A disastrous error threatens to destroy one team -- at the final Pit Stop
By Diane Vadino
Special to MSN TV
Previously: Kentucky buddies Mark and Bopper bowed to the inevitable -- and go back to Clay County after suffering a mortal wound at a game-ending Bollywood challenge.
Sunday night: We're headed back to America -- which means we're at the end of this season's "Amazing Race." Phil takes us on a brief trip back through the episodes: Remember Maiya and Misa, who ran in the opposite direction of the Pitstop? Dave, the clown who couldn't do math? Joey Fitness and Danny? Jamie and Nary? We were "bewildered in Baku" and "taken aback in Tanzania," and now we're left with the final four teams -- who are actually preempted by a lengthy recap of Kentucky soul brothers Mark and Bopper. (Never before has a fifth-place team earned such a devotional. But they -- "the best friends competed with their hearts on their sleeves," as Phil describes them, and the season’s most popular team -- deserve it!) Unfortunately, we're left with four other pairings: still-squabbling couple Dave and Rachel; occasionally (but not terribly) quarrelsome couple Vanessa and Ralph; bickering couple Rachel and Brendon, and the border patrol agents, who are just sort of jerks a lot of the time.
Six-time leg-winners Dave and Rachel are the first to leave Cochin, at 1:51 p.m. -- and we're headed for Hiroshima, Japan, and then Miyajima Island. Everyone's on the same flight there, so we have a chance to quickly visit with the four remaining teams -- particularly Dave and Rachel, whose contentious relationship has been a recurring theme this season. "I don't necessarily view Rachel as my wife," Dave says. "I view her as my teammate, my peer." Rachel has an alternate, and probably more accurate suggestion for how Dave views her: "Solider," she says. "Solider."
Once in Japan, the teams begin a fairly epic trek to the island -- by bus, train, and then by ferry. A tiny bit of jockeying occurs, and Rachel and Brendon miss the first bus. ("They never know where they're going," J.J. says.) But the most seemingly meaningful one occurs when Dave and Rachel, who'd arrived too late for the train, also miss the ferry. The super-bad news: The leading three teams got the last one for the night, and Dave and Rachel won't be able to get to the island until morning. "This just proves that every second counts," Dave says, petulantly.
It turns out that Dave is wrong, and the delay actually doesn’t count for much: Much like in Argentina, the clue arrives at dawn, so Rachel and Dave don't actually lose any time at all. (Or, as Rachel puts it, "[Dave] can take his poopy pants off now.") Teams are first directed to pay their respects at the city's serene but sorrowful peace memorial, and then to travel by bullet train to Osaka and its TV 8 studio. Art and J.J. and Vanessa and Ralph take cabs, while the other two travel by public transportation -- the slower choice. When Vanessa and Ralph's cab gets lost (just the first unfortunate event in a problem-plagued leg for them), Art and J.J. have the challenge all to themselves: "Who wants to bring home the chicken?" reads the clue. It turns out we're at an insane Japanese game show, in which players have to run along a treadmill, grab three chickens hanging from the ceiling, and then race all the way to a mat -- a mini-Pit Stop. It's hysterical, and very hard, and when Art's done, he gives the host a massive hug. From there, the teams go to the Umeda Sky Building for their next clue.
Vanessa is forced to do the chicken challenge to stay even with Ralph, and it's hard to think of a more difficult job for someone who just sprained her ankle. "I'm hoping it's nothing all too physical," she says, on the way into the studio -- but of course, it is one of the season’s most physically demanding. Ralph's face, as he begins to understand the nature of the Roadblock, is a mask of terror. "I don't know what to do!" Vanessa wails. Ralph is all for quitting and taking the penalty. "I'm telling you what to do," he says. "How many times are you going to do this -- ’til it breaks?" Vanessa, for once, is an absolute picture of grit: She takes off her long-sleeved top and helmet and literally says to herself, "I can do this." She grabs the third chicken. "You're going to have to run like you've never run before," Ralph says, prepping her for the end. She dashes down the treadmill, falls, and ends up in a pile of balloons. She does it one more time -- and makes it.
