'The Voice' Recap: Night of Regrets for Adam Levine - Rolling Stone
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‘The Voice’ Recap: Night of Regrets for Adam Levine

Coach laments his contestant choices as live playoffs continue

Poor Adam Levine. Before Monday night’s episode of The Voice, we would have said he was the coach to beat this season. But then his team effectively crashed and burned in the first round of live playoffs. And now it seems like he’s living in a world of regret.

On night two of the live playoffs – featuring Shakira’s and Blake Shelton’s teams – Adam seemed to be dreaming of cutting his losses and starting over. When asked by host Carson Daly who he thought stole the previous night’s show, Adam didn’t choose someone from his own team – oh, no no. He chose Usher’s contestant Michelle Chamuel, who sang Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors.” And that was just the beginning of him openly admitting that he may have a problem on his hands when it comes to winning this season of The Voice.

‘The Voice’: Rolling Stone’s Complete Coverage

Like the first part of the live playoffs, four contestants each from Team Shakira and Team Blake sang for survival. Viewers will pick two of the three contestants who will move on to the top 12, with the third being a coach’s save. One contestant from each team will be sent home, with the first vote-based eliminations happening in a special episode tonight.

While the first live show of the season was kind of a disappointing mess – especially because Team Adam seemed so strong up until that point – this second night offered a little redemption, although there still wasn’t anyone who totally blew us away. (For the record, we’re just going to gloss over all of Usher’s awkward comments, because that would be a 1,000-word essay on its own – but don’t think we didn’t notice!)

Of the two teams that performed, each had hits and misses. Team Shakira’s strongest players were rocker chick Karina Iglesias and Brooklyn mom Sasha Allen ­– both of whom Shakira just so happened to steal from Adam during the battle rounds. After Iglesias ripped through “Let’s Stay Together” by Al Green, Adam oddly pointed out, “You were not stolen; I foolishly gave you up.” Wonder how that made Judith Hill feel, considering that Adam basically just said he wished he had held onto Iglesias instead during the battle rounds.

He also lamented the fact that he let Allen go, after her pimp-spot rendition of the Beatles’ “Oh! Darling.” Meanwhile, rounding out the night for Team Shakira were average but acceptable performances by 17-year-old growler Garrett Gardner and it’s-a-man, baby, Kris Thomas, who sang John Lennon’s “Imagine” and Bruno Mars’ “When I Was Your Man,” respectively.

Meanwhile, Team Blake teemed with – let’s be honest – way too much country, since all four of his contestants are steeped in the genre. Holly Tucker did a fine rendition of “How Do I Live” by LeAnn Rimes, and her simple by effective “I was bullied and have low self-esteem” storyline was almost refreshing compared to all the dead moms and dads we’ve been repeatedly reminded of this season (Gardner, Vedo, Amber Carrington).

But the real shining star on Team Blake was 16-year-old cutie-pie Danielle Bradbery, who did a damn fine job on Pam Tillis’ “Maybe It Was Memphis.” Unfortunately, she was age-inappropriately dolled up to the point of distraction, which detracted from the performance a bit for us. Still, it left Adam wishing she was on his team instead of, say, Carrington, the country girl he’s now “stuck” with: “I wanted you so badly; I think you’re one of the ones to beat.” (Getting lost in the shuffle with ho-hum performances were the Swon Brothers and Justin Rivers, with songs non-country fans have probably never heard.)

So, to recap this recap, the takeaway of the night seemed to be: If Adam could do it all over again, he’d have a completely different team made up of Chamuel, Bradbery, Iglesias and Allen. Only time will tell if he made the wrong choices.

Previously: Live Shows Begin With Middling Performances

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