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'The Voice' recap: This is Juliet Simms' world
“The Voice” is going to go down to the wire this season, with no real front-runner entering the finals next week.
Last night's semifinals were filled with strong performances from three of the four teams, with only Blake Shelton's team seeing both of its members struggle.
Because of the show's unique rules, each team continues to compete against itself instead of the others. The mentors will split 100 points between its two members and those points will be combined with the percentage of votes they receive from viewers. The four winners will advance to next week's finals.
TEAM CEE LO GREEN: Juliet Simms vs. Jamar Rogers
First things first, they should both advance. They were both among the Top 4 performances last night.
Juliet Simms masterfully reworked James Brown's “It's a Man's, Man's, Man's World” into a wrenching statement about gender politics, while still showing off her distinctive, growling voice. “You're the one to beat,” Adam Levine told her afterward and he was right.
However, Jamar Rogers did keep it close. His weird, kinda-electronic, kinda-reggae, kinda-soul version of “If You Don't Know Me By Now” was interesting, but a little too laid back. His phrasing was also a little too tame, compared to his usual power. Yet his incredibly upbeat, likable personality is infectious and is hard not to support.
WHO THE JUDGE WILL PICK: Juliet (Though probably not by much. Knowing Cee Lo, expect a 51-49 point split or maybe even 50-50, leaving it up to America.)
WHO AMERICA WILL PICK: Juliet
WHO WILL ADVANCE: Juliet
TEAM CHRISTINA AGUILERA: Chris Mann vs. Lindsey Pavao
How do you compare an operatic wonder singing “Ave Maria” with a tiny-voiced indie-folkster singing Bon Iver's “Skinny Love”? I have no idea.
They both offered strong performances and even though Chris Mann's big, bold voice would steamroll Lindsey Pavao's delicate delivery, she did hold her own and provided a moving version of “Skinny Love.”
“You really are the epitome of this show,” Cee Lo told Mann, which is true. If you go just by vocals, he really should win, but when you open it up to the public, it becomes far more difficult to say.
WHO THE JUDGE WILL PICK: Chris (Christina has been brutally honest throughout the competition and she will be attracted to Chris' big voice. The split probably won't be too big, though.)
WHO AMERICA WILL PICK: Lindsey (Probably not by much, though.) *Actually Chris.
WHO WILL ADVANCE: Chris
TEAM ADAM LEVINE: Katrina Parker vs. Tony Lucca
In some ways, the battle between these two is what “The Voice” is really all about.
Katrina Parker has blossomed during the competition, growing from a good singer to a good performer. Her version of “Killing Me Softly” was entertaining, though it did stick pretty close to the Lauryn Hill version and didn't offer much new.
Tony Lucca, on the other hand, hasn't really grown, he's mainly using the show's platform to gain visibility for the kind of artist he is and that's getting less and less interesting. His version of The Heavy's “How You Like Me Now” felt hollow and kind of lacked feeling, though it was professional in every way.
WHO THE JUDGE WILL PICK: Tony (Though probably not by much. Adam hasn't been shy about saying that Tony is his guy and Katrina wasn't one of his favorites, but it's hard to not see her momentum.)
WHO AMERICA WILL PICK: Katrina
WHO WILL ADVANCE: Katrina *Actually Tony
TEAM BLAKE SHELTON: Erin Willett vs. Jermaine Paul
Jeez. They're both very nice singers, but after last night's performance, can't we drop them both in favor of two better competitors?
Erin Willett was emotional during her version of David Guetta's “Without You,” in tears at the end as she mourned her father who died during the course of the competition. Unfortunately, her emotions threw off both her opening, which was too low for her voice and had her wobbling from the start, and the end where she couldn't power through. Also problematic was the way all the judges praised her originality in offering the ballad version of a dance song, apparently unaware that “Glee” had done a very similar version months ago.
Jermaine Paul, who had been strong for much of the season, pretty much wilted last night on Journey's “Open Arms,” with a few off-key notes and an oddly simplistic delivery (he opened his arms a lot). Blake said that Paul was the one to beat, but that may have been just wishful thinking.
WHO THE JUDGE WILL PICK: Jermaine (Sorry Erin, Blake seems a little blindsided.)
WHO AMERICA WILL PICK: Erin *Actually Jermaine
WHO WILL ADVANCE: Jermaine (Blake will think he knows best, I'm guessing, and he is probably right.)
Tags: The Voice