We’ve made it to the live rounds! That means that, in addition to some serious vocal performances, we get scary clown masks, acrobatic dancers, gospel back-up singers and, most important, the coaches finally get to change their clothes! No more shots of Adam rocking that Big Lebowski sweater or Christina receiving satellite-dish messages from her hat.
Now we can see the newly single Adam looking very chic and understated in a black t-shirt and a new haircut. Christina gets styled up like the Misfits in a claw-marked t-shirt and smoky eyes. Blake’s wearing what passes for formal wear in Nashville (that would be a black jean jacket). And Cee Lo’s dressed up like a rhinestone cowboy, riding out on a horse in a star-spangled rodeo.
“Cee Lo, there’s a little something different about you tonight,” observes Carson, trying not to laugh. “What are you doing? Who are you?”
“Adam cuts his hair short, I grow mine out,” explains Cee Lo.
To which Adam replies, “That actually is my hair.”
Boys, boys! There’s enough hair for everyone tonight! (Naia Kete alone has enough for ten teams.) So let’s break this down, starting off with Team Blake.
TEAM BLAKE: JERMAINE PAUL
Jermaine has worked for many years as Alicia Keys’ back-up singer—or so he might have mentioned a few bazillion times. So why’s this R&B vet taking on Bon Jovi’s “Living on a Prayer”? “I feel like I am livin’ on a prayer…this is like a faith walk for me,” he says. Voice contestants—always taking their Bon Jovi so literally!
The song choice was a little unorthodox, but I love everything about this performance. The smoke machine! The two dueling, stand-up, Sheila E-style drummers! The way Jermaine talks so tough when he gets to the “talk so tough” part! Genius! Everyone’s always talking about range in this competition, and Jermaine’s got some to spare. It’s not just his amazing voice, which manages to make even His Dudeness Bon Jovi sound soulful. It’s also that this smooth R&B guy can channel so much New Jersey, allowing himself to be elevated through the floor in a white leather jacket. That’s rock’n’roll.
Jermaine’s one of my very favorite contestants this season. I know he’s kind of arrogant, and he knows he’s hot (did you catch him making the Blue Steel face a few times?), but I simply cannot stop listening to him sing. And apparently neither can Blake (who’s clapping through his whole performance) or Christina (who observes, “You nailed every opportunity of that song”) or the girls who shriek like thirsty vampire bats through his entire time on stage.
Also, we get to watch a backup singer perform with his own backup singers? Somewhere there’s a cat looking at a picture of a cat looking at a picture of someone blowing that cat’s mind. My verdict? KEEP HIM, FOREVER!
NEXT: More Team Blake madness ensues, while Betty White hits on her favorite country star