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The Voice: Live Shows — Team Adam & Team Cee Lo

Katrina Parker (Tonight, Tonight, Smashing Pumpkins)
Got swallowed by the accompaniment at times, but she’s a very strong singer who delivered an excellent performance. Kind of breathy, but not in an off-putting way.

Cheesa (Don’t Leave Me This Way, Thelma Wilson)
She was about a second away from not making it through the blind auditions, and then Cee Lo chose her in the battle rounds despite the fact that she was unequivocally out-sung. Her first live show performance had high-energy but it lacked a true wow moment. My guess is she is in America’s bottom three, but Cee Lo will save her.

Tony Lucca (In Your Eyes, Peter Gabriel)
A solid all-around performance. A lot of very good moment, but I didn’t really find myself finding a great moment. He’s definitely more than what Xtina made him out to be by calling him one-dimensional.

Kim Yarbrough (Rolling In The Deep, Adele)
Huge challenge with her song choice, and I felt she struggled a little bit with the big parts of the songs. I will echo Cee Lo’s sentiments, I don’t know if I loved the performance, but I still love her.

James Massone (Don’t Know Why, Norah Jones)
He’s just so smooth and swag. He doesn’t have a real big voice, but in this competition, I’m actually finding that as a nice change of pace.

Juliet Simms (Roxanne, The Police)
Not a big fan, and I don’t think that Roxanne is as big of a deviation from what she usually sings as Juliet seems to think it is. A lot of voice cracks throughout the performance—maybe that’s intentional and maybe that does it for some people, but I don’t care for it.

Mathai (Ordinary People, John Legend)
My favorite performances are the ones that can captivate me without the flashes and bangs. Mathai stood up on stage with a pair of guitar players and knocked it out of the park.

Tony Vincent (Everybody Wants To Rule The World, Tears for Fears)
Flamboyant outfits and over-the-top facial expressions aside, Tony is a very talented singer. He’s certainly a performer in every sense of the world and in that way, he’s a perfect match for Cee-Lo.

Karla Davis (Airplanes, B.O.B.)
I really liked Karla’s arrangement on this song, particularly the way she took the rap part and put it to music. There were certainly some weak spots and I’d guess she’ll fall in the bottom three, but she took a risk and it worked, but she’s just not as strong vocally as her competition.

Erin Martin (Walk Like An Egyptian, The Bengals)
Another beneficiary of Cee Lo’s questionable battle round decisions, I felt she was very weak in her first live performance. For someone that claims she doesn’t want to be judged on her looks, she sure puts a lot of effort into making as big a spectacle as possible to distract from her actual vocal performance.

Pip (When You Were Young, The Killers)
Wow. The High School Musical/Glee kid can rock. Because of how he’s presented himself so far, I didn’t fully buy into it, but overall, he’s still an extremely strong vocalist who should move on.

Jamar Rogers (Are You Gonna Go My Way, Lenny Kravitz)
Twitter exploded over his performance, but I found it just, very loud. Again, Cee Lo’s ridiculous level of showmanship was evident with people on stilts walking around. A very energetic performance that was kind of hard to take much away from his vocals.

My Top 3 from Team Adam would be Pip, Mathai and Kim Yarbrough. The fourth would be Tony Lucca.

My Top 3 from Team Cee Lo would be James Massone, Jamar Rogers and Juliet Simms. The fourth would probably be Tony Vincent.

The Voice: Battle Round 4

Cee Lo 5 — James Massone vs. Wade (True Colors, Cindy Lauper)

Cee Lo’s Pick: James

Adam thought James’ voice grabbed his attention but that there was still work to be done. Blake felt like both men had good voices, but thought James took this one. Xtina complimented Wade’s strong voice, but thought he had pitch problems. Ultimately, she loved James character and chose him.

My Pick: James
Wade’s upper range sounds like so much work, while James is just smooth. There were some significant pitch problems, mostly stemming from Wade. Not a great song for either man, but James adapted better and was more impressive.

