VOICE OVER: Singers Enter the Live Playoffs, AKA: 'Serious Olympics'
Remember, remember the fifth of November… The Live Playoffs on NBC's The Voice are off and running as of tonight! Singers from Teams Adam Levine and Blake Shelton braved the stage and the wild crowd to pursue their dreams. Adam said, "It's like a more serious Olympics." With his diverse team, Adam loves the fact that his mentees are all what can only be described as unique. A confident Blake said, "I see another victory in my future." In the Live Playoffs, all five of the contestants from each team perform, and this time, it's up to America to decide who gets to stay and who goes home. Two from each team advance, and the coaches also get to save one of their team members.
Adam Levine said of his team, "I have a wonderful team that I can't wait to share with these other three. Now it's up to them to outshine each other." Tonight, Christina Aguilera, Blake, Adam, and Carson Daly couldn't stop making jabs at CeeLo's rather interesting getup (really, it was crazy. Check it out here) as well as constantly bringing up the fact that Blake just won Entertainer of the Year. All of this combined made for a very fun first live night on The Voice. The night opened by all of the contestants joining to sing an awesome number, giving everyone a glimpse of the talent about to come in the next two hours.
Adam's 17-year-old Joselyn Rivera, whom he stole in the Battle Rounds from Team Christina, kicked off the Playoffs. Going into the performance, Adam said, "She sings with proficiency and just needs to connect with her audience." She sang Demi Lovato's "Give Your Heart a Break," in a hot pink dress, with a lock of her dark hair colored the same shade as her dress. She held that stage with enormous amounts of confidence, but she did sound pitchy and out of breath throughout the performance. A beaming coach Adam told her, "I can't tell you how proud I am sitting here. And seeing you, you did an incredible job. You killed it. You listened to what I had to say, and you still did your own thing. You really thrive in this stage environment."
Blake's Scottish rocker Terry MacDermott sang one of the top three performances of the night. Truthfully, it had to do with the fact that not only was his song choice perfect for him, but it is one of the most classic rock songs of all time: "Don't Stop Believing." Blake liked the fact that Terry was making this song "Cool and current now." However, Terry admitted that, "This song is more of a vocal challenge. The world is on my shoulders stepping in on this performance. I have to succeed." He only had to speak the first five words, "Just a small town girl…" for the audience to completely erupt and get chills, which of course continued throughout the whole song. He ended it in the definitive way the kids on Glee did, singing a simple, "Don't stop!" The coaches primarily used the word "effortless" to describe how this performance sounded. All of them assured him that they were his fans. His coach Blake came out with another classic Shelton quip, "I want America to know that- when you start voting tonight- that when God was passing out the ability to rock, he gave Terry just a little bit more."
Melanie Martinez of Team Adam- the one with the half-blonde/half-black hair (with gold and black clothes to match), sang her own jazzed up arrangement of "Hit the Road Jack." Adam voiced what everyone was thinking, "There's nobody like her on my team," and even suggested, "She could be a frontrunner on my team. She does this song in a very interesting way, and I think people are going to freak out." Melanie said, "This song is very sassy, so I'm trying to find some sassiness." This girl delivered a surprisingly better performance than she did during the earlier rounds this season. Her voice had more support, and she definitely sounded more coached while still keeping her style. After Christina tactfully expressed that she wasn't really a fan of the arrangement, Adam told Melanie, "I didn't find myself comparing it to the original version, because it was so different than the original. You did it exactly the way we practiced. As far as artistry is concerned- I was totally mesmerized, and I wasn't thinking of technical things. I'm so proud of you."
"Liz Davis is as country as mud. It's been my dream all along to bring a country star to the finals. This could be the big break for her," said Blake of his next mentee. Liz, the only country artist in the competition, sang "Independence Day." This girl just has a plain old clear, beautiful voice. As the American Idol judges used to often say, this girl has "raw, natural talent." CeeLo gave her high praise for this timely American piece, "It was a wonderful performance, and it made me proud to be an American… Where at least I know I'm free." Although, the other coaches seemed to want to tell him, "But not to free to dress like that, CeeLo!" But seriously, Blake got real with his girl, "There's a lot on the line for me because I'm the country guy sitting here, and you're the only country artist in this thing. I want to thank you for proving me right. I know that you are the right country artist to bring into the live rounds."
Hey Monday's former lead singer, Cassadee Pope, of Team Blake, won him over with Payphone last week. Tonight, her song choice was impeccable. She sang Avril Lavigne's hit, "My Happy Ending." Blake cautioned her not to do crazy tune variations, because it would likely bother a lot of people. "My goal is to have this be the best performance yet, and show people that I have what it takes to make it solo," Cassadee resolved. During her performance, it seemed like the moving around and rocking out to the audience were interfering with her voice, but when she was concentrating, she was great. And unlike so many tune variations, hers were not superfluous or annoying, but they were minor enough that they worked. Everyone liked her emotion, specifically as opposed to the original which is a pretty disconnected performance. Adam reminded her that he was bitter that she turned him down as coach multiple times, and her coach Blake predicted, "Adam's gonna have plenty of time to figure out who the real Cassadee Pope is, because you're gonna be around for a long time. You are the pop rock chick, and if you ever had any doubts about being a solo artist, you're clearly one of the fan favorites on this show. And guess who makes the decisions from here on out? It's the fans!"