The other teams have moved on to the Roadblock: Bingo Shout Out or Photo Cut Out. In the former, teams play a complicated version of bingo involving sushi; in the other, they need to convince 30 passersby to pose in giant cut-outs of sumo wrestlers. Only Rachel and Dave take the sumo challenge, while everyone else goes for sushi. They're still fighting, by the way: "Silence is golden," Dave says, about some perceived failing of Rachel's. "Then why don't you shut the **** up?" At least Rachel sticks up for herself -- small victories. Though this seems like it could be a hard task, true to form they handily convince the 30 people to pose -- and they're the first ones to leave for the Pit Stop, at Osaka Castle.
Art and J.J. are en route to sushi bingo: "Old men love sushi, and old men love bingo," Art says. It's possible that even now none of the teams know precisely how it works: The bingo caller yells out types of sushi, and then everyone has to match the fish and the letter to string five hits in a row. It looks like they're just sort of randomly throwing the fish down on the board. Art and J.J. finish first -- stuffing their mouth with the five winning pieces of sushi, which was a random addition to the challenge -- while Brendon and Rachel make their way through their own board. Vanessa and Ralph are still playing when Team Big Brother heads for the Pit Stop.
Much is made here of the three trailing teams failing to find it -- at one point, nemeses Big Brother and border patrol run into each other -- but it's pretty clear that Vanessa and Ralph won't be able to make up the time lost on the chicken challenge. "I'm really hoping another team got lost or abducted by aliens," Vanessa says, as they finally get into the taxi. It doesn't happen, though -- they're out, in fourth place. "I would never want to do this with anyone else," Ralph says. "From here on out, it's smooth sailing -- unless there are rubber chickens," Vanessa says.
But we're moving on: to Hawaii, for the final leg of the race. After a 12-hour flight, teams are directed to a vague destination involving twins -- which Dave and Rachel's cabbie realizes refer to the twin towers in Pearl City. Dave bonds with his ex-Army driver, and he quickly loses J.J. and Art, who'd been trailing them. Team Big Brother is clued in on the answer by the cab dispatcher at the airport, so it's only the border patrol agents who have no idea where to go. They're directed to "a statue of a guy of a boogie board" -- definitely the wrong place -- and wander around lost until a passerby takes pity on them and explains the answer.
At the towers, Dave and Rachel are first to the challenge: to pull themselves up the length of the 45-story tower and then to rappel, face-forward, down it. "This is like extreme 'Amazing Race,'" Rachel, of “Big Brother” says. From the top of the tower, teams can see a flag marking the next stop -- across some water at Sand Island State Recreation Area. There, teams face a pretty easy-looking Roadblock (at least for anyone who still has any upper-body strength left after the tower climb) -- all they're doing is shaving ice (14 quarts worth) from an ice block. Rachel and Rachel, waiting for their partners to finish, can see Art and J.J. rappelling down the face of the tower. "They look like little bugs -- I want to squish them," Dave's Rachel says.
From there, teams are instructed to go “by foot” to helicopters. Pilot Dave is all too cool for school about it: "I'm normally not a passenger," he says. Rachel and Brendon, meanwhile, make the cataclysmically bad decision to take a cab -- which they realize after enough time to put them very solidly in third place. "I don't want crazy Rachel right now," Brendon says. He gets her anyway.
Rachel and Dave are first to the next task: "Become North Shore lifeguards [and] rescue a distressed swimmer." This involves Rachel manning the Wave Runner and Dave pulling the swimmer onto a sled -- it's not very hard. The next part, though, is: All the teams are directed to Coral Kingdom Gate by taxi: "To have your fate completely in the hands of a stranger" is stressing Dave out. Wherever their driver drops them off, they're soon stand-up paddling across a body of water -- and then running down the path to the final Pit Stop! But Art and J.J., we see, are in first place -- Dave and Rachel skipped a task! (Misa and Maiya, in particular, are stunned.) As they backtrack, Art and J.J. face the final task: sledding down a hill and then rolling a disk into a net. And they face it, over and over and over again: Art just can't stay on the sled. It gets much, much worse for them when Dave and Rachel show up -- and they realize that they were actually wasting away their lead. J.J. is visibly in pain, while Art pretty much hates nothing in the world but sledding. Inevitably, Rachel aces the sled -- and then the bowling. And since they know the way to the Pit Stop already...
