NBC is taking the ball and running with it.
Although Fox lost a greater chunk of viewers than usual by airing a super-sized Glee after the 2011 Super Bowl, NBC is betting that an unscripted singing competition will fare better than a carefully choreographed "Thriller" mashup.
"There is no better showcase on television than to follow the Super Bowl, and we believe The Voice is deserving of such high-profile exposure," NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt said of its freshman show (which, of course, will have kicked off its second season by Feb. 5, 2012). "The attention-grabbing blind audition phase of The Voice has mass appeal and will fittingly team up with the biggest sporting event of the year."
Sounds good. Now, let's check in with this year's MVP talent...
Humble country topped glam rock when Jeff Jenkins wowed coach Adam Levine with "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me," despite Casey Desmond's best efforts. So Jeff, too, will be singing for votes when the the live round of The Voice finally begins next week. Jeff joins Casey Weston, Javier Colon and Devon Barley (remember them?!) on Team Adam.
On the bright side, high schooler Xenia already has a cool, one-word pop star moniker. Too bad she doesn't have the nerves to compete at this level. Lucky for her, fellow Blake Shelton protégée Sara Oromchi had an even worse time with the Pretenders' "I'll Stand by You," paving the way for Xenia to continue on in the competition.
"It was pitchy, nerves flying around, notes not being hit," observed Adam Levine. "It was not the right song for your voices." With her confidence probably pretty shaken, Xenia will sing for Team Blake along with Patrick Thomas, Jared Blake and Dia Frampton.
Meanwhile, Cherie Oakley didn't exactly have her chance and blow it, but Lily Elise did manage to out-belt her on "Since U Been Gone."
"My two angels," lamented Christina Aguilera before finally settling on Lily, whose "hot mama" look may have tipped the scales in her favor. Lily joins an all-lady team that includes Frenchie Davis, Beverly McClellan and 16-year-old Raquel Castro.
Rounding out next week's show is the last piece of Cee Lo Green's puzzle, country specialist Curtis Grimes, who out-dueled Lindsay Lohan look-alike (and Beverly Hills 90210 sound-alike) Emily Valentine on his own turf—Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now." Curtis joins the already packed team of sisters Tori and Taylor Thompson, Vicci Martinez and Nakia (yet another one-name wonder).
So, tonight didn't feature the best battles of the bunch, but so what? It's all up to America from here on out.
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