Top singers glide onward while others stress to impress
'Reason' to believe: Michelle Chamuel ventured closer than usual to the mainstream on Monday's 'Voice,' singing Pink's 'Just Give Me a Reason.' Will the quirky singer's gambit give her enough votes to move on?
This "Voice" season is shaping up to be an interesting battle – the choices vs. the voices, if you will. (If you won't, I completely understand, but bear with me a moment.)
There are seven standout voices: Judith Hill and Sarah Simmons appear to be the early front-runners, but Holly Tucker, Amber Carrington, Sasha Allen, Kris Thomas and Danielle Bradbery are no slouches.
The three others aren't quite in the same vocal league (though Michelle Chamuel may end up qualifying). To succeed, they must capitalize on non-musical factors (Josiah Hawley's looks, the Swon Brothers' novelty and rootsy country appeal, Michelle's quirkiness) and distinctive song choices that trigger that elusive "oh wow, I can't believe he/she did that song!" reaction from the voters.
So, having stuffed everyone into restrictive stereotypes, let's see how well they held up. After a Maroon 5 performance of "Love Somebody," the band's new single, which further illustrated how much the group has improved since its early days as an immediate radio button punch, Holly Tucker kicked off the show with perhaps the most unusual, though far from the most exciting, song choice of the evening. "How Great Thou Art" is a hoary hymn covered by multitudes of gospel (and many secular) singers; her version was sincere and soaring, but really more of a novelty than anything else in the context of the show. Usher thought it was an "incredible statement," but began to hedge, trying to find a way to express his unease with the performance (and ultimately not succeeding). Shakira thought it was "heavenly" and "heartfelt," Adam thought it showed off the "pristine quality" of her voice, and Blake said she "turned it up one more notch" and called it her "most important" performance yet. Which, since each performance now carries the risk of elimination, it technically was.
Judith Hill was "torn" about doing "The Way You Make Me Feel," the song by her former employer Michael Jackson that her coach, Adam, chose for her. That was because she didn't want to seem as if she were exploiting her connection with him, although she also could have had legitimate concerns about it being the third Michael Jackson song in the last 14 "Voice" performances, an alarming ratio in anyone's book. As it turned out, she needn't have worried on the latter count, since it was the best of the three MJ songs and allowed her to show off her upbeat, sassy side without blurring the impact of her formidable voice. And Adam assured her that the performance was "celebrating, not exploiting" Jackson.
Blake gave the Swon Brothers the boost they needed with Randy Houser's rousing recent hit "How Country Feels," and the duo possibly bettered the original thanks to their taut harmonies and a fiery arrangement. Shakira said they always lighten her mood and Blake theorized that their momentum is mounting and they "can be stars."
Kelly Clarkson's "Breakaway" proved a disaster (one of many) for Lazaro Arbos on "Idol" earlier this year, but Amber Carrington was far better equipped to handle the demanding octave leaps and express the song's emotion. Blake and Shakira applauded the song choice, while Adam posed a syllogism that went, roughly, A) "Kelly is one of the best singers out there," and B) Amber sang a great cover of a Kelly song, so C) Amber has an incredible voice. There was a certain logic to this formulation, even if the conclusion unfortunately echoed Usher's incredible overuse of the word "incredible," which he had earlier employed to describe Amber's talent and indeed found a way to use with virtually every contestant.
Shakira decided to take Sasha Allen in a contemporary direction, rightly worrying that Sasha had done too many creaking oldies. The one she and guest mentor Cee Lo Green chose, however, was Emeli Sande's "Next to Me," making the third time in as many weeks that the song had been performed on a TV music contest. (Not that "The Voice" acknowledges song choices on "Idol" and vice versa, but maybe they should take them into consideration.) Sasha sang it with verve and skill, though it was a bit overwrought, as her versions tend to be. Adam and Blake were glad she did a modern song, while Usher (after an "incredible") lauded her for putting her own texture into it. Shakira said it showed her versatility.
Josiah Hawley's song choices especially have to stand out, and Monday's did – Coldplay's haunting "Clocks." He rocked it up some, losing some of its ethereal nature, and although his falsetto was functional, he may not have completely pulled it off. Shakira had her doubts, feeling that "Coldplay is so distinctive, any attempt from us mere mortals to evoke the magic is almost mission impossible," and Adam agreed, adding that Josiah appeared uncomfortable at times. Blake faulted the song for its lack of a lyrical story, while Usher pledged to "continue to nurture your incredible talent."
