The Voice Recap: Was Devon The Standout?

In last week’s battle round, The Voice paired unlikely opponents — too unlikely, if you ask me. Tuesday’s duels made much more sense: Blake Shelton selected his sweetest dames, Christina Aguilera matched up two satisfied Jessica McClintock customers, Adam Levine pitted his freak-flag color guard members against one other, and Cee Lo threw together all the pageant hair left on his squad. So who prevailed? Who took a tumble in the oversize boxing ring of improbable dreams? Let’s rank the four duet winners from “likeliest to win the show” to “likeliest to win a ham sandwich at a state fair.”

Team Adam: Devon Barley d. Rebecca Loebe
I admire Adam’s taste! I do! But if the lead singer of minivan-friendly Maroon 5 hands you the definitive wallflower opus of the ’90s (Radiohead’s “Creep”), he might think you’re damaged goods. That’s my takeaway. Nonetheless, Devon and Rebecca conspired like uppity drama-clubbers at a pep assembly and trilled the blazes out of Thom Yorke’s timeless dirge, finding both pain and passion and aiming them skyward. Rebecca stunned during the auditions with “Come As You Are,” but I thought she outdid herself here, seizing on “Creep’s” slow-burn confessions with a sinister cool. As the woebegone Kara DioGuardi once said of Idol bleater Didi Benami’s underrated “Play With Fire” cover, “There’s something very compelling about the sweetness of [her] voice with the eeriness of the song.” Precisely, KarGuar! See you on Platinum Hit. Devon, meanwhile, had never heard of “Creep” before — or even Radiohead, maybe — so I was surprised to see him transform its angry core into a triumphant vocal showcase. Well done, child with a pleasantly compact face! Adam balked before choosing Devon as the winner, and I sympathize with that ambivalence. Either could’ve won, and both outperformed every other vocalist on last night’s show. Rebecca Loebe, we’ll miss you, your folksy-freakiness, and the fact that your name is too similar to WNBA retiree Rebecca Lobo’s.

Team Xtina: Raquel Castro d. Julia Eason
Big step down in quality here, as I found Raquel and Julia’s “Only Girl (in the World)” too strained and, uh, wonky. Because the stage movements? Were out of RuPaul’s Drag Race, and not in the magical way. Raquel stormed about the ring with a kind of horsey amble that I associate with tweaking Shakira impersonators while Julia just tottered in place like a lonely lip-syncer. Oh, Julia. Your malaise is disappointing for someone who Carson Daly called a “free-spirited California girl.” Blake Shelton was right to point out that Julia has the better overall voice, but Raquel’s winning edge was her competent delivery and Kentucky Derby choreography. Add “Timbaland connections” and you have Nelly Furtado!

Team Blake: Dia Frampton d. Serabee
Now, I am a functioning human being, so I noticed that Dia Frampton’s cartoonish swooning made her verse of the Supremes’ “You Can’t Hurry Love” sound like a leftover dog ballad from A Goofy Movie (’95). I also noticed that competitor Serabee, who is named Serabee, sang this tune in one vibrato-heavy cluck. A cluck with showbiz dreams! And chicken coup chutzpah! And big octaves! And genocide capabilities. I was personally decimated. Though both competitors crumbled like heathens before the holy ghost (to borrow Serabee’s term), Dia snagged the win for her cuter, less deathmaking voice. She doesn’t have a prayer against Devon, Frenchie, Javier, or Beverly, but since she eradicated an unholy poultry ghost, I give her more credit than our last-place winners this week.

