Usher, ladies and gentlemen!
4. “Stay With Me” Josh Kaufman
30. “Stay” Kristen Merlin
38. “Anymore” Jake Worthington
47. “Dark Horse” Christina Grimmie
94. “Magic Man” Kat Perkins
102. “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” Sisaundra Lewis
110. “Angel of the Morning Audra McLaughlin
124. “Unchained Melody” Delvin Choice
129. “Rolling in the Deep” Bria Kelly
176. “I’ll Be There For You” Tess Boyer
283. “Waiting for the World to Change” TJ Wilkins
298. “Just Give Me a Reason” Dani Moz
Proving that Josh’s single was just that big a hit last night, the original track by Sam Smith has also shot into the Top 25. Also–it looks like those who wanted to hear Kristen, but were robbed when her mic died mid performance, ran out and bought the track. I suspect it would not be charting nearly this high without that mishap. As for Jake, either country fans like them boring or they were mesmerized by the hat.
And unlike Idol, all 12 contestants found their way into the Top 300 cut off on their first time out. Having sales equal votes does wonders.
Now that Carson’s finished recapping, let us get to results.
It’s only been nearly the entire season, but finally The Voice has come back to the Live Shows. I know it might feel like I’m beating a dead horse over the loss of a single week of voting during the Play Off Rounds, but when you only have six weeks of live shows where your audience participates, taking one away is a big deal. It would be much different if The Voice had ten weeks of voting like Idol does. Then they could cut with impunity.
One upside to the lack of America voting in 2/3s of the Top 12–there’s no clear bottom four going in tonight. Usually at this stage, the four the judges forced through over America’s objections walk in with UNDERDOG stamped across their foreheads. Since everyone was forced through and America not consulted, the perceived pecking order within the Top 12 (and even within each team) is subject to debate.
So there’s no help for it than to wait Carson and his recapping of the last three months out and get to the performances to judge.
Unlike CeeLo, who made a big splash about walking from The Voice after his disastrous turn as a judge in Season Five, the Xtina rumors have been on the downlow. Whereas CeeLo was most likely quitting ahead of being fired for being accused of drugging the drinks of underaged girls, all Xtina did was get pregnant.
Not that The Voice producers wanted to remover her from the chair for this. After all, Heidi Klum was glamorously pregnant three times on Project Runway. But the timing of the announcement put her due somewhere as the endless BattleRounds are airing, making for probable maternity leave right before the live shows go to air. Even if she was having an easy pregnancy (which reports suggest is not happening) it would probably behoove them to have her sit this fall out.
It’s the final day of the no-longer-live play offs, and the good news was this gimmick was over before I got bored of it. The better news is next week we finally start voting, with all the result shows and iTues rankings that entails. Idol is probably shaking in their boots. For the first time ever, I’m going to agree they ought to be.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. First, let’s watch Usher cut his team from five to three.
Last Wednesday, The Voice surprised us by starting a gimmick in the middle of the week. More importantly, it took away our long held–well three season held–right to vote to bring the Top 20 down to a Top 12. NBC and Mark Burnett, complicit in Voter Suppression. This is what happens when the Supreme Court votes to take away our rights. TV shows should not be considered people, my friend.
Blake already cut his team down from five to three. Tonight Teams Adam and Shakira will do the same. Let’s get to it.
Who ever heard of The Voice starting a new gimmick mid-week? But yet here we are. In what may be their first nod to not being an Idol sized hit, our last gimmick has also been switched up. Instead of going six hours in one week back to back to back, the playoffs are now running along the same schedule as everything else. An hour tonight for one team, and then the usual three-hour schedule for the other three teams.
But that does mean something was lost in the process–namely, us viewers. These PlayOffs, when they were live, were live because we at home were voting. We were voting and we were buying tracks on iTunes. Through that, we at home got to pick eight of the top twelve to go through to the Idol-like final rounds (two from each team.) That left one slot for each coach to put through their favorite, lest we choose poorly.
That’s all gone now. With the retooling to make the PlayOffs fit the schedule instead of adjusting the schedule to fit the PlayOffs, we won’t get any say in who makes the Top 12. The coaches will make all the decisions for us. You might argue that Idol does the same. Yes–but then we still have ten weeks of voting. The Voice, because they fear boring us, sends home two at a time each week. Taking away the PlayOffs means we only have five weeks of voting. By the time you’ve involved the audience, the show is practically over.
Let’s see how this goes.
It’s our last night of The BattleRounds Part Two: The BattleRounds, and I don’t know about anyone else, but I couldn’t be more thankful.
It doesn’t matter tha this “Part Two” version starred a different celebrity. It doesn’t matter that we saw the contestants being shown their last battle for critique, or were staged agreeing on what their song should be. At the end of the day, when it comes time to sing, we were sitting through the exact same pre-determined results gimmick. Tonight marks four weeks of it. Even the Blind Auditions–The Voice‘s most popular segment–dare not drag out for more than three. And I, for one, am bored.
Boredom is the kiss of death for this show. The Voice doesn’t produce Kelly Clarksons or Philip Phillips. It’s not designed to, and it’s admitted it is not really trying. This show admits it’s not about the kids, it’s about the coaches. They get away with that because, in the end, they are damned entertaining. The moment they lose that, they have nothing.
Let’s get these last battles out of the way and be thankful we won’t have to sit through anymore until the fall.
Back in the saddle for night two of our reimagined BattleRounds, now new and improved with extra British accents.
Let’s get to it.
We now come to the least effective gimmick section The Voice has. Back when the show debuted, this section didn’t exist–the cast was small enough that the show could whittle down the auditions in one set of “Demented Duet” BattleRounds and then go directly to the live shows. As the show cast expanded, the need for more Battles did too, until we found ourselves in season three with six episodes, only to still need another gimmick to get down to four contestants per mentor. This is where the “KnockOut Rounds” were created.
But the problem with the KnockOutRounds is that they were arbitrary. The producers wanted something other than a duet battle, but they didn’t have the nerve to have two contestants sing the same song two times running. So everyone sang their own thing–and the resulting decisions often felt like a bunch of judging apples to oranges, with all winners predetermined. To be fair–all the winners have been predetermined in every pretaped round. But the production has gotten better at hiding that over the years. The KnockOutRounds were the last vestige of Obviousness.
So out with the old and in with the new–the contestants will sing the same song tonight. But not one right after the other–the production still can’t bring themselves to do that. So it’s just more duets–literally two more episodes of BattleRounds. With this not-actually-new gimmick (rechristened “BattleRounds Part Two” by someone with absolutely no creativity, but a whole lot of honesty) comes a new celebrity: Chris Martin of Coldplay (but no longer of “Married to GOOPy Gwyneth Paltrow”) will be on hand to mentor all four teams of contestants. Also, because the show needs Carson to be happy, there will be Steals in this round as well. (They were added to the KnockOutRounds last fall, and worked rather well for those who thought ahead about how to use them.)
We’ve reached the end of gimmick number two. Tonight we’ll see three battles and montage our way through the rest of the contestants. Then next week it’s on to a whole brand new gimmick we’ve never seen before. Yes, the KnockOut Rounds (which were really BattleRounds Part 2) are gone and in their place…are “Battle Rounds Part 2.”
Oh. Well, at least they’ll feature the suddenly topical Chris Martin. Except these are the pretaped segments, so (much like CeeLo’s departure) these pesky gossip stories don’t exist in their world yet.
Now that Carson has finished recapping, let’s get to it.