The Voice
Live Top 6 Performances

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Couch Baron: B | Grade It Now!
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"And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going"

My Lord, was it really two months ago when I subbed in last? And the season is still going on? Explains why I'm here again, for sure.

So! Because I am astute, I can tell from the title "Live Top 6 Performances" that the Top 6 will be performing live, although since there's no "blind" in the title this time, I'm guessing the chairs won't be allowed to swivel. More's the pity. Carson stands on stage with the contestants, who are clapping along like monkeys banging cymbals, and you know who they are and they'll also be introduced when they perform, so I'll skip this part. I'd ask your forgiveness, but in a two-hour show it's going to happen a lot. The coaches are introduced, and Christina has decided to celebrate her elimination by wearing a Cher-in-the-'60s-inspired hair band, I think. Carson lets us know that each contestant will be performing twice tonight, one time singing a song of their own choosing and the other time performing a song selected by their coach. Carson then sends the performers backstage so he can interview the contestants. Adam is jazzed still to have his two women in the event, and says he doesn't know what makes anyone successful on this show, which it's probably fair to categorize as both refreshing honesty and dispiriting words from a coach. Cee-Lo has been really sick this week, apparently, but he says that he was able to connect with his people over the phone while "Pat from Train" (that's Monahan, I assume) stepped in to help with one-on-one coaching. Christina, who I think is wearing a spangled vinyl jacket to complement her Cher hair and mini-fishnet stockings, is like, "I get to check out this week, which is kind of awesome," but gives a thumbs-up to Blake's Cassadee. Blake of course eats up the praise before saying he tries to insulate his kids from the pressure, which, if true, is reasonably smart. And now, since there are twelve performances, it's time to stop screwing around.

First up is Nicholas, performing Cee-Lo's choice for him, Earth, Wind & Fire's "September." Over rehearsal footage, Pat tells us that he's a big fan of Nicholas because he's "got a whole thing," and I'm sure such trenchant praise augurs big things for the Bearded Wonder here. Pat also encourages Nicholas to, as Nicholas puts it, "use other parts of my voice that aren't my go-to spot," so I look forward to him barking the song, I guess.

And now it's happening. I'm fascinated by all the people "dancing" on various parts of the stage, and half this song is backup singing and at least a quarter is trumpet, so it seems like a deeply weird choice, especially since from my vantage point the song only overwhelms Nicholas as it goes on, not that you'd guess that from Cee-Lo's stoned reaction. Adam gives praise for Nicholas' strong identity, but backs me up when he says Nicholas got lost in the chorus. Blake gives essentially no specific feedback about the song. Christina tells him she'd like him to be more adventurous, which seems more like a criticism of Cee-Lo rather than Nicholas. Cee-Lo actually agrees with Adam's criticism, saying Nicholas backed away from the biggest parts of the song, and I only have American Idol to guide me, and it's early yet, but this sounds like a soft-pedal elimination lock to me.

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