Ah, the live auditions, when we can no longer blame the coadges for making ridiculous and unfair choices. Pressure's on us now, America.
There was a lot of build up about what "The Voice" coadges would be wearing during the first week of live performances since we'd seen them in the same attire -- Christina Aguilera's discus hat included-- for two weeks.
And though Christina disappointed us this time -- the pop songstresses ditched the bedazzled plate she called headgear and looks almost completely normal -- Cee Lo, however, was a completely different story. With a red, fringed jumpsuit, earring and bizarre wig, Cee Lo looked like he could out-ridiculous Will Ferrell in "Blades of Glory."
And though it was hard for us to get past the look, here's what went down when Team Christina and Team Blake took the stage:
Song: "Livin' On a Prayer" by Bon Jovi
Seeing as we were born and raised in the Dirty Jerz, we were quite excited by Jermaine's Bon Jovi song choice. Plus 1 point for Jer! Jermaine tells us how he connects to the song quite literally when he says, "I feel like I am livin' on a prayer." Deep, bro.
As Jer's performance begins, we are instantly reminded of how ridiculously theatrical the performances can get on "The Voice": He emerges from a cloud of smoke in the back of the theater while two badass chicks bang on oversized drums on stage. We're pretty sure this is something we saw on the *NSYNC Pop Odyssey tour.
Jaimie: "I wonder what it's like to have to do back-up for a non-famous person."
Chelsey: "Back-up for Alicia Keys' back-up singer."
Jaimie: "So meta."
Jer sounds great as always, but the whole performance is a bit overwhelming. Coadge Blake proudly cheers Jer on like the Super Dad he is, while X-Tina gives some half-assed compliment. Oh, right. We also forgot about Christina's inability to give a real compliment to anyone other than her team members once the live rounds begin. While X-Tina tells Jer she doesn't get the song choice "at all" (Ouch, Blake), Blake says that Jermaine is going to be blowing up the iTunes charts. Like a true father, Blake thinks that if he references the interwebs, we'll think he's hip.
Song: "Bridge Over Troubled Water" by Simon and Garfunkel
The classically trained singer from Kansas wanted to tap into the emotions that helped him win the Battle Rounds so Christina opts for the Simon and Garfunkel classic. Though we'll admit he has an impressive voice, he's not exactly the most riveting contestant.
Jaimie: "I really dislike him ... he reminds me of Josh Groban and that's not a good thing."
Chelsey: "Well, yeah ... he's exactly like Josh Groban ... Listen, he's not going to win."
Jaimie: "Is that supposed to make me feel better about having to watch him now?"
Apparently, the coadges love Josh Groban and thus, Chris.
Song: "Wake-Up Call" by Maroon 5
Oh, RaeLynn. How we struggle to determine how we feel about you. You have to hand it to her though ... pretty ballsy to do a song by a coadge ... and even ballsier that it's not her coadge. If we thought 17-year-old RaeLynn (sporting her signature flower, an enormous black tutu and cowboy boots) was sassy in previous performances, this one took it to a whole new level.
Jaimie: "There's something oddly hyper-sexualized about her that makes me uncomfortable."
Chelsey: "Maybe it's her whipping that mic chord around."
Jaimie: "I don't think so. I think it's her flower."
Chelsey: "Or her hip thrusting."
We thought RaeLynn sounded a little breathy and her entire performance was a little over the top, but Mr. Levine seemed genuinely impressed, as did Coadge Blake who says that the country world is already behind her. Time will tell if the rest of the world is too!
Song: "Stronger" and "Power" by Kanye West
Christina tells him to kill it in a way others can't and Moses determined to show that he can rap, sing and dance.
Jaimie: "If Pharrel and Lil' Wayne had a baby ... a jewish baby ... it'd be Moses."
Chelsey: "SO TRUE. I love the hat. Is it on? Is it falling off? So much mystery."
And that was only the start of Moses' baffling ensembles.
Chelsey: "What is on his bottom half? Is he trying to dress like the biblical Moses?"
Jaimie: "Let his people go. It's a Passover shout out."
Chelsey: "He's so considerate."
Christina was clearly feeling Moses' moves because she literally got up from her Dr. Claw chair to bust a bit of a move as he rapped and sang, but can he really do both ... and do them well? Adam says he personally thinks that Moses has more going for him with a singing career than a rapping career. Blake says he already sounds like a better singer and Coadge Christina says he makes her "excited" and applauds him for not using auto-tune. Because, remember people: "This is 'The Voice.'"
Song: "Turning Tables" by Adele
When we first hear Naia in rehearsal, we were really into her reggae take on this Adele song. Then, Blake decides that it's straying too much from the original, so Naia somewhat reluctantly agrees to go with a more classic performance.
When she takes the stage, Naia's performance feels a bit more restrained than we would have liked. It's also in front of a shooting stars backdrop that looks like a screensaver from Windows '95. Maybe they could have cut out one of Moses' 40 back-up dancers to afford some better background graphics.
Jaimie: "This needs to be louder or something. There's not enough power. She's holding back."
Chelsey: "Yeah I want her to really belt it out. It's Adele. You need to go for it."
X-Tina is, of course, unimpressed with Naia's performance and doesn't really have anything good to say about it (the claws are officially out...MEOW!), while Blake loved the performance and tells Naia how much he appreciates her tender moments.
