City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

How did locals Mathai and Pip do on ‘The Voice’ quarterfinals?



With just four team members left, both Adam Levine and Atlanta star Cee Lo Green had to do “automatic” cuts last night and chose young, popular singers that the voters might have saved.

Green knocked out Boston heartthrob with the boy band voice James Massone after he inexplicably gave the poor kid a sleepy 1970s Billy Joel ballad.

Levine had an even tougher time but ultimately chose Pip of Marietta, who failed to find comfort in Keane’s “Somewhere Only We Know.”

Though Pip has done mostly pop/rock, he admitted that he dabbles in so many genres, he’s not sure what direction to take. Plus, he knew his take on the Killers “When You Were Young” didn’t quite work two weeks ago, though he was voted in by the viewers.

“Let me help you find the right pocket to fit into,” Levine said. “The less you try, the more successful you are.”

During his performance, which actually fit him well (minus the bow tie), his pitch seemed off at times and his falsetto at the end didn’t click. (grade: B-minus)

Meanwhile, Mathai, who grew up in Dallas but moved to Atlanta a year ago, survived, though she could certainly get voted off tonight.

Levine offered her Nelly Furtado’s 2001 breakout hit “I’m Like a Bird.”

This seems like a good selection for her, given her quivery voice matches up well with Furtado’s. Yet she oddly said she was caught “off guard” by this song choice.

“She has a very carefree attitude and I don’t want her to lose that,” Levine said.

“I have very one-way vision,” she said. “I wanted med school. Now I’m supposed to be a singer. I want it to be perfect.”

She did it slightly slower than the original version to open. Her vocal style is similar to Furtado’s, though she has a slightly deeper timbre. The arrangement takes several detours and she even tries a bit of soprano (which was okay but not great). I give her points for taking a lot of risks. (Grade: A-minus)

Distracting: a guy on a trapeze above her.

Christina Aguilera: “I didn’t feel you truly connected with the song. It sounded a little force fed to me.”

Levine: “That’s like you’re opinion man… I thought it was great. The one thing I didn’t know is the sketchy dude flying around… he distracted me. Your energy is infectious and I think the joy of singing. I wanted to do a song with you, so happy and carefree. I thought you accomplished that.”

Here’s my take on the other six performances:

Jamar Rogers (Team Cee Lo “It’s My Life” Bon Jovi) – A little over anguished vocally but Jamar commits and pulls you in. He brought a good mix of soul and rock edge. Grade: A-minus/B-plus

Katrina Parker (Team Adam “Jar of Hearts” Christina Perri) – I absolutely adore the original version. Christina’s voice has vulnerability and fragility that Katrina does not quite have. Katrina basically sounds and looks a bit like Adele, which is probably why she’s even here. But do we need another Adele? I found it a bit too stylized. Grade: B/B-plus

James Massone ( Team Cee Lo “Just the Way You Are” Billy Joel) – This is one of Billy’s sleepiest, sappiest songs. What is Cee Lo thinking? James tried his best. As Christina and Blake said, it kind of just sat there, never quite took off (as if it’s possible with this song.) Grade: B-minus

Tony Lucca (Team Adam  “Hit Me Baby, One More Time” Britney Spears) – Alluding to his “Mickey Mouse Club” alumni days, he chose Britney Spears breakout hit. He made it darker and much edgier. Oddly, it worked really well. He grinded it through and got a deserved standing ovation. Grade: A/A-minus.

Cheesa (Team Cee Lo “I Have Nothing” Whitney Houston) – I’ve already heard this song sung a thousand times on “Idol.” She has a few pitch problems but nothing major. Overall, a very impressive, strong vocal performance, even if it aped Whitney’s original. Grade: A-minus

Juliet Simms (Team Cee Lo “Crying” Aerosmith) – She is a favorite to win this entire competition after her incredible “Roxanne” two weeks ago. This wasn’t quite as good. She growls well but when she tries to go “pure,” it isn’t quite as compelling. She has a great stage presence even if she pushed this one a bit hard and the production folks decided to stick wings on her and feathers falling from the sky. (Huh?) Grade: B-plus

Green also brought back his buddies in Goodie Mob and earlier, sang “Dancing With the Streets” using a black-and-white life-sized TV stage set up. Levine, in his team sing, opted for a much simpler set up as he played the drums and turned the quintet into a band to do “Instant Karma.”

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By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk

20 comments Add your comment


April 24th, 2012
9:30 am

Agree with much of what you wrote here, although I’d up Tony’s grade to an A+/A.
Just comparing Lucca to Cheesa, Cheese *did* “ape” her performance from Whitney–or as we call it in my house, total tribute. Jessica Sanchez might–might!–be able to get away with that. Cheesa doesn’t quite have the chops. That puts her down in C-territory to me.

Lucca’s move (Adam’s direction) was brilliant, showed a different side, and was hilarious to boot.

Proud of Adam and Cee-Lo for making the right calls, though. It was an opportunity to get out pretty boys that America voted through even though they weren’t quite up to par, and both of the coaches stepped up to that tough task.


April 24th, 2012
9:55 am

I thought Mathai should have gone and not Pip. Tony and Pip had the best performances. I don’t get the praise of Juliet. I am not a fan. Jamar should win but last night the music was way too loud


April 24th, 2012
10:03 am

Nutmeg I agree about Cheesa. Her enunciation while singing was not good and she often appeared to yelling the words. I thought Tony did really well and early on was one of my picks to win it. I love Juliet and Jamar I just hope CeeLo does the right thing and keep both over Chessa. Pip has not been good the last couple of weeks and I really liked him early on. I don’t care for Mathai voice. Not my cup of tea.

Since Jesse got cut my favorite to win it is Juliet!