Team Cee Lo: Tori/Taylor Thompson d. Kelsey Ray
I will now list everything about Tori and Taylor Thompson that matters: Taylor (I think) has wavy, dark hair and perfectly impish features, making her an entity I will now call “Bratz Bjork.” And that’s our list! Cee Lo’s song choice of “Unwritten” served these ladies and their hilariously self-absorbed competitor Kelsey (“I’ve always been judged for my looks — the pretty girl with a voice!”) well, but neither party turned Natasha Bedingfield’s empowerment jam into fighting material. In fact, to me, Tori sounded scraggly and off during her first verse. Unfortunately, “charisma” won out over competence in the end, and Cee Lo selected the salt-and-pepper Thompson set over poor Kelsey and her poor, amazing looks. I’m texting a few charity dollars her way so she can be cured of attractiveness right now.

What did you think of this week’s matchups? Did you agree with the judges’ decisions? Was Devon the night’s standout? Do Sia, Reba, or Monica (who dished amazing stankface as if “The Boy is Mine” video never ended!) deserve a big red seat? Leave it in the comments, read me regularly at Movieline.com, and follow me on Twitter at @louisvirtel!

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51 Comments
  1. Lucas says:

    I was so disappointed that Rebecca got cut.

    • Tavis says:

      Me too. I also don’t think the sisters are that good.

    • Edgar says:

      I noticed that Slezak didn’t recap the latest episode of “The Voice”. I know he’s a Rebecca fan. Too disappointed perhaps.

      • allie says:

        or perhaps he was recapping the finales of AI, Glee and DWTS – a person can only do so much, lol!

      • John says:

        Yeah, I think on Tuesday nights his other commitments win out. I’m sure he’ll be back on future recaps, though. But yikes!

    • heather_kaye says:

      Broke my heart! I thought she was absolutely the performance of the night.

    • Snsetblaze says:

      Me too. I wish that Adam had said – I can’t make a decision on this one. We may have to try a different matchup and broke the rules. I preferred Rebecca though. I bought her version of her audition song and Xenia’s but that’s it. What is wierd is that Rebecca should have been matched with Xenia.

      And the sisters were horrible. But Kelsey overall is weak and unlikeable. Neither would have a prayer against Frenchie, Jared, Beverly, Nakia or other powerhouse singers – not unless the show becomes heavily watched by teen and tween girls (and technically the sisters are not the right sex to get the teen and tween vote – Devon would probably get that.)

    • Rachel says:

      I was too. I didn’t think Devon stood out over her in any way.

  2. Ghost of Kelly Clarkson says:

    I agree with all the selections from last night’s show, but wish we could have mashed up Adam and CeeLo’s teams so both Devon and Rebecca could advance. Loving this show and concept so far…

  3. Carolyn says:

    I will Miss Rebecca and wish that she could stay and someone else from last night go home. I love this song. I was so excitedly creeped by Rebecca’s sweet tone and eerie looks. Was so impressed by Devon’s emotional connection to a song he didn’t even know. I was so sad that Rebecca was going home that I went back and listened again and agree it was even with a slight edge to Devon. Rebecca is the only one I’ve seen a judge say goodbye to despite all the posturing over difficult decisions.

    Dia was better but looked terrified of Serabee. I was terrified and I was watching on tv so I understand. Was that a clip from the exorcist?

    Poor Julia and her lovely tone was the victim of a horrible song for her. Both had wonky moments. Christina needs to stop choosing dance tracks the original artists can’t sing live.

    The Thompson Twins annoy me. Kelsey was way better.

    • Snsetblaze says:

      Personally, I thought Serabee was better although she failed to take Blake’s advice and reign it in a bit. And I’m Dia fan as I have her albums from her band Meg & Dia. But it was not a good song for either voice. I predicted that Serabee would be cannon fodder because we only saw her briefly for about five seconds during the auditions. Next week, that fodder may be Casey Desmond.

  4. allie says:

    This was my least favorite episode of Voice yet (although far better than anything AI did lasy night I am sure). Devon was good but I am bummed that Rebecca didn’t make it. I know it is the way the show is structured but it is a travesty that she is out and any of the other girls that competed tonight for any team are in.

    I love Blake but he has to be the world’s worst song picker. “Can’t Hurry Love”? Seriously? Serabee was like a vocal bully. It’s a shame really because had she taken Blake’s advice and toned down the tricks and been more respectful of Dia, she would have easily won by simply showcasing her talent.

