'The Voice' Recap: CeeLo Has Tough Choice to Make as Elite Eight Perform
Singers Size Themselves Up After the Show in Interviews With Billboard
For the first time this season on "The Voice," eight singers began the night and eight of them remained once it was finished and the coaches had turned in their scores to the vote tallying crew.
Tonight, each team will be whittled down to one contestant each based on the audience votes and the scores the judges give to each of their charges. The toughest decision seems to belong to CeeLo Green, whose singers -- Juliet Simms and Jamar Rogers -- delivered two of the night's best performances. Rogers did an electro-rock version of the Philly soul classic "If You Don't Know Me By Now" and Simms tore into James Brown's "It's a Man's Man's Man's World" as if she were channeling Steven Tyler and Janis Joplin.
"If I lose to her, I couldn't have lost to a better person," Rogers told Billboard.com after the show. "She's amazing. I take my hat off to her. It feels good to be on the strongest team this year; it means we stepped up."
| Juliet Simms || Jamar Rogers |
Simms received the loudest and most sustained applause of any performer in the house Monday night. She went for a glamour look with a floor length, gold gown that matched the elegance of the bare set (save for steps and a platform for string players). Adding pressure to her performance was the fact that she went eighth.
"It felt like the weight that was already on me doubled," she said, grateful to have shaken a few butterflies during a group performance earlier in the evening. "It's a big responsibility in closing out the show. You're summing up all these amazing performers and you either go out there and kill it or you're done."
We'll speculate that Simms is staying on as Green' representative. As for the other competitors, we'll take:
Tony Lucca (The Heavy's "How You like Me Now") over Katrina Parker (the Fugees' arrangement of Charles Fox and Norman Gimbel's "Killing Me Softly With His Song") on Team Adam.
| Tony Lucca || Katrina Parker |
Jermaine Paul (Journey's "Open Arms") over Erin Willett (David Guetta and Usher's "Without You") on Team Blake.
| Jermaine Paul || Erin Willett |
Chris Mann ("Ave Maria") over Lindsey Pavao (Bon Iver's "Skinny Love") on Team Christina.
| Chris Mann || Lindsey Pavao |
With eight performers knowing they had 24 hours before learning their fates -- they won't perform on tonight's show -- we chatted with them about events not seen on TV, their careers and comical moments.
Jamar Rogers on his version of the Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes hit: "CeeLo said a lot of people had tweeted him saying he should give me a soul song. I added vocoder, some synths, so to me it's Imogen Heap meets Prince. I felt like I brought it into 21st century. We only get 45 minutes (in the studio to record) so you have to go in there and kill. You have to go in there with a very clear and concise plan. If I go home on this song at least it's on something that I truly believed in. It kind of gave America a taste of what kind of artist I'm going to be."
Chris Mann on his unique "Ave Maria": "It's a classical music mash-up -- the Schubert 'Ave Maria' matched with the Charles Gounod 'Ave Maria.' I wanted it to be simple and by putting the Gounod second it provided a place for the song to build. Originally we were going to do it with just piano but then we felt it needed a little more so we added strings." It got Billboard.com thinking -- is there a Christmas album in Mann's future? "I think I was put on this Earth to do a Christmas album," he said. "Some people think they're cheesy, but I think they can be great."
Katrina Parker on back-to-back group and solo performances: "I feel like (the group performance) was good because it kept me out of my head -- I didn't have time to get nervous. It was also good because it allowed (Parker and Simms) to warm up for the crowd. I had a very quick wardrobe change after that and there was a lot of things happening, a lot of people putting things on me. All I wanted was a second to breathe, so it was good and bad."
Tony Lucca on his transformation: "After last week, we tapped into a new thing for me. I feel like we really tapped into something transformative on that Britney song ('…Baby One More Time'). A happy accident that started as response to very important feedback from a coach. Once we tapped into that energy, I thought we should put another log on the fire and see how long it burns. Adam said 'I don't know if it's right' (after starting work on 'How You Like Me Now'). More I got familiar with it the more I thought this is my story. It's about a guy who's got a new thing."
Jermaine Paul on '80s rock: " Steve Perry -- I'm a huge fan. That song ( Journey's 'Open Arms') came out at a time when male vocalists, male rock vocalists especially, were singing in the higher register and they sounded like men, grown men with a wife and a child. That's what I am. I'm not a teen idol, I'm a GAM -- grown ass man. Have to make sure I'm giving that (in the performance). Blue collar America -- that's the life I'm living."
Juliet Simms on the video of her crying: "I was a blubbery mess -- my face had fallen off the skull. I was actually thankful they didn't show what really happened. I got really emotional talking about how many years I have been working in the rock world, which is run by men, and how many roadblocks I have hit. It was like these worlds came together, my past and this song. I can't describe it other than everything was being released (emotionally)."
Lindsey Pavao on going from her Bon Iver solo to the Killers' "All These Things That I've Done" as a group: "Christina and I have been kicking around ('Skinny Love') for a long time, and this felt like the perfect time. Really delicate and intimate, Christina wanted it to be subtle and emotional. I love that the song is so honest. When I was done with my solo performance, I was relieved. Then it's like a big VMA production and you have to go from the intimate to a big number with teammates. It's crazy because its so rushed. It's mind blowing and it sounds cliched, but all of this has changed my life."
Erin Willett on the effect of changing an arrangement: "When they started playing (a slower) version (of "Without You") at rehearsal, I thought 'oh my god this is the beginning of Miley Cyrus' 'The Climb.'' I would mess around in rehearsals singing that. I thought let's do it our own way because sometimes the production overpowers the message (in Guetta's version). Funny thing is, the stage people thought I was going to do the uptempo version and I was going to have a DJ. Then they were sent the version we did. They came back and said 'so, we just spent all this money on light-up sunglasses and disco skirts.' Apparently those are going to be party favors at the wrap party."