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'The Voice' recap: Final four prove it's a man's world, but not totally

May 2, 2012 |  4:30 am

To quote the song Juliet Simms completely slayed on "The Voice" Monday night, "This is a man's, man's, man's world, but it wouldn't be nothing, nothing, nothing without a woman or a girl." And in the man's world that America's votes helped create on "The Voice" in Tuesday's results show, that woman or girl turned out to be Simms. She's the last female contestant standing heading into the finals next week.

In a night that brought back last year's four finalists — Dia Frampton, Vicci Martinez, Beverly McClellan and winner Javier Colon — to perform alongside artists like Cyndi Lauper, Kid Cudi and "Voice" coach Cee Lo Green, the results were parceled out team by team.

The final tallies, flashed briefly onscreen, followed a mysterious formula (Carson Daly said it was all spelled out on "The Voice's" website, but I couldn't find it) that combined percentages assigned by the judges and America's votes. But what was clear was that at the end of the evening, one member of each team would be left standing and the other left to utter his or her thanks into the mike and wave a tearful goodbye.

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Since each teams featured two solid performers, we probably could have predicted that seeing four talented singers swept offstage in one night was going to feel brutal, even bloodbath-like. We might also have guessed, based on previous votes, that in most cases the best man would win, but we might not have realized just how sad we would be to see almost all the best women sent home.

First up was Christina Aguilera's team: Chris Mann and Lindsey Pavao. Aguilera confessed she had a "sick feeling" but added that both of her contestants were winners and should not see the results as the end of the road for them. How did she divvy her points? Had she tipped it to the vocally haunting Pavao, whose "fan" she had repeatedly declared herself to be? Or had Mann earned her loyalty with his opera chops? Both contestants looked scared, as if they were about to find out their mama didn't really love them best after all. But no, Aguilera divided her points 50-50.

"I had to make a lot of decisions so far," she explained. "I really wanted to let America have the opportunity and be the deciding factor in this case."

America voted for … Mann, leaving Pavao to weepily thank her coach and the show and depart.

Next Adam Levine team members Tony Lucca and Katrina Parker clustered center stage to learn their fates. Levine encouraged both contestants to see the show not as something to be won or lost but rather as a platform from which to launch their careers. The sky's the limit, he said.

Levine may have been speaking directly to Parker, since it was soon revealed he had split his points in Lucca's favor, giving the former Mouseketeer 60 points and the former cubicle worker only 40. He explained that, though Parker was "far and away the most improved" performer on the show, he'd immediately connected with Lucca, going so far as to call it a "bromance," and therefore felt he had the best chance of getting him to a win.

The audience vote confirmed Levine's verdict: Lucca would survive for the finals. Parker thanked Levine for "believing" in her, the other coaches "for their generous words," and everyone who works on the show, saying she was grateful for the experience and going out with her head held high.

Blake Shelton's team members, Erin Willett and Jermaine Paul, got their results next. Shelton gave a heartfelt speech in which he said he had "so much respect for both" of them — for Paul for stepping up and risking everything to pursue his dream and Willett for standing strong during a difficult time. "I love both of them," Shelton said. So how would he split his points? An even 50-50.

"I don't want to be part of this decision-making process anymore," Shelton said. "They've done everything they can do, and I've done everything I can do. It's up to America now."

America went with … Paul. Willett, whose birthday it happened to be, had obviously grown to be loved not only by teammate Paul and coach Shelton, both of whom we heard telling her so, but by Daly as well. "Erin's been so much fun to have on this show," the host said. But still Willett was left to say her thanks and go off to celebrate her birthday without the pressure of the finals hanging over her head.

Last up were Cee Lo Green's ridiculously talented team members, Simms and Jamar Rogers. While both deserved to stay, and either of them could have had a pretty good shot at the win, by the time they stepped onto the stage, most of us probably figured we'd be looking at a clean male sweep. After all, though Simms really had killed her song Monday night, Rogers had been something of a frontrunner from the start, a powerful performer with a moving backstory.

Green rightly said Simms and Rogers were "two of arguably the best contestants on this show," saying they had "revitalized" him with their talent and that he "will forever unconditionally love the both of you. And I mean that sincerely."

Then he split the score in Simms' favor, giving her 60 points and Rogers 40.

"Let me just explain why," Green said, revealing that he'd judged them based on the previous night's performances because he "wanted to be honest, critical and fair" and not just do the 50-50 thing.

Rogers had been "the consistent frontrunner," he told him. "America loves you, sir. I love you." But something about Rogers' performance Monday night hadn't done it for Green, whereas Simms' performance "was so strikingly beautiful and strong."

Would it matter? Would the audience vote override Green's handicap?

Nope, startlingly, Simms won a decisive victory. She looked frankly dumbfounded, and Rogers too looked like he had no idea what had hit him.

"I never thought I would make it this far," he said. "And thank you."

Goodbye and thanks for the music, Jamar Rogers, Lindsey Pavao, Katrina Parker and birthday girl Erin Willett.

See you next week in the finals, Tony Lucca, Chris Mann, Jermaine Paul and Juliet Simms.

Did the right singers make the finals?

"American Idol" vs. "The Voice"

Each week our experts and readers rank the best of the best between the two blockbuster singing competitions. Last week, "American Idol's" Jessica Sanchez came out on top. Who will be the favorite this week? Use the poll below to vote. Check out last week's performances and see what our judges had to say at latimes.com/idol-voice.

 

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'American Idol'-'Voice': Is Jamar Rogers better than Elise Testone?

— Amy Reiter

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