Image credit: NBC
A MAN, A PLAN, A CEE LO GREEN I pledge allegiance to your crazy, sir.
TEAM CHRISTINA: De'Borah
I love the smell of synergy in the evening. De'Borah is from Chicago -- and how about that, a star of NBC's Chicago Fire happens to be in the show's audience tonight! What are the odds? Are you tweeting this, Christina Milian? Please tell me you're tweeting this.
Pink is one of pop's most soulful singers, which makes her music a pretty good fit for De'Borah's voice. While Team Xtina's most unique snowflake avoids the melody of "Who Knew" more than she should, her tremendous energy is more than enough to carry the performance. Look, she's doing lunges! She's leaping across the stage! Is this what P90X looks like? I want James Brown's towel boy to mop her brow when the song ends. Christina is right to say that nobody can command the stage like De'Borah can -- if she weren't so utterly likeable, the platform itself might object to being stomped on so harshly.
TEAM CEE LO: Diego Val
Who's to blame for the great Diego Val travesty of '12 -- Cee Lo, for thinking that Spain-born Enrique Iglesias perfectly represents Peru-born Diego's culture? Rocker Diego, for letting his resentment about being asked to sing "Bailamos" neuter his performance? Songwriters Paul Barry and Mark Taylor, for composing some of the dumbest lyrics in pop history? ("We take the floor/Nothing is forbidden anymore.") Maybe this is just la tormenta perfecta. In any case, Diego's Enrique cover falls flat, which baffles Cee Lo -- he thought he was giving Diego an advantage by assigning a song in the contestant's "native tongue." Shh, don't tell Cee Lo "Bailamos" was written by the same team behind Cher's "Believe."
TEAM CEE LO: MacKenzie Bourg
What's that saying -- "Lightning always strikes twice"? That's what Cee Lo is banking on when he tells MacKenzie to sing the spiritual sequel to "Call Me Maybe": One Direction's "What Makes You Beautiful," a fine example of Mobius pop. This performance is much more straightforward than Hipster Bieber's take on Carly Rae; MacKenzie mostly sticks to the melody as he strums through the song's first half, then ditches his guitar when the tempo speeds up halfway through.
It's clear that Mac thinks of himself as more than a pop tart -- but he sure plays the role of teen idol beautifully. All he needs is a tiny shot of De'Borah's energy, and this guy could be unstoppable. Adam nails the contestant's appeal when he compares MacKenzie to Buddy Holly -- he's toeing the line between quirky and mainstream, and for now, it's working. Still, Christina's on the right track when she advises Mackenzie to try a song with more depth next time. So "Gangnam Style" is out, then?
TEAM CHRISTINA: Devyn Deloera
What does it mean to show one's vulnerability through song? Devyn seems to think the key is singing kinda quiet, then belting real loud. Either way, she gets an A for effort on Leona Lewis's "Bleeding Love." Whoa, what if someone on The X Factor is singing the very same song right now? I wouldn't put it past that crafty Simon Cowell.
Like fellow mini-Christina Adriana, Devyn is totally fine. At this stage in the game, though, that might not be enough. Cee Lo thinks she's better than this performance would indicate. Christina's a lot kinder, confessing that she loved Devyn's concluding money note. No alarms and no surprises here, folks.
NEXT: Trevin takes us home