Finally, a chance to find out what people are really thinking when they watch The Voice—besides "These judge sure are nutty!"
Before the live competition started tonight, two singers from Christina Aguilera's team were eliminated.
Interestingly, it still isn't all up to America. Only the person with the most votes from each team is assured a spot in the semifinals. Then it's up to the judges to save one more singer.
Will the strain on Xtina's emotions ever ease up?!
Bald is indeed beautiful on this show.
After a teary prelude to a decision she didn't want to make, Christina found herself choosing between Frenchie Davis, Lily Elise and Raquel Castro after rocker grrrl Beverly McClellan was revealed as the sure thing.
"Love my girls. So hard to see some go but they are all #TeamXtina for life!" Christina tweeted later.
In the end, the Grammy winner decided that she had to go with "a superstar voice" and chose Frenchie. The one-time American Idol hopeful, whose reality-TV dream ended at the time with a disqualification, immediately got overcome with emotion and shared hugs with her former teammates and fan favorite Beverly.
The job of sending two contestants home also fell on Blake Shelton, who admitted that he was "dreading" the moment he had to announce his choice.
America pulled the most for Dia Frampton, who did a piano version of Kanye West's "Heartless" last week, so she didn't have to worry. Blake then reluctantly (or so the judges are making it seem) chose Xenia, who charmed with Jessie J's "Price Tag," to move on with her, thereby eliminating Jared Blake and Patrick Thomas from the competition.
At first, Team Cee-Lo's Vicci Martinez wielded a guitar, which prevented her from doing her war dance. But she brought out the high steps after ditching the instrument and absolutely captivated the house with Dolly Parton's "Jolene." In our opinion, her version was far more exciting than any rendition heard on American Idol in recent years.
As for the performances, it was Cee-Lo Green and Adam Levine's turn to battle for bragging rights.
Up first were sisters Tori and Taylor Thompson from Cee-Lo's team. Retro enthusiast that he is, the "Forget You" singer chose "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" for his protégées.
Blake praised the sisters' naughty little military-inspired ensembles (and, in part, their voices) and Cee-Lo said they did the Andrews Sisters proud.
Casey Weston from Team Adam entertained with KT Tunstall's "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree," winning praise all around. Christina's only word of advice was the make sure she doesn't let her background act ("I like the Blue Man Group," Blake quipped) overpower her performance.
Next up, medical student Devon Barley continued to sing beyond what his schoolboy appearance would suggest he was capable of, setting Christina's knees a-knockin' with One Republic's "Stop and Stare."
"I'm into you, Devon," she purred. "You really bring it when you're onstage and I really appreciate that. You've got a little swagger that's going on." Her male counterparts agreed, though his coach, Adam, pointed out a little pitchiness at the beginning.
Back to Team Cee-Lo and Nakia, who brought Kings Of Leon alive with "Sex on Fire" and left a lasting impression among the judges. Then, Jeff Jenkins, who took a big risk by doing Carrie Underwood's "Jesus Take the Wheel" managed to stun Adam with his presence.
Curtis Grimes took it home for Cee-Lo with a countrified take on Robert Palmer's "Addicted to Love." Though Blake probably wished there were a dozen or so look-alike models wearing LBDs behind him, he praised Curtis' pipes accordingly.
Closing out the performance part of the night, however, was Javier Colon, who's attracted a bit more public attention than the rest of the contestants because he was actually a signed recording artist at one point (going by just Javier) and is looking for his second big shot.
He crooned Sarah McLachlan's "Angel" and, if the judges had been asked to get up and kiss the Javier's feet, they probably would have.
"You really wanted to do this tune and now I know why," concluded Adam. It was absolutely perfect."
Four of the singers who performed tonight will be eliminated next week.
Who do you think deserves to keep going and going in this competition? Is Javier as good as the judges seem to think he is? Share your thoughts in the comments section!
(Originally published June 14, 2011, at 8:30 p.m. PT)