Greetings fellow The Voice watchers and welcome to the Knockout Rounds! Since many of my East Coast colleagues are busy dealing with the wrath of Hurricane Sandy (stay safe, y’all!), I am “stepping up to the mic,” as it were, and taking over The Voice recapping duties for the time being. Now to be honest, I’ve only seen a few episodes of the show here and there, but anything involving the words “singing battles,” “knockout rounds,” and “Adam Levine” sounds like a good time to me. So let’s get started!
With no more steals to fall back on, the pressure was on in full force for the remaining 40 contestants, especially since only half of them (that’s 20 for you anti-math fans like myself) will be selected for the show’s live playoffs by week’s end. Yikes!
Last night featured Team Adam vs. Team Cee Lo…
The first two to face off were Joselyn Rivera and Kayla Nevarez. Since both girls have a similar pop star quality sound, Adam wanted to get these two side by side to see which one deserves to advance to the next round. In a bold move, Rivera tackled Beyoncé's “Love on Top” song and managed to hit a wide variety of hard-to-reach notes (well, at least most of them). Nevarez, on the other hand, opted to play things a little safer by giving a cautious rendition of “Shark in the Water” by V V Brown. Though Adam was very pleased with both performances, he preferred Joselyn’s risky approach and advanced her to the next round.
Next up was Joe Kirkland vs. Bryan Keith, who also share a similar sound (I think I’m starting to understand the strategy here). In a surprise choice, Joe belted out “Mean” by Taylor Swift, while Bryan went for the swoon approach with “Everything I Do (I Do It for You)” by Bryan Adams. Joe may have had the risk factor in this one, but Bryan’s spot-on performance proved that he has the talent to make any song (even the romantic, cheesy ones) his very own. So it’s Bryan for the win!
Then came Amanda Brown who sang “Paris (Ooh La La)” by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals vs. Michelle Brooks-Thompson, who performed “Spotlight” by Jennifer Hudson. Talk about two powerhouse voices, these girls have it in spades. Amanda brought sass and vocal firepower, while Michelle showed off some serious artistic range. And while they both seemed to kill it out there (Christina called it a real singer’s battle), Adam decided to go with his gut and keep Amanda. Personally, I agree with the choice. That girl’s singing chops deserve a proper chance in the spotlight.
Next we had Loren Allred sing “You Know I’m No Good” by Amy Winehouse against Nicole Nelson, who chose to perform “If I Ain’t Got You” by Alicia Keys. According to the rehearsal footage, it looked like Nicole was the preferred favorite, however, Loren had a truly stellar performance, making all of the coaches speechless and completely wowed. Adam wanted her to stop sounding like a wedding singer and take on a deeper, darker edge. Well, wish granted! It was a truly incredible breakout moment that left Adam with only one choice: he had to pick Loren. Let’s hope there’s more where that came from. Loren, welcome to the dark side!
Last up for Team Adam, Melanie Martinez took on “Bulletproof” by La Roux, while Sam James performed “Walking in Memphis” by Marc Cohn. Sam’s style was fun, but it lacked the vocal strength necessary to stay in the competition at this point. That being said, I think he is just adorable and I want us to be best friends (seriously, can we make this happen, please?). But regardless, Melanie’s albeit breathy performance was far superior, so it’s no surprise Adam sent her into the playoffs. Now we just need her to get rid of that hair bow.
Team Cee Lo:
First up was Avery Wilson (singing Chris Brown’s “Yeah 3x”) vs. Cody Belew (singing “Jolene” by Dolly Parton). It seemed to be an off night for Avery, who was trying to do a little too much all at once when he really should’ve been focusing on how his voice sounded (thus the name of the show). But instead of giving the guy some leeway, Cee Lo decided to send him packing, sending Cody off to the next round. And just like that, the guy everyone thought would win it all, doesn’t even make it to the playoffs! Oh Cee Lo, you really are one unpredictable fella.
Next up was Mackenzie Bourg vs. Daniel Rosa – who both had very unique song selections. While Mackenzie performed Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe,” Daniel sang “Back to December,” making this the second Taylor Swift song of the night – both performed by guys (is this a trending thing now?). But unlike Daniel’s rather forgettable rendition, Mackenzie completely changed up the monotonously catchy tune into something that was – dare I say – kinda awesome? I know, you guys. I shouldn’t like it, but I did. By the end, even his opponent was singing along. This dude has my vote! And apparently he has Cee Lo’s too since he sent Mackenzie on to the next round. (Maybe we should lay off the Taylor Swift songs for a while, gentlemen).
