Note: Do not read on if you have not yet seen the April 16 episode of "The Voice."
Well, that was rough. We thought this was just a performance night, but Team Christina and Team Blake each lost another member on "The Voice" (Mondays at 8 p.m. ET and Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on NBC) tonight in a very unexpected instant elimination.
The show kicked off with Carson revealing that both Christina Aguilera and Blake Shelton will have to say goodbye to one team member at the end of the two-hour episode. Christina is "really upset right now" and Blake says, "If I knew who to kick for this, I would kick 'em."
Though his team is not in the hot seat this week, Cee Lo Green seems to have had no idea about the instant boot twist until the cameras starting rolling. Adam Levine, however, likes that the coadges have the control.
Speaking of control, what happened to Christina's tamed appearance?
Jaimie: "Wow, Christina. Holy orange."
Chelsey: "And bright blue eye shadow. Essential."
Jaimie: "She looks dirty, filthy, nasty ... if you will."
Chelsey: "Hahahaha. Where are yo chaps, gurrrl?"
Jaimie: "Man, I miss those."
Chelsey: "No, you don't."
Nor did we miss ...
Song: "She's Country" by Jason Aldean
Now that Erin Martin is gone -- and fighting with Cee Lo via Twitter [https://twitter.com/#!/erinmartinmusic/status/192012462613204992/photo/1]-- RaeLynn is easily "The Voice" star we can't stand the most. She sits with Blake amongst a wall of guitars -- just to remind us that this show is about the music, y'all -- and they talk about her non-boyfriends and how "liiiife" has changed since "The Voice."
As she practices the Aldean track that we've admittedly never heard before, Blake tells her that the "rasp is cool," but she needs "half as much growl." (Or no growl, but sure.) "Fine, take away my growl," she quips. The flirt on this one -- who calls herself a heartbreaker -- is out of control.
Considering this song started with the lyric "hot little number," we're aware we're going to be uncomfortable. Sure enough, it's not soon before RaeLynn is over-sexualizing her performance with her dance moves. Also worthy of note, there is hay in the background. And RaeLynn is in cowboy boots. And she's singing a song called "She's Country." So, just to be clear, is this country?
But back to the uncomfortable factor ...
Jaimie: "She needs to stop hip thrusting."
Chelsey: "The hip thrusting and the knee high walking."
Jaimie: "And the touching the guitarist's face. I really just can't stand her."
Chelsey: "She's insufferable."
But RaeLynn's "big brother"/coadge Blake gives her a standing ovation ... for whatever reason. Christina says she's a fan and RaeLynn made her want to sing country. And then, Christina starts a sentence off with, "I don't know if I'm allowed to say this because you're a minor ..." Thankfully, that sentiment ends with Christina calling her a "badass, man." Still, we're cringing.
Cee Lo and Adam agree that this was RaeLynn's best moment on "The Voice" stage. Blake adds this is the most proud he's ever been of anyone on his team. "You just proved to America that country can kick ass" ... or be underage and inappropriately seductive. Either way.
Song: "Halo" by Beyonce
In rehearsal, Jesse, who is sporting pleather loafers, explains that he is dedicating Bey's chart-topper to his daughter who is his "saving grace." His coadge Christina is going for a casual look in a flannel dress, but her makeup is a different story.
Chelsey: "X-Teeny's lips are SO pink!"
Jaimie: "She looks like she broke into a five-year-old child's Kaboodle and stole her makeup."
Seeing as Christina is known for her theatrical performances, we were hoping that Jesse would emerge wearing a full-blown angel costume -- wings, bow and arrow, the whole shebang. But much to our dismay, Campbell went for a jazzy look with suspenders and a fedora.
Chelsey: "He looks like he should be singing 'Cell Block Tango' from Chicago."
Jaimie: "Yes. But there are no jazz squares, even though everyone loves a good one."
Chelsey: "Nor jazz hands."
Despite the disappointing clothing choice, Campbell's performance, though possibly not his best vocally, is very sweet and moving. Plus, it includes various pictures and home videos of him and his daughter. Another week, another sob story, another bar mitzvah montage.
