'The Voice' Recap: Duets Range from 'Cuteness' to 'Bizarre' - Rolling Stone
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‘The Voice’ Recap: Duets Range from ‘Cuteness’ to ‘Bizarre’

The judges stayed sharp as performances peaked and fell

Serabee, Carson Daly and Dia Frampton.

Lewis Jacobs/NBC

With only one week of elimination rounds to go, The Voice was clearly in its groove last night. Each contestant got her due, the judges judged wisely, and the cameras caught that Dia girl looking exactly like an angel.

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Raquel Castro vs. Julia Eason
Christina paired pint-size teen Raquel Castro (who revealed she was also the pint-size pre-teen in Kevin Smith’s Jersey Girl) against the very tall Julia Eason, for Rihanna‘s “Only Girl In The World.” Tiny and all, Raquel bulldozed right past Julia, who, in her little bursts, showed a voice with real character. But except for Blake, whose fondness for folksy types had him wavering, all the judges plus Christina pitched in with Raquel, or as Cee Lo calls her, “Little Mama.”

Rebecca Loebe vs. Devon Barley
No one came close to matching Rebecca’s and Devon’s duet in overall loveliness. They sang Radiohead‘s “Creep,” which somehow in all Devon’s days of being a presumably angsty teen, he hadn’t heard before. Even so, he jived perfectly with Rebecca, a kindly singer who lives in her car and performs in bars. Cee Lo actually preferred him. “I like that you don’t look like your voice,” he told Devon. (Welcome to Cee Lo’s world!) The rest of the judges sat squarely on the line. “Don’t pick one,” Blake told Adam. “Don’t ever separate those two.” But in the end, pre-med student Devon got the good word. That’s one less doctor and one more reality star, as the balance should be.

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Kelsey Rey vs. Tori and Taylor Thompson
Cee Lo paired Kelsey, a telegenic “internet sensation,” against cute-overload sisters Tori and Taylor. Their version of Natasha Bedingfield’s “Unwritten” included some breezy dance moves by Cee Lo and  a whole lot of love for the song. As Adam said, it was “so much cuteness.” But Cee Lo wisely saw extra cuteness in the Thompson sisters, whose soft puppy antics occasionally made Kelsey look like a brittle old woman in comparison. Kelsey trudged off, back to the internet and the old sensation business.

Dia Frampton vs. Serabee
Blake proved to be the poorest matchmaker, joining Dia Frampton – a clear-voiced “children’s novelist” who in looks and shyness smacks of Lyla Garrity – with ultra-aggressive hippie rocker Serabee, for “You Can’t Hurry Love.” After a backstage scene that had Dia gazing at the ground beatifically in a white dress, the strangeness moved onstage, where Serabee blustered like a witch yelling her mightiest spells while Dia tiptoed nearby, occasionally getting a few clear lines out. Christina called it “odd,” Cee Lo went with “bizzare.” “Just because you can sing a lot of notes doesn’t mean you have to do it all the time,” Blake told Serabee, before reassuring Dia that “it did look uncomfortable.” The most intriguing part?: when Dia’s family bridled at Carson Daly’s pat description of her as “the singer/songwriter with a quiet side.” “She’s not that quiet,” one of them said. Keep on eye on Dia. The incorrectly-labeled ones are always the most complicated.

Last Episode: The Beautiful are the Damned


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