Then came Terisa Griffin who went up against Trevin Hunt in a seemingly flawed move on Cee Lo’s part. These are two amazing singers who both deserve to go on to the playoffs, so why pit them against each other so soon? But hey, that’s just one girl’s opinion. Terisa sang the classic Whitney Houston song “Saving All My Love for You,” which was just as emotionally powerful as it was vocally. Seriously, this girl can bring tears to your eyes faster than any Nicholas Sparks book. But then there’s Trevin, who did an equally strong performance with Phil Collins’ hit “Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now).” Seriously, why does either of them have to go home? This is like the Sophie’s Choice of singing competitions. But sadly, a decision did have to be made and Cee Lo chose to save (drumroll please)…Trevin!
The next knockout battle was between Mycle Wastman and Nicholas David, who both have very soulful voices. Mycle went with Elton John’s “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me.” It was good and everyone loved it, but then again, that could have more to do with the song than the actual performance. Meanwhile, Nicholas sang a lively rendition of “Put Your Records On” by Corinne Bailey Rae, making this yet another guy opting to sing a girl song (was this an intentional theme for the night?). It was fun, but I wasn’t overly thrilled. Perhaps now that I’ve heard Trevin sing, no other guy can match up. Even the coaches seemed split on what to do. But in the end, Cee Lo made the decision to keep Nicholas.
And last but not least was Caitlin Michele (singing “Bring Me to Life” by Evanescence) vs. Diego Val (singing “Are You Gonna Go My Way” by Lenny Kravitz). The song choices were actually pretty perfect for each of their individual styles. There’s no doubt Caitlin has the stronger vocal talent, but Diego really knows how to liven up a crowd with all that energy of his. None of the coaches seems all that thrilled with either performance (probably because they’re still in shock over Terisa’s unnecessary elimination. I’m not bitter or anything). But regardless, Cee Lo chose to advance Diego into the playoffs.
And look – this means Cee Lo has picked five guys and zero girls to go on to the live shows. I’m not sure if this makes him utterly foolish or a complete genius. We’ll find out soon enough! But in the meantime, what did you think of last night’s eliminations? Sound off in the comments below.
The Voice returns Tuesday for another two-hour Knockout episode starting at 8 p.m. – this time between Team Blake and Team Christina.
Follow Kelly on Twitter @KellyBean0415
[Photo Credit: Tyler Golden/NBC (2)]
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It was the trickle of pee heard around the world. Cannes attendees were aghast and/or amused an infamous scene from The Paperboy that shows Nicole Kidman urinating on Zac Efron; this is apparently a great salve for jellyfish burns which were covering our Ken Doll-like protagonist. (In fact the term protagonist should be used very loosely for Efron's character Jack who is mostly acted upon than active throughout.)
Lurid! Sexy! Perverse! Trashy! Whether or not it's actually effective is overshadowed by all the hubbub that's attached itself to the movie for better or worse. In fact the movie is all of these things — but that's actually not a compliment. What could have become somethingmemorable is jaw-droppingly bad (when it's not hilarious). Director Lee Daniels uses a few different visual styles throughout from a stark black and white palette for a crime scene recreation at the beginning to a '70s porno aesthetic that oscillates between psychedelic and straight-up sweaty with an emphasis on Efron's tighty-whiteys. This only enhances the sloppiness of the script which uses lines like narrator/housekeeper/nanny Anita's (Macy Gray) "You ain't tired enough to be retired " to conjure up the down-home wisdom of the South. Despite Gray's musical talents she is not a good choice for a narrator or an actor for that matter. In a way — insofar as they're perhaps the only female characters given a chunk of screen time — her foil is Charlotte Bless Nicole Kidman's character. Anita is the mother figure who wears as we see in an early scene control-top pantyhose whereas Charlotte is all clam diggers and Barbie doll make-up. Or as Anita puts it "an oversexed Barbie doll."
The slapdash plot is that Jack's older brother Ward (Matthew McConaughey) comes back to town with his colleague Yardley (David Oyelowo) to investigate the case of a death row criminal named Hillary Van Wetter. Yardley is black and British which seems to confuse many of the people he meets in this backwoods town. Hillary (John Cusack) hidden under a mop of greasy black hair) is a slack-jawed yokel who could care less if he's going to be killed for a crime he might or might not have committed. He is way more interested in his bride-to-be Charlotte who has fallen in love with him through letters — this is her thing apparently writing letters and falling in love with inmates — and has rushed to help Ward and Yardley free her man. In the meantime we're subjected to at least one simulated sex scene that will haunt your dreams forever. Besides Hillary's shortcomings as a character that could rustle up any sort of empathy the case itself is so boring it begs the question why a respected journalist would be interested enough to pursue it.