The coadges, as usual, enjoy Jesse's performance. Adam and Blake agree that it picked up as it went along and Adam also tells Jesse that he is a favorite in the competition. Coadge Christina's feedback is slightly different, however, complimenting Jesse's performance on everything except his actual singing.
Song: "A Little Bit Stronger" by Sara Evans
Blake says we're gonna see a change in Ms. Unga -- who he saved last week -- and that's a good thing because the woman who blew us away during the blind auditions has been floundering ever since. She tells Blake -- in front of the Guitar Wall Of Emotions -- that just before she auditioned for "The Voice," she'd just lost a deal and was looking for a place to live.
When she comes out onto the stage in an ethereal pastel pink gown with her sleeves of tattoos exposed, it's clear we're seeing another side of Jordis. She looks stunning, but we disagree a bit on how she sounds.
Jaimie: "Beautiful dress, but she doesn't sound that good."
Chelsey: "I don't think she sounds bad."
Jaimie: "I think she sounds a little rough or there's not enough musical accompaniment or something."
Chelsey: "I can see that."
She's shaking by the end of the performance and it seems genuine. Then, the camera cuts to her dad and we can't help but swoon.
Christina says she likes when Jordis shows her vulnerable side and we suddenly realize: Ms. Aguilera is being positive this episode. It can't be a coincidence that this comes the week after she ripped into not one, but two Tony's.
Jaimie: "Christina has on a stank face, like they told her to be nice, but she doesn't want to be."
Chelsey: "Hahaha ... YES. She has been uncharacteristically nice tonight. Her publicity has clearly stepped in."
Meanwhile, Cee Lo says she both sounded and looked beautiful and Adam agrees that she did an "amazing job." Blake is proud that she was able to do something "so opposite of what we know of Jordis."
Team Christina's Performance
Song: "Fighter" by Christina Aguilera (Well, obviously!)
We now see Team X-Teenz just casually chillin' in a Starbucks. As Coadge Christina talks to her team about her experiences with the Crenshaw High School choir, they could not look less amused.
Jaimie: "Everyone looks bored out of their minds."
Chelsey: "Ashley looks like mom when she's about to fall asleep at the kitchen table."
The team then goes to Crenshaw High to "surprise" choir and tell them that they are coming to sing on "The Voice"! Clearly, the choir teacher in particular could not be more excited, as evidenced by her facial expressions.
Jaimie: "This is very 'Sister Act 2' and that is the highest compliment I can give a form of entertainment."
Chelsey: "These faces are straight out of the Faces of the Last Season of Oprah Tumblr."
Then, it's time for the performance ... and oh, what a performance it is. Christina emerges in nothing but a corset that she seems to be spilling out of. We do have to hand it to her though, for having some male strippers go after Blake after we've all grown a little tired of hearing him complain about all of the dancers.
Team Christina emerges from various parts of the studio, with some literally rising from underground in the audience. And of course, all team members are sporting leather, if only it were a performance of "Dirrty."
Jaimie: "Jesse looks like he's going to an S&M-themed gay night."
Chelsey: "He really does. Leather Daddy alert."
Jaimie: "No chaps still :( ... A lost opportunity."
Chelsey: "Multiple lost chaps opportunities."
The Crenshaw choir also emerges, and Jaimie remembers that one of the squads in the ABC Family classic film "Bring It On: All or Nothing," starring Hayden Panettiere, is from Crenshaw Heights.
Jaimie: "I said, 'Brrrr. It's cold in here.'"
Chelsey: "There must be some leather in the atmosphere!"
Ashley De La Rosa
Song: "Foolish Games" by Jewel
Ashley De La Rosa is ready to prove to her coadge and to America that she was worthy of being saved last week. Ashley and X-Tina work on making this song edgier by giving it a rock makeover. Christina has faith in Ashley and says that she does see a lot of herself in her so "it's very exciting." Because of course, X-Tina is excited to be able to relate things back to herself.
Ashley begins her performance on the ground surrounded by fog, and while she sounds great, we have difficulty understanding her.
Jaimie: "She's mumbling some of the words."
Chelsey: "A lot of the words. I can't understand her."
Jaimie: "Like she sounds good in the way that I can tell she has an amazing voice, but I'm not enjoying it."
Chelsey: "100% agree."
