Now that doesn’t seem like much to ask.
I mean, 20 performances, each lasting 90 seconds, take up 30 minutes of airtime over the course of a two-hour show.
But that’s more singing than you’re likely to hear on an average episode of American Idol or The X Factor.
And The Voice was following the same pattern during the blind auditions, devoting so much time to contestants’ backgrounds and coaches’ chatter that many of the blind auditions and several battle round matchups were glossed over, robbing us of a chance to hear all the team members.
The Voice took a large step toward rectifying that Monday, though I still think a contestant like Loren Allred is at a disadvantage entering the live shows because she’s gotten so little exposure to this point.
She pulled off one of the surprise victories last night. If you missed the show, you can head here for a complete recap.
As for tonight, the final 10 contestants on Team Christina and Team Blake will be vying for a spot among the final five.
Devyn DeLoera: She’s shown no hint of the shyness she said music helped her overcome as a youngster. Her performance of Christina’s “Ain’t No Other Man” got three coaches to turn around in the blind audition. She then defeated teen MarissaAnn on “Free Your Mind” in the battle round. She’s singing Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing.” Great way to start the night, a pitch perfect vocal from Devyn who selected a great song to show off her voice. Liked the dropping to her knees for the ending.
Laura Vivas: She’s a mystery to viewers of The Voice because we didn’t get to see her blind audition and we didn’t get to watch her battle round triumph over the Beat Frequency duo. Here’s betting she’s a versatile performer because she sings for a cover band named Re-Mix that does everything from Donna Summer to Carrie Underwood. She’s going to sing “I Need to Know” by Marc Anthony. Now a touch of Latin flair, delivered Laura style. With a verse of Spanish thrown in. That was a pretty decent answer to Devyn’s performance. Laura wins on performance; Devyn on vocals.
My pick: Devyn. Christina’s pick: Devyn.
Adriana Louise: She won a battle of young, attractive pop stars in the battle round, besting Jordan Pruitt on “Hot and Cold.” During the blind auditions, she got all four coaches to turn around for “Domino.” Adriana picked Christina, saying one of her albums was the first she ever bought with her own money. She’ll sing Kelly Clarkson’s “Already Gone.” It’s hard to believe she didn’t perform on stage for three years prior to her blind audition. That said, I would have liked to see a little more subtle approach to the early part of that to better build to that big finish. But, no doubt, Adriana delivered the big finish.
Celica Westbrook: This 16-year-old from Tennessee says she nearly had a record deal at 14 and comes from a family of singers. All three coaches who still had spots on their team turned around for her blind audition performance of “A Thousand Years.” We didn’t get to see her battle round win over Lisa Scinta. She’s going to sing “Never Say Never” by Justin Bieber. Ugh. OK, didn’t like the song choice, but no one’s going to suck on this show, are they? Very energetic performance by Celica, who made that fun by the end.
My pick: Adriana. Christina’s pick: Adriana.
Alessandra Guercio: A former Hollywood Week group night colleague of Pia Toscano on Idol, Alessandra was saved by Christina after losing her battle with Kayla Nevarez. They performed “Wide Awake.” During the blind auditions, Adam and Cee Lo turned around for her version of “The Climb.” She’ll sing “Take a Bow” by Rihanna. OK, this is the first performance tonight that I haven’t liked. Alessandra did show off the rasp in her voice on a couple of occasions, but I’m not sure that song choice did her any favors.
Dez Duron: He hasn’t has the wow vocal moment of a Trevin Hunte, but Dez has the look to go deep into the competition. He got three judges to turn around for his audition song, “Sara Smile;” then defeated 16-year-old Paulina in the battle round. He’s chosen “Stuck on You” by Lionel Ritchie. Hmm, Dez isn’t doing a great job either, at least not with that first verse. A couple of glory notes do not make a performance, and that wasn’t up to par with what we heard in the first two knockout rounds tonight. That said, Dez was probably slightly better.
My pick: Dez. Christina’s pick: Dez.
