loves all of them. And then she chose Frenchie Davis as the one who'd survive, which was absolutely the right call. It's also a pretty ballsy decision: It leaves Xtina with an all-bald chick team! This is definitely the first all-bald chick team in the history of televised singing competitions. Bald chick history, made right before our eyes.
Team Blake got a bit of a reprieve so some people could sing. For the chipmunk-cute teenage Thompson sisters, Cee Lo picked the Andrews Sisters' "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy," a total left-field bit of retro chic, with the kids dressing in vaguely sexed-up period costumes and leading a group of military-uniformed dancers. I'm amazed someone who wasn't Xtina picked an Andrews Sisters song. The performance was fucking ridiculous, like a bad scene from the part of a World War II scene where the soldiers all bond before fighting. It's impossible to judge the singing in that, since the spectacle was so overwhelming and so goofy.
The one girl on Adam Levine's team, Casey Weston, sang KT Tunstall's "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree," and Levine had to talk her into singing it with some force; she wanted to do a sleepy acoustic arrangement. After the insanity of the Thompson sisters' performance, it was vaguely refreshing to see someone sing a song with a minimum of set-design silliness; Weston's one big bit of theater was the lineup of bucket drumers onstage behind her. But "Black Horse" is just an utterly non-compelling song, and Weston did nothing to save it. I was just bored. Shout out to the backup singers for having some pretty great dance moves, though.
Vicci Martinez, who fucking blazed her battle-round performance a few weeks ago, was up next to sing Dolly Parton's "Jolene," probably one of the 50 or so greatest songs ever written. I had high hopes for this, and it delivered. The show's band gave "Jolene" a sort of power-ballad quiet-to-loud arrangement, which shouldn't have worked. But with Vicci's husky roar of a voice, it turned out great; the part where she finally growled was a goosebump moment. During the coaching bit, Cee Lo admitted that the song was Vicci's idea and that he just signed off on it. This was, obviously, the right move. They just need to stay out of that girl's way. (After she got done singing, Carson had to point out that Jack White had also sung the song. Shut up, Carson. Nobody thinks you're cool.)
Devon Barley, the resident dweeb on Team Adam, had to sing OneRepublic's "Stop and Stare." Adam seems to like songs that were VH1 hits around the same time his band was scoring VH1 hits. This is not a historical era that gives me any particular warm feelings. Barley, it turned out, handles pressure about as well as LeBron does. (Congrats Mavs! Thanks for wrapping up the series before tonight so I didn't have to try to switch between the game and this show!) I'm looking forward to Devon Barley disappearing forever. I don't like his face.
In a goofy vignette, Cee Lo took his team to some sort of spa, which allowed him a chance to show off his Isaac Hayes-looking bathrobe. That was the only reason for this vignette to exist. (Cee Lo, I'm starting to realize, is like the black version of Peter Dinklage on Game of Thrones.) This led into a big group performance of Sly and the Family Stone's "Everyday People," with Cee Lo at the center, looking straight clownish in a gigantic afro wig. His country singer Curtis Grimes sounded like complete ass here, but everyone else did OK. Bearded yeller Nakia actually sounded pretty awesome on his one big solo run.