The second half of “The Voice” playoffs was actually even better than the first, as Christina Aguilera and Ceelo Green's more performance-oriented teams took the stage.
The difference was evident from the beginning, as both teams joined together to take on My Chemical Romance's “Sing.” Because Team Ceelo is all guys and Team Christina is nearly all girls (aside from Yale football hunk Dez Duron), the influence of their coaches was clear, with the guys focusing on being unique and the girls focusing on killing every note.
Here's how they fared individually:
Watch out, Amanda Brown. De'Borah is going to make this a contest.
De'Borah's performance of Pink's “Who Knew” was like watching a bird take flight. She didn't hit every note, but she felt it, letting the music carry her. The way she skipped around and pounded her fists as she sang was thrilling – the most memorable performance of the night by far.
“No one else on this whole show can do it the way De'Borah does it,” Aguilera said. “You're the real deal.”
Whether America recognizes that immediately, though, remains to be seen. Team Xtina's top vote-getter will, no doubt, be hunky Dez Duron, who had the females in the show's live audience shrieking over his take on Hunter Hayes' “Wanted.”
It was a savvy bit of coaching from Aguilera to give the soulful Duron a country song to expand his female fanbase and he certainly delivered. The other wild card on the team is Sylvia Yacoub, who smartly showed a softer side on Katy Perry's “The One That Got Away,” proving that she can sing as well as belt.
All that starpower will make it tough for Adriana Louise, who was nervous throughout “Firework,” and Devyn Devoera, who throttled “Bleeding Love,” to move ahead.
VOTERS SAVE: De'Borah, Dez (Actually: Dez, Sylvia)
CHRISTINA SAVE: Sylvia (Actually: Adriana)
ELIMINATED: Adriana, Devyn
SHOULD BE ELIMINATED: Adriana, Devyn
ACTUALLY ELIMINATED: De'Borah, Devyn
There really isn't a weak spot on Team Ceelo.
All of his guys know how to sing and bring something distinctive to the contest. The question becomes how quickly can they capitalize on their individuality.
Obviously, Queens' Trevin Hunte is the team's breakout-star-in-the-making. His powerful take on “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You?” once again started off shaky and then blossomed into something special. You can almost see the nerves fall away from him as he sings.
MacKenzie Bourg is working hard to position himself as a teenage idol who also has some artistic chops. His twist on One Direction's “What Makes You Beautiful” was even more effective than last week's “Call Me Maybe” and the strong reaction from the crowd shows that he might be onto something.
Nicholas David's take on Barry White's “You're the First, the Last, My Everything” helped his soul man image, though the choice may have proved to be a little more dated than timeless. Cody Belew's “One More Try” and Diego Val's “Bailamos” both showed that they had skills and an interesting point of view, though for Team Ceelo that is kind of just the starting point.
VOTERS SAVE: Trevin, MacKenzie (Actually: Trevin, Nicholas)
CEELO SAVE: Nicholas (Actually: Cody)
ELIMINATED: Diego, Cody
SHOULD BE ELIMINATED: Diego, Cody
ACTUALLY ELIMINATED: MacKenzie, Diego