Jeremy Renner made a surprisingly good host for 'SNL,' showing off some hidden talents and delivering a pretty good show. I wasn't sure what to expect from him, but this was a case where the writers put a little more effort into his sketches. If only they had did the same for another franchise star, Daniel Craig.
David Petraues and his affairs have been all over the news. It's especially inexecapable seeing as how Paula Broadwell has been "hiding out" in her hometown of Charlotte and 'SNL' poked fun at the scandal in a number of ways. For the Cold Open, Cecily Strong played the writer, presenting the sordid details of her book on C-SPAN, of all places. As she delves deeper into their sex life, everyone leaves except one creeper played by Fred Armisen. This story isn't going to leave the headlines anytime soon, Fred's character is pretty much representing all the people who are still paying attention to this mess.
Renner's monologue started off like many other first time hosts. I'm not completely against singing during the monologues, but it only works if the song is good and funny. Here, Renner takes to the piano to reveal all the parody songs he's written for the numerous movies he's been in. Who knew he had that voice in him?
The "Tourism Ad" about going home for Thanksgiving urged you to "visit your childhood home" where you can sleep on bleach stained sheets and watch your dad change a light bulb in his underwear. The holidays are a time for visiting your family, sharing big meals and reminding yourself why you only visit for three days at a time, two times out of the year.
"The Situation Room" again focused on the Petraeus scandal. Cecily Strong opened the show as Paula Broadwell and here plays Jill Kelly in possibly the only footage that the news has of her. Walking out of her house in that ugly, pink dress. The best part of this was Tim Robinson dressed as her during the dramatic reenactment. Because CNN would do something like this, and they'd try to work in a hologram somehow.
"The Stand Off" was weird, but it worked because you could tell they were all committed to the premise. Jeremy along with Taran Killam and Bobby Moynihan are in a "Mexican Stand Off," which seems to popular on tv these days, which starts off in a garage then takes them out into the streets where they meet Adam Levine and even attend a Thanksgiving dinner together. All while pointing their guns at each other.
"Coroner" was the last sketch of the night. These are usually the best but this one ended up being funny if only for Bill Hader tapping at Taran's "body" while his brother, played by Jeremy, continuously tried to identify it. "He told me he was dead!" was the best delivered line of the night.
WU was pretty solid this week. Seth's "Winners and Losers" section paid attention to how cheaters are being affected by the Petraeus scandal. Then Jay Pharaoah made an appearance as Katt Williams, who came to talk about his recent arrest. Jay's impression was spot on, but it was too obvious that the audience didn't get it., which made it even funnier when Jay joked about being in front of a white audience.
When Seth introduced "New Jersey Governor Chris Christie!" I was expecting to see Bobby roll out beside Seth and start throwing jokes, but it was actually Chris Christie! The show has been lacking in the real life political figures making appearances, but I wouldn't put it past Christie to not want to have the chance to portray himself. The fleece thing was a little gross though.
"The Californians" WHY DO THEY KEEP DOING THIS SKETCH?!!!! Granted, Fred's breaking and Kenan's delivery were funny, but I still don't understand this sketch and I don't think I want to.
"Movie Set" has Renner playing himself opposite a thick-headed actor played by Jason Sudeikis who looked a lot like Vin Diesel in his bald cap. This probably would have been better if Jason had been playing Diesel.
Maroon 5 and Mr. Levine are no strangers to 'SNL.' They hit the stage to perform their singles "One More Night" and "Daylight," the first performance sounding much better. I'm not sure when they started this wearing one color thing, but I kind of like it. I think?
I've been a bad, bad recapper. I skipped last Tuesday's show, although I have to say we didn't miss much, but Monday night's episode more than made up for that. It's the next to last Battle Rounds, with Adam and Christina putting together four of their best singers for the two best battles. [Editor's Note: In Brittani's defense, The Voice wasn't even aired on the west coast--at least not in Seattle, due to local political debates.]
Team Cee Lo
Alexis Marceaux and Daniel Rosa went head-to-head on Adam Lambert's "What Do You Want From Me." This wasn't the best song choice for either of them. Alexis' classical training made it hard for her to really get into the groove of the song and Daniel worried he wouldn't be able to hit the notes in the song. Alexis was oddly supportive of him, not understanding why he was doubting himself and thinking he had the advantage because he has already been on the show.