April 24th, 2012
10:15 am

Does anyone know how the next week works? Is elimination based solely on our votes or do the judges get to input some how? Jesse was one of my favs too!


April 24th, 2012
10:29 am

Cat, I think it’s votes next week unless they (producers) throw us a curve ball!

Katrina Fan

April 24th, 2012
10:37 am

I think Katrina really has stepped up the past couple times that she’s performed. She also keeps looking more and more sexy. I really enjoyed seeing her in that dress last night.


April 24th, 2012
10:37 am

I thought I remembered last year at some point a percent to apply votes I can’t remember the details of it

Rodney Ho

April 24th, 2012
10:56 am

The finale is May 8 so I think with 8 singers left, they will eliminate one from each team next week via public vote so there will be four singers left for the May 7/8 finale week.

♥ kelly&carriefan ♥

April 24th, 2012
11:15 am

Wow, I did not realize that we were so close to the Finale. I guess ’cause I’m used to the Idol model. At this point, I guess I’ll be watching until the end…even though, I didn’t intend to.


April 24th, 2012
11:33 am

@RoHo. Your critique of Juliet Simms is interesting. You say that she growls well, but when she tries to sing pure notes with clarity, she’s not as good. Funny, I usually say something to that effect in terms of Phillip. LOL!!! However, I think Juliet is a much better singer and entertainer than PP.


April 24th, 2012
1:35 pm

Rodney, last night was part 2 of the quarterfinals, not the semifinals. Those start next week.

Rodney Ho

April 24th, 2012
1:38 pm

@Amy. Yes, you’re right. It is the quarters, with semis, then finals the next two weeks.

Seth T

April 24th, 2012
1:49 pm

Who was resposible for that hideous set of crow wings on Juliet?? I thought she was one of the few worthwhile performances of the night, but was the worst by far, in terms of the visuals presented by the garb. Weird and distasteful.

Katrina sang very well, but was not connected to that type of song. She has very good vocal ability, but needs better advice on what to sing. Christina Perri delivers a hot, mean, smokin’ version of that song and it’s really not a good choice for Katrina’s style.

Sticking Massone with a Billy Joel song was sudden death, this kid was only going to get some of the young girl votes anyway, and Cee Lo stuck him with a song they could not relate to — so if he didn’t cut him, he was fodder anyway.

I see Christina got some bad press from the guy she cut last week – who said she made big promises and then broke them. Welcome to reality t.v. These coaches, judges, mentors have their own agenda – and it doesn’t include trying to make dozens of these lounge singers into stars. Blake did, however, get Gwen Sebastion a spot on his tour after he cut her, at least for a while

You often hear Cee Lo say “I got ya”, when he cuts people, as if he’s going to make sure they get a career in music — and the business is getting tougher all the time with minor label and independent access to YouTube and other media to display new talent — along with BGT/AGT/ and several countries with Idol, X-Factor and Voice shows that are trying to spin people into the business with record contracts.

My guess is that the 6 left on Idol, could go into this group left on the Voice, and one of the Idol group would win this competition easily,

Even though Hollie or Elise is almost certain to be cut by Idol this week – they are still much easier to watch and listen to, than some of the Voice contestants. I enjoy the Voice for it’s different, circus-like, in the ring, approach to a singing talent show – but some of these people have a ways to go to be a headline act down the road.

Sir Mixalot

April 24th, 2012
2:40 pm

I can not lie. I do like me some Erin Willett and Katrina Parker.


April 24th, 2012
2:55 pm

Adam is a crappy judge/mentor…you can tell he doesn’t give a crap about his team….uhh rewind what Ceelo said on your Tivo. What a joke.

F. Lombardo

April 24th, 2012
3:42 pm

That “sleepy, sappy” Billy Joel song you thought was a bad pick also happened to be the 1978 Grammy Awards song of the year and record of the year. My, how times have changed.

Rodney Ho

April 24th, 2012
4:07 pm

@F Lombardo. I was nine years old then. I am a huge Billy Joel fan. I grew up on Long Island. I’ve seen him a half dozen times in concert. Even Billy himself will admit what a sappy song that is. “Just the Way You Are” became an elevator music standard for the ages.


April 24th, 2012
4:30 pm

@Seth 1:49 comment. There’s only 2 people on Idol that I see would probably make it to the finals on The Voice; thats Jess and Josh. Moreso Josh than Jess. Most of the Idol top 10 wouldn’t make Voice top 10. The WGWG thing isn’t popular among the mentor/judges, and country simply doesn’t make it far (go figure).

Yeah, that was a pretty bad dust-up with Christina giving Jessie the boot. I think she got rid of her best singer that brought in votes, and she ruined her chance at winning.

I couldn’t get past the wings on Juliet. I was laughing so hard……..then the feathers dropped. :-) I’m still laughing. Not her best performance last nightl, but was solid. She’s the vocalist Phil wish he could be.

I think Cee Lo means what he says, but it’s only so much he or the other mentors can do. They aren’t in a position to put success on a plate and say eat. I think they possibly provide a small connection or two, and point them in a direction that wasn’t available for them before.

Jamar and Juliet are my favs.


April 24th, 2012
5:00 pm

i havent really watched since they cut Tony Vincent… still shocked he is out of the running—


April 24th, 2012
8:16 pm

G, I agree about Jamar and Juliet. I also agree that Joshua would probably win The Voice, maybe Jessica. But Idol and The Voice are different in many ways. I doubt Phillip Phillips would have made it through the battle rounds if he was even chosen and contestants like Reed Grimm would have never made it onto television.

I think Hollie would have done better on the Voice than Idol since the mentors don’t tear down the contestants and she has the talent as would Jessica and Joshua.I could see all 3 in the final four on The Voice. However Jesse being cut was worse that Simon not picking Jazzlyn.Both were stupid!