    Hoping that they will suprise us and do another wildcard round to bring back one of the eliminated contestants. But if not, I see no competition so far for Javier or Vicci (Nicci? don’t remember – war dance girl)

    • bring back rebecca says:

      Yes, wild card! Let each judge add one team member from those the other judges cut.

      • mary moon says:

        I think there is a lot of love for that idea, but I don’t see them stretching the live show to more than 12 singers…

        But MAYBE someone will get (god forbid) sick, arrested, or a contract, and thus can’t compete at the live show, and they decide rebecca should come back… not likely, but fingers crossed

  5. Pete P. says:

    @Carolyn, Cee-Lo said goodbye to Nicki Dawson after her loss to Vicci Martinez.

  6. Lisa says:

    Devon WAS the standout. Dia was bland but give her credit for ignoring all the wailing of her opponent. Who cares about CeeLos set…they are all history. Same goes for Raquel and Julia….everyone but DEVON tonight were..in one word….forgettable.

    • Emily says:

      I only watched the latter part of the blind auditions. That said, the only one I remembered from the auditions I did see was Dia Frampton. Her rendition of Bubbly made me sit up and take notice. She was the one I was really looking forward to seeing, and while I didn’t like the battle performance much, I think Blake was smart about what he did. If anything, I think he wanted to see if the two girls would bring out what each other lacked: whether Dia would bring out some vocal guns to match Serabee, or if Serabee would rein it in because she wouldn’t be having to outdo a fellow oversinger. Unfortunately, Dia was visibly uncomfortable (although I thought she sounded fine–not fantastic, but good), but I’ll still be pulling for her. Serabee was just nuts.

      I prefer Julia over Raquel. There’s something about Julia’s voice that I find intriguing: I want to hear more. I don’t need to hear any more Raquel, I know what she’s going to do with a song. It was the song choice that made the round for her, it was really a shame for Julia.

      I’m not a fan of the sisters. I can listen to them once in a while. If repeatedly subjected to them, however, I may get a headache. Too much sugar rots your teeth, after all.

  7. Sophie says:

    I am thankful for The Voice because it is making my withdrawal from Idol so much easier. Here are the reasons:

    1. Celebrity guest stars who actually provide constructive criticism.
    2. So far there appears to be no script. Previously pimped contestants have been sent home packing (i.e Kelsey)
    3. Being telegenic is not a prerequisite for success…at least so far.
    4. It is a LGBT friendly show.
    5. It has broken the traditional talent show mold with some intriguing gimmicks. Revolving chairs and boxing rings are cool!
    6. When I read who the celebrity mentors were going to be, I thought there is no way this is going to work, but I can honestly say I am enjoying all 4 of them…and the addition of Reba, Monica, Adam’s producer (name?) and Sia (who is she anyway?) hasn’t annoyed me as much as I thought it would.

    Having said all of these positive things, the jury is still out on The Voice for me. Why? Because it may just seem so good in relation to the horrific middle-brow pablum that Idol became this season.

    • Meg says:

      Adam’s producer is named Adam, and Sia is a musician from Australia. :)

      • Amanda says:

        Sia is made of awesome!! I used to love zero 7 and love her solo work now. Xtina has good taste, (in music the jury is still out on her fashion sense).

    • Snsetblaze says:

      Sia has at least three really good solo albums out. I did not know she had been in a band though before that.

  8. del says:

    So far all the so-called ‘cannon fodder’ has been exactly that. We didn’t see Serabee’s original performance, did we? And the girl that got cut from CeeLo’s team, the one that performed Pretty Please. CeeLo actually did say goodbye to her and told her to call him and he’d see what he could do for her. We didn’t see her original audition either. Things aren’t looking good for the girl with the bright red hair….I agree that some of the teams are shaping up *really* strongly, and some of the other teams don’t seem to have a chance against them.

