If you enjoy recycled content and watching strangers cry, you’ve come to the right place: the first Voice results show of the season! Last night revealed the consequences of Monday and Wednesday’s live playoffs, after which fans voted to save their favorite contestants. The remaining 20 performers will be trimmed to only 12 — stay tuned.
To open the episode, Team Adam and Team Blake sing “Stronger” in the best group performance to date. With her hair pulled back, Loren Allred looks surprisingly like an older, brunette Taylor Swift. Surely there’s an unaccounted-for Shriver heir out there somewhere?
The first contestant saved is Amanda Brown, still basking in the afterglow of Monday night’s transcendent cover of “Dream On” — no surprise there. Second place is… Bryan Keith? Ooookay. I’m interpreting this not as a testament to the bland crooner’s own talent, but as proof of how meh his teammates were this week. Adam wisely chooses to save my girl Melanie Martinez, the indie cutie-pie who recently wavered on “Hit the Road Jack,” sending Loren and Joselyn Rivera home.Last season’s winner Jermaine Paul makes an appearance to plug his new single, “I Believe in This Life.” As Carson Daly tells him, “Welcome home.” (Does Carson live in the studio? That would explain so much.) Jermaine’s song is a generic Usher club hit — I like it — but the number of background dancers per square foot he squeezes onstage must be some kind of fire code violation.
Now bear with me, because I really have to tell you this. When I was about 10, my little sister and I were briefly enrolled in classes at a large children’s dance studio in the next town over. Its owner and impresaria was a dancer named Miss Mariann, who was probably in her early 40s at the time — and, in retrospect, kind of a cougar. Every year, the school would stage an expansive, full-day recital with performances from each age group. But sandwiched between cheerfully clumsy routines by kids in sequins and leotards, one of the scheduled acts was an uncomfortably sexy solo number by Miss Mariann herself. Her burlesque (feather boa and all) was painfully awkward for everyone involved, students and parents alike. This, roughly, is how I feel watching Maroon 5 perform “Daylight” on The Voice.Team Blake is next on the chopping block. Scottish rocker Terry McDermott is saved first, on the heels of his memorable Journey cover. Cassadee Pope, one-time star of the band Hey Monday, is the audience’s second choice. Blake’s remaining team members — mariachi Julio Cesar Castillo, mini-punk Michaela Paige, and country singer Liz Davis — are all solid performers, and it’s unfortunate to see any of them go. But Blake wisely picks Michaela, whose broad appeal improves her odds of advancing to the finals.
For their group performance, Team Christina and Team Cee Lo stage “Drive By” as a Glee touring number. Nicholas David, you are better than this; please forgive us.
On Team Christina, pretty-boy Dez Duron (boo) and Egyptian Sylvia Yacoub (yay) are crowned the winners by fan votes. For her third team member, Christina decides to save Adriana Louise, the endearingly self-effacing waitress from New York City. I love Adriana, but this means that the unparalleled De’Borah is sent packing. Oof… right in the feels.
For Team Cee Lo, 18-year-old Trevin Hunte — who I have tentatively diagnosed with Jack disease — predictably wins the first spot in the next round. To my surprise and delight, soulful weirdo Nicholas David is the second fan choice. Well played, America.
I would’ve bet 20 bucks (approximately 10 percent of my net worth) that Cee Lo would choose hipster Harry Potter Mackenzie Bourg for his final team member, but to my double surprise and double delight, he opts for loveable Arkansas native Cody Belew instead. Go Team Cody!
The Voice returns Monday night at 8 p.m. with the quarterfinals. In the meantime, follow Molly on Twitter @mollyfitz.
[Image Credit: Tyler Golden/NBC (2)]
The Voice Recap: How Am I Supposed to Live Without Trevin?
The Voice Recap: Rock the Vote
The Voice Recap: I’m Going to Knock You Out
From Our Partners:
Ariel Winter’s Mom Claims She Found Daughter in Bed With 18-Year-Old Boyfriend, Police Report Reveals (EXCLUSIVE)
Reese Witherspoon’s Son Tennessee James Makes Public Debut (PHOTOS) (Celebuzz)
A jukebox musical is the epitome of reverse-engineered entertainment. Take a set of songs linked together by a common thread arrange them for Broadway belters and fill in the gaps with enough narrative to convince the audience they're not sitting through a large-scale cover band concert. Silly satisfying and familiar — the perfect combination for a crowd-pleaser. Rock of Ages the big screen adaptation of the hit stage musical manages to make the simplistic formula feel even lazier. Starting off like a full-on '80s movie spoof Rock of Ages quickly loses footing with a bombardment of overproduced tunes lip-synced by its celebrity cast. Simply put: it doesn't rock. At all.
