‘The Voice’ Recap: Seventeen-Year-Old Caroline Pennell Dominates the Second Night of Live Rounds
A Great Big World kicked off the show, performing their single ‘Say Something’ with additional vocal support from coach Christina Aguilera. After her second performance in two nights, it seems ‘The Voice’ producers are really making that girl work hard for her paycheck.
The first half of the show showcased the talent on Team Cee Lo, with Amber Nicole the first one to take the stage. Amber was tasked with singing country song ‘Wasting All These Tears’ by former 'Voice' champ Cassadee Pope. The performance started off promising, but then quickly went downhill, with more off-key screams than substance.
Adam and Blake, shockingly, gave a bit of critique, commenting on the missed “big” note, but overall all the coaches told Amber she did a great job, again showing us that this panel lacks the courage to tell the harsh truth. Nothing but big hugs and hearty pats on the back on this show.
Jonny Gray was next, doing ‘Bittersweet Symphony’ by the Verve, which was a tad boring to watch, and slightly sleep-inducing. The coaches loved his voice, but overall, it was evident they weren’t overly wowed by Mr. Gray. Better luck next time, Jonny… if there is a next time (zing!).
Then it was Tamara Chauniece’s turn, who was assigned ‘I Will Survive’ by Gloria Gaynor. Kind of a risky choice, since this song has “karaoke” written all over it, but despite this, Tamara did a decent job and showed some major attitude. But overall, in comparison to last night’s live show, these first few performers were majorly underwhelming.
Blake thanked Tamara for looking so beautiful, and Cee Lo made sure to comment on her looks as well. For a show that is supposed to be only about “the voice," the coaches sure spend a lot of time commenting on appearance…
Next was rocker Kat Robichaud, slowing it down a bit with the heartfelt ‘She Keeps Me Warm’ by Mary Lambert. After her performance, Kat knelt down and gave a long embrace to a girl in the audience. When Carson asked if she knew the girl, Kat replied, “No! There she is, she’s here, she’s experiencing this with everybody!” Umm. Okay. So Kat’s a bit of an oddball. Maybe that will work in her favor? Only time will tell.
The coaches appreciated her performance and her bizarre hugging of a stranger, but ultimately felt she didn’t fully reach her potential. Kat was unphased by their comments, continuing to show gratitude, and likely planning her next attack on an unsuspecting female audience member.
Next it was time for fan favorite, Caroline Pennell, the adorable 17 year-old with the voice of an angel. Cee Lo chose ‘We’re Going to Be Friends’ by the White Stripes, because he felt the song spoke about him and Caroline: “If we went to school together, we would have been friends and I would have protected you from bullies and carried your books.” Ladies and gentleman, Cee Lo, The Protector!
Caroline did a gorgeous rendition of the song, with her voice as pristine and perfect as always. Sigh. We love you Caroline. Hopefully America agrees and we will see this girl all the way until the finale.
Blake said, “I could literally be getting an amputation, and listening to your singing, and all I would be thinking about would be cotton candy.” A strange visualization there, Blake, but no arguments. We are totally Team Caroline.
Team Christina started off their half with Josh Logan doing ‘Crazy’ by Gnarls Barkley. The pressure was on, since Cee Lo Green, the original ‘Crazy’ artist, was sitting right in front of Josh while he performed. But Josh looked extremely relaxed and in his element on the stage, channeling more Stevie Wonder than Cee Lo in his version of the song. Cee Lo commented that since he wrote the song in more of a rap-style, it takes someone specially trained to sing it, and Adam wished he would have scaled the song back a little. Yikes. Considering the coaches don’t offer up criticism too easily, it looks like our pal Josh might be in a bit of trouble.
Next was southern belle Olivia Henken, taking on Katy Perry’s enormous hit ‘Roar.’ There’s no doubt that Olivia has some strong vocal chops, but unfortunately, she missed several of the big notes and didn’t live up to the original. Although who could ever hold a candle to Katy Perry, queen of all pop?
Stephanie Ann Johnson sang the Ray Charles classic ‘Georgia On My Mind.’ Stephanie was a huge fan of the song to begin with, so her familiarity with the tune gave her a slight edge going in to the live performance.
Adam admitted he was nervous for Stephanie’s take on the song, as it is a favorite of his, but he was impressed and felt she made it her own. There is something undeniably adorable about Stephanie, and it’s hard not to be charmed by her big smile and sweet personality. Although she did a fair job, it is difficult to see her making it to the end of this competition. But it’s still very early days in Voice Land and anything could happen.
Next up from Team Christina: Matthew Schuler. This week, Matthew sang the very pop culturally relevant ‘Wrecking Ball’ by Miley Cyrus. Matthew actually distracted us enough to make us forget about Miley swinging naked on a wrecking ball, which we’d say is a fairly solid testament of his talent. His voice fizzled a bit on the last note, but we can forgive him for that small snag in what was otherwise a good performance. Based on the screams from the many girls in the audience, Matthew should live to see another week.
Ending the show was Jacquie Lee singing ‘I Put a Spell On You’ by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins. And screamin’, she did, belting her way through the entire song. Adam noted that her emotion and connection to the song went way beyond her 16 years and coach Christina was beaming with pride. And with that, week one of live rounds came to a close. Let the voting begin!