Chevonne: The former Lady Gaga “Monster Tour” backup singer has more than a little flair of her own, as she demonstrated just last week during her battle round performance of “Without You” against Avery Wilson. She lost, but was stolen by Christina. She auditioned with “Brass in Pocket.” She’s going to sing a song of celebration: “Dancing with Myself.” Check out the outfit. This young woman just screams fun. In fact, that might have been the most fun performance of the night. Loved the rapid-fire ending.
De’Borah: The 25-year-old former church singer got two coaches to spin their chairs when she performed a flamboyant and confident rendition of “Hey, Soul Sister” in the blind auditions. She defeated Nelly’s Echo in the battle round when they performed “Message in a Bottle.” She’s going to sing “You Found Me.” Not to be outdone, De’Borah starts her song all soft and sensitive, then erupts midway through. Vocally, she picked a song that offered bigger moments, then delivered those moments. Wow, and I was really hoping Chevonne would advance. Why couldn’t one of them have faced Dez or Alessandra?
My pick: De’Borah. Christina’s pick: De’Borah
Sylvia Yacoub: A native of Egypt, Sylvia used her big voice to defeat Joselyn Rivera on “Best Thing I Never Had” in the battle round. Then Joselyn was stolen by Adam. Sylvia sang Rihanna’s “Only Girl in the World” in the blind auditions and got three coaches to turn around. She’s decided to sing a Christina song, “Fighter.” Well, Sylvia takes this one if it’s based on performance alone, but I had trouble understanding some of the lyrics. That said, she clearly picked the more difficult song.
Aquile: McChale “Aquile” Gunby, 24, looks the part of a pop star and defeated the much younger Nathalie Hernandez in the battle round, singing “You Give Me Something.” Three coaches turned around for his blind audition performance of “Your Song.” He’s going to sing “Grenade.” Really like this guy’s voice. And that was a solid performance, from start to end. Though perhaps not as flashy as what we just saw from Chevonne and De’Borah in the last knockout round. The talent level is so good on this show, singing well isn’t always enough. But I’m hoping Aquile stays.
My pick: Aquile. Christina’s pick: Sylvia.
Gracia Harrison: The 18-year-old from Illinois got the coaches’ attention by yodeling during her blind audition. A natural for Team Blake, she sounded even better when singing “Sin Wagon” to defeat 2Steel Girls in the battle round. She’ll sing “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing,” determined to show her versatility. I’m telling you, that strategy backfires more often than not. And it’s starting to look like it will again. Countrifying that first verse sucked all the life out of this song, then Gracia went very sharp on the big chorus. Not her best performance, to put it kindly.
Liz Davis: The 2001 winner of P Diddy Starmaker said last week she hopes to use the lessons learned from that show to help her on The Voice. Well, her blind audition song, “Here for the Party,” is one she sang on Starmaker and enticed three judges to turn around. She defeated a younger country singer, Nicole Johnson, in the battle round. Hmm, she’s going to sing Miranda Lambert’s “Gunpowder and Lead.” Think Liz likes to show off those long legs? Miranda sings the hell out of this song, so she’s picked a challenging song. But, you know what, she slayed it in one of the night’s most fiery performances.
My pick: Liz. Blake’s pick: Liz.
Rudy Parris: He’s the 46-year-old rocker whose music career was inspired by Kiss. He’s also released three albums. Oh, and he was the oldest of the 62 solo artists to earn a spot on a team on The Voice. He won his spot on Team Blake by singing “Every Breath You Take.” He defeated Charlie Rey in a battle round that wound up on the cutting-room floor. He’ll sing Chris Brown’s “Forever.” Oh, no. Another guy trying to show off his versatility. Hmm. Blake pairs up his two rockers, and the first chooses to sing a pop song. This isn’t bad, but it’s not a performance I’m going to remember at the end of the night. Heck, he should have tried “Gunpowder and Lead.”
