“The Voice”s two newbie coaches showed their inexperience yet again Tuesday night, when two more from Team Usher and Team Shakira were sent packing. With the show down to only eight contestants, Teams Adam and Blake are still fully intact, the voting audience favoring the contestants of the more experienced judges.
Or maybe they just favor the better singers. Usher’s Josiah Hawley and Shakira’s Kris Thomas were definitely the worst of the pack on Monday’s performance show, both coming across as characterless karaoke singers. So whatever the reason the voting public kicked them off, it was a sensible decision.
That leaves Adam Levine and Blake Shelton solidifying their power, authority, taste and any number of other characteristics. Which is probably for the best, since those two are in it for the long haul, and in half a year’s time, Shakira and Usher’s tenure here will be but a memory.
The show opened with a tribute to Oklahoma by Blake and his wife Miranda Lambert, in case you didn’t realize he was married to Miranda Lambert because you had your TV on mute every single time Blake or Carson Daly mention that little bit of information. They sang “Over You,” Blake’s song about his late brother and a “Voice” favorite since Cassadee Pope essentially won the show because of it last season. It was touching, indeed.
Team Shakira and their coach then did “I’ll Stand By You,” taking one right out of the Angie Miller (of “American Idol”) playbook and further canonizing this song as the reality music competition answer to tragedy. These group performances with Shakira are problematic—her voice simply does not blend with anyone else’s, especially Sasha Allen and Kris Thomas’s. The whole thing missed the mark because of it. It wasn’t moving, it was just odd.
Team Blake and Team Adam both performed sans their coaches, with Blake’s team doing a “Mountain Music,” a super country number, fiddle and all. It’s great for all of them, but I wish Midas Whale was somehow a part of this performance. (BTW, Holly Tucker is looking incredibly, unnaturally tan.) Adam’s team did “I Got the Music in Me,” which—sorry—is one of the cheesiest songs ever, and came across as such, despite his three powerhouse ladies singing it.
Team Usher—Michelle Chamuel and Josiah Hawley—were joined by their coach for “The Look of Love,” and it was the sexiest thing that’s happened on this show yet. As soon as Usher gets up on stage, he’s peeling off his suit jacket. And he’s blinking all sexy while he sings, and there’s just the essence of Dusty Springfield all around, and it’s wonderful.
Carson takes some time—a bit too much time—to have an intimate chat with Vin Diesel in the audience. Michelle Rodriguez kind of stood under them and out of the way, as Carson caressed Vin’s shoulder for most of the spot, and Vin told Carson how excited he was to be with him. If anyone was never meant to be a celebrity, it’s Vin Diesel. He talks like the real Drunk Uncle, and just says whatever rolls in to his brain at that very moment. Like when he may have possibly accidentally invited the entire audience to the premiere of “Fast and Furious 6” later that evening. Or maybe they were that desperate to the fill the seats. I guess, probably the latter.
The night’s confessional, which included guest mentors, coaches and the remaining 10, focused on what they would all do if they weren’t singers. Danielle Bradbery said she would do Blake’s hair and makeup. Cee Lo Green said he’d be a male exotic dancer. And Pharrell Williams said he’d be like Willy Wonka and have a chocolate factory, “and add in girls.” Which may be the most genius idea ever.
As for results, contestants were sent to safety one or two at a time, and the last four were the Swon Brothers, Josiah, Kris and Amber Carrington—so one from each team. First, Amber was sent to safety, followed by Swon. And that meant that once again, Usher and Shakira failed their mentoring missions and saw their teams split in half.