Adam shaved his hair off, Christina's black hat is gone (spoiler alert — I burned it!), and Cee Lo is wearing a wig and a red spandex jumpsuit with fringe? This is what the live shows look like, baby! The other best part of the live show? There's no time to edit what the coaches say! Which means one minute Christina and Adam are getting along like gravy, and the next, Christina is back to interrupting her rival and implying that he's, well, not sober. Say what? Read on to get all the dirt and to find out just how Season 2's first live performances went:
Jermaine Paul, "Livin' on a Prayer"
Man, Blake loves his '80s music. This is one of my go-to karaoke jams, but is it really the best to show off Jermaine's chops? He starts off lackluster, probably because he's distracted by priority No. 1: getting to the stage after his ridiculous entrance in the stands. He has good energy for the song, especially in the second verse, but his voice cuts out at certain times towards the end. He relies a little too much on the back-up singers. Christina says she sees no connection between the singer and the song choice, but Blake is confident that Jermaine's take is going to blow up iTunes.
Chris Mann, "Bridge Over Troubled Water"
There's a lot less bells and whistles for Chris' performance and it's a good thing too. His voice knows how to steal the show all on its own. There are times when he could have done more to make his performance more contemporary, as Christina had been advising, but you can't argue with the strength of his pipes and his stage presence, even with such dark lighting. Cee Lo says it was a wonderful performance and Adam commends his song choice. Christina compliments him for getting into the emotion of the song, and ad-libbing on it as well.
RaeLynn, "Wake Up Call"
In theory, this song choice is perfect for the little country ingénue. It's unpredictable. It's a little nod to Blake's bestie, Adam Levine. But RaeLynn is not a seasoned enough performer to pull this off all the way. She has punch, maybe too much, and ends up jumping around the stage a bit too much. That, combined with the very fast pace of this song, makes it so that you can really hear her grasping for breath. Her stylized voice sounds good with the tune, and she has the stage presence, but it comes up a little short. Christina says RaeLynn is sassy, and Adam says she broke his heart when she did that song. Blake tells RaeLynn that she is all anyone could talk about at the CMA Awards, but he doesn't say anything about her performance.
Moses Stone, "Stronger/Power"
Moses starts out displaying those impressive vocal chops he brought out in the battle rounds, but it escalates much too quickly. Yes, it's good to have stage presence and all, but there are so many dancers and so much choreography. At one point, he starts rapping and singing in the middle just to do some weird choreography. It's disappointing that he and Christina didn't choose something less conventional after his surprise win in the battle rounds. Cee Lo says his performance was great, and Adam says he thinks Moses has more potential as a singer than as a rapper. Blake says Moses already sounds like a better singer thanks to Christina. Christina says there is a place for everything with Moses.
Naia Kete, "Turning Tables"
My first thought is that no one on any singing show should ever be allowed to perform Adele simply because it's so "been there, done that." However, Naia is a unique enough performer that her inflections and her pronunciation, especially, at the very beginning of the song make it very difficult to compare to the original. Towards the ends of the song, however, it sounds like its back to basics. Christina says she would have liked a more reggae choice, but Blake applauds Naia for doing something different.
Lindsey Pavao, "Somebody That I Used to Know"
Again with the stage theatrics, this time in the form of clowns in black and white paint. It's kind of cool at first, but she really doesn't add anything new to the song and — if anything — her performance is the first big snooze of the night. When she needs to pour her emotions into the chorus and really kick it up, she just keeps doing the same breathy, soft performance and it gets to be very boring, very quickly. Adam says he was also missing that power, but Christina says she loves what Lindsey did with the song and can't wait to buy her album.
Jordis Unga, "Alone"
For once, Blake's love of the '80s does his team justice. This Heart classic is a perfect fit for Jordis' rocker edge and it really highlights her strengths ... at first. Jordis is another singer with an energy problem and she also gets a little pitchy with her bigger, more ambitious notes. It also shouldn't be so easy to hear her backup singers throughout such a stripped down tune. Overall, it's OK but nothing special. Cee Lo says he liked the performance, and Blake is also a fan.
Sera Hill, "Find Your Love"
Why the dancers? Why no shirts? I do not understand. Luckily, Sera interjects this show with some much needed adrenaline. It is a little disconcerting to hear the backup singers during the song, but her voice is strong throughout and she finds little moments to put her own touches into this standard pop tune. She tries to hit the high note at the end and fails, but she at least gets close and falls with grace. Blake can't get past the male strippers (that makes two of us), and Christina says Sera did well performing despite the distraction of the dancers and the production.
Erin Willet, "Living for the City"
Sadly, Erin's father passed away since the battle rounds. But she channels his spirit into a soulful and stirring performance. It's a little nerve wracking that Erin starts out the song playing on the piano, but you can feel her spirit even when she is sitting down and doesn't let the piano distract her from her vocal performance. Thankfully, she also gets up pretty quickly. There's really no need for a whole weird stage show in the background when Erin's got that much power, and she really closes out the song on a high note. Blake says that was the best performance of the night.
Ashley De La Rosa, "Right Through You"
It's nice to see the rocker side of Ashley, but it may hurt that she is performing a lesser-known song. Either way, Ashley brings to the performance more than I think most people thought she had. She's definitely pitchy at points, but she's able to distinguish herself from some of the other young, breathy singers in the competition like Charlotte Sometimes. Adam says Ashley is the most improved, and Christina agrees saying that she did very well for her age. Adam jokes that this is the first time they have gotten along all season. So congrats for that honor, Ashley.
Charlotte Sometimes, "Misery Business"
One of my favorite songs and one of my least performers in the competition, together? But this arrangement of Paramore's breakthrough hit is great for the competition. Her two first verses are unimpressive and in the exact same style we've heard from the beginning, but her true vocal abilities seem to shine through on the bridge. She really hits some higher notes and takes a few chances — to the point where you have to wonder where that part of her voice has been hiding up until this point. Adam says he really liked the performance, but that there were a couple pitch problems. Christina and Blake disagree and say Charlotte did a great job.
Jesse Campbell, "What a Wonderful World"
It's great to see at least one artist tonight reach a little further back into the song catalog, and Jesse is the perfect person to do it .Everyone knows Louis Armstrong's version, but Jesse knows to control his notes and when to go for the big show-stopping finish. His timing seems a tad bit off, but his unique melody of the song more than makes up for it. Cee Lo says Jesse is "the one," and Adam says Jesse is the one to beat. Christina tells Adam's team to watch out and the two go back-and-forth a little (so much for peace-making!) and Christina ends the night by telling Jesse that he should be grateful that he has the only sober coach on stage. Well, OK, then! Cheers?
So what did you think of tonight's live performances? Who was your favorite? Who do you think needs to get the boot tomorrow? Sound off below!
Adam shaved his hair off, Christina's black hat is gone (spoiler alert — I burned it!), and Cee Lo is wearing a wig and a red spandex jumpsuit with fringe? This is what the live shows look like, baby! The other best part of the live show? There's no time to edit what the coaches say! Which means one minute Christina and Adam are getting along like gravy, and the next, Christina is back to interrupting her rival and implying that he's, well, not sober. Say what? Read on to get all the dirt and to find out just how Season 2's first live performances went...