TEAM CEE LO: Caroline Pennell
The song: "The Dog Days Are Over" by Florence and the Machine
The performance: The fate of Cee Lo's team rests on little Caroline Pennell's shoulders. As she's his final singer left, and as she was in last week's bottom three, Cee Lo is hell bent on playing it risky. His "surprising" choice is a song that I think is better suited to Matthew Schuler, who tackled a Florence tune earlier. Onstage, Caroline sugars up the slow-burning power-belter, singing it like it was a sweet jingle to a suburban grocery store commercial instead of a yearning, epic anthem. It severely lacked the fierceness and power of the Florence Welch original.
The feedback: Cee Lo proclaims that he has written something, and after a few confusing saccharine lines, ends with this: "You are the only thing that matters to me at this moment." Adam calls her rendition "bold and exciting,” and adds, "You did the best thing you could possibly do at this time.”
GROUP PERFORMANCE: Ray, Cole, Tessanne, and Will
The song: "One Day" by Matisyahu
The performance: Ray and Will were out of their element here. Tessanne's voice levitated above everyone else's, but honorable mention goes to Cole, whose usual folksy styling revealed a great gift for melody. Anyone else think a Tessanne and Cole duet would be just dreamy?
TEAM BLAKE: Cole Vosbury
The song: "I Still Believe In You" by Vince Gill
The performance: Blake says he wants America “to realize how deep Cole is.” This song is Cole's most emotional performance to date. While showing a sensitive and smooth side is essential for displaying his versatility, what bothered me about this was that Cole sang it like a Boyz II Men song, and after a while I just wanted the real thing.
The feedback: Blake seemed to love it, saying this is “the first time we’ve had a chance to hear all the character in your voice.” "You made country proud," he added.
TEAM CHRISTINA: Matthew Schuler
The song: "It's Time" by Imagine Dragons
The performance: I was expecting to be wowed, but it's been a two-week drought since his transcendent Top 12 rendition of "Hallelujah". But Coach Christina is more concerned with the accoutrements, enlisting her own choreographer, who's auspiciously named Jeri Slaughter, to garner a backup, fist-pumping, dance army to bolster Schuler's singing. This one was a miss for me; all I heard was power and no heartfelt enunciation.
The feedback: Christina had nothing but praise for her star student: "You come from a place of integrity," she said.
GROUP PERFORMANCE: Caroline, Jacquie, Matthew, and James
The song: "Lego House" by Ed Sheeran
The performance: This was the epitome of cute and harmless. Everyone sings softly, and when gentle, harmonious singing is the name of the game, Caroline excels.
NEXT: "I need a lover with soul power"