Daniel sounded better during the final rehearsals, maybe Rob Thomas telling him his nerves made his voice sound more vulnerable helped, and Cee Lo getting a little pissed him. Daniel said he didn't "want to sound bad," which was just honest, and while I didn't think him or Alexis sounded "bad" they weren't all that great either. This is a very shouty song and I think Alexis got a little lost in it. She actually started off the song standing behind Daniel. Blake and Christina gave the battle to her, but Cee Lo goes with Daniel because of their connection. No steals for Alexis.
It was old school vs new school with Nicole Nelson and Brandon Mahone. Adam picks "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" as their song, a perfect duet song for their voices. Brandon notes that Nicole had "no weaknesses," which freaked him out a bit. I don't think Brandon had anything to worry about but he let himself get intimidated. Adam told him that he needed to believe in himself more during their sit-down and he bonded with Mary J. Blige over their shared story of trying to make it for their families.
Nicole took Adam's advice too literally though. During final rehearsals he told her that "less is more" and I think she held back too much during their performance. There was room for some big notes for her but she didn't go for it. Blake and Christina liked her though, with Cee Lo calling the battle evenly matched. Adam picks Nicole and makes sure he hugs Brandon who unfortunately had no steal opportunities.
After this we got a montage of the unseen battles. Team Adam had Brian Scartocci vs Loren Allred, with Loren taking that one. Joe Kirkland went against Samuel Moulton, getting to stay on his team. From Blake's team, Cassadee Pope, who was kind of a stand out during auditions, defeated Ryan Jirovec.
Finally, Christina had 15-year old MarissaAnn and 20-year old Devyn DeLoera sing En Vogue's "Free Your Mind." I love this song, didn't love that she gave it to them. I mention their ages because apparently this was a big factor in who the other coaches thought won the battle. The girls have very similar voices, which is probably why Xtina put them together, and she was looking forward to the vocal cat fight. I liked the way they started the song off , same arm movements and everything but this wasn't as good as it could have been. Now I really don't think age factored in anywhere here, even though Adam was still blown away by the fact that MarissaAnn is only 15. That may have been why Christina wanted to give Devyn another chance, MarissaAnn and all the letters in her name still have a number of years to go. That left her available to be stolen by Blake who adds her to his team.
So Christina has the last steal, which I'm sure we'll see happen on Tuesday night. Blake said he was being a little stingy about using his so we'll have to see who Xtina chooses to give her last one to. Did you enjoy the little singing we got to hear before the Presidential Debate? (Or directly after if you live on the left coast.)
See y'all tomorrow!
The 4 coaches fought hard for their last two team members on Monday night's episode. There were a lot of young singers auditioning and almost all of them had a sob story, it was like they were competing for a "Life Sucks" award rather than 'The Voice.' Still, there was some great talent to choose from, even if they were all youngins.
We were given 15-year old Nathalie Hernandez who was the first singer up with Taylor Swift's "White Noise." Before she got to the third word in the first verse Blake hit his button and Christina quickly followed. I thought Natalie had a nice, clear voice but could work on her stage presence just a bit. Cee Lo thought she sounded as innocent as she looked, which was kind of a creepy comment. Even though she chose a Swifty song, that's not the direction she wants to go in which disappoints Blake. I'm not that familiar with Taylor's catalog of "I'm blonde, pick me, my ex is stupid, that black guy was mean to me once" songs, but this was a good choice for her and she chooses to be on Xtina's team.,
Christina's 16th team member was Celica Westbrook, a 16-year old who has been in the business for a while. She almost toured with Justin Bieber at one point but God intervened. So she decided to take a chance on 'The Voice' and auditioned with Christina Perri's "A Thousand Years." Adam sat this one out, which meant Celica had 3 coaches to choose from but it really came down to Cee Lo and Xtina. Aguilera praised her voice and said that she needed to be on radio, which I think won Celica over.
Caitlin Michelle from Boston suffers from a panic disorder and the remedy was more cowbell. Shunning medication, she turned to music to deal with her panic attacks. Her dad and a friend with a sweet handlebar mustache came along to support her. Her friend probably can't sing, but the mustache man, I hope we get to see him again. So she auditions with Florence & The Machine's "Cosmic Love" which wasn't bad but, I think she tried too hard to sound like Welch during some (most?) parts.
