‘The Voice’s’ Final Quarterfinal Mysteries Revealed

Cheesa and Juliet Simms on The Voice (Photo by: Lewis Jacobs/NBC)

I don’t mean any disrespect with this, but frankly, tonight’s live elimination edition of “The Voice” was about as surprising as a “Mad Men” episode where Don Draper sleeps with somebody. America saved the cute boys from Cee Lo Green’s and Adam Levine’s teams  – Jamar Rogers and Tony Lucca – and in the resulting sing-offs, Juliet Simms and Katrina Parker won the chance to stick around for another week.

Given that Jamar and Tony hands-down gave the best performances Monday night, and Juliet and Katrina were very strong seconds, the results were very predictable. Correct, but predictable. I give Jamar credit for working hard to appear surprised when Carson Daly announced that America had saved him. It was nice and humble, if not entirely believable.

Because there really wasn’t much mystery to this episode, I decided to take a different approach with tonight’s blog. When I was a kid, I loved this show called “In Search Of…,” which sought to solve strange mysteries every week. They talked Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, vampires….I confess I know nothing about any of those things but I do know reality music competition shows, so as a tribute to my former favorite series, and to liven up a non-suspenseful week, let’s delve into some mysteries with my first-ever edition of “Tales Of the Unexplained: ‘The Voice’ Edition.”

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When Carson announces whom America saved, how long has he known who the winner is?

Just seconds before he makes the announcement, producers hand him paper sleeve that has a printed card inside with the name of America’s save on it. And after sneaking a very quick peek, he becomes as nervous than the antsy singers waiting alongside him. As he told me after tonight’s eliminations, “In my mind, there can be no mistakes. I get worried about that. My mind plays tricks on me. I do sneak double-checks to make sure. We rehearse the show with stand-ins and I’ll say the phrase, ‘For the sake of this rehearsal….’ And I say it so many times, that I sometimes catch myself right before I say it on the air live. I keep saying, ‘Just read the names…just read the names…’ and hoping that I don’t somehow mess it up.”

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Mathai had been doing so well with her cute, indie rock chick thing. Was she worried about shaking it up tonight and going country with “Cowboy Casanova” to sing for her save?

Well, yes, she was feeling stressed. But on the other hand, that was precisely her plan. “I like stress,” she says. “I’m such a nerd. In school, I loved stress. I love staying up all night studying, thinking I’ll get an A because I did stay up. I make internal standards for myself and I like beating them. I just wish I could have made it past today to bring America something it hasn’t seen yet. And shock people. I’m itching to do that.”

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Week after week, Katrina has barely been noticed. And week after week, the coaches have praised her more and more. Now that she’s in the top 8 thanks to a strong and crowd-rallying version of “Perfect” tonight, does she finally feel like she’s got a shot at winning?

She hasn’t been confident so far, so why start now? “I wish I could have that confidence every time, but I just don’t,” she explained. “It’s like this. You’re living the song you’re singing. You’re enjoying it. But then you’re right on to, ‘What are the coaches going to say? I have no idea.’ It’s hard to tell how it’s received because I’m so in it. So, I prepare for the worst. I’m getting better, but I’m not there yet.”

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Is there any sort of “Voice” drinking game that could be played on college campuses across the nation?

Officially, there is not. But I suggest building one around every time there’s a trip to the Sprint Lounge and Christina Milian says something is “blowing up on Twitter.” First, that just doesn’t sound like a good thing, frankly. Second, I have no idea what it means. Clearly. And third…really…do we need four segments of this in a show like we did tonight?

Was Cheesa’s elimination part of a conspiracy against one-named artists this week?T

Truth be told, she seemed ready to go, given that her son was “Already Gone.” And while she did a good job, it wasn’t the sort of walls-come-tumbling down performance she really needed to stick around. Still, while there is no proof her ouster was part of a coaches’ decision to ban singers without a last name, here’s a fact…this week, we saw the end of Cheesa, Pip and Mathai. You be the judge, though take note that we also have yet to see a guest performance by Madonna or Cher. Now I’m worried about the future of Purrfect the Cat.

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Cheesa chose a pretty prophetic song with “Already Gone.”  Juliet picked a song whose title sent an equally mixed message about her expectations for the evening – “Torn.” After being a consistent favorite in the competition, did she really think she might be going home?

Forget the fact that she had on wings during her song Monday night. Most of what Juliet’s been singing has been pretty gloomy lately, leading one to logically conclude that she  lives the life of a tortured artist. Now that she’s survived to sing another day, however, she’s out to prove otherwise. “I’m not the self-deprecating sort who sits in a corner saying, ‘I suck,’” she insisted. “I do give acknowledgements and validations to myself when they’re due. It’s just a matter of how often they’re due. Really, though,  I do have more confidence as a singer now, thanks to doing this show. Now, I just have to stick around….”

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With his team’s outrageous stage performances, Cee Lo Green has broken a lot of rules on “The Voice.” But did he really break something else – namely, wind – in the first few moment of Monday night’s show?

Apparently there was indeed something more than just tension in the air. “It’s the truth,” Cee Lo said Tuesday night about his little incident. “I had a nervous stomach. I couldn’t help it. We coaches didn’t realize that we had clocked in with the show at that moment. And ‘it’ had just happened prior to the start. Adam and Christina were making such a big fuss about it and I was just like,’ I’m sorry, man!’ But I have a nervous stomach. And the fact that I had to do something later in the show that I didn’t want to do, well, that’s what happens.”



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

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