Carson Daly blogs 'The Voice' live shows, week 4: Smooth sailing


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Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes” may have backfired on Tony Lucca last week, and I think he and Adam knew that he needed momentum this week. I think that they sat around during rehearsals all week and thought about what they could do to shock the system. With all that press about Christina’s comments about Tony being one-dimensional, and of course all of us thinking it was going to be a Mouseketeer lovefest — “Baby One More Time” was a gutsy decision. Tony is strong and he made a statement, and I love that he used his own career as an opportunity to get back at Christina for those one-dimensional comments with this tongue-in-cheek performance of the most bubble gum pop song of all time. I think it was a ballsy, standout moment that paid off. If it had bombed or if people had booed it or if Christina wasn’t into it, he might have made himself vulnerable to elimination, but the room loved it, the coaches loved it, and I thought he just killed it.

Cee Lo made a comment about how all we have are these Tinkerbell, tinny, auto-tuned female stars out there. There are few girls that sing from the gut, and he wants to nurture that and usher more of that into the music scene, and Cheesa’s certainly somebody who could fill those shoes. Cheesa’s got great vocal respect in the hallways of The Voice. From day one, Cheesa has probably had the strongest pure muscle ability in her voice. When we heard she was doing Whitney, your first thought is, oh boy, that’s always a tall order. But you realize it’s Cheesa, and she can probably do it. And she did it, and she does it well. I think most people embarrass themselves when they attempt to sing Whitney, but I think she should be proud.

Pip tried to prove a little too much a little too late. Good song choice, but playing the piano is always distracting. If you’re not touring every single night and you’re not extremely comfortable playing piano and singing at the same time, it’s a very difficult thing to do. I noticed he struggled with it a little bit. But it was a good song choice for him, and he did everything he could last night. He even lost the bowtie! Still, he’s in a tough crowd. Just look at the team he’s on. Given the strength of the performances before him, I think in that last minute you saw his life flash in front of his eyes. I will say, he was a lot of fun to have on the show, and he brought this great, youthful energy to it that we’ll miss.

What can’t you say about Juliet? Christina said it best: when she sings, she blacks out, and that’s the best compliment you can get, because it just means you’re so comfortable in your skin singing on a television show in front of 10+ million people, that you just own it and you kill it and you make it yours. When she’s on stage, she’s a force, but backstage, she’s really humble and soft-spoken. She’s been to this rodeo before. She’s had deals come and go, she’s seen the accolades, and she’s not fazed by it. Juliet’s just waiting for her time, for all the stars to line up, and for her career to really begin, because she’s fallen victim to too many false starts.

I think it’ll be interesting to take America’s temperature again. After last week being as controversial and tumultuous as it was, tonight we’ll see where the fever’s really at on The Voice. We’ll see if America picks Tony or Katrina or Mathai or Cheesa or Juliet or Jamar. People are going home, and it means that there are only two weeks left of The Voice! We’re rounding third here, and everything’s being left on the stage. You’re seeing sing-for-your-life performances every time. The show already had strong performances, but all of these eliminations and coaches’ saves are forcing people to dig deep. But overall, the winner is the viewer. Whether or not you agree with the coaches’ choices, you’re the winner because you’re getting great music on television, whether you realize it or not.

The old ’50s throwback number was a lot of fun to do. It wasn’t a direct tribute to Dick Clark, although obviously there was a lot of inspiration and a little bit of an homage there. But “Dancing in the Streets” was all Cee Lo’s idea. There was a little bit of Dick Clark, there was a little bit of Bob Barker, a little Wink Martindale. When I was doing it, shooting it in black and white, obviously with the great Mr. Clark recently passing, there was a wink in my eye of gratitude to that legacy.

Follow @carsonjdaly on Twitter!

(As told to Marc Snetiker)

Read more:
Carson Daly blogs ‘The Voice’ live shows, week 3: Shock to the system!
Carson Daly blogs ‘The Voice’ live shows, week 2: Call the Police!
Carson Daly blogs ‘The Voice’ live shows, week 1: Taking the plunge into live TV!

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