The Voice “The Semifinals” Review

This week’s episode of The Voice marked the introduction of a familiar twist from Season 1. Carson announced that all eight semifinalists would perform on the live episode after which, their judges/coaches would score the performance. The viewer vote plus the judges’ scores will be combined to determine who goes home this week.

Will a judge (looking at you Christina) have the guts to point shave with the hopes that he/she could send someone packing before the finals (looking at you Chris)? To quote Martin Lawrence from Bad Boys and Bad Boys II, “$hi! just got real!”

Team Adam – Katrina v. Tony

Tony stole a suit from Chris Mann’s wardrobe, picked up two dancers and performed “How Ya Like Me Now.” The song choice was different, so that’s always a good time. After last week’s weird rendition of Britney Spears, Tony had no where to go but up. Blake read my mind because I picked up a Robert Palmer-like vibe from Tony’s performance. This officially marks the second performance on The Voice this season with the Palmer vibe.

Adele and Lauryn Hill had a love child, named her Katrina and this week, she performed “Killing Me Softly” in tribute to them. I didn’t know what to think of the performance. My favorite part was the very end when Katrina broke out and did her thing. She’s an amazing singer but I wish that Adam had done something different with the arrangement. Just as I was thinking it, Christina and Cee Lo read my mind. Katrina should have referenced Roberta Flack and completely deviated from Lauryn Hill’s widely-recognizable delivery. I appreciated that Christina implored Adam to throw his points behind Katrina because Tony is a proven shoo-in with the viewers.

Team Blake – Jermaine v. Erin

I love Erin but I HATE the song she picked. “Without You” is one of those songs that is always on the radio. You can switch between three different radio stations and the song will be on and nowhere near the end. Given the recent loss of her father, I understand why Erin chose the song. My issues with radio aside, Erin did a good job. I’m confused by the disco, roller rink staging but that’s not her fault. Although I thought Erin did well, it was not my favorite performance by her.

Jermaine can sing. No, Jermaine can sang. I loved his performance. Dear producers/staging directors, you may blind me with science but you may not blind me with background lights during a performance. Science!

Team Cee Lo – Jamar v. Juliette

Three performances into the episode and I was ready to take a nap. As my lids grew heavier, I hoped that Jamar would be a much-needed jolt of energy. I’ve been waiting for Jamar to take on a ballad for weeks now so I was excited to learn that he chose “If You Don’t Know Me Now.” It took me a while to get used to the arrangement but I liked it and Jamar once again left it all on the stage. This is how you do a ballad without it becoming a lullaby. I hated the background singers but loved the performance. Jamar will be the reason why I vote for the first time ever this season. I like Juliette but Jamar is one of the few remaining contestants I genuinely want to see until the very end of The Voice.

Juliette paid tribute to her struggles as a woman trying to break through the male-dominated rock genre with “A Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World” by James Brown. Damn Juliette. I’ve been hoping for something different and Juliette served it. It is a tragedy that she or Jamar will no longer be on this show after this week. I’m a little worried for Jamar. Juliette nailed it but do yourself a favor and check out James Brown and Betty Jean Newsome. Both renditions are playlist-worthy and neither should be missed. Christina Aguilera wasn’t too shabby at her rendition of the song either.

The Team Adam/Team Cee Lo performance just reminded me of how bummed I am that either Jamar or Juliette will leave the competition this week. Maybe next week’s twist will be the return of whichever one of them gets the boot this week.

Team Christina – Chris v. Lindsay

Chris returned to his roots with a performance of Ave Maria. Chris was in his element and he delivered.

I love Lindsey and hoped this would be her breakout week on The Voice. Christina made a good call by arranging a stage setting for Lindsey that seemed more of her element. I loved the performance. She may not powerfully belt out tunes but Lindsey’s voice has a subtle beauty to it that I really enjoy. If I’m allowed more than one vote, Lindsey will get my second vote ever of the night. I should know the voting rules, I know this. Don’t judge me.

Random Thoughts/Observations . . .

What was up with Christina and the crown? Was it a subliminal message to her fellow judges? A Jedi mind trick? A nod to the finale of RuPaul’s Drag Race where the awesome Sharon Needles was crowned the winner?

Did Erin have on a fringed jean jacket for the Team Blake/Team Christina performance? Seize it. Burn it. Burn the ashes.

Cats scare the bejeezus out of me. They’re way too quiet and because of that, I don’t trust them. I like to hear my pets coming, which is why I love dogs and the occasional fish whose silence is contained in a bowl. Accordingly, Cee Lo’s creepy shirt with Purrfect’s face in a heart-shaped deepened my distrust. It just wasn’t right. I also realized that Purrfect looks like Ron Swanson from Parks & Rec. If you’ve never seen the tumblr, please google “cats that look like Ron Swanson.” You’re welcome.

Sound off below! Eliminations will slay me. Between the thousands of special guests performers lined up for an hour-long show (why?) and the impending elimination of either Juliette or Jamar, I’m not sure I can take it.