Episode 'The Voice' Season 1, Episode 8 - 'The Semifinals' Recap
Last week saw the first live eliminations as Raquel, Lily, Patrick and Jared were all sent home. We also watched the contestants from Team Cee Lo and Team Adam perform. That means that this week we'll see eliminations from those teams and performances in the semifinal round. Notice how "The Voice" chugs right along? I feel like it takes "American Idol" two weeks to get through one round.
Cee Lo is considerably less sparkly this week (but not sparkle-free) and Christina's hair is once again strange. She has some kind of sideways bouffant going on. She's a pink Bride of Frankenstein.
A medley of last week's Team Cee Lo performances remind us that the Thompson girls are adorable but not the greatest singers, Vicci and Nakia rock, and Curtis is a country singer on the wrong time. It would be a shocker to see anyone except Nakia and Vicci stay, it's just a matter of who gets saved by whom. Sure enough, the nationwide vote saved Vicci, so Cee Lo has to choose between Nakia, Curtis and the Thompson girls (who look like they already know they're going home). After running through his options, Cee Lo goes with (duh) Nakia.
It looks like we're getting both eliminations at the top of the show, unlike last week. A recap of Team Adam's performances: Casey did a kinda weak "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree," Devon struggled with "Stop and Stare," and Jeff Jenkins and Javier Colon both gave strong performances. The audience vote saves Javier, which is unsurprising. In fact, I would be shocked if anyone other than Javier wins this entire thing. This one seems another open-and-shut case since Jeff was another contestant that everyone fought over. Interestingly, Adam notes that he and Casey have "a thing" and that they had some arguments.
And in a huge shocker, Adam picks Casey over Jeff! Even Adam says that going into tonight, he was planning on choosing Jeff. Jeff turned every judge (if memory serves), while Casey didn't turn anyone the first time around, and had to have a second chance. I'm even more surprised that this choice than I was at Blake's Xenia pick.
Well, that sets our teams for the semifinals: Team Christina is Frenchie and Beverly, Team Blake is Dia and Xenia, Team Cee Lo is Vicci and Nakia, and Team Adam is Javier and Casey.
Frenchie is the first one up, and she'll be singing "Like a Prayer" by Madonna. It seems like an odd choice for Frenchie at first, since it's kinda poppy and light, but the rehearsals make it sound like Frenchie's going to give this song a soul slant. She looks afraid of those stairs. Oh, one of the nice choir dancers is helping her walk down! What a gentleman.
Frenchie manages to find some room to belt it during the song. Carson notes his nervousness about the stairs. Good to know I wasn't alone. Adam says he loves Frenchie and she says she loves him, which prompts Cee Lo to make some kind of obscene gesture that we can't see. Damn you, censors! Blake loved it. Frenchie is either always pretending to cry, or always crying. I don't know which would be worse.
Carson's impatience is starting to show during these live shows, and I love it. Seriously, watch him. Every once in a while, you can almost hear him saying "shut up, shut up, shut up."
Nakia's up next with "What Do You Want From Me," and he seems reticent at first. "I'm not singing that," he says. But after reading through the lyrics, he changes his mind. It's not the obvious choice, but Cee Lo is kind of a genius. A mad genius, but a genius nonetheless.
Nakia really rocks the song. Not since Tori Amos has someone rocked that much while behind a piano. Adam says he hasn't heard the song before (is my music knowledge deeper than Adam Levine's?) but Nakia probably sang it better than the person who originally sang it. Christina applauds his stage presence. Cee Lo tells us that black and white is "the color of big business." You learn something new every day!
Dia's up next, and just the showing of her video brings big applause from the audience. Dia is choosing "Losing My Religion" by REM, which is another nice choice for her voice. If her rendition of "Heartless" was any indication, she can do pretty much anything. Blake says that Dia is someone "with a vision," which I think is a good way of putting what we all like about her: she seems like a musician, not just a singer.
It's not as much of a departure from the original as "Heartless" was, but this is another really solid entry from Dia Frampton. Christina says she has seen a lot of growth from Dia, then gets on an awkward ramble. Cee Lo is wowed, and Adam says he's a fan. Me too. I'm in love.
