For me, Cee Lo Green is the most legitimate pick as both a capital-V Voice and mentor on this show. He’s a singer, but he’s also an artist, musician, and songwriter. He’s current, but he’s also been around for over 15 years. He’s mainstream, but he’s also a freaking weirdo. As Blake said, he might come out dressed as Batman. Or a Peacock.
And I would love it.
Cee Lo went all-in for pretty girls and intriguing voices, and the resulting team is pretty intriguing team. On the flip, his competition with Adam and lusting after ladies started to wear thin after only two episodes, and he battled Ms. Aguilera for the incoherency title (which is a pretty remarkable feat, as both of them could critique a circle around Randy Randy Randy).
Will Cee Lo’s solid gold instincts translate to reliable mentorship, or will he be all peacock feathers and obscure cover songs? It’s a pity he has to battle his team down to half, because they’re packed with potential.
Let’s take a peek at what Cee Lo has in store for us.
Team Cee Lo
- Kelsey Rey – “American Boy”
Was I influenced by being able to see her? It doesn’t matter. Her precision handling of the jazzy melody of the song was incredible. She made sure all of the rapid fire interval leaps were distinct. She does not need to be a belter (or a beauty) with that voice (and, as Cee Lo pointed out, great breath control!). Christina was right on with her “the kind of voice for radio” comment. It wasn’t the backhanded “we need to auto-tune you or bury you in reverb” that the comment usually means on Idol. More like, “wow, we can put you on anything and push your voice to the forefront.” Her reedy tone makes me want to hear some Michael Jackson out of her immediately. I would have rung in for her and fought hard.Did she make the right pick with Cee Lo? I say Adam would have been better for her (Her fronting his band? Hot.), but he didn’t make a very strong case. Christina was genuine, but I can see Kelsey wanting to steer clear of being turned into a screamer. See, Cee Lo it is.
(Fun facts about Kelsey Rey: She was a member of a tween group called “Funn Club.” She used to be blonde. She made it all the way to the top 50 of Idol but lost her voice before her final audition. The less said about the awful club track on her homepage, the better.)
- Vicci Martinez – “Rolling in the Deep”
Here is a Voice. Was “Rolling” the right song to show off her beautiful, husky vibrato and rock belting? I remain unsure. She did amazing things with it, and with that sort of unusual voice she’s probably spent her recent life getting lumped into the Duffy/Adele bucket. In reality, she’s a lot more unique than that, and one of the few truly remarkable people that has been featured. Christina should have fought Cee Lo harder for her, but I passed … she needs careful direction, and she might not connect with audiences in the voting rounds. She’ll need the help of both Cee Lo and the show’s editors to make it to the final four.(Vicci has had a prolific indie career. Check out her website to hook up with her existing social media identity, or download one of her six existing albums on Bandcamp.)
Team Cee Lo – Battle Round Predictions
Cee Lo has a peculiar genius, as well as the instincts to produce two of the most massive hits of the past decade. I’m expecting some incongruous match-ups out of him that will be more about finding The Voice than obvious battles. I think he’d ditch anyone – even Kelsey – if it meant finding out something interesting about another competitor.
The battles? For some reason I’m really feeling the Thompsons against Curtis to see who breaks out of their box first. Also, some combination of Vicci, Nakia, and Emily to see who can reign it in faster. Niki is unfortunately going to get sacrificed to Kelsey or Tje. I would die of shock if he put Tje against Vicci, because I think they’re his favorites at the moment.
Cee Lo will pick: Kelsey, Vicci, Tje, Nakia
Cee Lo should pick: Kelsey, Vicci, Tje, and Curtis or Niki.
On Team Peter: Dia, Julia, Tarralyn, Kelsey, Niki, Curtis
Check back tomorrow for the mentor that assembled what might be the best team of them all – Adam Levine.