Terry McDermott: He came to America as the lead singer for the Scottish band Driveblind. He’s also served as lead singer for Lotus Crush. He sang “Teenage Wasteland” in the blind audition and all three male judges turned around. We haven’t seen him since the first night of the battle rounds when he defeated Casey Muessigmann. He’ll sing “Baby, I’m Amazed.” Ugh. Very tired of this song on shows like this. And I think Idol forcing Crystal Bowersox to sing “I’m a man” over and over in the Season 9 finale ruined it forever for me. That said, Terry showed that it’s a song he’s quite familiar with, delivering a solid vocal. In fact, he’s been impressive every time he’s taken the stage.
My pick: Terry. Blake’s pick: Terry
Collin McLoughlin: He’s the 24-year-old who dumped graduate school to pursue music full time. Three judges turned around for his performance
of “Wild World.” He lost to Bryan Keith in the battle round, but was stolen by Blake. He’s chosen “Breakeven (Falling to Pieces).” Solid vocal. And he picked a song that allowed him to show off his range. I’m just wondering if that song choice was good enough considering the spitfire that’s going to follow him to the stage.
Michaela Paige: The 16-year-old with the mohawk and the rocker duds said during a conference call last week that she’s hoping to show off her
light-hearted side on the show. A week ago, she beat Kelly Crapa in the battle round. They sang “I Hate Myself for Loving You.” We didn’t get to see Michaela’s blind audition. Hmm, she’s singing “Love is a Battlefield.” So I guess the fun side will have to wait. OK, this is going to be a tough pick. Michaela is younger, more unique and the flashier performance. But that vocal wasn’t as good as Collin’s.
My pick: Collin, because this is The Voice, after all. Blake picks: Michaela.
Julio Cesar Castillo: I’m still not sure how Julio was declared the winner over Terisa Griffin in the battle round, but it happened. The former Mariachi singer performed “La Bamba” in his blind audition, becoming the first Voice contestant to audition in Spanish. He’s going to sing Justin Bieber’s “Somebody to Love.” Really not sure what Blake’s doing with this knockout. He’s forcing Suzanna Choffel and Cassadee Pope, two of his best, to go head to head. Silly. Meanwhile, Julio is proving the point, by struggling with this song. Not bad. But not up to par with the best we’ve heard tonight.
MarissaAnn: At 15, she’s the youngest singer left in the competition, thanks to Blake, who stole her after her battle round loss to Devyn DeLoera. No doubt, the teen was impressive during their performance of “Free Your Mind.” Her blind audition wasn’t aired. She will sing “Lady Marmalade.” OK, three notes in, give the victory to MarissaAnn. Hard to believe she’s just 15, given this sassy performance. Though, honestly it’s another of those songs that’s overdone on shows like this.
My pick: MarissaAnn. Blake’s pick: Julio. What the heck? He was outperformed by Terisa Griffin and won. Now by MarissaAnn. I don’t get it.
Cassadee Pope: We haven’t gotten to see the former lead singer of “Hey Monday” (actually, the band is on hiatus) since her version of “Torn” prompted a four-judge turn-around in the blind auditions. She defeated Ryan Jirovec in a battle round pairing the show didn’t air. She’s going to sing Maroon 5′s “Payphone.” Love Cassadee’s voice. And she delivered the very solid performance I expected. She’s a potential pop star who already has a huge following.
Suzanna Choffel: The music teacher from Texas has two albums to her credit. And she’s already demonstrated her versatility, doing a fine job with Stevie Nicks’ “Landslide” in the blind audition and Florence and the Machine’s “Dog Days Are Over” in a battle round match with Lelia Broussard. She’s going to sing Bob Marley’s “Could You Be Loved.” Now Suzanna is going to show off her distinctive voice. Not sure I love the song choice, given that this is her one chance to impress in a competition like this.
My pick: Cassadee, only because she picked a song that better showcased her at her best. Blake’s pick: Cassadee.
Honestly, that was a decision that should have been left up to the viewers.
Meanwhile, watch out for Cassadee.