Still, it was an unexpected and delightful song choice, and so was Blake's for Danielle Bradbery, his second triumph in a row: Jo Dee Messina's finest moment, "Heads Carolina, Tails California." Danielle reaches the seats every time on those upbeat, lilting country numbers. Usher upped the ante a little, calling it "100 percent incredible" and saying she made "country cool once again." Blake was pleased with how "carefree" it sounded and appreciated the way she delivers country lyrics.
Like Sasha, Kris Thomas has been focused on the oldies, so Shakira and Cee Lo went all 2012 on him with "Adorn," the breakout hit by the new Prince of R&B, Miguel. It was an adventurous and imaginative choice, but there may be a problem with asking these contestants to measure up to exceptionally distinctive artists such as Coldplay and Miguel. Kris's version was colorless, salvaged somewhat by a couple of neatly executed falsetto flutters at the end but no match for the original. Adam and Usher detected a tendency in Kris to "overthink" his performance, and Usher questioned the song choice. Shakira defended it and Kris so fiercely, talking over all attempts to respond, that Usher finally crouched behind his chair in abject terror.
Adam's diagnosis of Sarah Simmons' situation was that she needed to display her rock side. It's hard to figure why he thought Jessie J's "Mama Knows Best" was the song to fill that prescription, but Sarah gave it the full Joplin, setting her vocal intensity on "stun." It leads you to wonder how that assault would sound on a song with real meat on its bones. Blake said she "radiated sexy" and was a rocker, and Adam decreed that it was the performance of the night.
Michelle Chamuel drew the closing slot and was given Pink's "Just Give Me a Reason," which proved fatal for "Idol" fourth-place finisher Amber Holcomb when no one thought she came close to the original. Michelle fared better, thanks to a more passionate and connected delivery, and it should ensure her survival. Blake loved how "dramatic" she was, and her coach, Usher, contradicted Adam's earlier pronouncement with one of his own: "I'll say that that was the performance of the night."
Performance of the night: I'll contradict both Adam and Usher by giving the award to Danielle, though Amber, Judith, and yes, Sarah and Michelle were all contenders.
Just look over your shoulder: Something (like elimination) may be gaining on Kris and especially Josiah, and the Swon Brothers, a duo that has reached unprecedented "Voice" heights, can't ever get too comfortable.
"The Voice" airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.
Zendaya Coleman and Val Chmerkovskiy finish first half of finals with a perfect 65
The finals are off to a great start! This may have been a lackluster season but the stars seem determined to make up for it as the competition comes to a close. Several of the "supersized freestyle" routines incorporated background dancers, which was a fun twist.
Zendaya is in the lead by a single point. Kellie and Zendaya both received perfect 60s for their full-length routines, and it was actually the cha-cha marathon that made up the difference in their scores. This is going to be a nail-biter! Kellie is one point behind (64), and Aly trails Zendaya by four points (61). Jacoby is quite a bit behind with 56 points.
Even though Val was injured in rehearsals just hours before the broadcast – Zendaya accidentally elbowed him – he insisted on dancing anyway.
The cha-cha relay was a lot of fun! Zendaya and Val owned the floor, placing first and receiving an additional five judges' points. Jacoby was the low man on the totem pole, earning only two extra points.
The freestyle routines tend to focus on technique, but Derek choreographed a very emotional routine for Kellie. The risk paid off! Mark and Aly went in the opposite direction, dancing a sky-high, pole-twirling, cartwheeling freestyle. The energetic routine earned them a perfect 30 as well.
Here's a rundown of the performances:
The judges' choice round had Jacoby and Karina attempting the jive. This routine was lively and fun, sort of a Broadway/80s hybrid. Jacoby had a bit of trouble with the jive in Week 5, but Len acknowledged that his footwork was much improved this time around. Bruno praised Jacoby's "unlimited supply of energy and power" before rather enigmatically quoting J.R.R. Tolkien to point out that Jacoby lost the beat a few times. Carrie Ann agreed even though she acknowledged that Jacoby brought "the swagger."
Jacoby and Karina's freestyle routine was wild – almost to the point of being out of control. Jacoby owned the dance. Len praised Jacoby's energy. Bruno loved the routine but pointed out a few timing errors. Carrie Ann said the routine "outshined" Jacoby and felt he got lost in the shuffle. This was by no means a bad dance, but Jacoby just didn't bring it the way the three ladies did.
