A week after the Insta-Elimination That Shook the World, would The Voice follow up their most water-cooler-worthy moment of the season with something even crazier and more shocking? Nah. Last night's episode basically followed the expected script, minus a couple minor surprises that won't resonate quite the same way as Jesse getting the axe. Of course, that's not to say that nothing of interest happened—here's ten occurrences of varying degrees of notability from last night's show, none of which are Adam Levine quoting The Big Lebowski or Cee Lo comparing himself to Brad Pitt:
1. Who Farted? The show started on a lighter note of sorts, with all of the coaches snickering to themselves and laughing with the crowd, while a confused Carson Daly wondered if he was missing out on an inside joke. "I'm nervous, man," finally admitted Cee Lo. "I have gas." The chuckles eventually subsided, until a Christina Aguilera comment about going "with your gut" brought them back out again. "Can we focus?" repeatedly asked the show's irritated host. Awww, Carson, you never let us have any fun.
2. Can you feel the love tonight, Jamar Rogers? He was already a legit frontrunner in the competition, but the lovefest with Jamar Rogers was just relentless after his opening performance. See if you can spot the fake comment about Jamar from this list of Coach responses to his performance of Bon Jovi's "It's My Life":
"Aw, Jamar, you're just so amazing, man."
"I don't know that there's ever been a better pairing of a song and a person."
"You're not even on my team, and you're honestly one of my favorites in the competition."
"I love that you get cold when it's 71 degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you're looking at me like I'm nuts. I love that after I spend the day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes."
Tough one, right? And none of those even came from his own coach, Cee Lo Green, who just said "I wanna pause for a minute, listen to the love" as the audience went nuts. "That's your love! That's your love!" Safe to say that Jamar was probably safe from the insta-elimination from the get last night.
3. Katrina Parker hit 'em with her best shot. This is just good advice for any prospective female powerhouse balladeer—when in doubt, don't go with Adele, go with Christina Perri. "Jar of Hearts" is just as striking as anything off 21, but Perri isn't nearly the untouchable that Adele is, and Katrina was able to own the song (with, by far, her best performance thusfar int he competition) in a way that she never could have with "Someone Like You" or "Rolling in the Deep." "That right there was a breakout," commented Blake Shelton. "That's awesome." Indeed it was—and Team Adam Levine might have a new favorite for the finals.
4. Christina fired a shot or two of her own. In her review of Katrina Parker's performance, Christina empathized with Katrina's trappings of always being compared to Adele. "When I first came out, people had…everybody when they first come out, everybody's compared to somebody," Christina related. "And now, who outlived who? Some people you don't even hear about anymore.." Uh-oh. Who might that be that you're referring to, Christina? Jessica Simpson? Mandy Moore? A Miss Britney Spears? More on that last one a little later...
5. Cee Lo's old rap group Goodie Mob reunited on-stage. And are now apparently Black Eyed Peas 2.0. They came out in matching silver and gold suits, and performed a new power ballad entitled "Fight to Win" that had only scattered rap parts that sounded like Will.i.am. That, of course, would make Cee Lo the Fergie, and indeed, he was front and center for almost the entire performance, turning the other three members into Taboos and Apl.de.Aps. Also, the entire thing was lip synched maybe? Very weird stuff.
6. Tony Lucca called on his Mickey Mouse Club past. After getting knifed in the back by fellow ex-Mouseketeer Christina Aguilera on last week's episode, Lucca (and his coach Adam) decided to take the power back by covering a song by another fellow ex-MMCer, "Baby One More Time." The performance was whatever, but the crowd and coaches loved the idea, and the building went nuts for it. ("That was like...Bieber loud," commented an impressed Carson.) "It pisses me off, because that was really smart," admitted Blake. "Tony, I love you for you what you just did. I hate him [Adam] for what he just did." Gotta play to win, Blake.
(Side note: How hilarious is it that Tony Lucca refers to the Mickey Mouse Club as the MMC? Can we get a Maybach Music Group roster shoot with Lucca, Christina, Britney, and company photo-shopped on to the heads of Rick Ross, Wale, Stalley, et al?)
7. Cheesa slaughtered a Whitney Houston song. In a good way, that is. It's funny to think now about how Cheesa was really on the fringes of elimination at so many different points throughout this season—with Jesse gone, she might have the strongest voice left of anyone in the competition. Good thing, too, because she took on one of the all-time powerhouse ballads in Whitney Houston's "I Have Nothing." Where a lesser singer would've been swallowed up by the size of the song, Cheesa embodied it completely, and was positively Whitney-worthy in her performance, getting a standing ovation from her fellow diva among the coaches. "This week…team Cee Lo is where it's at," commented Xtina, and rightly so.
8. The Team Cee Lo and Team Adam performances writ large the difference in roster quality. Going into tonight, of the top eight contestants remaining, Cee Lo probably had four of them and Adam had none. This disparity was brought out and then some by Team Cee Lo's all-star performance of "Dancing in the Streets," easily the best of the team-wide performances on the show thusfar, while Team Adam's "Instant Karma! (We All Shine On)" was awkward and uncomfortable. (Nice girl, that Mathai, but angry, self-righteous John Lennon might be a little out of her vocal wheelhouse.) Adam sure looked like he was having fun on the drums, at least.
9. Juliet Simms wore this.
And a whole lot of feathers fell on her during her performance. "It brought back memories of duck season!" was Blake's rave review.
10. So long, James and Pip. Two fair, unsurprising choices. James' performance of Billy Joel's "Just the Way You Are" was perfectly nice and sweet, and on another team he'd almost certainly live to fight another week, but against a trio of killers like Jamar, Juliet and Cheesa, he just couldn't compete. James seemed to understand, and after the elimination had nothing but love for his guy Cee Lo. "I love him like an uncle," he explained to America. "Uncle Lo, I call him." You get the feeling that even if he doesn't get a recording contract out of it, James'll never have a problem getting laid in Boston again. Plus, he got a cool new letterman jacket out of it—studded and everything.
Meanwhile, it was always only a matter of time for Pip. He escaped last week by virtue of being likeable enough and not being obviously outshined by his teammates, but he was never that exceptional a singer, and even though Keane's "Somewhere Only We Know" was an awesome song choice for him, he botched the ending and failed to cement himself as a real voice to be reckoned with. Plus, once he left behind the bowtie ("That's like me without alcohol!" cried a disappointed Blake), there was just nothing distinctive left for Pip to hang his hat on. Sorry, bud—hope the Pipsters stick with you through these trying times.