Art and J.J. and the newly arrived Rachel and Brendon find themselves duking it out for second. Rachel and Dave are first. "It was awesome to spend a month together," Rachel says, crying when she talks about how difficult it was for her when Dave was in Iraq. Art and J.J. are second: "Not bad for a couple of old guys," says Art, who is going to have nightmares about that sled for the rest of his life. "'The Amazing Race' has tested our relationship in ways I didn't even think was possible," Brendon says. But what do Bopper and Mark -- by far the most likable team in the final five -- have to say about this, something producers obviously recognize by including them in this season’s final thoughts? "You took two boys from the middle of the country and took them around the world," Bopper says. Is it too soon to start looking forward to them in All Stars?
Mississippi native Skylar Laine falls short of reaching the final four
By John Kubicek
This week, the top 5 on "American Idol" proved that they are not just the best final five ever on the show but that they are among the greatest musicians in the history of time and space. At least, that's what the judges believe.
All kidding aside, they're incredibly good, and this is one tough competition. I look back just two years ago when people like Michael Lynche, Aaron Kelly and Casey James were all in the top 5. None of them should even be mentioned in the same breath as any of the remaining contestants this season.
But it's time to say farewell to one. Will it be Phillip Phillips, who was easily the worst singer of the week? Or is it finally Hollie Cavanagh's time after being in the bottom four of the last five weeks?
To be perfectly honest, I'm kind of interested to see what an "American Idol" results show looks like these days. I've just been reading Carla Patton's recaps all season to find out who went home, but since I'm guest-recapping, it means I actually have to watch it. Oh well, if I can spare just one person from having to subject themselves to the inanity of a Ford commercial and an awful group number, then I've done my good deed for the day.
"New Girl" Promo: Randy Jackson's Hot Dawgs in Steven Tyler's Janie's Got a Bun, with Jennifer Lopez's Chili from the Crock. Why isn't Max Greenfield in everything? I'm just happy the adorable Deputy Leo is finally becoming a star like I always knew he would be.
Results, Part 1
Ooh, results right away. Joshua Ledet, one of the best two "Idols" of all time and one of the greatest singers in the past 50 years, is called to the center of the stage. Jimmy Iovine thinks Joshua's "To Love Somebody" is the best performance of the entire season. Meh. I don't even think it's the best Joshua Ledet performance of the season (that goes to "When a Man Loves a Woman"). And I don't really care about the fact that Joshua can learn a song so quickly. Joshua Ledet is safe. Well, no duh.
Ford Music Video: Yawn. It's fairy-tale themed.
Coldplay Performance No. 1: They perform "Paradise," but I'm distracted by the fact that I think Chris Martin is wearing one of his wife's T-shirts. Sorry, but I'm not a fan of the insanely short sleeves on a T-shirt. In fact, I'm not a fan of famous musicians performing on a big show like "American Idol" in a T-shirt. Dress up, Chris Martin! Although the way he says "Thank you everybody. Thank you so much" at the end is kind of endearing.
Results, Part 2
Hollie and Phillip are called to the center. Either or both of them in the bottom wouldn't surprise me. I hate that Jimmy pronounces the "H" in homage. It's OH-maj, not hom-idge. Jimmy thinks both of Phillip's performances were bland and that he's coasting. He's not wrong -- at all.
Hollie Cavangh is in the bottom 2.
Phillip Phillips is safe.
Well, that's not fair at all, but whatever. We all know Phillip is going to win. And even terrible, bland performances won't stop the inevitable.
Carrie Underwood Performance: She sings "Blown Away," the title track of her new album. It's not my cup of tea, and I prefer the Jeff Bridges movie "Blown Away." If you haven't seen it, go find it now because it's amazing. As far as Carrie is concerned, I think she should play Jenna Maroney's little sister on "30 Rock."
Results, Part 3
It's down to Jessica and Skylar. Ever since my favorite, Colton Dixon, left, Skylar is my girl. So, I have my fingers crossed. Jimmy wasn't feeling Skylar's Dusty Springfield song, mostly because he hated the set and the production with the people on the bench. That's not her fault, is it? Jimmy hated "Proud Mary" because her dress was too short. He blames the stylists (Tommy Hilfiger?) for torpedoing Jessica. Jennifer Lopez turns this into a "Hollywood is OK with making teenage girls sexualized, but Middle America isn't so cool with it" situation.