Cee Lo musters up a compliment, though he doesn't seem like he was too into it, while the rest of the coadges have nothing but positive feedback for Ashley. Blake even says that Christina saving her was the "smartest decision that's been made on 'The Voice' so far." High praise. Christina says, for the thousandth time, that Ashley "made that song her own." We think that compliment has officially lost all meaning.
Song: "Set Fire to the Rain" by Adele
This 22-year-old Maryland waitress tells Blake near the Guitar Wall Of Emotions that she graduated college in May and came to "The Voice" audition on a whim. The two discuss losing their fathers recently -- within weeks of each other while Season 2 was filming -- and things definitely get emotional.
"You gave me an opportunity to shine during the darkest time in my life," Erin tells Blake. We're obviously moved, but still a bit worried about her song choice. Adele is dangerous turf to tread. However, our fear is temporarily alleviated thanks to a pre-"Voice" photo of Blake with a mullet, i.e. the country right of passage.
Chelsey: "Enough with the Adele, you guys. There are other singers. You're comparing them to the most ridiculously amazing singer in the industry."
Jaimie: "I think she sounds good, but I just am so tired of the Adele covers."
Chelsey: "I just automatically compare them to Adele."
Jaimie: "Me too and it loses its effectiveness. I have trouble separating the performances. I mean, Erin sounds pretty amazing."
Chelsey: "I don't think it's her best."
Jaimie: "I just am not feeling it like I usually do."
Christina tells Erin she sang your heart out, but that "Adele is always a touchy one for me because those are big shoes to fill." We hesitate to admit that we agree with Christina. Adam says the pitch was great, but that she needs to work on phrasing. He also wins for quote of the night when he tells her that the dangerous set, chockfull of flames made him nervous. "I get very Jewish with the fire when it comes down like that," he says. Erin's coadge Blake says she's the "one in the competition who could do Adele justice." Apparently, he thinks she did just that.
Rihanna Medley of "S & M" and "We Found Love" "Part of Me" by Katy Perry
Christina tells us that Lindsey has become the top-selling artist from this season so far. It kind of seems like this is only the case because she happened to sing the song that everyone in the country is obsessed with right now (Gotye), but fine, we'll let her have her moment.
When she realizes her Rihanna medley isn't working, Lindsey switches to another song of the moment, "Part of Me." For some reason, the vibe between Christina and Lindsey feels awkward and hostile during this rehearsal.
Lindsey's performance begins with an extreme close-up on her face, and as the camera pans back we find that, in true Christina fashion, two male dancers are holding her microphone. We later learn that Christina has termed this set-up as the "human microphone."
Chelsey: "WHAT IS HAPPENING?"
Jaimie: "WHY DOES CHRISTINA DO THIS?"
As the rock-esque performance continues, we both agree that Lindsey is not sounding great. Adam tells Lindsey that she sounded a little pitchy, but also says, "I hate being the dude that says pitchy because it's stupid." BURN to Christina and Randy Jackson! That's their favorite line!
Otherwise, however, we are confused to hear that the coadges have mainly positive feedback for Lindsey. Also, both Cee Lo and Christina mention that they are not familiar with the song. Come on, guys.
Jaimie: "What are they hearing? What am I missing?"
Chelsey: "Also, they don't know the song? Are they serious? And WHAT is with the silver at the bottom of Lindsey's braid?"
Jaimie: "I thought that was a glare or the sheen from her blazer."
Chelsey: "If only."
Christina goes on to tell Lindsey that she adores her, and then compliments the theatrics of the performance, so she is in essence complimenting herself, i.e. "I loved the human microphone [because I came up with it]."
Team Blake's Performance
Song: "Heartache Tonight" by The Eagles
First, we see Jermaine in double denim. Then, we see RaeLynn is in double denim. Then, we wonder if we'll be able to get through the next three minutes of this performance. "I want to punt RaeLynn," Chelsey decides.
Aggressive aspirations aside, we're impressed by Jordis in the group performance for two reasons: 1) She sounds great and 2) She abandoned the double denim trend.
Blake (a.k.a. "Daaaaaaaaaaaad! Stooooooooop!") looks like the bat/bar mitzvah child's father out there with his dungaree-clad team.
Jaimie: "He looks like a dad at a bar mitzvah ... trying to be hip and sing with the kiddies."
