TEAM CEE LO: Nicholas David
Nicholas is the opposite of cool. "I don’t understand the whole swagger thing," he confesses after Cee Lo urges him to try singing with more attitude. "I feel like a grandparent, like when a grandparent asks you how to work a VCR." How cute -- he still thinks VCR jokes are relevant!
And yet it's Nicholas's natural dorkiness that makes his performance such a success. A cool guy could never wear a purple leisure suit while crooning Barry White's "You are The First, The Last, My Everything" with a perfectly straight face. The whole thing is so frank, so unpretentious, and so technically well-sung that it somehow bypasses "disco nightmare" and swings all the way back to awesome. It's incredibly cheesy, but it would stop working immediately if Nicholas displayed any self-awareness whatsoever. Even his awkward stage presence doesn't detract from the overall package. The bottom line: Adam Levine wants to have a baby with this man. Nicholas David 2016!
TEAM CHRISTINA: Sylvia Yacoub
Again with the vulnerability! Sylvia wants us to know that she doesn't always sing upbeat powerhouse songs; sometimes, she sings more down-tempo powerhouse songs. Whatever -- it's tough to be annoyed at someone who sounds this good. Sylvia manages to convey true emotion even when grappling with the very silly lyrics of Katy Perry's "The One That Got Away," and she doesn't rely on runs as much as she has in the past. I want her to keep playing the piano onstage, mostly because of the awesome moment when she doesn't know whether to keep punching keys or pause to clutch her cheeks in angst. All the coaches agree that Sylvia should have nothing to worry about tomorrow -- especially Christina, who praises her MVP so forcefully that Sylvia gets teary. Aw, don't you love when Xtina goes all Mama Care Bear?
TEAM CHRISTINA: Dez Duron
Uh oh, Christina -- have you learned nothing from Diego Val? She's asking Dez to sing a country song called "Wanted," even though his voice is totally twang-free. But wait: Dez takes well to the tune's straightforward melody and generic lyrics, which mention nary a honky tonks. He's got a strong command of the stage and a strong voice to match his Charisma Carpenter, although I won't blame you if you spend the performance thinking about how dreamy he looks.
I feel like the coaches see dollar signs when they look at Dez. They say he's more than a pretty face, but we all know that calling someone "the full package" is the same thing as calling them "marketable." Prediction: Dez will do just fine when The Voice is through, win or no win.
TEAM CEE LO: Trevin Hunte
Can't remember why Trevin became an early favorite as soon as he auditioned? Here, let him remind you with "How Am I Supposed to Live Without You." That's right: Trevin is so good that he'll make you like a Michael Bolton song. ("Jack Sparrow" doesn't count.) He's so good that once he started singing, I almost forgot that Cee Lo actually said these words as he was rehearsing: "There's something honest and vulnerable and pure about being stripped down. It’s like being naked in front of the world."
Moments ago, the audience was squealing so loudly for Dez that Carson nearly had to turn a hose on them. Now they're refusing to stop whooping once Trevin stops singing -- causing Carson to nearly shove the guy offstage so that he can concentrate on wrapping up the show in time. Aw, does anybody else miss Steve Jones?
So there you have it. Tomorrow, these 20 singers will be whittled down to 12. Who should stay, who should go, and who wants to meet me for a private listening of Christina's new album at Casa Aguilera? It's the very definition of quality time!