Nov. 6, 2012 at 1:10 PM ET
The Season Three set-up for live elimination rounds on "The Voice" means that viewers (or "America," as Carson Daly euphemistically says) vote on who makes the top eight, with judges each picking one contestant out of America's discard pile, Go Fish-style.
You could say the stakes were very high Monday night, but they lowered considerably after the final performance of the night because, uh, how to put this delicately: Amanda Brown has this thing locked down. Trevin Hunte should just pack his knives and go home. That quiet thud you heard across the nation as she strutted across the stage in her leather pants and heels was 12 million jaws hitting the floor as Brown hit the high-note screams of Aerosmith's "Dream On."
There's another handful of shows until the finals but they could just call it now and spare the rest of the contestants their awkward interactions with Christina Milian in the Sprint Lounge. Right after Brown's performance, they showed a clip of the evening's highlights, and everyone else paled in comparison, like, "Oh. Yeah. Those guys. Hmm." That heartfelt Goo Goo Dolls song ain't gonna cut it now, Bryan Keith.
Power rankings! Only Team Adam and Team Blake performed last night.
Coach: Adam Levine
He's got Amanda, which is kind of the end of that story. It seems likely that "America" might vote Bryan Keith to the next round, despite his snapping problem. For a young man he gesticulates like he's doing his best Dean Martin, a kind of Vegas-ham shtick that works against his whole sensitacho thing. Nevertheless, the crowd wouldn't stop cheering after he surprised by smoldering his way through "Iris." Melanie Martinez and her supersized bow seem like they will be a candidate for Adam's "save," despite her underwhelming Betty Boop-esque take on Ray Charles' "Hit the Road, Jack." She should just do "The Good Ship Lollipop" and get it over with.
Coach: Blake Shelton
Michaela Page seems likely to be the Team Blake finalist since her voice is flawless and she has a kicky Hot Topic good-girl-in-bad-girl's clothing vibe to her. She made Neon Trees' "Everybody Talks" her own, in the parlance of the show. She is very mannered, posey and practiced, which sometimes gives her a mechanical-cute/"Small Wonder" vibe. She's the big talent on her team, though Blake seems to be real partial to country gal Liz Davis, who, done up like a Mandrell sister, sold "Independence Day" so well that Cee Lo said it made him feel especially patriotic. Cassadee Pope should join a Cranberries tribute band upon elimination; sure, it's a lateral move, but it's a perfect use for her talents.
Best example of what Dracula might wear to the prom: Cee Lo Green's white satin blouse with pearl broach.
Best throwback song choice of the night: Adam picking Lisa Stansfield's 1989 iconic club hit "All Around the World." Here's to hoping he follows it up with Soho's "Hippy Chick" next week. Speaking of, why hasn't anyone done the Smiths "How Soon Is Now?" yet?
Dark horse everyone seems to be underestimating: Julio Cesar Castillo, who did Mariachi classic "El Rey" as traditional as it can be done and got a standing ovation for it. One imagines every proud abuela in the country speed dialing in votes for him the second he finished. America is in charge now, and it's best not to underestimate the mariachi loyalists.
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