Aly and Mark danced the samba for the judges' pleasure. They went for sexy and the risk paid off! Aly had a bit of trouble with samba technique in Week 5. Bruno called Aly "a scrumptious little tease" and praised her clean footwork. Carrie Ann enthused about Aly's all-around dance qualities, and Len liked the choreography.
Aly and Mark's daring freestyle routine had them pole-dancing at the top of the staircase. There were quite a few gymnastic moves worked into the routine as well. All in all, it looked exhausting! Bruno called the dance "futuristic with a touch of exotic." Carrie Ann said the routine reminded her of the days when she "danced the pole for Madonna." Len was also a fan, dubbing Aly "Alexandra the Great."
Total : 61/65
Kellie and Derek danced an ultra-glamorous quickstep in the first round. Kellie's lines and footwork were gorgeous and she matched Derek step for step and silly face for silly face. The quickstep was an easy assignment for the pair as they were just one point away from a perfect score dancing the quickstep in Week 6. Len compared the dance to a stamp on a letter, presumably meaning that it was tight. Bruno christened Kellie "the Southern belle of the ball" and called her performance a "technical tour de force." Carrie Ann praised the improvement in Kellie and Derek's body contact.
Kellie and Derek turned in a ballet-like freestyle routine. The focus of the dance was emotional but difficult lifts were woven throughout the routine. It kind of looked like the end a "Dirty Dancing" sequel yet to be made. Carrie Ann gave Kellie a hug and praised Kellie for baring her soul on the dance floor. Bruno said that great dances engage the heart and then gave the couple a standing ovation. Bruno was equally effusive. This was a stunning routine.
The judges chose the samba for Val and Zendaya. It was a dance that gave them a tiny bit of trouble in Week 4. Their routine was flirty but awfully complicated. Carrie Ann cheered for Zendaya and called the routine magical. Len loved the choreography. Bruno called Zendaya fierce – is that still a thing? – and praised her transitions between fast and slow steps.
In the freestyle round, Zendaya and Val shifted seamlessly from romantic lifts and spins to a hip-hop line dance. They chose to include kids as their background dancers, which was adorable. Len loved how all the different parts of the routine came together as a cohesive whole. Len praised Zendaya's "unique luminosity." Carrie Ann said Zendaya "brought it home."
Who won over the judges: Zendaya
Who won over the crowd: Kellie
Who needs to step it up: Jacoby
Part 2 of the Season 16 "Dancing With the Stars" finale will air Tuesday, May 21 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.
Love it or hate it, this was the trippiest hour ever
Sansa discovers true marital bliss might mean a bed to yourself
"Game of Thrones" airs Sundays on 9 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.
All is right in 'Idol' world as voters choose the best singer
Transfixed: Candice Glover can't seem to take in her new status as 'American Idol' champion, but runner-up Kree Harrison and host Ryan Seacrest are thrilled enough to make up for it.
And in the end, all was right in "Idol" world. The best woman won. Candice Glover, who out-sang everyone throughout a long, often painful season, was crowned "American Idol" Season 12 winner Thursday night.
Candice's victory over Kree Harrison breaks a streak of five consecutive male winners. But we've known that for more than a month, since the last guy was eliminated during top 6 week. She's also the first out-and-out R&B singer to win since Fantasia, nine years ago. And she won the way an Idol should win -- not because she was a pin-up or hunk or had a tragic back story, but because she was the best singer.
The finale, which ran more than two hours, vividly reminded us of what a long, often painful (but sometimes spectacular) season it has been, with musical horrors and highlights galore. It started with a charming, unplanned moment: Candice and Kree were posed in a solemn face-off to underscore the gravity of the situation. But Kree couldn't hold the stern face and broke into a wide smile.
Then the final 10 welcomed viewers to the celebration with a pallid performance of the Wanted's infectious "Glad You Came." The camera panned the audience to show hordes of former Idols. The Band Perry sang its current single, "Done," with attitude to spare and plenty of pogo-ing and pyrotechnics, plus guest vocals from Janelle Arthur.
