You know you’re in trouble when Carson Daly has to tell you to grow up and act like a professional. Yes, that’s the same guy who built his career by making jokes about Cloris Leachman’s lady parts.
But that’s exactly what happened tonight in the live quarterfinals, as all of the judges got drunk on Blake’s sarsaparilla. Or at least, it seemed like that’s what happened. First, Christina wasn’t even looking at the camera when Carson introduced her; she was writing on her sketchpad. (No doubt she was doodling little sketches of Adam Levine with big red Xs over his eyes.) Then Cee Lo and Blake couldn’t stop laughing long enough to talk about their teams. (“Blake! Focus!” said Carson, exasperated.) Finally, Adam quipped that in order to win The Voice, all you have to do is “just follow your fart.”
Ugh. Where is Purrfect when you need her to claw somebody’s tongue out? Enough with the coaches. Let’s get to the teams.
TEAM CEE LO: JAMAR ROGERS
Normally, the Voice’s insistence upon making every song so damn literal just makes me laugh. (Did they really have to have to illustrate “I Am Like a Bird” with an aerialist actually flying like a bird? We understood the metaphor!) But having HIV-positive Jamar sing Bon Jovi’s “It’s My Life” did feel like a fairly moving choice, especially after his mother confessed that when he was first diagnosed, he thought he wouldn’t live past the age of 30.
Looking like a member of The Warriors—complete with graffiti-strewn backdrop, street-hooligan backup dancers, and shipping crates that some poor NBC intern probably set on fire despite not having health insurance—he was a natural for making this Jersey rock anthem sound even Jersey-er. I loved the way he growled his way through Bon Jovi, and so did the many, many, many screaming girls in the crowd. “J-Bird, I wanna pause for a moment and listen to the love!” enthused Cee Lo. “It’s a triumphant victory of life!”
I don’t know if I believed Jamar’s tears were real. (It looked to me like he might’ve been focusing really hard on the images of chlorine and chopped onions in his mind.) But tonight, he had the most heart in this competition. So come on, you Bon Jovi-fearing Americans. KEEP HIM
NEXT: “I’m Like a Bird” isn’t much like a bird at all. (Unless that bird sings badly.)