Right at the top of the show, Carson offers a canned, insincere thank you to those out there who have served or are currently serving our country. He does that horrible actor bow with his palms pressed together. If there's one thing The Voice is good at, it's rushing through formalities! We eliminated so many people last week I don't even remember who's left. And does it really matter? Cee Lo is wearing a fantastic hat.
Christina is there for the introductions for once, and Blake does a funny bit about drinking out of his Starbucks cup and it being strong. I go back and forth on Blake, sometimes hating him and sometimes thinking he seems like he'd be fun to hang out with. Maybe it's the Blake and Adam dynamic I could do without.
The Top 12 perform live in this episode, and it all starts with "the 17-year old singer who's discovering the kind of artist she wants to be: Caroline Pennell." I'd say she has a pretty good idea of the type of artist she wants to be. But I didn't know anything I wanted when I was 17, so I guess Carson's assessment is fair. This week, Cee Lo has chosen the more upbeat "Wake Me Up" by Avicii for Caroline. She is eager to do something more fun, more contemporary, and less broken down. Cee Lo is really helping Caroline grow as a person, and an artist.
In spite of the more upbeat song, they still give her a completely twee backdrop, with paper stars and clouds dangling in stop motion behind her. This is the first time I have not loved Caroline. She doesn't seem quite confident enough for this song, yet, and this doesn't really go with the hot cocoa and snuggie vibe she had going. It's still a good performance, but it feels like she's a little behind it.
Cee Lo says he loves it so much and he can't say a bad thing about it. Blake is pleased to see Caroline do something more up-tempo and thinks she did a good job staying in the pocket in spite of the studio audience's terrible rhythm. He's right about that. It gave Adam an opportunity to pander to the audience, but we all know Blake is right.
The next artist to perform is Josh Logan of Team Christina. I'm mad at Josh for taking Stephanie Anne Johnson's spot, and for being like every white dude on the show this season. He and Christina sit down on a red leather couch to discuss being soul singers and over-ad-libbing. Christina has selected "Man in the Mirror" by Michael Jackson for him to sing next, and I feel like this is just asking to be over-embellished. For his assortment of black hats and singing this song, I want him to fail. As a side note, why is Christina wearing every sweater I owned in the seventh grade to rehearsals?