Jessica Sanchez is safe.
Skylar Laine is in the bottom 2.
No! I barely survived my favorite getting eliminated. I don't think I can stomach watching my second favorite go too.
Coldplay Performance #2: They do "Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall." Seriously, that's the title of a song? That's the cheesiest thing I've ever heard. Also, I know Chris Martin is only 35, but he's way too old to be acting like he is on stage, just spinning and hopping around like a toddler or a college kid at his first rave.
Results, Part 4
It's down to Hollie and Skylar. Hollie is in the bottom for the fifth time in six weeks. Skylar is in the bottom for the third time and was my early pick to make it to the finale (where I thought she'd finish second to Colton Dixon, so that shows what I know). The judges agree that this is the best top 5 ever, so it's impossible to actually say anyone deserves to go home more than anyone else.
Skylar Laine is eliminated!
Oh, hell no!!!
What is going on here? How are my two favorite singers both gone already? This is just the worst. This season is all kinds of wrong because there's no way on earth Skylar should be gone. Well, next week Carla Patton returns, and I'm glad because I'm not sure I want to recap "American Idol" without Colton Dixon and Skylar Laine. I know a lot of people say they're going to stop watching a show after this person or that person goes home. But really, if it weren't for the fact that this is my job, I'd be done. I'm sure on finale night Colton and Skylar will blow whoever is left out of the water.
What do you think of Thursday night's results? Did America get it right?
"American Idol" airs Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on FOX.
Report: Her 'Beverly Hills' dream killed by a country superstar
Then LeAnn Rimes squashed her dream like a bug.
Glanville's children are now also Rimes' -- since the country singer married Glanville's ex-husband, Eddie Cibrian. And Rimes and Cibrian won't allow the children, Jake and Mason, to appear on the Bravo reality show.
“Brandi didn’t expect that LeAnn and Eddie would have objections since the kids have been on the show before, but they did,” an unnamed source told Radar Online.
So the network reneged on its offer to Glanville, according to the report, insisting that the kids are necessary to expand her story line to full-fledged housewife size.
As much as you've got to respect any decision not to expose kids to the pitfalls of fame, consider how Glanville must feel about having her dreams ruined twice by the same woman. (Cibrian was still married to Glanville when he began his affair with Rimes.)
Season 3 of "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" is expected to premiere this fall on Bravo.
Competition finally starts to heat up as final five take the stage for two songs
By John Kubicek
In the late 18th century, America kicked England's butt in the Revolutionary War. Now they're finally getting their revenge because it's British Week on "American Idol." It makes me wonder if "Pop Idol" in the U.K. ever does American Week. I also wonder if Hollie Cavanagh is actually a mole sent from Liverpool to steal our nation's singing competition secrets. To make this episode even more enjoyable, sing "For British eyes only!" from "Arrested Development" every time Hollie walks on stage.
Anyway, as you may have noticed, BuddyTV's "American Idol" expert Carla Patton is out for the week on vacation. I'm filling in for her to recap the top 5 taking on British songs as well as music from the '60s -- two themes that have nothing in common. Maybe next week it will be Broadway musicals and the Tupac songbook. Or country songs and music by artists whose names start with the letter "P."
And who better to mentor the kids for this week than Little Steven from the E Street Band, a man who is neither British nor a '60s musician. But he was on "The Sopranos," so it's probably best if I don't insult him. Now swap out your beer and pretzels for some tea and crumpets, because this is British "American Idol"!
OK, that "New Girl" promo of the cast talking about watching "American Idol" was hilarious. I wish the "New Girl" cast was with us for the whole show, "Mystery Science Theater 3000"-style.
One girl in the audience has a sign asking Ryan to do her hair. I know those people are probably planted by FOX, but I don't care because that was genius. It turns out Steven Van Zandt is Jimmy Iovine's BFF, which explains why he's the mentor.
