Before the final eight perform, we find out who are the final two on Team Cee Lo and Team Adam Levine.
Last week, I predicted America would pick Vicci Martinez on Team Cee Lo and that he would then pick Nakia for his second spot. I got that 100% right.
I also predicted that Javier Colon would get America’s vote on Team Adam. I was right. Ditto for who Adam would pick as his second spot: Casey Weston.
The country artists (Jeff Jenkins and Curtis Grimes) basically disappointed and were rightfully eliminated. The sister duo of Taylor and Tori Thompson were cannon fodder. So was Devon Barley, the guy who inexplicably beat Atlanta’s Rebecca Loebe.
So my favorite tonight was Vicci Martinez for sure, followed by Nakia and Beverly McClellan. Who will make it through?
I bet it’s Vicci for Team Cee Lo over Nakia (bummer there!). I think Beverly will eek out a win over Frenchie for Team Christina. Dia is an easy pick over Xenia for Team Blake. And I can’t see Javier losing to Casey on Team Adam.
So my not so brave predictions: it will be Vicci, Beverly, Dia and Javier for the finals next week.
And besides the public vote, the judges get 50% of the weight, like “Dancing With the Stars.” (Gotta love how complicated the rules are, eh?). We’ll find out their votes later today after Pres. Obama’s speech.
Here are the eight performances in order:
- Frenchie Davis, Team Christina Aguilera (”Like a Prayer” Madonna) – Though she has a great voice, she lacks a certain level of warmth. She brought some big notes to the game, but otherwise, I’m not sure she added much to this song either. It was entirely predictable. Grade: B
- Nakia, Team Cee Lo Green (”Whatya Want From Me” Adam Lambert) – It’s always a compliment when a song by a former “Idol” is picked. Unlike Frenchie, Nakia really brings some grit and soul to this arrangement. It was enjoyable. Bizarrely, Adam Levine said he had never heard this song and had no idea who originally sang it. (Really?) Grade: A-minus
- Dia Frampton Team Blake Shelton (”Losing My Religion” R.E.M.) – Besides being adorable, Dia brings something different and interesting to every song she sings. In this case, she adds atmospherics and cutesy phrasing to one of R.E.M.’s biggest songs. And despite the cutesiness, she has depth, too. It’s an interesting dichotomy. Grade: B-plus
- Casey Weston Team Adam Levine (”I Will Always Love You” Dolly Parton/Whitney Houston) – This is one of those iconic songs that’s difficult to “make your own,” so to speak. In fact, she struggles in rehearsals to avoid emulating Whitney. Her version ends up more Dolly Parton, which was a smart move since that one is less known. She gives it a vulnerability that elevates it beyond mere karaoke. I liked it, didn’t love it. Grade: B-plus
- Beverly McClellan Team Christina (”The Thrill is Gone” B.B. King) – Beverly is such an indelible character and she brings out all her emotions and bluesy spirit to this song. Her joy is beyond definition. Grade: A
- Javier Colon Team Adam (”Fix You” Coldplay) – He dumps the subtlety from the Chris Martin version and gives it some more heartiness. I’m not hating it but I’ve never loved this guy. He’s almost too cool for school for me. Grade: B
- Xenia Team Blake (”The Man Who Can’t Be Moved” The Script) – She looks a little constipated while singing the song but she sounds very very cool. She has a truly unique voice and that’s why she’s even in the top 8. It’s a pretty song but as Adam noted, it was a little sleepy. Grade: B-plus
- Vicci Martinez Team Cee Lo (”Dog Days Are Over” Florence & the Machine) – She’s my favorite to win this. So the fact she’s in the pimp spot is not a surprise. Hideous hair but she is the whole package: voice, stage presence, charisma. You name it, she’s got it. And Cee Lo gave her a great song to boot. Grade: A