A full hour before The Voice even began its live broadcast last night, the roof on Stage 16 – where the show is shot on Warner Bros.’s Burbank lot – was already about to blow off from sheer fan excitement. Why all the buzz so, so early? Turns out that “live” performance of “Moves Like Jagger” that the Adam Levine-fronted Maroon 5 did with judge Christina Aguilera was being pre-taped. It’s a common practice on these types of shows, mostly because of the complexity of doing so many performances, one after another, in a two hour time period. And sometimes it’s just easier if they can knock one of the more complicated ones out before the show begins and insert a tape during the show. Or, you know, they want to get the performance taped, up, and available on iTunes as soon as possible. Who knows.
The interesting thing, though, with this particular pre-taped performance was that they taped it more than just once. I arrived at the studio just before the first take of the song began, and by the time I reached my seat (about five rows behind, and to the left of, Blake Shelton), they had enlisted Maroon 5, Adam Levine, and Christina Aguilera to do the song yet again. For the second take, the warm-up guy chided the crowd: “Whatever energy level that was,” he said about the first performance, “we need to double that!” Both takes seemed pretty good to me, and who knows which they used. Betwixt it all, I heard host Carson Daly say: “I played this s— all morning.” Referring to “Moves Like Jagger,” of course. And: Really?
Of course, the evening wasn’t all performances by the show’s judges. There was so much more excitement! Including Cee Lo Green’s cell-phone love, a pre-show shot (?), and lots of love for host Carson Daly. Before long, the show launched, and here’s what I noticed during my time on the scene that you might not have seen on screen:
Pre-Show FUN! Just as the warm-up guy told us it was only eight minutes until we’d go live to the east coast (!), he brought up onto the stage a small gal from the audience who was wearing shiny boots. “You better hide those from Cee Lo Green!” he told the little girl and the entire audience. “He’ll take those things from you. Cee Lo loves shiny objects!”
Pre-Show SHOT! Yes, a shot! Or at least that’s what it looked like Cee Lo, Adam, and Blake were taking just before cameras went live. They each had a cup, toasted the three of them together simultaneously, and downed something from them quickly before they took their seats. The likelihood that it was alcoholic is zilch, of course, but do you blame them for needing something to get them through the two-hour show? But also: Why didn’t Christina join in on the fun?
Cee Lo Green Hearts His Smartphone During the Maroon 5/Christina/Adam pre-tape and at various other points during the show, where was Cee Lo’s attention? On his phone! Televisions viewers probably couldn’t spy it – because he’s mostly only shown on screen in flashes during performances – but I caught him texting away a handful of times. And I’m not talking about during commercial breaks. Is that rude… or just reality?
Awkward! It was awkward watching as Team Cee Lo headed for the stage. At one end of the line-up of contestants was Tori and Taylor Thompson standing next to Vicci Martinez. The closest Thompson to Vicci went to grab her competitor’s hand, and Vicci seemed like she wanted to hold it, too, but they they just sort of fell away from each other. It looked unfortunate. Awww. I feel like these things should be discussed before the contestants head to the stage. Are we holding hands in solidarity or not?
Where’s Christina? The only judge to really leave their seat during the show was Christina Aguilera, who would regularly get up and disappear during the short breaks. What was she doing? That’s a good question! Several times, she barely made it back to her seat in time before the cameras began rolling.
Casey’s Calming Presence While almost every performance in The Voice studio causes the audience to rise to their feet with reckless abandon, Casey Weston’s soft and slow performance of Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You” brought people to their chairs. It was sort of amazing and special, considering getting the audience amped up seems to be the standard route on this show.
The Pre-Tape Rolls When the warm-up guy announced that it was finally time for the pre-taped performance of “Moves Like Jagger,” he told the audience to get ready to go crazy again! Overheard from a woman a row in front of me: “Really? For a third time?” I couldn’t help but laugh! ‘Cause it’s so true!
It’s Not Over Yet As we were heading out of the last commercial break, the warm-up guy teased the crowd: “Once we’re done, we’ll shoot everything again in Spanish and then we’re done.” The crowd groaned at the thought. But really, he had to do a lot during the final few commercial breaks to keep the crowd excited: “I need everybody to find that energy for another half hour!” The truth is that the crowd had been cheering for nearly three hours straight already.
“Has Adam Heard Any Songs?” That’s another thing overheard during the show, said by an audience member not far from me, after the judge said, yet again, that he hadn’t ever heard The Scripts “The Man Who Can’t Be Moved” after Xenia sang it. How many times has Adam claimed to never have heard the song that a contestant on stage had just sang?
Cat Calls For Carson Of course, Christina and Adam got lots of cat calls throughout the night (to which they’d wave in that direction of the crowd), but surprisingly, Carson also got lots of love. “We love you Carson!” could be heard being shouted by gaggles of gals throughout the evening.
Tanner on Twitter: @EWTanStransky