‘The Voice’ Recap: They Can’t Make You Love Them

thevoice211bLet’s start this recap of the second elimination show with a confession, Voicelings: The brief “This is The Voice!” that brings us back into the show kills a little piece of my soul every time I hear it. Not even one entire season of watching and I’m running perilously low on soul. So if I seem extra snarky, it’s NBC’s fault, not mine.

Now, to find out if the rest of America and/or the coaches are suffering from a similar lack of soul. Monday night, Teams Adam and Cee Lo tried to show you they’re all special snowflakes worthy of your love and affection and, most importantly, cash money. Tuesday, we decided at least four of them weren’t.

Before all that’s revealed, though, we have to check in with the coaches. Adam was a little let down by some of his team, and even cops to being a bit jealous of Cee Lo. Blake is sartorially imitating Johnny Cash, while Christina has opted for the High School Math Teacher In a Porno look. (That doesn’t mean she doesn’t look fabulous, of course.)

Carsonbot informs us Juliet Simms and Tony Lucca hit No. 1 on the rock chart on iTunes, which is good for them. But rather than getting right down to the agony and the ecstasy of our Tributes, we get… a performance by Jesse J, whose connection to the show is that she’s a coach on The Voice: UK. About as tenuous a connection as Gym Class Heroes, I suppose. Her costume unfortunately makes her look like a rejected extra from a “Viva La Vida” video. Oh, there’s Team Christina, popping in at the end there. I’m not opposed to Jesse J, producers, but we only have an hour. Cut this and just let the coaches talk more.

Also, just for fun, the producers let us know Arsenio Billingham Hall is in the audience. (Ten points for anyone who gets that 30 Rock reference.)

Interestingly, we skip the pre-taped field trip packages for Teams Adam and Cee Lo. But what outdated platform did they perform on?! I must know! No, instead we talk with Adam. He hates this part of the process, this “game,” but regardless of how his team does, he knows they’ll have careers. I do not share his confidence, but I’m just a crazy person on the internet, so, you know: grain of salt.

NEXT: America hates people whose name start with “K.” 

Carsonbot waits until the tension level has reached “critical” on his meters before telling us Mathai, Tony Lucca, and Pip from Team Adam are all safe, safe as houses. “I’m so surprised!” says NO ONE. This means Karla Davis, Katrina Parker, and Kim Yarborough get to sing for their supper one last time. So, either America hates people whose names start with “K,” or they’re not big fans of women who aren’t wispy twigs. Just an observation.

Cee Lo thinks he’s done right by his team, and he appreciates them being interesting. “If one of us wins, all of us wins,” he declares. That’s… not really how it works, thinks his team as they quake. Again, to the surprise of literally no one, Juliet Simms, Jamar Rogers, and James Massone are all spared horrific public humiliation for now, leaving Cheesa, Tony Vincent, and Erin Martin to re-impress the inscrutable Cee Lo. But later. Right now, it’s time to decimate Team Adam…or whatever the Latinate equivalent is for “cutting by one-third.”

Kim’s weapon of choice is “Spotlight.” It’s a good song for her, but she doesn’t quite have the same verve she showed in the Blind Auditions. In fact, she looks about as close to tears as you can get without openly sobbing. You can’t hear it, which is a mercy.

Karla’s back onstage with “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” which is perhaps a bit on-the-nose. She does better than last night, but she’s just not in the same league as Yarborough, vocally.

That’s all moot though, because Katrina pretty much nails “Don’t Speak,” and I’m not just saying that because it’s one of me and my BFF’s go-to karaoke songs. She really just shows some fire that the other two lacked.


The producers bludgeon us to death with Tense Music as Blake, Christina, and Cee Lo all voice their support for Katrina. Such is the power of Gwen Stefani, y’all. Adam sits up poker-straight and gives a Winger Stalling Speech about how great this experience is, how surreal, etc., etc., before mercifully cutting himself off and naming Katrina his Victor.

Karla graciously thanks the behind-the-scenes grunts as well as Adam, which is wonderfully classy. Kim goes the traditional “This was amazing, thanks everyone” route.

Adam (a little adorably, I’ll admit it) stumbles through an interview with Christina Milian and disses the room Sprint so lovingly provided, if love is measured in dollars: “It’s a little awkward in here. Can we, like, move around or something? Put some music on?” No, apparently that room is full of those odious people who speak only via Twitter.

NEXT: Thanks for attempting to mangle “Your Song,” cat-strangler.

Now, for Team Cee Lo:

Tony Vincent does “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This),” playing up the “I look kind of like a demon” angle. More like “Bad Dreams (Are Made of This),” amirite, y’all? I’m definitely going to have nightmares as a result of this performance. Technically, he’s good, and it totally works for him, I’m just… easily creeped out. The audience is screaming, whether from joy or fear, I can’t really tell.

Cheesa’s up with “All By Myself,” an interesting choice that naturally brings Clueless to mind. I haven’t been all that impressed with her thus far, but I’m willing to admit she hooked me with this one and finally showed her range in a way that didn’t seem forced.

Erin Martin mangles “Your Song” and inspires near-berserker-level rage in me, as I have an enduring fondness for both the original and Moulin Rouge versions of this song, so thanks for attempting to ruin that, cat-strangler.


ADAM SMASH! He’s so angry right now: Why did it take this long for them to sing like it was their last chance? He’ splutters and picks Cheesa. Blake is similarly impressed with how the Bottom Threes did tonight and chooses Cheesa. (Calling “The Bottom Threes” as a band name, incidentally.) Adam is really stuck on this and interjects again, damn. It’s nice that he feels so passionate about this, because at least someone seems to care about the blandness of the last few weeks, but let’s all take a deep breath, shall we? Christina inexplicably makes sure Tony’s name is Tony before level-headedly agreeing with Blake and Adam about Cheesa.

Cee Lo legitimately feels terrible having to do this, and the crowd is at like three Biebers, you can barely hear him. Finally, Carsonbot is able to quiet the raging hordes. Cee Lo’s brain says Tony… but his fluffy white heart says Cheesa. And thus I wearily resign myself to having to pick out all the “Cheese” typos for at least another couple recaps.

At any rate, this isn’t about orthographically nonsensical names! It’s about voices, and NBC trying desperately to hoard as many viewers as possible before the ratings drought preceding the Olympics. Which is why I’ll see y’all back here next week for some more elimination fun.


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