The rest of the movie is filled with longing an attempt to place any the story in some sort of social context via class and race even more Zac Efron's underwear sexual violence alligator innards swamp people in comically ramshackle homes and a glimpse of one glistening McConaughey 'tock. Harmony Korine called and he wants his Gummo back.
It's probably tantalizing for this cast to take on "serious" "edgy" work by an Oscar-nominated director. Cusack ditched his boombox blasting "In Your Eyes" long ago and Efron's been trying to shed his squeaky clean image for so long that he finally dropped a condom on the red carpet for The Lorax so we'd know he's not smooth like a Ken doll despite how he was filmed by Daniels. On the other hand Nicole Kidman has been making interesting and varied career choices for years so it's confounding why she'd be interested in a one-dimensional character like Charlotte. McConaughey's on a roll and like the rest of the cast he's got plenty of interesting projects worth watching so this probably won't slow him down. Even Daniels is already shooting a new film The Butler as we can see from Oprah's dazzling Instagram feed. It's as if they all want to put The Paperboy behind them as soon as possible. It's hard to blame them.
Glenn Quinn, the 32-year-old actor who is best known for his recurring role on the hit TV sitcom Roseanne, was found dead in his apartment Dec. 3 in Los Angeles. WashingtonPost.com reports authorities are saying Quinn's death could possibly be attributed to a drug overdose but medical evidence is still pending. Quinn joined the cast of Roseanne in its third season as older daughter Becky Connor's boyfriend/husband Mark. He also co-starred on the TV drama Angel, a spin-off of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Nicole Kidman may be heading back to the London stage. After baring it all, literally, four years ago in David Hare's The Blue Room, Kidman is now in negotiations to star in Henrik Ibsen's The Lady From the Sea for director Trevor Nunn.
Veteran vintner Francis Ford Coppola will drink no wine before its time. The Godfather director will plunk down a cool $31.5 million for the Cohn Vineyard in Napa Valley, Calif., winning the bid over competitor Robert Mondavi, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The Cohn Vineyard is renowned for its excellent conditions that create some of the world's best cabernet.
Spanish director Pedro Almodovar and his newest film Talk to Her were the big winners at the European Film Academy Awards Saturday. The film, about a man's relationship with a comatose woman, won best film with Almodovar taking the award for best director. The 15th annual awards ceremony was held in Rome, Italy.
The Talented Mr. Ripley co-stars Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow are set to reteam for The World of Tomorrow, a big-budget sci-fi thriller for first-time writer/director Kerry Conran. Paltrow will play a reporter and Law a pilot in the film, which is set at the turn of the 20th century and is in the same vein as Raiders of the Lost Ark, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Alec Baldwin, who starred in 1999's Outside Providence, has decided he'd rather be inside the Rhode Island city than outside of it. He is in negotiations to co-star with Matthew Broderick in Providence, a film about a young filmmaker (Broderick) who gets funding to make a film from a mysterious source (Baldwin) on the condition he shoots the film in Providence, R.I. The filmmaker eventually discovers the "producer" is really an undercover FBI agent.
After a brawl in Munich, Germany, which forced them to cancel two shows, the British rock band Oasis returned to the stage Sunday in Wales to finish their European tour. Lead singer Liam Gallagher, who lost two teeth when he and other band members got into a fight with some Italians at a hotel bar Dec. 1, had his teeth repaired to continue the tour.
Guess Eminem is going to have to change some of his lyrics about his wife, Kim. According to PageSix.com, the bad-boy rapper's grandmother, Betty Kresin, confirmed that he and Kim are back together. "They're back together," Kresin told PageSix.com, "and I think Marshall [Eminem's real name] is very happy about it."
"The Grinch" should steal first place from "Charlie's Angels" this weekend.
"'Grinch' is going to be number one," an insider predicts without having to think twice. "You can count on $30 million-plus, and it could even be much higher. The question is will the market expand? I believe that it can."
The PG-rated comedy adventure "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas" from Universal and Imagine Entertainment, opening at 3,127 theaters and on over 4,200 screens, is expected to turn box offices everywhere green.
