Right before the start of Tuesday’s penultimate episode of The Voice, Adam Levine summed up the vibe of the amped-up crowd when he enthusiastically shouted “Let’s get drunk!” The hundreds and hundreds of Californians (not to mention a British couple who happened to sit by me and a bunch of Montana teens) who packed
the 7th circle of Hell a very hot Studio 16 on the Warner Bros. lot seemed thrilled to see their idols perform live, and I’m not just talking about the ones in the red swivel chairs. Javier Colon, Dia Frampton,Vicci Martinez, and Beverly McClellan have already become downloaded stars in their own right, and the fact the finalists would be singing with their coaches made the whole thing a lot more fun to witness for pretty much everyone except Christina Aguilera. But more on her later.
All four contestants proved themselves worthy of the crown with their powerhouse performances, but guest star Brad Paisley and the four coaches were given some time to practice for their live moments, which were each performed twice before the show hit the east coast. The crowd was told to react in shock the second time Blake Shelton stood to serenade Aguilera, and was then semi-scolded when we didn’t cheer loud enough for her first “Under Pressure” solo. Pitbull and Ne-Yo drew the short straw and performed totally live, and also had the honor of being the only performers to excite an otherwise aloof Aguilera.
But Voice fans will be happy to know that a lot more went down with the coaches — and it had nothing to do with their performances. For one thing, I can confirm that Green, Aguilera, and Shelton all spent a considerable amount of time either texting or Tweeting on their cell phones during the show. I can’t verify this obviously important information for Levine since I was sitting right behind his chair, but I did see all four coaches partake in the pre-show shot that EW noticed last week.
But all drinking and technology aside, we still had Green’s antics and personal hygiene issues, Aguilera’s nonchalant attitude, Levine’s adorability, and Shelton’s cell phone emergencies to deal with!
Green wins my award for the most engaging and most crowd-pleasing coach. Even though the fans screamed the loudest for “Team Adam” when prompted by the behind-the-scenes comic, it was Green who spent the most time physically and verbally interacting with them. From his generous high fives to his goofy jumping around, he seemed to have a lot of fun on Tuesday, even though his clamminess called for constant attention from a dedicated makeup team. At one point, Green proclaimed that his professional sweaty head-wiper was getting a raise next season, which prompted Levine to immediately kiss his iconically big bald head. See? Adorable. Green also told us that he ditched performing with Rihanna to be with us. If that isn’t love, I don’t know what is.
Levine was clearly the fangirl favorite of the night, and for very good reason—he’s a natural charmer. The Maroon 5 frontman didn’t clown around like Green, but he showed a lot of love to his contestant, Javier. The two showed their bromance when they high-fived and danced a little jig right before their live performace, and Levine was enthusiastically supportive of his main man during Javier’s solo act. The double fist pumps proved it!
Shelton’s contestant Dia seems to be a front-runner with the fans, so maybe that’s why the country crooner spent the 15 minutes before the show chatting on his cell phone. Could it have been an at-home emergency with his wife Miranda Lambert? Was he sounding off about his performance with Paisley? Either way, Shelton eventually found the time to join us, and seemed to put all of those homophobia rumors behind him when he kissed Carson Daly on the lips and later told the warm-up guy he was “damn good lookin.” When the warm-up guy asked if it was true that Lambert would be performing on Wednesday night, Blake assured the crowd that it was much more important that Dia would be performing. Aww.
Carson Daly spent most of his off-camera time rehearsing his upcoming lines behind the big silver fist closest to Levine’s chair, so there isn’t too much to be said about our dutifully dutiful host. Bravo for the dedication, Carson. It must be said that the former God of TRL put his hands on his belt and danced a little country jig when Paisley hit the stage, but he showed little to no response to the rest of the performances, and didn’t really interact with the coaches. He did give out fan high-fives and provided us with some witty banter, so I’ll give him some social brownie points for that.
Finally, there was Aguilera. Oh, Xtina, how badly I want to like you! She was appropriately supportive and enthusiastic when her progeny Beverly performed, but she spent the rest of the evening looking bored and distracted, and was definitely the worst cell phone offender. She even texted during Dia’s solo performance (which she then negatively critiqued, mind you). She refused to interact with the crowd, and kept oddly removing her spiky shoes as she relaxed, unmoving, in her chair. She also spent the most time backstage when the cameras weren’t rolling, but she definitely stayed around and cheered for Pitbull’s performance. She seemed to interact warmly between takes with her next-chair neighbor Green, but was cold and unapproachable to pretty much everybody else. Please learn to lighten up before next season hits, Aguilera.