‘The Voice,’ Week 4: Never Touch Another Man’s Button

Blake Shelton on The Voice (NBC)

The Academy Awards have given us so many great traditions over the years. House parties. Betting pools. The phrase, “Who are you wearing?” Wives forcing their husbands to watch as payback for having to sit through the Super Bowl. So, in honor of the Oscars, this week’s “Voice” recap takes a look at all the awards that should have been handed out during this week’s show. I present to you….The Voice-ys!


Ducky. Okay, so he didn’t turn any chairs with his somewhat on-key version of  “Tighten Up.” Still, he definitely had the most intriguing sense of style for the evening, sporting a groovy red tie and a Snidely Whiplash-style moustache. If only Ducky had looked just a little more like Jon Cryer (my ‘80s movie reference of the night…you’re welcome!).


Cee Lo Green. As if it would ever be anyone else on this show. He was his own best competition in this category tonight. First, it wasn’t enough that handsome Brazilian immigrant Jonathas had the audience swooning with his very Usher-like crooning on “U Got It Bad.” When Christina Aguilera said she wanted to “mold and package him,” that same audience whoo-ed their approval. To which Cee Lo remarked, “She’s got package on her mind.”

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America’s favorite dirty uncle struck again a few minutes later. After Charlotte Sometimes showed offer a strong, show-stopping style with a powerful reworking of “Apologize,” Cee Lo sat there smirking as Adam Levine and Christina practically climbed all over each other to woo her. When they’d finished, he calmly announced, “You guys should just get a room.” And then….wait for it….”You can use my place.”

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The word “bro.” I swear Cee Lo used it to greet every guy on the show. Although he didn’t use it with that damn cat of his, which continues to show up and look more evil as the weeks go by. At what point does it get its’ own cat chair to turn around in?


Monique Benabou. The young singer from Alameda, Calif. came across as so sweet and sincere when talking about caring for her mom when she was coping with cancer, it wasn’t much of a surprise that her performance of “Mr. Know It All” was exactly the same. She may not have the strongest voice in the competition, but her genuine excitement and enthusiasm seemed to light up the room and generally make everyone happy. How else can you explain even Blake Shelton, never one to dole out the compliments to his competition, admitted that Christina “is hands down the best female singer of our generation”?

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Maia Kete. This L.A. street singer didn’t waste any time, causing trouble just a few seconds into her bouncy, breathy and completely cute-as-a-button take on “The Lazy Song.” She seemed so sweet and innocent, but something about her unique voice brought on the best battle of the night amongst the couches. Blake hit his button maybe five seconds into her performance, but Cee Lo turned too. And he laid on the Cee Lo charm extra thick, calling her “Earth Angel” and reminding her that not only did he push his button for her, she also pushed all his buttons. After calling his fellow coach a jackass and asking, “What’s wrong with you?,” Blake fought right back by telling Maia her voice “got me all giddy and excited” and “made me want to stand up and dance.” Apparently, his sugar coating was the sweetest because she eventually opted for Team Blake. Leaving Cee Lo to complain to his cat.

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This is a tie between Carson and Cee Lo. The latter was simple, just a quick commercial that starts with a baby in his crib wearing some serious shades while his mom drank a 7Up. And you just knew even before you saw it happen that he’d grow up to be Cee Lo Green. The latest Sprint plug came, as it always does, via Carson’s cell phone. Right before Broadway singer Tony Vincent went out to perform an overly dramatic, screechy version of  “We Are the Champions” (only Cee Lo turned for him, and it was surprising he heard anything he liked in the performance), Carson pulled out a phone that just happened to have a picture of Tony and his wife on it. Along with a very large Sprint logo.

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Blake. At first, it looked like son of a preacher man Anthony Evans was going to be sent packing after his solid if not spectacular “What’s Going On”. Cee Lo came close early on to hitting his button, but nobody turned until Christina spun around at the very end of the song. Cee Lo admitted he nearly turned with a little help from Adam, who made it clear he thought about hitting his fellow coach’s button for him. To which Blake announced, “Never touch another man’s button.” There were two remarkable things about that comment. First, I’d be shocked if it didn’t become the new slogan for “The Voice.” And second, how did Cee Lo miss this golden opportunity for to turn yet another comment into something sexual?

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A tie between Jamie Lono and Nicolle Galyon. Sure we tell everyone we watch these reality competition shows to see and hear new talent. But the truth is, we also like to weep buckets when we get to hear their touching personal stories. Now sure, there were others whose tales were much more emotional: Charlotte’s triumph over a jaw disease, Monique’s ailing mom and so on. Still, the best tissue-ready moments were in the tears-of-joy category.

As country queen Nicolle nervously made her way through a somber “You Save Me” that convinced Adam to turn around, the cameras cut to her little brother bawling his head off backstage. It was so sweet, I wanted to go wake up my son and yell at him for not crying last year when his sister was singing in her school musical.

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Meanwhile, Jamie’s weep-worthy time came after he’d finished giving the evening’s most memorable performance – a haunting, spiritual spin on “Folsom Prison Blues.” The Chicago sandwich maker seemed so genuinely moved and grateful that anyone would have any interest in him, it as impossible not to get a little misty stand up there unsure when he was supposed to pick his coach.

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Justin Hopkins. As we learn right away, Justin used to play in the band that worked on Carson’s late-night talk show. Hmmmm, I wonder how he managed to get on the show….Luckily, his version of “Babylon” was pretty decent and when Cee Lo spun around to pick him, the choice seemed pretty justified. However, if next week the person who walks Carson’s dogs gets a chance to sing, I’m afraid I’ll have to file a complaint.

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Dylan Chambers. This kid complains that he grew up without a dad, so he spent all his time in his room learning to play music. Not exactly the most tear-jerking of tales. And just before he goes onstage, he whispers to himself, “Dreams don’t chase themselves, Dylan.” Not exactly “Hoosiers” when it comes to inspirational pep talks. So it wasn’t surprising or all that sad when his lackluster “Valerie” didn’t turn a chair. However, he no doubt has another gig to slip right into. His overly earnest attitude and teenthrob good looks would fit in perfectly at Mr. Schuester’s glee club.


Mathai. Blake was right on when he gushed after this teen singer’s sassy, sexy “Rumor Has It” that she didn’t “sound like anyone I’ve ever heard before.” Once she opened her mouth, she clearly had enough style and personality to make it onto the show. The real drama came when we met Mathai’s parents, and her mom had no trouble explaining that she would have preferred her daughter finish college and become a doctor rather than mess around with this singing thing. But, you know, kids will be kids. Note to Mathai: The next time your mom wonders why you passive-aggressively asks if you ever think about medical school, show her the footage of her dancing around like a teenager in a Justin Bieber video as soon as Adam turned his chair around.

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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