'The Voice' recap: So long, Cheesa and Mathai
Now that the outrage after last week's eliminations has died down, everything proceeded pretty much as expected on "The Voice" this week. And what Tuesday night's elimination rounds lacked in surprise, they made up for with the comfort of knowing that the right people had been sent home and the best candidates tapped to move forward to duke it out in the semifinals.
After Florence and the Machine, backed by Team Cee Lo, had performed their song "No Light, No Light," the remaining members of Team Adam and Team Cee Lo gathered to learn their fates.
Carson Daly delivered the audience verdict with merciful swiftness. America's save is … the boys! The sole remaining guy on each team had been saved: Tony Lucca would advance from Adam Levine's team. Jamar Rogers would move forward from Cee Lo Green's crew.
That left Mathai and Katrina Parker to compete for Levine's save, and Cheesa and Juliet Simms to vie for Green's.
If you predicted that Parker would blow it out of the water and Mathai would turn in a sweet yet somehow disappointing performance, you were right. Mathai sang "Cowboy Cassanova" and didn't lack for charm, but did lack a certain power and urgency. The judges complimented her on her "aggression."
Then Parker came on -- looking lovely -- and showed off her lush, round, gently raspy tone on "Perfect." "I know Tony got the vote from America," Blake told Adam. "But Kristina is the best singer on your team." Christina said she agreed with Shelton "100%" and that, of all the singers on Levine's team, she was "most excited to hear original material sung by" Parker.
As for Team Cee Lo, Cheesa, who Green over-praised as the "power singer" of our generation on Monday's show, stepped out with "Already Gone," but sadly, though she sang with passion, the pitch -- with the notable exception of one impressively big, belted note -- got away from her. The judges noticed Cheesa's pitch problem and said so. Things weren't looking good for Cheesa.
They looked even worse after Simms sang "Torn" with a restrained intensity that may have made it my favorite performance from her to date, though Aguilera said she preferred the rip-roaring style Simms had showed when she sang "Roxanne" earlier in the season. Shelton declared his love for Simms, admitting he'd come late to it, and said he'd pick Simms over Cheesa, mostly because "as a fan" he couldn't bear the thought of watching the show and not seeing Simms perform in future weeks.
Green required both women to "smile in the face of adversity" and then heaped on the praise before revealing his save selection. America's energy was "invested in" Simms, he said, so he was taking her to the next round. So long, Cheesa.
Looking back on it, it was a bad week for one-named contestants, what with Pip, Cheesa and Mathai all heading home, along with two-named auto mechanic James Massone. Surveying all the teams, here's who remains heading into the semifinals:
Team Blake: Erin Willett, Jermaine Paul
Team Christina: Chris Mann, Lindsey Pavao
Team Cee Lo: Jamar Rogers, Juliet Simms
Team Adam: Tony Lucca, Katrina Parker
Do you think the best singers are still standing?
"American Idol" vs. "The Voice"
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-- Amy Reiter