Casey is up next and singing "I Will Always Love You," and Adam wants her to split the difference between Dolly Parton and Whitney Houston. Casey says she's only 18 but she's "been in love once." Oh boy. I don't know how much that will help her with this song...just like she says that Whitney is in her head, she's in ours too. It'll be hard to listen to this song without hearing Whitney and making the comparison.
Casey does a fine job with it, but it's not going to be enough to get her the votes to get past Javier. Then again, probably nothing would be. I guess the important thing is that she does the song she wants to do. I'm not big on the song, but Casey has a great voice. And, as Blake says, "she's so freakin' hot!"
Carson Daly rage alert: Casey says that she's an opinionated girl and nods to Christina, to which Carson quickly says "don't get her started."
Maroon 5 and Christina Aguilera take the stage now to perform their new single "Moves Like Jagger," which we featured earlier...check it out here.
The song is over now, and I've regained consciousness after the seizure that the stage lights gave me. Adam and Christina hug after the song, as Carson says that the two "clearly like each other." That prompts a quizzical look from Christina, which is deserved.
Beverly is choosing B.B. King's "The Thrill is Gone," definitely a bluesy choice and a change of pace for the rocker. Beverly is nervous about Frenchie being so good...sure, Frenchie has the pipes, but Beverly has character. It shows through in spades during this performance which, like Nakia's, starts behind a piano and then moves on to the stage. Beverly really knows how to work a crowd and perform. Her energy is great, even if her lungs aren't what Frenchie's are.
Cee Lo has a new nickname for her: "Killer B." Christina gives B the praise she deserves and you can hear Cee Lo add that he loved the song choice. That performance could be enough to push her ahead.
Javier Colon is going to sing "Fix You" by Coldplay. An amazing song, with an amazing melody. Honestly, I'm actually excited to hear this from Javier.
Pretty good, right? Javier totally killed it. I'm calling it now, this guy is winning the whole thing. Also, Javier finally took his hat off! Three of the eight semifinalists are bald. And two of them are women. Huh.
Blake wanted the hat, because "that sumbitch is going to be worth a lot of money." Cee Lo name-drops Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow, which prompts mocking from Adam. Adam calls Javier the "real deal" and says he has one of the best voices he's ever heard. Ever.
After an awkward exchange with Casey in the V Room, we go back to the stage to watch Blake perform his hit single "Honeybee" I am shocked to learn that the title refers to Blake himself. He's the honeybee. You know, I'm not a country fan, but there's something kinda fun about Blake's slightly ironic, self-aware take on the genre. I dig it. You're all right, Blake. Dia and Xenia join him on stage for the last chorus. Xenia is still so awkward on stage, but it's cute how much Blake obviously cares about these two.
Xenia is introduced as "officially come out of her shell." We'll see. "The Man You Can't Be Moved" is her choice, which I'm not so familiar with. Once again, we're reminded why Xenia's here: her voice is so unique and surprising. They have to stop putting her in those ridiculous heels, though.
Adam wasn't crazy about the song (I agree) but says that she did a great job. Cee Lo says she's "so cool" and I think he just called her "quaint." Blake says he's glad he "knew her when," as he's sure he's going to hear Xenia's voice on the radio someday.
Vicci is singing "Dog Days are Over" by Florence and the Machine. A good choice for her, and a song that it seems she's emotionally attached to because of her father.
Her setup and getup on stage is definitely Cee Lo inspired. She's wearing a sequined shirt with the tallest hair you've ever seen, and two drum sticks in hand. We've heard Cee Lo talk about Vicci's "war dance," and it looks like he's bringing it out again. Vicci rocks it, running around the stage like a madwoman, and the crowd goes nuts.
Blake says it's "like someone threw gas on the stage and threw a lit match." Christina lauds her for continuing without a hitch after her mic pack fell out. Sure enough, Cee Lo says the drums are a representation of the war dance. Adam loves the hair.
That wraps up the performances for the first-ever semifinal round of "The Voice." The judges will score each performance, which will be weighed against the audience vote to decide which four go home tomorrow.
This week marks the start of the extra live results shows, the first of which is tomorrow (Wednesday the 22nd). So be sure to tune in Wednesday night at 8pm to see who will continue on!
Early predictions: Javier, Beverly, Dia and Vicci continue on while Casey, Frenchie, Xenia and Nakia go home.