    • Gilby says:

      Serabee’s first audition WAS shown, at least partially, in the first or second episode (I don’t remember exactly which one). I didn’t remember her at first, either (which I think speaks for why Blake’s decision to get rid of her was right on), but as soon as they showed the clip of her audition I did. Mainly because I remembered wondering why anyone turned around for her crazy self, lol.

  9. PFitzDC says:

    Soooooooooo bummed that Rebecca was cut.
    Keep hoping that there might be an America’s wild card or some opportunity to bring her back.

  10. Kristina says:

    Thank you for the hilarious recap. I do enjoy this show but that was spot on. And I was kind of underwhelmed with the Creep performance. They sang this song on the other NBC singing competition, The Sing Off, only a few months ago and Street Corner Symphony did a way better job than Devon and Rebecca. No offense to them of course but they didn’t have the power that SCS had.

    • Kristen says:

      Street Corner Symphony was absolutely amazing in their “Creep” performance. That was immediately what I thought of (and was excited about) when Adam announced that Devon and Rebecca were doing “Creep”.

    • Lil Jo says:

      Not only was SCS version of Creep better than this one. I’m not sure that I wouldn’t say it was a BETTER version than the original.

    • Julie says:

      Thank you guys for turning me on to Street Corner Symphony — so I went and googled them and they’re pretty wonderful, but hey, look, you can’t compare a duo (especially a briefly rehearsed one) to a large multi-voiced ensemble like that, especially when it comes to power. Not only that, found the whole doo-op arrangement to be a little hokey for a song like this, and, furthermore, Rebecca’s melodious soprano sounded great with Devon’s tenor. I wish the two of them would hook up professionally.

  11. Rob says:

    Being honest, I think Kelsey killed Unwritten and was much better than the sisters. I think it’s just that the two of them are cute and have something special and different about them that kept them in the contest.

    • John says:

      Yeah, I was completely shocked that Kelsey didn’t get through, either! Sure, we joke about her “lamest sob story in history” (“oh no, nobody thinks I’m talented because I’m pretty!”), but regardless of that, she seemed pretty professional in demeanor, alive on stage, and has a great voice, to boot. The Sisters had pitch issues and an overload of sugary pep. Ultimately I think Cee-Lo just wanted to see at least one duo get into the finals.

    • show me the bacon! says:

      I was actually really disappointed by Kelsey’s vocal last night (which is not to say the pig-farmer sisters were any better). There were a few places where it seemed like her voice should be soaring, and instead it felt sort of muted, like she didn’t really have the power/range to do more. Her tone was better than the pig farmers’, though. My theory is that Cee-Lo’s hoping he can score some prize-winning bacon by getting in good with them. Or at least, that would be my goal if I were in his place.

  12. Lana says:

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who will miss Rebecca. I thought she was original and had a unique style. I was very disappointed when Adam picked Devon over her. The other women don’t even come close to her and I think she could have won the whole thing.

  13. Robin Lemke says:

    Really, really bummed to lose Rebecca. My opinion is that Adam thought Rebecca would win that and was surprised that he felt Devon had the edge – but he seemed to want to give it to the winnner, not just the person he’d wanted on his team. Still, I personally would have given that round to Rebecca.
    Interesting, too, that Cee Lo seemed about to give it to Kelsey, but then seemed unable to let the duo go. I think Kelsey did a better job, but he was clearly won over by the cute factor. And bingo, she gets what she wants, she’s no longer the cutest one in the room!
    Serabee’s voice was really strong, but man, she did look like a bully. Glad the win went to the girl that didn’t over sing so we know the battlerounds aren’t all about big vocals.
    And Xtina – didn’t really care for either of them but I think the right girl advanced.

  14. BevL says:

    Honestly, I felt that ALL of this week’s singers will be served up as cannon fodder for the live rounds. What a shame that previous LOSERS would have blown this week’s WINNERS out of the ring.

