The Voice: And the finalists are... (spoiler alert)
There was so much togetherness and goodwill bouncing around the theatre during Wednesday's eliminations on The Voice, it made American Idol results shows seem almost churlish by comparison.
But the coaches proved as unwilling as their Idol counterparts to judge the singers, giving their semi-finalists equal scores (virtually equal in Cee Lo Green's case) rather than pick favourites.
Only earnest Adam Levine took a stand, promoting Javier Colon over high schooler Casey Weston to try to right past music industry wrongs the singer had suffered.
The way it worked was that each singer got two scores out of 100: one from their coach, one from viewer votes. The singer with the highest score on each team moved on to the finals.
You saw my predictions from Tuesday night if you read my blog post: Javier over Casey; Vicci Martinez over Nakia; Dia Frampton over Xenia; and Beverly McClellan over Frenchie Davis.
They all came true. The only surprise was how close the total scores were between Dia and Xenia on Team Blake: 106 for Dia to 94 for Xenia. I guess viewers got more from shy high school student Xenia's performance than I did.
Another close one, unsurprisingly, was the contest between Beverly and Frenchie. Bev pulled off 107 points to Frenchie's 93.
Vicci handily beat Nakia, 124 to 76. Despite what seemed a slam dunk for Vicci on Tuesday, Cee Lo gave her 49 points to Nakia's 51, saying that the drums had overwhelmed her singing during her performance. But after hearing Vicci on playback, Cee Lo said he was sorry he hadn't scored her and Nakia 50-50, as Blake Shelton and Christina Aguilera did with their singers.
The largest margin of victory was between Javier and Casey, 138 to 62, thanks to Adam's lopsided scoring. In handing Javier a 65 and Casey a 35, Adam said he was consciously pushing Javier into the finals to make up for past missed chances, including a record deal that fell apart.
"You're 18, Casey, you have a huge career ahead of you, there's no doubt about it," Adam told her. "Javier, I had to play the game a little bit, I had to advance him ... You're both so amazing, you really are."
Each of the coaches emphasized how conflicted they were about the eliminations and how much they valued each singer.
Cee Lo read his team members a poem he wrote for them that ended with the lines, "If you ever call me I’ll come running / The revolution is being televised / Red till I'm dead," referring to the red clothing his team wore.
Blake, who took Dia and Xenia to Cincinnati for a concert and had them join him onstage, said, "There’s almost nothing I wouldn’t do to see Team Blake go on and win this competition; it’s what I'm living for at the moment."
He added during the live show, "I believe in 'em both so much and I love 'em, I really do."
Christina was just as effusive about Bev and Frenchie, noting that she could feel the love in the room among all the contestants and coaches.
"Us, as coaches, we've grown so attached to you guys. I really care about you guys and I want you guys to shine ... I hope you guys will have me as a friend of yours for life because you'll always be mine."
Bev and Frenchie also expressed love for each other and held hands as they awaited the verdict.
I hate to keep comparing The Voice to Idol, because they're like apples and oranges in a lot of ways, but I couldn't help but notice that Tuesday's hourlong show moved along smartly without annoying filler: no Ford music videos, visits to TMZ or movie promotions, for instance.
Yes, we did see glimpses of Blake's concert, which could be viewed as a promotion of sorts, and Adam's team watched him rehearse a new single, "Stereo Hearts," which he's recording with Gym Class Heroes. There was also a live performance by Cee Lo, a theatrical, 1920s-themed staging of his new single, "Bright Lights Bigger City."
Host Carson Daly gave each contestant and coach chances to comment on the events at hand, but it was brief and relevant to the situation.
And lastly, whoever puts together those ghastly group medleys on Idol should hang their head after seeing the group performance that opened The Voice: a blend of George Michael's "Freedom" and "Faith" that gave each of the eight semifinalists a chance to shine.
So next week: Javier, Vicci, Beverly and Dia vie to be named The Voice, and win $100,000 and a recording contract. I don't know how you feel, but that's a tough group to pick a favourite from.
The actions starts Tuesday at 9 p.m. on CTV. Hope you'll join me for the recap here.
I'd love to hear if you're watching the show, whether you're enjoying it and who you're rooting for.