Round 1: The '60s
Hollie Cavanagh: "River Deep, Mountain High" by Ike and Tina Turner
Once again, all the advice is for Hollie to stop thinking so damned much. I assumed this would be a disaster, but it's actually pretty darn entertaining. The girl can definitely sing. And for the first time all season, she steps it up as an entertainer and not just a singer. But I still don't see her in this role. It feels like she realized she couldn't beat Jessica Sanchez on ballads, so now she's trying to beat Skylar Laine on energy and spunk.
Phillip Phillips: "The Letter" by the Box Tops
He's changing it up, big time, and Jimmy kind of hates it. It's worth noting Lee DeWyze sang this song in Season 9. In case you don't know what a letter is, the screen behind Phillip has envelopes falling. The "Idol" graphics department needs to stop being so literal. The song itself is exactly what you'd expect because Phillip does the same thing on every song. Jennifer Lopez doesn't know the song, and the judges point out there was no melody. But they don't care. Ryan Seacrest then steals the spotlight by making a joke about how Julianne Hough called Phillip "yummy." It turns out Phillip has a girlfriend, and she's a brunette. I hope that doesn't hurt his votes.
Skylar Laine: "Fortunate Son" by Creedence Clearwater Revival
Yes. Yes. A thousand times yes! This is so Skylar it hurts -- a down and dirty piece of rocking country goodness. She's like the Tasmanian devil of country rock. Please, America. Let her win -- because I'm kind of in love with her.
Joshua Ledet and Phillip Phillips: "You've Lost That Loving Feeling" by the Righteous Brothers
These two should not sing together ... ever. Even the "funny" banter before they sing is awkward because Phillip is playing up his "Aw shucks, I'm just a country boy who don't know nothing" act, and Joshua doesn't seem to know what to do with it. When Phillip sings "Something beautiful's dying," I feel the same way. Imagine if, instead of an iceberg, the Titanic crashed into the Hindenburg. Then double it. That's how bad this was. I think Steven Tyler had a stroke because he rambles endlessly about how much he loved it. Did we hear the same song?
Jessica Sanchez: "Proud Mary" by Creedence Clearwater Revival/Tina Turner
Little Steven hates this song because he's heard it so many damn times. I kind of agree, especially because this means all three girls basically sing the same style of song for round one (since this song was famously done by the artists who did Hollie and Skylar's songs). I'm really torn on this one. Jessica sings it amazingly, of course. And she has a ton of energy. But, somehow, it feels artificial, like this isn't really who she is and she's just playing a role. Maybe it's because she did so many old-fashioned ballads early on, but I don't buy her as a fun teenager, even though she is one. Randy Jackson is right to criticize it, and Jennifer Lopez is awful because she thinks everything is sunny all the time.
Joshua Ledet: "Ain't Too Proud to Beg" by the Temptations
This is almost too easy for him. It's so in his wheelhouse. Joshua could nail this song in his sleep, and he does. For some reason, I'm bored of Phillip doing the same thing every week. But I don't mind that Joshua does it. But as good as it is, I keep waiting for another "When a Man Loves a Woman" moment. Steven Tyler calls him one of the two best "Idol" singers of all time. I wonder who the other one is. Stefano Langone maybe? Randy compares him to Terence Trent D'Arby, which seems like a backhanded compliment.
Round 1 Verdict
The judges agree that Joshua, Hollie and Skylar all won. So basically they're saying Phillip and Jessica sucked. That seems about right to me.
Round 2: Brit Pop
Hollie Cavanagh: "Bleeding Love" by Leona Lewis
She's once again trying to sing a huge song. And wow. That is what I like to call a moment. At the start of the top 13, I thought she was a dark horse. Then she went off track, and I turned on her. But this is the girl I saw at the start of this competition. This is the girl I thought could sneak in and win the whole thing. Steven Tyler has never heard of this song, and Randy Jackson is so passive aggressive about it (as he should be since Leona Lewis won "The X Factor" in the U.K., a show that happens to be from Simon Cowell). Steven Tyler should be fired during the next commercial break for saying something so damn stupid.
Phillip Phillips: "Time of the Season" by the Zombies
Holy crap. Little Steven was right: Phillip is singing melody! Wait, I think I punctuated that wrong. Phillip is singing(?) melody. If this is what happens when Phillip steps outside of his tiny Dave Matthews box, he should go back in and never leave it. Seriously, that falsetto was just plain wrong. I feel like the judges know that Phillip is going to win this competition, so they're going out of their way not to say anything too mean.
