Finally, the moment you've all been waiting for: The Voice is live!
As Adam once explained, it's the playoff rounds, which is "like a more serious Olympics."
Or, as Carson puts it, "Tonight, there's no bells and whistles. We are stripped down so that you can focus on what really matters."
No, he isn't talking about the presidential election. What really matters to Carson—and to this country!—is who can sing the loudest, hardest, awesomest song while Cee Lo rocks a puffy shirt that would've made Prince and Thomas Jefferson proud. America, heck yeah!
TEAM ADAM: Joselyn Rivera
After a joint sing-along between Team Adam and Team Blake, set to Boston's "Piece of Mind," Joselyn steps up to tackle Demi Lovato's "Give Your Heart a Break." Her main obstacle? She admits that she has trouble moving around stage and singing at the same time. (Also: walking, chewing gum.) But then she gets an idea: she will stomp her way down the stairs while belting out the lyrics. Problem solved!
Joselyn's performance is totally respectable, and she has cute bubblegum-style fashion (I like the pink streak in her hair), but for me, she's just not distinct enough to survive. Yes, Blake loves her. ("Damnit, Joselyn," he groans. "I still want you on my team! You look good on a stage like this! You look like a star! And I hate it! I HATE IT!") But the most memorable thing about her performance is the way Blake reacted to it. And that can't be good.
TEAM BLAKE: Terry McDermott
Some of Blake's song choices make me laugh. Between Kansas's "Carry on My Wayward Son" and Gloria Estefan's "Conga," it sounds like he's inspired by whatever 8-track is playing in his truck. Still, which one of us can argue that Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" hasn't crossed his Spotify playlist lately? Plus, Blake believes that Terry can make it sound "cool" and "current."
"There's not much at stake, is there?" Terry jokes. "Just my family's future. My pride."
Luckily, everything about Terry's performance is effortless, right down to his expertly mussed hair. His sing-screaming is so ridiculously powerful, he earns every high note. And somehow, he makes me believe that he was "born and raised in South Detroit," even though his accent clearly suggests that he was born and raised on Haggis. There's a confidence about him that I love. Christina praises "the precise clearness" in his tone. And Blake can't resist delivering some of his own cornball praise: "When God was passing out the ability to rock, he gave Terry just a little bit more." The guy has a pretty good chance of winning.
TEAM ADAM: Melanie Martinez
At this point, Melanie's killing me with cuteness. The giant bow on her head? The polka-dots and pleated skirts? Despite her bi-colored hair (which Blake thinks is SO CRAZY!!), Melanie lacks edge, and her take on Ray Charles' "Hit the Road Jack" proves it. She insits that she's trying to "find the sassiness in me," but there's absolutely no attitude in her version. She's way too sweet, purring her words and shimmying her shoulders. This girl couldn't get anyone to hit the road, least of all Jack, who's probably thinking how adorable it is that she wants to set his suitcase on fire.
Adam is loving it, closing his eyes and shaking his head to the beat. But it's obvious that Christina, who delivers the faintest praise, isn't impressed. On the plus side, Carson notes, "You're so much cuter than Ray Charles." Sadly, that's the one and only contest she can win.
NEXT: Why burning down your husband's house is considered patriotic