The traditional "Idol" finale comedy bits commenced with one of the better examples of the form (though the bar has previously been set about as low as a dancer in a Flo Rida video). The top five guys were shown speculating about their early, consecutive departures, which they blamed on being "sabotaged" by their female competition. (Best bit: Janelle altering the musical score for Lazaro's stunningly inept version of "Close to You.") In the end, it turned out to be a plot hatched by the last female winner, Jordin Sparks, who when asked how she and the others pulled off the prank, told the guys, "It actually was pretty easy. None of you guys play guitar." She offered some consolation by telling them, "The good news is that 'Idol' leftovers have been doing really well on 'The Voice.' "
The guys went straight into a medley of Four Seasons songs, sounding like the Turgid Boys, so clearly the sabotage had not concluded. Fortunately, this presentation of a full cheese platter was improved by the appearance of Frankie Valli himself, who at 76 retains that piercing tone that cuts right through the "Grease" (and "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" as well).
The medley virus proved to be catching, as Mariah Carey made her long-delayed first performance of the season with a whole raft of her hits. Dressed in a gown straight from the film "Big Mermaid," she showed off all the vocal trills and frills that have ruined a generation of copycat "Idol" contestants, and even threw in one of her patented high notes for the dogs in the audience – specifically Randy, who may have been backing her up (didn't see him).
The musical merry-go-round continued to whirl with Emeli Sande's "Next to Me," sung by Candice earlier in the season, being passed on to Amber Holcomb, who was joined by Sande, who provided a useful jolt of energy. Plenty of product placement for Ford Fiesta, in the form of a greatest-bits montage from the season's contestant commercials, culminated in the presentation of two Fiestas to Candice and Kree's designated family mentors.
On the previous night, Carly Rae Jepsen attempted to extend her time in the spotlight. This night, it was the Gangnam Stylist himself, Psy, trying to prolong his own fruit-fly pop lifespan with his current single, "Gentlemen," which is something of a Shakespearean classic -- sound and fury signifying nothing.
Keith Urban premiered his new single, "Little Bit of Everything," a pleasant if lightweight offering that was followed by a heavyweight offering: Candice and Jennifer Hudson dueting on Natalie Cole's lounge ballad "Inseparable." After Mariah's exhibition, it was the evening's second advanced crash course in over-singing, particularly Jennifer, who rarely strayed from a braying vibrato.
But just as on regular performance episodes of "Idol," when wretched excess can lead into unexpected brilliance, musical events took a significant turn for the better. Angie Miller launched into a grave version of Sia's "Titanium" and was quickly joined by Adam Lambert for a duet that at times approached the exquisite. Angie then achieved one of her goals by singing with Jessie J. Happily, it was Jessie's best song, the lively Katy Perry knock-off "Domino," which contains some of the raciest lyrics Angie has yet sung. Ryan Seacrest also announced that Angie had released a version of the original song she poleaxed the judges with during Hollywood Week, "You Set Me Free," but her planned performance of it had to be cut to make room for the Lambert and Jessie J duets. Jessie then invited her to the UK to perform it during one of her (Jessie's) concerts. So, good night for Angie.
More comedy: The contestants "dished" on the quirks of the judges. This was only occasionally funny, mostly when they poked fun at Randy's indiscriminate use of the immortal phrase "in it to win it." Randy more or less took over the show for the next several minutes, playing bass behind Kree and Keith on the latter's "Where the Blacktop Ends," which was enjoyable as a chance to hear Kree sing an uptempo number and Keith shred a little. Then came a full-blown farewell to Randy, featuring subtitled dogs and their video montage of the highlights of his "Idol" judicial tenure.
Beamed via satellite from New York, Aretha Franklin gave her propers to Candice and, with the top five girls on backups, sang a medley of "Natural Woman," "I Never Loved a Man, "Respect" and "Think" – a sublime moment. That, you might have thought, would have been a fitting performance conclusion to the evening before the results were revealed – what could top it, a Nicki Minaj number? (As it turned out, she was the one judge conspicuous in her absence from the musical stage.)
Nope. After Candice and Kree got the keys to their new Ford Escapes and a long and tedious montage of the season's highlights aired, Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull appeared to sing "Live It Up," their catchy dance number. Then Candice and Kree turned in a final duet on the dull Fifth Dimension hit "One Less Bell to Answer," before the envelope was at last opened. Candice managed to make her way through her new single, "I Am Beautiful," and the season came to a satisfying close.
