Team Christina and Team Cee Lo competed in the second set of live playoffs… (Tyler Golden / NBC )
At the start of the second set of live playoffs on "The Voice" on Wednesday night, in which the members of Team CeeLo and Team Christina performed, energy was low. The previous night had been long, what with the presidential election and all, and the coaches – like many of the rest of us – were looking a tad tired.
But while Adam Levine and Blake Shelton could look forward to sitting back and being "entertained," as Levine put it, since their teams had performed earlier in the week, Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo Green had to look lively. After all, their teams were in the hot seat, competing for a spot in this season's top 12.
Aguilera and Green had dressed patriotically for the occasion, although her red-white-and-blue color combo (which included her red-tipped hair) appeared to have been inadvertent. Not so Cee Lo's. The ever unforgettably outfitted "Forget You" singer wore a stars-and-stripes knit poncho and matching cap, and expressed confidence in the "Voice" voters, who would help determine which singers would advance to the next round: "Judging from yesterday's election, America has great taste," Green said.
Aguilera's team – mostly pretty-faced, powerhouse pop singers -- treated the audience to consistently strong performances. But the team's consistency could prove problematic to "Voice" voters, who may find beautiful belting brunettes Adriana Louise, Devyn DeLoera and Sylvia Yacoub difficult to differentiate from one another.
That said, Yacoub did distinguish herself, if only by sitting down at the piano to give a "stripped down" (in "Voice" parlance) performance of Katy Perry's "The One That Got Away." (Louise also performed a Perry song, "Firework" and DeLoera sang Leona Lewis' "Bleeding Love.") The Egyptian-born vocalist not only showed off her musical skills, she also connected emotionally with the lyrics and the audience. Even she was moved to tears, though those may have been in part a response to the judges' praise.
Despite his previous presidential shout-out, Green proved himself to be impressively nonpartisan when it came to the competition, telling Yacoub she'd turned in "probably my favorite performance of the night." Levine said she "definitely" deserved to move forward in the competition. And Aguilera shook her metaphorical pompoms and cheered, "America, you have to vote for this girl."
The other two artists on Aguilera's team -- the unconventional and exuberant De'Borah and the distractingly good-looking Dez Duron, Team Christina's only guy – also stood out, though they might not have had to work as hard to do so. De'Borah caught attention by loping and skipping across the stage on her insect-long legs as she sang Pink's "Who Knew." And Duron looked particularly toothsome as he sang Hunter Hayes' "Wanted."
Green's team, by contrast, is almost entirely varied and unconventional. Team Cee Lo's standout performances included Nicholas David, who showed his sexy side with Barry White's "You're the First, the Last, My Everything," prompting Levine to declare himself in the mood to make babies; Trevin Hunte, who, even while nervous and barely tapping into his vocal power, was easy on the ears with Laura Branigan's "How Am I Supposed to Live Without You"; as well as Cody Belew, who showed his more vulnerable side with George Michael's "One More Try," though he still managed to include at least a little of the old "bam-bam."
I'm predicting Diego Val, who reluctantly and socklessly tackled Enrique Iglesias' "Bailamos," and Bieber-with-glasses MacKenzie Bourg, who did his lowest-common-denominator pop-tune thing again with One Direction's "What Makes You Beautiful," will be the Team Cee Lo singers heading home, though "Voice" voters may surprise. Team Christina is a bit harder to call. Will the audience vote through Duron and De'Borah because they are a bit different, leaving Aguilera to choose between her three powerhouse brunettes? Did Yacoub manage to connect and find a place in the audience's heart?
We'll find out tonight, I guess, when Levine's Maroon 5 and last year's "Voice" winner Jermaine Paul will perform.
Which singers would you like to see stick around?
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