Although that is more an issue with Florence's songs, like Alicia Key songs, where you kind of have to strain to hit those notes. Blake thought it was powerful, but Adam waited to turn because he thought there were some pitch problems. Christina helped him score Caitlin though by saying that she should go with him because he's a "risk taker." So congrats on getting Caitlin for your team, and being the Randy Jackson of the coaches, dude.
Adam's last team member is Kayla Navarez, a 17-year old who has the weight of the world on her shoulders. Her dad was diagnosed with a liver disease and her mother is single handedly taking care of the family. She just wants to succeed for her family and I was already rooting for this girl. She starts off strong Estelle's "American Boy" and Adam instantly tuns but has to fight Christina and Cee Lo for her. He thought she sounded "seasoned" and Adam thought he lost her when she said she grew up listening to Christina, but I think she made a wise choice by going with Adam.
Nicole Johnson has obviously been working towards this for a long time. She finally settled in Nashville with her family after making over 40 trips there to start her career. Now this is what I appreciate about the show. These contestants are ready and already know the business. She pulls out the Country version of Kelly Clarkson's "Mr. Know It All" for her audition, which attracts Blake of course and Adam and Cee Lo. I'm sure she knew Adam and Cee weren't the right coaches for her or her voice, so she goes with Shelton.
The only oldie, but goodie, to audition was 46-year old Rudy Parris. He gave up his career to take care of his daughter, and now that she's out on her own with her daughter, it's time for him to get back to doing what he loves. Rudy wasn't my favorite of the night but his acoustic rendition of "Every Breath You Take" was pretty good. It was Blake vs. Cee Lo, and this guy was right up Green's alley if only for his hair but his roots are in Country music and he goes Shelton, completing his team.
Team Cee Lo
I have to agree with something our friend @TJNEONLIMELIGHT said while we were live tweeting the show, Cee Lo is lazy. Maybe it's because he's leaving this show after this season, but it just seemed like he wasn't really trying to catch the best singers who were auditioning. He did get Chevonne, a backup singer who toured with Lady Gaga. She could have easily auditioned with one of her songs, she already knows her whole catalog, but she goes with The Pretender's "Brass In Pocket." Blake, and Carson Daly from backstage, scream at Cee Lo to push his button but he waits until almost too late to turn along with Blake. Even though Shelton's contestant, Jermaine Paul who was also a backup singer, won last year, she picks Cee Lo and I hope she does well on his team.
The final contestant of the night was Country boy Cody Belew. I couldn't get over his porn-tastic name, or the fact that he said he must have been an elderly black woman in a past life. He was hoping that Cee Lo would end up being his coach and he got his wish. He goes with "Hard To Handle" as his audition song and it gets the crowd riled up pretty good but the coaches stay still. Cee Lo turns at literally the last note, and somehow it still counts. He was more than excited that not only did he get to stay in the competition, but Cee Lo was his coach. He even jumped down from the stage, happily shouting expletives along the way, to give his hero a hug. Needless to say, Cody and Cee Lo were made for each other.
The ones that weren't so lucky. Former boy band member Rod Michael, another perfect porn star name, was desperate for another chance at a career. I've never heard of the group he used to be in, B3, but I think his problem was that he still hadn't graduated from that sound. They'd probably love him on 'The X Factor' though.
Then there was French teacher Kameron Corvet who was my favorite of the night but got no turns. I agree with the coaches that his performance of Seal's "Crazy" never really went anywhere, but it was good. Also getting no turns was Jessica Cayne, again another good porn name if it isn't already taken. She was ambitious, but the coaches weren't moved. You could really tell she was trying to get them with the last couple of notes during Carrie Underwood's "Good Girl" but at least she got the crowd going.
Tuesday night's episode is a look back at the auditions, just in case you forgot what happened over these last couple of weeks. All 4 coaches have their 16 members, which means the Battle Rounds start next week and I can't wait because that means we'll be seeing the coaches in different outfits. Oh yeah, there will be great singing too!
I have questions. LOTS of questions.