    • Snsetblaze says:

      Good point – one of the things I don’t like about the battle rounds – perhaps it should be a team battle round (4 teams of 2, they all perform and the judge picks the strongest two teams to advance (or the strongest four individual singers). That Nikki contestant who sang with Viki Martinez could have blown pretty much any of tonight’s females out of the water (except Rebecca) and some of the guys. And I’m not even a fan of her type of singing and thought Viki was better.

  15. Mari says:

    For me the biggest mistake made Xtina, Raquel has no control of her voice and i really hate her personality. Julia’s tone is just nicer. I personally liked Adam’s pick – nerdy guy was cuter(in a non gender specific way) and sounded better on this particular song.
    And my fave so far is Dia – nicest, cutest voice and good control.

    • not a raquel fan says:

      I thought Raquel totally outsang Julia, but it was a stacked deck — you just don’t give an uptempo big-voice swagger song to someone whose strengths are in the quiet beauty of her tone. (As I recall, Didi Benami’s big mistake on Idol was to keep choosing those songs for herself…) Blake didn’t really choose a great song for Dia, either, but that one was at least closer, and he brought a little more perspective to the decision. I don’t really know if Xtina made the right choice, but I wish she’d picked a different song so that it would have been easier to see what Julia had to offer.

  16. Thom says:

    I really liked Devon and was sad that Kelsey got cut. Those damn twins irked me to know end. Dia was excellent as well.

  17. amadeline says:

    I hope they have a wildcard round for the really good singers that got cut, because several of them are way better than most of this weeks performers.

  18. DotDotDot says:

    Loved your recap…awesome! I’m so, so glad Kelsey is gone, and someone needs to tell her she’s really not THAT pretty. I think Dia is better than that, it just wasn’t the right song for her and it’s hard to share the stage with someone beckoning the holy ghost. I wish Rebecca had made it through. I think she’s one of the more interesting contestants.

  19. zeus9800 says:

    I thought it was a really crappy night. The only halfway decent performance was the last one-and they made the wrong choice. And Devon certainly was not the standout, I didn’t think he should have won either. These shows need to stop using that song though, it’s just a really bad fit for this sort of thing.

  20. Elena says:

    Hell, NO, Devon was not the standout! I was more shocked and disappointed by this than anything I saw on Idol this year. Rebecca Loebe is an artist that I have had more interest in than I’ve had in anyone in YEARS. In fact, I’ve listened to her studio version of “Come As You Are” so often that I’ve wondered if anything else she did would match up. She was the sole reason I watched “The Voice” this year. The sole reason. I honestly thought it would come down to her and Javier. Guess I’m done with another singing show.

    It’s official. Adam Levine is an idiot!

    • Syl says:

      THIS.

      I am so bummed that she is gone. I was so looking forward to more music from her. I will probably still watch the rest of the season, but in my opinion, the best singer has already gone home. I guess it’s something I’m already used to, though, from American Idol.

  21. TX-Star says:

    I like Patrick Thomas a lot. I cheering for him.

  22. Elle says:

    First off I am addicted to The Voice.On the choices I think Adam and Blake made the right decisions but for me Kelsey was better than the twins and Julia was better than Raquel but I’m not a judge.Can’t wait for the live shows!

  23. Samantha says:

    I’m so confused by Dia, because I’ve been a fan of her’s for years (she was in a band with her sister, Meg and Dia) and she has such an amazing voice and energy, but on the Voice she seems very low key. I hope she picks it up for the live shows, because she is definitely good enough to win it all!

  24. Volcfom says:

    I don’t know if I’ve agreed with any of Cee Lo’s choices…
    Team Adam FTW!

  25. Rayne says:

    Reba seems to be the only one that is truly assisting. Sia barely has anything to say, and Monica is a poor choice working with Cee Lo. The show on a whole is fantastic though. I’ve never been able to get into other shows in this particular genre, but I LOVE The Voice.

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