Jessica Sanchez, Skylar Laine and Hollie Cavanagh: "(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher" by Jackie Wilson
Is it wrong that I associate this song with the "Ghostbusters 2" (when they use it to activate the goo and make the Statue of Liberty walk across New York City)? That movie is awesome, and this song is actually pretty good, too. All three girls sang the same style in the first half of the show, so they blend much better than the guys.
Skylar Laine: "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me" by Dusty Springfield
The common theme of the mentor sessions seems to be that Jimmy and Little Steven are having fun, which annoys me because it should be about the singers not Jimmy and his BFF. And Skylar just did the same thing Hollie did, which is slow it down and give an amazingly powerful performance. I love that Skylar can actually sing beautifully and tell stories. She's not just a spitfire. I'm glad Randy Jackson points out how silly it is that the sets are starting to involve actors sitting on benches. That was just weird.
Jessica Sanchez: "You Are So Beautiful" as performed by Joe Cocker
Huh. This is an interesting choice for her, and Jimmy is worried that it might sound like Muzak. In the end, I can't decide if I liked it or not. The girl is definitely an unbelievable singer, and her control and notes are insanely perfect. And it's slow and emotional and should be a real moment. But I don't feel it. There's a disconnect here between the beauty of her singing and the actual story. Even the final close-up of her face made it look like she was trying to force out a tear to prove how good she is. The judges, naturally, love it. Then we get yet another "Ryan cross-dressing" joke as he helps Jessica put on her high heels.
Joshua Ledet: "To Love Somebody" by the Bee Gees
Thankfully, this marks the last time we have to see the Jimmy and Steven comedy hour, which is the most annoying, self-serving nonsense this show has ever subjected us to. I don't care about Jimmy Iovine, and I certainly don't care about him and his friend joking around. Anyway, Joshua does his best to put his gospel spin on this song. And after a rather boring and tepid first half, he takes us to church! Preach on, Reverend James Brown! That's the Joshua I love, but what I don't love is that the judges give their boy his 100th standing ovation of the season.
I'm so over the judges standing for Joshua, and it kind of makes me resent him, even though he's very good. Jennifer Lopez says he's one of the best singers in 50 years. They gave him the Pimp Spot already. They don't need to keep pimping him this hard. Like I said, it was really good. But the judges act like he just cured cancer while bringing peace to the Middle East.
This is going to be hard to predict. Realistically, Phillip Phillips probably did the worst out of the top 5, but we keep on being told how much everyone loves him, and he's never been in the bottom. I think we could be in for some crazy results tomorrow night along with Carrie Underwood and Coldplay.
What did you think of Wednesday night's performances? Who's in trouble?
"American Idol" airs Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on FOX.
'Voice' coach jabs back at fellow country star's comments
Kelsey's ex to return for guest appearances
Camille Grammer has begun shooting scenes for Season 3 of Bravo's "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills," according to this E! Online report -- which seems strange, since the former wife of Kelsey Grammer announced last month that she wouldn't be returning.
Reports have conflicted over whether the choice to exit the show was Grammer's or Bravo's. According to RadarOnline, whose reporting seemed the most detailed, Grammer quit because Bravo -- frustrated that she wouldn't appear on camera with her boyfriend and children -- decided to replace her in the main cast with David Foster's new wife, Yolanda Hadid, and Grammer didn't want to be relegated to making guest appearances.
Apparently, however, that's exactly what's happening, since Grammer's appearances were labeled by an unnamed E! source as "cameos." One will be made at Kyle Richards' birthday party, which occurred this past weekend.
Season 3 of "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" is expected to premiere this fall on Bravo.
Lindsey Pavao, Katrina Parker, Erin Willet and Jamar Rogers are eliminated
Note to NBC: I appreciate the fact that you have a ratings winner here with "The Voice," and a sophomore season that never even veered toward slump, but all this filler? Just give us the results! I, for one, did not need to catch up with last season's "Final Four," and while Christina Milian is adorable, I never need to go into the Sprint lounge again.
