The Voice recap: Exclamation Point, Question Mark, Exclamation Point!

Three (!) performances from the coaches manage to wow, while two shocking eliminations manage to... well, shock
Ep. 14 | Aired Apr 16, 2012

CALL HER, BEEP HER, IF YOU WANNA REACH HER Social media correspondent Christina Milian somehow manages to make the Sprint Awkwardness Lounge even more awkward with every visit.

Colleen Hayes/NBC

There are certainly more creative titles to name this week's recap of The Voice's live rounds, but after the night's shocking final moments, it seemed like no other catchy headline would do my emotions justice (or at least no headline that was work appropriate).

Tonight saw a surprising rule change on the show: Immediately following their teams' last performances, each coach had to send home one unlucky artist in a new instant elimination. There's no real explanation for this, or at least not right now. Does this mean that America will only get to save one artist, and the coach gets to eliminate yet another? Tough luck, democracy! Either way, let us proceed onward through the performances!

Performing “She’s Country,” RaeLynn was the first to take the stage, and take it she did, balancing a delicate stomp around the stage (her boots were decidedly not made for walking) with hay bale obstacles every which way. After the grown-up Toddlers & Tiaras cowgirl finished her little ditty, Blake proclaimed that he had just experienced his proudest moment as a coach: “You prove to America that country can kick ass.” In my opinion, all that performance proved was that RaeLynn could do with a little less RaeLynn-ness.

How nice do I have to be to RaeLynn? I know America voted her through last week, which goes against essentially everything I’ve ever stood for (including the pledge of allegiance). But there’s something so painfully grating about the entire RaeLynn package that it makes me want to return her to whatever bizarre toy store she escaped from. And Blake doesn’t help matters, fawning over her like a hipster at Lenscrafters. RaeRae calls Blake her “big brother,” but I think she just doesn’t know how to spell “creepy uncle.”

We get our first pit stop at the Sprint Awkwardness Lounge, where the only thing more awkward than Christina Milian is Christina Milian’s hair. Surprisingly, the rest of the singers look relaxed – who knew that getting people to talk to each other rather than stare at their iPhones would come across so much better on television? Maybe I should re-rename it the Sprint Slightly Awkward Lounge.

On the opposite end from RaeLynn on the talent spectrum, the sonically astonishing Jesse Campbell got stuck with Beyonce’s “Halo,” a particularly dry song when it’s not glossed up by the power of the B. Dedicated to Jesse’s daughter, the song started out slow, with Jesse standing in a picture frame as the surrounding stage slowly filled with family photos from an intensely intimate PowerPoint.

The boredom certainly picked up by the time Jesse injected a hearty dose of riffs and runs into the otherwise restricted tune, though. There’s no denying that Jesse knows how to deliver vocally, and he actually seemed to be bursting out of the boundaries of “Halo.” Cee Lo called it wonderful, Blake said something, and Adam called him a “huge favorite” for the competition. I thought the chances that Christina would eliminate him tonight were a nonexistent slim to none, but little do I know, huh? Eliminating Jesse was the most egregious error for Team Christina since that tiny hat. (Although, fashion-wise, Christina may have regressed this week, opting for some sort of Ke$ha raccoon look.)

NEXT: Reasons why I want to join a gospel choir in another life

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