Looking back at the final two, Kree was certainly a worthy adversary for Candice -- in most years she would have made a terrific crown bearer. (Same goes for the season's No. 3, Angie.) But Kree never quite put together one of those definitive Idol Moments that are a huge contributor to the show's longevity.
Candice, on the other hand, had at least three, maybe four depending on how highly you rated her version of "Somewhere." But without question, her first performance of "I (Who Have Nothing)," her brilliant transformation of "Lovesong," and her Wednesday reprise of "Nothing" were "Idol" performances for the annals. And, crucially, she was more than competent even on her least interesting moments.
As with all "Idol" winners, the big question is whether her triumph on the show will translate into stardom. It worked for Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood. Fantasia, Ruben Stoddard and Scotty McCreery have achieved lasting genre prominence, and Phillip Phillips is off to a promising start. Candice's challenge will be to find a contemporary style that will mesh comfortably with her retro-soul leanings, and that may not be a piece of cake. But for now, she's won one of the show's most well-deserved victories.
Lots of love and loss marks the 'TVD' Season 4 finale as the Mystic Falls gang graduates
Last week on “The Vampire Diaries,” Bonnie managed to drop the veil between this world and that of the dead – bringing back those who had unfinished business here on Earth, like Alaric, Jeremy, Kol and Grams.
Jeremy’s return – and Matt’s fake death – helped Elena finally flip the humanity switch so she could feel again, but she was flooded with emotion and couldn’t deal.
Later, Silas took on many forms – including that of Klaus and Caroline – to get into Bonnie’s head. Bonnie managed to fend him off and seal him away for eternity, but she got a bit carried away with her casting – and the last spell she did killed her. Oops.
This week. Why, it’s graduation, of course! At the high school, rows of empty chairs awaited the graduates. But before the big day, there would be another big speech. Kol addressed the walking dead – those sacrificed witches and hybrids among them. “Massacres performed in the name of resurrecting the immortal Silas. The slaughter of innocents by the so-called hero-protectors of Mystic Falls,” he said, all bombastic. “They rest, unleashing hell on Earth for their own selfish gains. And today, that’s exactly what they’re going to get.”
Back at the Salvatore mansion, Stefan and his old vampire pal Lexi – one of the walking dead now, of course – rocked out to old school Bon Jovi. Damon sure was surprised to see her, though she was hardly pleased to see him. “If you, Ric and little Gilbert are all flesh-like and real seeming, that means something went horribly wrong when Bonnie tried to put that veil back up,” Damon deduced. “And yet, here you two are, having Dance Party USA!”
Stefan, petulant – and wasted – rebuffed Damon’s reminder that he should be “buffing his hero hair,” prepping for the next big battle. He’d rather hang with his formerly dead pal Lex.
Bonnie, meanwhile, called Caroline regarding the “snag.” She needed to wait to till the full moon to put the veil back up – but first, graduation! She didn’t quite know how to tell the gung ho Caroline that she was, uh, dead. “Hell will freeze over before I let anyone cancel graduation!” Caroline pouted.
Grams said she’d watch over Bonnie’s body, then told her to go – with a warning: “Make sure you say your goodbyes.”
Seems the recently returned from the dead were big drinkers – Elena was throwing down with Alaric and Jeremy in the cemetery. She was still a bit weepy, but Jeremy reminded her that they only had one last night together – so no tears. Then her cell rang. No, not Caroline. This time, it was Connor, the dead-undead, uh, you know, whatever, vampire hunter.
Rebekah, too, was dealing with a pissed off hunter – her ex, Aleksandar was holding her and Matt captive in a used car lot, wired to blow if Matt stepped of a plate everything was connected to. Matt told her to forget the dude and focus on something else – life after graduation. Travel? “China, Paris, the Northern Lights,” Matt said. “It’s a date.” That just pissed her ex off more. He threw a knife at the pair, and Matt almost leaped in blocking it, but Rebekah steadied him. He whispered to her that he was wearing the Gilbert never-die ring, so maybe they’d both make it through the blast. He kissed him goodbye, then told him to run. “I can’t be killed and you can’t miss graduation.” Aleksandar returned, asking what she’d done. Rebekah’s response, as the lot erupted in flames: “I finally chose one of the good ones.”
And Damon got a visit from Vaughn, the hunter he’d run into before. They all were on a mission – they wanted the Cure, so they could do what they were meant to do: kill Silas. Irritated with Vaughn’s lecture, Stefan decided to pull the dude’s heart right out of his chest.