Song: "Somebody That I Used To Know" by Gotye
Christina says she loves the textures of her voice and is excited to show the audience a new layer of Lindsey, which is perhaps the most well-constructed metaphor she's ever crafted. During practice, Christina can't help but raise the roof and scream, "That's dope." She warns her about being too subdued and says she should "bring it" when it comes to the chorus, but unfortunately for Lindsey, she doesn't listen.
When she takes the stage -- on a bench with four masked faces in capelets -- it's clear this isn't subdued and has been hit with Christina's heavy performance hand. The situation gets weirder when more masked figures emerge to grind in tutus and massive bowties while Linds sings the indie hit.
Jaimie: "OH NO! Christina. Whyyyy?"
Chelsey: "'Pretty Little Liars'"
Jaimie: "Slash 'V for Vendetta' ... I just hate that X-tina did this."
Chelsey: "It really ruins the performance. It's so distracting."
Jaimie: "She thinks she's a genius."
Chelsey: "There's a full-blown Cirque du Soleil performance going on behind her."
As the critiques start coming, Lindsey is looking increasingly ill and she can't even make eye contact with Adam, who is scared of the clowns. He also wishes Lindsey had more power, but her coadge Christina says she could listen to her all day. All the while, Lindsey is looking increasingly uncomfortable, wiping her chin, folding her arms and trying to smile. It's very Kristen Stewart ... and not in a good way.
Song: "Alone" by Heart
We love us some Jordis (and her adorable dad), but she really needed to redeem herself from the mess that was her battle round. And redeem herself she did, because she absolutely rocks it from the first night. The lack of theatrics definitely helped, but this performance seemed to definitely be one of the strongest of the night. And seeing her dad cheer her on in a polynesian hula skirt definitely didn't hurt either.
Jaimie: "Her dad is reason enough to keep her around."
Chelsey: "Absolutely. A vote for Jordis is a vote for Jordis's dad. And that is a worthwhile vote."
Christina looks pissed, which probably means she thinks Jordis did a good job. Jordis receives positive feedback from
Chazz Michael Michaels Cee Lo, and from Coadge Blake, who is simply beaming with pride.
Song: "Find Your Love" by Drake
Clearly excited for summer, Sera loves wearing all white. This time, while singing along to Drake, she's donned a crisp white suit and a very sparkly neckless, but she's still not the center of attention. Like us, Blake is still distracted by the shirtless guys.
Chelsey: "OMG. So many men. This looks like a D&G ad."
Jaimie: "My friend, Kari says she looks like a gerbil."
Chelsey: "Cinnoman [our late pet gerbil) was more handsome than her."
Jaimie "I'm ready. Between the Hollister models and those dancers, I don't know what to do."
Blake seemed equally as confused: "She did great, but there were male strippers on the stage ... on 'The Voice.'"
Song: "Living for the City" by Stevie Wonder
It's hard not to love Erin Willett. We even love her enough to get past the weird speakeasy situation going on in the background of this performance, because her voice is powerful enough to distract us from these embarrassing theatrics. Erin says that the death of her father sparked a fire inside of her, and that is definitely evident throughout her performance, because she totally owns it.
Chelsey: "She sounds really good."
Jaimie: "AMAZING. I love her. New favorite."
Chelsey: "Yeah, the jazz bar set-up was weird. But this is awesome."
Cee Lo gives Erin some genuinely kind words and Coadge Blake says that it was the best "technically and passionately vocal performance of the night so far." X-Tina doesn't even refute it, which is shocking.
Ashley De La Rosa
Song: "Right Through You" by Alanis Morissette
We're two months into the show and now, is the time Coadge Christina and contestant Ashley would like to tell us that she is actually a rock singer. "Nobody knows what's behind the surface," X-Tina says, urging Ashley to bring more power to the performance.
When she takes the stage, Ashley looks beautiful and she definitely makes an impression. "You had lasers going on! Like who has lasers at 17 without a record deal?" Christina asks. Adam says she's the biggest surprise they've seen and she's also the most improved. But one thing: Where's the cat?
Chelsey: "Where's Purrfect?"
Jaimie: "I KNOW"
Chelsey: "I can't help but shake the feeling that he pinned her down and made her his wig ... "
Song: "Misery Business" by Paramore
Sometimes chose to arrange the song herself with a softer tone, because she wants America to see that she's not just a singer. Apparently by "softer tone," Charlotte meant a super dramatic tone complete with a smoke machine and a full orchestra woodwind section.
Chelsey: "Her dramatic singing face kills me."
Jaimie: "She looks like Ashley from RHONJ. So many chins."
The coadges, however, are impressed with Charlotte and her artistic vision, even though Adam says some parts fell flat. Overall, however, the coadges all seem very pro-Charlotte.
Song: "What A Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong
We know we're supposed to like this guy, but unfortunately, Jaimie can't get behind him. He's a bit cocky and it's not helping that Christina says things like, "I'd listen to Sir Campbell read the phone book."
Chelsey: "Eyes closed, Jesse literally sounds like a girl ... I bet I sounded better when I sang this in chorus in 5th grade ... He's like the same type as Javier [last season's winer], but i just don't like him nearly as much."
Still, Cee Lo maintains he's the one to beat.
one the beat