Chelsey: "YES! Like he's trying to pick up on what the words are from them. He's still presh though."
Song: "Against All Odds" by Phil Collins
Alicia Key's 33-year-old former backup singer is next to sit with Blake beside the Guitar Wall Of Emotions and once again, guess who they bring up? Alicia Keys! Who has reached out to Jermaine, in case you were one of two people wondering.
Chelsey: "They're harping on this Alicia Keys shit so bad."
Jaimie: "These conversations are very natural ... In Oppositeville."
Chelsey: "Even the placement."
Jaimie: "You mean, you don't sit on stools by a wall of guitars and talk about death and your former famous bosses?"
Chelsey: "I prefer violins. Sadder."
Jaimie: "Harmonicas for me."
Chelsey: "You're so blues-y."
Jaimie: "Or Joey Gladstone-y."
When Jer steps out on the stage, we see the piano is hand-painted.
Jaimie: "That piano has a little somethin' somethin' on it."
Chelsey: "Do you think they let Jer's kids paint the piano?"
Jaimie: "They should have done handprints. I would have felt it more."
Chelsey: "Good call."
We have some trouble connecting to the song because, as much as we love him, Phil Collins is torturously cheesy. The coadges, however, disagree.
Christina thinks Jermaine is a phenomenal singer and he's her favorite on Team Blake. Cee Lo starts paying "JP" -- as he calls him -- compliments, but then Christina takes out a fan and we can no longer focus. ("It's the only kind of fan she can get!" Chelsey jokes, reaching her maximum number of Uncle jokes for the day, i.e. one.) Adam says he did his own thing, but added that sometimes Jer over-embellishes, but he doesn't need to. And Coadge Blake thinks this is when America will realize that Jermaine is "a superstar."
Song: "Viva La Vida" by Coldplay
Chris and X-Tina claim that they are forcing him to step out of his comfort zone by choosing this Coldplay song. But we feel like it was kind of an expected choice, even though it's not opera. Chris, however, is very nervous, and says that it feels like "stripping on stage." (What is with this show an male strippers?)
Chelsey: "This is not a surprising choice. Why is she making it seem like a crazy difference?"
Jaimie: "I don't know. He reminds me of Brandon Flowers from The Killers, but less weird. More uptight."
The performance involves Chris being surrounded by female violinists, and it is definitely not his best and feels quite forced. Perhaps he should stick to opera. Adam definitely says it best when he calls the performance "odd." Christina doesn't seem incredibly enthused, but she applauds Chris for "stepping out of his comfort zone." The feedback for Chris is very rushed, however, because they are running out of time! This is live and two people have to go home.
Team Christina Elimination
With all these new "twists" that "The Voice" is throwing at us, we are beginning to feel like they are making it up as they go along. Nonetheless, Christina is forced to say goodbye to one of her team members tonight, and she goes on a way-too-long diatribe about how she loves all of them, but is confident with her decision and is, as always, "going with her gut."
In an incredibly shocking turn of events -- and really, without much legitimate explanation -- Christina sends home ... Jesse Campbell?!?!?
Chelsey: "WHAT??? OH MY GOSH."
Jaimie: "Can you believe it? NOT LINDSEY?!?!"
Chelsey: "I mean I wouldn't say I'm upset because I personally wasn't particularly attached to him, but I'm just SHOCKED."
Adam looks ill after hearing the news, and Jesse himself looks incredibly shocked and rightfully so. Perhaps on the April 17 episode, Christina will provide us with more explanation.
Team Blake Elimination
Unlike Christina, Blake cuts to the chase and his choice is less surprising ... at least for him. Looking at RaeLynn, Jordis, Erin and Jermaine before him, he says he's going to "revert back to where we were at two weeks ago and go with Jordis." She tries to hold it together, but it's pretty heart-breaking to watch Jordis tear up. And then we think of her dad. Too much. As much as we hate to say it, she's really never been as good as she was in audition.
On Tuesday night, America's votes will save one contestant on each team and the bottom two fight for the coadge's save one more time. Then next week, the focus turns on Team Adam and Team Cee Lo. Something tells us Cee Lo is holding Purrfect tight and drying tears from beneath his tinted sunglasses right about now in nervous anticipation.
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