NBC’s ‘The Voice’ review: Juliet Simms, Jamar Rogers of Team Cee Lo excel

Eight is about to become four.

We have reached the final eight stage on “The Voice,” which means that we are really at a point now where everyone is confident, and almost anything can happen (outside of course of the promise of a multitude of performances without backup dancers).

Before we post about the results later in the day, let’s at least take a look at some of the solo numbers from Monday night’s show:

Tony Lucca (Adam Levine) – One week after coming out with a creative (and cheeky) cover of “…Hit Me Baby One More Time,” Lucca mixed things up yet again this week with a number that was more about a slick, cool performance rather than a guy just strumming his guitar on stage. Thanks in part to some smart coaching from Adam, Tony has become more than we ever thought he would be.

Erin Willett (Blake Shelton) – After borrowing the swaybots from “American Idol,” Erin came out with a powerful cover of the Usher / David Guetta track “Without You” that combined a little bit of country with the pop melody of the song. She sang the notes well, but there was a little something missing when it came to rocking out with the song from a performance standpoint — at least until we got to the end of the song, where she started to win us over with her emotion.

Chirs Mann (Christina Aguilera) – After seeing him venturing into pop this past week with Coldplay, Chris returned this week to his opera roots this time around with a beautiful, passionate cover of “Ave Maria.” Will voters respond to the song? Considering that opera typically goes over well on “America’s Got Talent,” we have to say that the odds could very well be in Chris’ favor.

Jamar Rogers (Cee Lo Green) – This may be the most original cover of “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” that we have ever heard, and it shows also that Jamar may be thinking like an artist more than just about any other person in the competition. Everything from the funky beat to the low register was new, exciting, and worth actually paying to see the guy’s concert. Now, we just have to beg and plead to producers to let both him and Juliet in the final.

Jermaine Paul (Blake) – Journey’s “Open Arms” is such a classic ballad, and the problem with it is that everyone is going to be compared to Steve Perry regardless of whether or not it is completely fair for this to happen. With this in mind, Jermaine’s performance fell a little bit short — the emotion was not on par, and there were also some pitch issues throughout whenever he hit some of his higher notes.

Katrina Parker (Adam) – Wouldn’t it be nice if someone who is the ultimate underdog like Katrina managed to make it all the way to the finale? She has never been safe thanks to the public vote, but she gets stronger every week — and this take on “Killing Me Softly” was the best thing that we have heard from her yet.

Lindsey Pavao (Christina) – First things first, hats off to Lindsey for picking a rather brilliant song in Bon Iver’s “Skinny Love” — and then adding a little bit of Lana Del Rey to it. We think there is some serious talent and artistry here, but at this point her tone probably makes this competition a hard one for her to win. Why? We often as voters are seduced by the biggest voices or the large personalities, and not necessarily the people with the most interesting sound.

Juliet Simms (Cee Lo) – Just how good are Cee Lo’s final two? Let this be a reminder. Juliet is so good that it’s pretty surprising to us to begin with that she hasn’t been able to find success in what she has done thus far. Everyone also claims that the talent on “American Idol” is better than this show, as well — but we would be willing to bet that Juliet would be a possible finalist on that show in addition to this one.

Let’s close here be reiterating our plea to NBC — please, let both members of this team make it to the finale. Both are serious candidates to win this show, and after this sensational performance she deserves to be there along with Jamar. (We don’t care about the rules.)

Out of the performances from this show, who do you think deserves to make it the most to the finale? While we think that the final four (if we can’t take two people from Cee Lo’s team) should be Chris, Katrina, Erin, and Jamar, we are expecting all four boys (Chris, Tony, Jermaine, and Jamar) to make it to the finale.

Photo: NBC

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