OK, regarding the former ... I guess Vicki Martinez's performance with former coach Cee Lo sounded good and her record, "Come Along," did drop earlier in the day, but the shout-fest that featured Cyndi Lauper proving she "Moves Like Jagger" on her admittedly raucous '80s hit "Money Changes Everything" drove me to my medicine cabinet for some Advil.
It took effect just in time for the results.
Aguilera copped out, giving both Chris Mann and Lindsay Pavao 50, even going so far as to say she wanted America to decide. Thanks to that move, it went to Mann, 104-96. Had Xtina given Pavao some love, it woulda been different.
Levine had the guts to actually weigh in, giving Tony Lucca 60 to 40 for Katrina Parker. It was the right thing to do; Lucca's so much farther along -- he's ready. America agreed and Lucca took it 108-92.
Shelton copped out as well, going the 50/50 route with Erin Willett and Jermaine Paul. But, considering the fact that Willett's father passed away during all this, and it was actually the girl's birthday on Tuesday, we can give Blake a pass. America wasn't half as considerate -- Paul won handily-with 123 and Willett in the low '0s.
And then, who I was waiting for all night (and who is ALWAYS last): Juliet Simms ... versus Jamar Rogers. Cee Lo, too, did the right thing, voting on the previous evening's performance, and with the track record of both contestants, it had to go to Juliet, from a judge's perspective. Cee Lo leaned 60-40 in her favor. He knew America was hung up on Jamar's back story. Catch is, America seemingly wasn't...not nearly as much as Rogers clearly thought anyway. Simms landed at 123, and Rogers didn't even break 100.
While Lucca is a force to be reckoned with, this episode was basically the season finale, folks. 'Cuz Simms has got this.
Yeah, I said it.
What did you think of this episode? Tell us on Facebook
"The Voice" airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT and Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.
Jaleel White and Kym Johnson are the latest to get the hook
Classical Week has come and gone, and so has Jaleel White. He's been up and down throughout this competition, and this was definitely a down week. It's still no fun to say goodbye to him. He's a great dancer and a genuinely funny guy.
The dance duel was a rumba, and Roshon's was judged superior by all three judges. It was a tough call for Carrie Ann at least, who called Roshon and Jaleel roughly equal, and Bruno and Len agreed that both couples danced well.
Jaleel confessed that he thought he would only last about three dances into the season and said that his friends on the show and his fans helped him get as far as he did. He even praised Roshon and called on Len to "give him a 10." (Jaleel did get in a lovely jab at Len just before the dance duel. He said, "Len is the old guy outside the grocery store who won't give the kid any money for candy." Then he called Jaleel the kid outside the candy store.)
Here's a look at how the remaining stars did this week:
In spite of the fact that he was dancing on an injured ankle, William turned in a top-notch Viennese waltz. The judges praised him for tuning in to his emotional side. William was also the team leader for the group paso doble and he and Cheryl absolutely sizzled out on the floor.
Donald's Viennese waltz was full of crazy dips and spins, but he made it work. The judges had nothing but praise for his performance and complimented both his passion and his technical precision. Donald more than held his own against William in the paso doble – he's a real contender at this point.
Katherine's Grecian rumba was gorgeous, if a little bit understated. She and Mark moved beautifully together, as always, and Katherine's lines were gorgeous. It seemed like she had a little more fun with the group Argentine tango, where she and Mark turned up the intensity. Katherine doesn't show any signs of slowing down!
Maria's paso doble earned her this season's first perfect score from the judges. It was bold, dramatic and never let up for a minute. Maria and Derek also turned in a fierce performance in the group paso doble. These two are magic together and the sky's the limit.
Melissa's Argentine tango was a winner with the crowd and a loser with the judges. Carrie Ann called the routine "Cirque du Soleil gone wrong" because of all the lifts. Melissa did better with the group paso doble, but it was still a rough week for her. It's hard to see her lasting much longer in this competition.
Roshon danced two tangos in one night. His solo Argentine tango got mixed reviews from the judges. Bruno called him out for wobbly legwork, but Carrie Ann gave him a hug and said "welcome back." Roshon and Chelsea distinguished themselves in the group tango. It was tough to see Roshon have to dance his way back into the game once again.
Who won the week: Maria
Who needs to step it up: Melissa
"Dancing With the Stars" airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT and Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.