Last night was predictable for The Voice playoffs. Unlike Monday's round, Team Cee Lo and Team Xtina's final fives sang like it was a competition, with the producers, as usual, putting Trevin Hunte on last to bat it out of the park. Once he's taken the stage, everything after would seem like a letdown, so it's really just the polite thing to do. Hunte got in some big note balladry with "How Am I Supposed to Live Without You," which Cee Lo picked, and Hunte turned into molten sap. He gets comparisons to Luther Vandross, but he's more Whitney than anyone on the show, given his effortless command and range. He trended on Twitter, along with future underwear model/Team Xtina hopeful Dez Duron, for a few hot minutes last night, and the clip above makes it clear why.
On to the power rankings:
Coach: Cee Lo Green
In Hunte, Green has an audience fave and he knows just how to pander to them. The rest of his team suffered a bit under his stereotypical song choices: An openly pissed-off Diego Val was given "Bailamos" by Enrique Inglesias for no discernable reason save that they are both Latin and kind of look alike. Nicholas David got a Barry White tune because he sounds like him, Cody Belew was assigned a George Michael song perhaps for reasons beyond their similar facial hair. The latter two rose to the occasion, and Val gave a performance that had Blake Shelton discussing his lack of socks, not his voice. Mackenzie Bourg was given a one-dimensional song and milked it as hard, with all the 11th grade boyfriend/human Furby charm he could muster. It will be interesting to see if the teen charmer places above the superior talent of David, who might be a little outré for the audience, though they roared for him, perhaps more than anyone besides Duron.
Coach: Christina Aguilera
It's hard to know who is going to stay or go on Team Xtina. Duron sang directly into the camera when he hit the line "make you feel wanted." Spitfire De'Borah was electrifying, bounding all over the stage. Sylvia Yacoub seems to be Xtina's personal fave, as all of her praise is about how connected she feels to her and how they sing alike. Adriana Louise and Devyn DeLoera seem like the exact same thing with different vibrato and are perhaps a little too generic to keep pace. BUT IT IS UP TO AMERICA, as Carson Daly reminded us eighty-eleven times last night.
Best non-sequitor from the judges: "I want America to grow with you," is Christina's wish for Yacoub. Is this Aguilera's way of saying she supports statehood for Puerto Rico?
Most emasculating line of praise: Adam Levine telling Mackenzie Bourg "You're frickin' adorable."
Most heartbreakingly astute contestant comment: Nicholas David's reflecting on his bafflement when Cee Lo directed him to swag things up made "feel like a grandparent" when they ask you about how to work a VCR. Nevertheless, he stomped around the stage in silver cowboy boots and a purple velvet suit and eight rings, which is swag in anyone's book. Hoping he gets a cloak for the finals and does "Dark End of the Street."