Directed by Ron Howard and produced by Brian Grazer, "Grinch" stars Jim Carrey.
Paramount and Nickelodeon Movies' G-rated animated sequel "Rugrats in Paris: The Movie" should be a lively number two, opening at 2,934 theaters.
"The first 'Rugrats' opened to $27 million, but there was nothing else in the market that weekend for kids. It's probably unrealistic to think they could get much above $20 million given the presence of 'The Grinch,'" a distributor speculates. The original "The Rugrats Movie" kicked off to $27.3 million the weekend of Nov. 20-22, 1998, at 2,782 theaters, averaging $9,821 per theater.
"There's only so many movies kids can go to on a non-holiday weekend. I think 'Rugrats' will not open as big, but will play better through the Thanksgiving holiday. Its audience is going to come see the movie, but it may be their second choice after 'Grinch.' But they'll still get to the movie."
"It gets hurt by 'Grinch,'" an insider adds. "There's no doubt about that."
Directed by Stig Bergqvist and Paul Demeyer, it was produced by Arlene Klasky and Gabor Csupo.
Columbia's PG-13-rated action adventure comedy "Charlie's Angels" dropped 39% last weekend to $24.6 million. If it falls 40% this time around, it will do about $15 million, which could put it in third or fourth place, depending on how well "The 6th Day" dawns.
"'Charlie's Angels' could be around $15 million, and it could really be challenged by '6th Day,'" observes a distributor. "They could each do $12-15 million."
Columbia and Phoenix Pictures' PG-13-rated sci-fi action adventure "The 6th Day," starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, will roll into 2,516 theaters.
Directed by McG, "Angels" stars Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, Lucy Liu and Bill Murray.
"Day" is directed by Roger Spottiswoode.
Miramax's PG-13-rated romantic drama "Bounce," starring Ben Affleck and Gwyneth Paltrow, and written and directed by Don Roos, will arrive at about 2,000 theaters.
"There's no woman's picture in the market, so they could luck out a little on 'Bounce,'" says another insider, who thinks it will "be lucky to do $10 million."
"It could be 'Bounce,'" replies a source talking about fifth place. "But if 'Bounce' doesn't get to the $10 million mark, it could be 'Meet the Parents' or 'Men Of Honor.' That could be a tight race there. 'Bounce' has to be better than $8 million because 'Men Of Honor' and 'Meet the Parents' look like they could be $8 million."
Universal's PG-13-rated blockbuster comedy "Meet the Parents" has grossed over $130 million in six weeks and is heading for a domestic theatrical gross of $160 million or more.
Directed by Jay Roach, "Parents" stars Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller.
New Line's PG-13-rated youth appeal comedy "Little Nicky," which opened in second place last weekend to a disappointing $16.1 million, is expected to drop big time.
"I think 'Little Nicky' falls apart," predicts one distributor. "It looks like it'll be below $8 million.
"'Little Nicky' is going to fall apart like a $2 watch," adds another executive.
Directed by Steven Brill, "Nicky" stars Adam Sandler, Patricia Arquette and Harvey Keitel.
20th Century Fox's R-rated Navy divers drama "Men of Honor," which surfaced in third place last weekend with $13.3 million, should sink to sixth place.
"'Men of Honor' sticks around with $8-9 million," says a studio source.
"I don't feel any heat on that picture," insists another handicapper.
Directed by George Tillman, Jr., "Honor" stars Robert De Niro and Cuba Gooding, Jr.
Filling out lower rungs: "Remember the Titans," "The Legend of Bagger Vance" and "Red Planet."
On this weekend's expansion front, Sony Pictures Classics will open its R-rated documentary about the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre "One Day In September" in exclusive engagements in New York and Los Angeles.
Directed by Kevin MacDonald, it was produced by Arthur Cohn and John Battsek.
Returned to the studio and began producing his own films by the late 1940's
Produced "The New Interns"
Produced "The Killer That Stalked New York", starring Evelyn Keyes
Produced "Mission Over Korea", starring John Derek and John Hodiak
Served in the Army Air Corps during WWII; rose to the rank of captain and was awarded the Purple Heart and the Distinguished Flying Cross
founder of Columbia Pictures
founder of Columbia Pictures
University of Michigan
His last film for Columbia Pictures, "Young Americans", had to forfeit the Oscar it won for Best Documentary of 1968 after the Academy of Motion Picture Art and Sciences found out that he had given the film a test run the year before.