The Voice recap: Great Performances

Cee Lo and Adam's teams show us what they've got, while Blake and Christina's squads are whittled down by half
Ep. 08 | Aired Jun 14, 2011

JESUS, TAKE THIS SPIEL Jeff, we like you, but all the talk of your mother is seriously bumming us out.

Lewis Jacobs/NBC

And then came the cherry on top of Cee Lo's sundae of crazy: his team's group performance, a hippie fever dream set to Sly and the Family Stone's "Everyday People." It was the logical follow-up to Cee Lo's puppet-filled Grammys performance, except this time the puppets were replaced with Voice contestants. The number's absurd, gimmicky visuals -- especially the coach's giant Afro wig -- more than made up for a few spotty vocals (ugh, Curtis). Team Adam's group performance of the Wonder Years version of "With a Little Help From My Friends," by contrast, was less fun but more aurally impressive. The latter also featured a high school choir, which, eh. If you're going to flesh out your group song with a choir, at least go for gospel.

Nakia came next, rocking a pair of red-framed shades that could have come straight from Chez Cee Lo. He growled a cover of Kings of Leon's un-Googleable "Sex on Fire" as girls with, yes, flaming batons twirled around in the background. (Literal interpretations of song lyrics are so hot right now.) Nakia's Springsteeny vibe wasn't enough to distract me from the song's awful lyrics ("Your sex is on fire... I can just taste it"), though he did sound pretty polished. Cee Lo called the number "impeccable;" Blake said he "felt the burn." Fire pun!! Moving on.

I'd been looking forward to Jeff Jenkins's performance for weeks. Before the live rounds began, he was my favorite Voice contestant of all. After seeing "Jesus Take the Wheel," though, I'm not quite as enthusiastic about Jeff anymore. His vocals still soar like no other contestant's -- no, not even Javier's -- but something felt missing when he sang tonight. Maybe I was still weirded out because of something Jeff said in the Ninth Circle of Hell the V Room ("I'm still waiting on that legal Thompson sister." All together now: ewwwwww). Maybe I was just annoyed, then guilty about how annoyed I was getting, then irritated by my annoyed guilt after the umpteenth reference to dearly departed Mama Jenkins. Regardless, the coaches thought Jeff sang beautifully.

"Curtis Grimes could totally play Young Will Ferrell in a movie." "Those dancers are so Coyote Ugly. Man, I should see if Coyote Ugly holds up." "What does 'ten gallon hat' actually mean?" "I wonder what Emily Valentine is up to right now." These are all things I thought as my mind wandered during Curtis's boring, boring "Addicted to Love." Adam thought the contestant's voice sounded "deep and manly," but I found it to be more flat than anything else; I'd call him the male Xenia, except Curtis doesn't even have a unique tone to make up for his limited range. With Patrick gone, maybe he has a snowball's chance of escaping elimination. It seems more likely, though that he'll unceremoniously exit the Voice Box alongside the Thompson Twins next Tuesday.

NEXT: Javier ends the show with a bang. No, not with literal fireworks (this time, at least)

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