Firstly? Where's the Cee Lo look alike? Clearly we have a not-so-subtle dig at Christina's sidekicks, Adam and Blake in the video--she wants to f*ck them the kill them afterward. Ya don't say?
Secondly? Where are the ciggie butts and coffee can ashtrays? If Xtina is gonna "play" (ahem) true white trash, I should be able to smell more than burnt spandex and stripper glitter perfume from Victoria's Secret. (Google it, people.) And yes. I can smell it.
Take a deep breath...tell me what you smell while watching Xtina dip herself in $2 ELF facepaint and VS Love Spell Forbidden p*ssy spray. (That's what the strippers call it, and I'm no one to argue with them gals.)
The outdoor tanning bed; the obviously built on the lot trailer park, the baseball bat, the blue blood, the PINK gagginess of everything. I need a shot of insulin. And penicillin.
Bottom line? Sucky song. No great hooks, just shouting. Far too many close-ups of too-much-fard.
Written by: Diva Julia
I have to say this was a pretty boring night for 'The Voice,'. Maybe it wasn't all the show's fault, there was a concert by The Killers on at the same time, but none of the singers really moved me or caught my attention. The coaches made up for the lackluster auditions with their hilarious bickering, but it wasn't enough to save the show for being a big bore Tuesday night.
Joselyn Rivera was born with some sort of neurological disorder that was helped with the power of music. This might be the same disorder that is causing me to twitch whenever I hear "Call Me Maybe." Anyways, so naturally Rivera chooses Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger" as her audition song but I think it may have been the wrong one for her voice. The song, especially the chorus, is too much for her and she kind of struggles though it, but she did good enough to get Xtina and Blake to turn for her. Aguilera made her case by saying that Rivera could add more diversity to her team. I don't know what Joselyn's ethnicity has to do with anything, but welcome to Team Christina!
Collin McLoughlin made a brace decision, in this economy anyways, to quit NYU and do music full time. He actually seems better suited for 'American Idol,' guess why, but his performance of "Wild World" was pretty good. Only the guys pushed their buttons, Christina thought it was "too mellow," and I think Adam got his vote when he praised his pitch. I think Blake was really angry that he didn't score Collin for his team.
Adam also got former Formula 1 racer Benji, you know, like Madonna. He quit racing cars when he ran out of money and decided to follow his other passion, music. Benji's performance of "Knockin' On Heaven's Door" conjured up images of 90s long hair and leather pants. He has the perfect voice for a cover band, I have to say. Again, Christina was the only one that didn't turn, but she actually compared his voice to Adam's. Blake chimed in with "I don't think he sounds like a jackass at all!" Ouch, Blake! Ultimately he goes with Adam and Blake is left without another member for his team.
Team Cee Lo
Cee Lo added 40-year old Mycle Wastman to his team. He has had a pretty rough life, raised by his grandfather, who had passed a couple of days before his audition was filmed, after both his parents died around the same time. You can really feel that pain in his voice, even in a pretty sexy song like "Let's Stay Together." He joked "I definitely don’t sound like I look," but he got all the guys to turn and definitely won over the audience. Both Adam and Cee gave him a standing ovation and Blake said he was the best contestant they had heard that day. Mycle wisely chooses Cee Lo, and I hope Green tells him to get rid of the newsboy hat. I feel like he's an undercover cutie under it. I hope so anyways.
There was a montage of singers who did get added to teams, but there were two ladies who didn't. The singer of the night was 33-year old single mom Trevanne Howell who dared to do Whitney Houston. I do agree with Adam that you have to be "so good" to do Whitney, but she just didn't have enough of it even though she was pretty ambitious with her audition. Carson was quite pissed with Christina backstage for not pushing her button. Something I guess she didn't feel like doing that night. Later, 52-year old drama teacher Lorraine Ferro decided to continue with a dream of hers and audition for the show. Lorraine reminds me of every crazy, but fun, teacher I had in school so I couldn't help but root for her. Her rendition of "Skyscraper" was all over the place but there were a couple of good notes here and there. I'm sure she knew that she wasn't going to get picked but she was just so happy to be there.
Because the teams were extended to 16 members for this season, we still got at least two more blind audition episodes to go. GREAT! Cee Lo and Adam both have 11 singers on their teams, Christina has 10 and Blake trails them all with only 7. Get it together Blake!