The film opens with small town Kansas gal Sherrie Christian (Julianne Hough) hopping on a bus to make it big in Hollywood. There's a glimmer of hope as she duets Night Ranger's "Sister Christian" with a bus driver — maybe Rock of Ages really will be this fun and absurd. But when Sherrie arrives at The Bourbon Room the city's premiere rock club and only second to Disneyland as the least threatening place in L.A. the movie spins out of control. Sherrie quickly strikes up a relationship with bartender/aspiring musician Drew (Diego Boneta) is hired by club owner Dennis Dupree (Alec Baldwin) and his second-in-command Lonny (Russell Brand) and becomes entangled in the joint's big attempt to stay afloat: the legendary Stacee Jaxx's (Tom Cruise) last concert before going solo.
Sticking with Sherrie as she explores the crazy hair metal scene is fun but director Adam Shankman (Hairspray Bedtime Stories) and his team of writers insist on piling more and more stuff on to Rock of Ages shoulders. There's politician wife Patricia Whitmore (Catherine Zeta-Jones) and her campaign against The Bourbon Room. There's Rolling Stone reporter Constance Sack (Malin Åkerman) who hopes to land one more interview with Jaxx. There's Jaxx's manager Paul Gill (Paul Giamatti) who responds to the fading rock scene with ambitions of starting a boy band with Drew. Anything that can open the door for more songs — pointless as the plot points may be — Shankman throws into the shuffle. Unfortunately the ears can only take so much autotune.
The upside of the clunky script is some genuinely funny moments souped up by the comedic prowess of the supporting cast (a baboon named HeyMan throwing bottles at Giamatti Cruise singing "I Want to Know What Love Is" into Ackerman's butt). Hough and Boneta have nothing to contribute to Rock of Ages hammy leads with no material who pale in comparison to their '80s romantic predecessors. But the rest of the crew throw up sign of the horns and try their best to crank up the craziness Baldwin and Brand making a case for a spin-off with their wacky rapport. A musical number in which the duo finally realizes their passion for one another would have made a great Funny or Die video but padded with the filler of Rock of Ages it has no room to shine. Even Cruise who kills whenever he's musing full rock star mode struggles to make the paper thin Stacee Jaxx work in his musical moments. The recordings are flat and lifeless automatically putting a strain on the performers.
The music and the movies of the '80s share a similar aesthetic. They're over-the-top they're hot and sweaty and they're about not giving a damn. Raw fun. Rock of Ages fails to capture that feel in both visuals and song blowing out the flame of every lighter-waving moment with its stale recreation. For an energetic entertaining two hours of classic rock tunes stick to karaoke.
Although it's modern day there's a distinct Raymond Chandler-esque feel to this story about a petty thief named Harry Lockhart (Robert Downey Jr.) who lucks into a movie audition and finds himself heading to Hollywood. Harry is replacing Colin Farrell as a detective in a film and to get the realism of the part he's shown the detecting ropes by Det. Perry van Shrike (Val Kilmer) also known as Gay Perry--because he's gay. Then Harry runs into his old high school sweetie Harmony (Michelle Monaghan) at a Hollywood party. She believes Harry is a real detective and begs him to help her. That's when the bodies begin coming out of the woodwork. Greed torture and mayhem ensue. If there's any way to prove that Downey is back in true form this is it. He's glib charming deep and truly becomes a modern-day Chaplin in this very trampy role. Kilmer avoids some of the stereotypes of playing gay but as he points out "we're not good cop bad cop we're fag and New Yorker." Both deserve awards. Monaghan holds her own as a feisty red-head. Even Downey's real-life son Indio--who plays his character in the early flashback scenes--shows incredible promise as an actor. This is the Shane Black’s directorial debut the same guy who wrote Lethal Weapon and Long Kiss Goodnight. He knows violence that’s for sure but he also has a keen sense of humor. In Kiss Kiss he mixes them well. Black sets the mood with Downey--giving his best Bogie-like voiceover-- narrating the action along the way. This is better than Get Shorty as far as a dark look into the entertainment industry and far more entertaining. And as Harry's character promises "I've seen Lord of the Rings and we're not going to end this 17 times."