Adam 5 — Nicole Galyon vs. Mathai (Love Song, Sara Bareilles)

Adam’s Pick: Mathai

Blake thought Nicole’s breathing affected her singing a little bit while Xtina said that Mathai brought confidence and swagger to her performance. Cee Lo felt that Nicole was a generic, straightforward type of singer.

My Pick: Mathai
Both ladies impressed me in their blind auditions—especially little Mathai, but neither did much to move me during their battle round performance. Mathai was the stronger of the two.

Xtina 6 — The Line vs. Moses Stone (Satisfaction, Rolling Stones)

Xtina’s Pick: Moses Stone

Cee Lo liked their compatibility and thought Moses really worked the stage with his personality/swagger. Adam liked the unorthodox take on the song and picked The Line judging by the voices. Blake felt the presentation was weird but good. Thought both were good, but went with The Line.

My Pick: The Line
Individually, both singers from The Line are very good, and together they are great. Moses just didn’t show me enough during his performance for me to go with him. The Line took the rock and roll song and embraced how different it was from their comfort zone, but Moses resorted to his style rather than tackling a song that was different from what he was used to.

Adam 6 — Orlando Napier vs. Karla Davis (Easy Like Sunday Morning, Commodores)

Adam’s Pick: Karla

Blake didn’t think that anyone stood above the other in the battle. He liked Karla’s voice, but thought Orlando performed better. Xtina thought Karla was a little more entertaining, but neither were all that spectacular. Cee Lo liked the swagger from Orlando.

My Pick: Karla
Very impressive performance by both artists. Orlando was spectacular, but there was just something special about Karla’s voice that drew me to her.

Blake 6 — Jordan Rager vs. Naia Kete (I’m Yours, Jason Mraz)

Blake’s Pick – Naia

Xtina thought Jordan had a solid performance, and Naia had more of a natural groove. Cee Lo liked Jordan’s strong voice and thgouth the song was perfectly suited for Naia. Adam noted some pitch issues for Jordan, outside his comfort zone.

My Pick – Jordan
The song choice undoubtedly favored Naia. Jordan has a great country rasp, but country artists are typically less flexible when it comes to tackling different styles. As such, I expected Naia to wipe the floor with Jordan, but I ended up preferring Jordan. He had some pitch issues (Naia did too) but his stronger parts were better than Naia’s.

Cee Lo 6 — Tony Vincent vs. Justin Hopkins (Faithfully, Journey)

Cee Lo’s Pick: Tony

Adam liked the dirtiness in Justin’s voice. Blake notes Cee Lo’s fingerprints on the performance. Tony was more versatile, but liked Justin’s more. Xtina liked Justin’s voice, but picked Tony’s versatility.

My Pick: Tony
Justin Hopkins initial advance I felt was due more to his connection to host Carson Daly than anything he did vocally. Tony is one of those guys that hearing his voice is infinitely better than watching him. Not a particularly great performance, and I was surprised Carson Daly didn’t issue an immediate host override when Cee Lo picked Tony.

***

Ultimately, there weren’t too many decisions by the judges that I vehemently disagreed with. I found myself preferring the artist that Blake Shelton did not pick a lot, but in those cases, the difference between the two singers wasn’t terribly noticeable. One of Cee Lo’s and two of Xtina’s choices were flat out putrid.

Cee Lo’s choice of Cheesa over Angie Johnson.
Xtina’s choice of Sera Hill over Geoff McBride.
Xtina’s choice of Moses Stone over The Line.

Looking at the coaches teams, I have to rank them

1. Adam
2. Blake
3. Xtina
4. Cee Lo

Adam’s team is the most complete, as he doesn’t have a bad singer in the group. A lot of solid 8’s and 9’s in there. Blake’s team is also fairly even throughout but a step below his buddy Adam. Xtina has a couple of duds taking up space, but also holds her ace in the hole – Mr. Jesse Campbell. Cee Lo’s best contestant is probably fourth or fifth on any of the other teams.