At the bar, Connor showed Alaric how well-wrapped and ready-to-detonate his bomb was. When Alaric told him to blow the joint – not literally – he did.
At school, a red cap-and-gowned Bonnie was stalked by Katherine, who wanted the immortality Bonnie had promised her. Bonnie said only Katsia knew that spell, and she was no where to be found. But Katherine was tantrum-y. “My shadow self is living a better life than me,” she aid. “So if I don’t get that immortality, I may have to just get rid of her all together.”
Elena, still not a school, told Damon they needed to talk. But first, he offered up a graduation present. The little vial containing the Cure. She told him she couldn’t. “Obviously I want it, but that’s the only one,” she said. “And the hunters have made it clear that they’ll kill everyone in Mystic Falls until they get it.” That’s when Jeremy showed up. He told her he loved her, no matter what she chose. As Damon tried to talk some sense into Elena, he flinched in pain. The knife Vaughn had stabbed him with was laced with werewolf venom. It wasn’t healing. It would kill him. “What about the Cure?” Elena said. If he took it, if he was human, the werewolf bite wouldn’t kill him. Damon asked her about her plan to save mankind.
Lexie needled Stefan about Elena, too. Stefan pointed out that Elena’s sire bond to Damon was gone. She knew now exactly how she felt. About Damon. And about him. “She’s the love of my life,” he said. “I’d go back to her in a heartbeat. But if that’s not how she feels, maybe that’s exactly what I need to hear to get my ass out the door.” He said he’d move to Australia, live in a yurt. They were about to drink to that, but Vaughn awoke again.
Just then, Damon came out, the Cure vial in hand, and threw it to Vaughn. “Come on,” he said. “We’re digging up Silas. You coming or not?”
He took the hunter to the falls, and told Vaughn that he’d dumped the body somewhere in the lake. “Guess I should have brought some scuba gear, huh?” Vaughn pondered the lake as Damon smirked. That’s when he noticed that Damon’s wound hadn’t healed, that the bullets had been laced with werewolf venom. “This is all a lie, eh? You knew you were a dead man.” He shot Damon a few more times, demanding he tell him where Silas was. “One more bullet and you’re a dead man.” Vaughn was just about to fire again when Alaric appeared, attacked, and tossed him into the lake. Damon was relieved, except for one thing. The Cure. Which, it turns out, Alaric had smartly grabbed before tossing Vaughn over.
Elena was freaking, but Stefan told her Damon was just stalling the hunters, that he’d be fine. Stefan would go to Klaus himself to ask him to heal the bite if he had to. Meanwhile, Jeremy said to Elena, “You’re going to your graduation. Mom and Dad would kill you if there wasn’t a photo of you in your graduation get-up.”
Caroline was calling everyone, too, reaming them out in phone messages. That’s when Matt, Stefan and Elena showed up. The old gang, reunited, in red caps and gowns. “We’re actually all here! We’re all here together!” Caroline waxed poetic on college roomie plans, and insisted on a group hug. Then the ceremony started, the bleachers filled with well-wishers, Bonnie’s dad on the stage, handing out diplomas. When it was her turn, she hugged him and thanked him. For everything.
As Elena’s name was called, Bonnie grinned. Until she heard that creepy British accent in her ear. Kol. “Greetings little witch,” he said. Then he pointed out all the walking dead sitting in the audience, ready for his cue. He told her that he didn’t want the veil to go back up. He wanted her to drop it completely, so he and his friends could live once more. “It’s time to pay the piper.” She told him the Kol she remembered was against hell on Earth. She took him to see her body. “I’m a ghost. I want what you want,” she said. “I want my parents to see me off to college, I want to decorate a dorm room with my best friends. I want to stay here, Kol, more than anything.”
But she couldn’t have that. And neither could she. She’d cast a spell, one to lock him there, in that room, till after the full moon. “We don’t always get what we want, do we?”
Alaric called Stefan, frantic. Damon refused to take the Cure. “We are past the point of hail Mary phone calls,” he said. “What do you want me to do? Stand here and watch him die? Or force feed him the Cure?”
Instead of answering, Stefan crumbled in pain. So did Caroline and Elena. It was the witches, now ghosts. And they were plenty mad. “Remember us, Caroline?” the head witch asked. That’s when Klaus showed up, flung a graduation cap so fast it sliced the witch’s head clean off. “Who’s next?” he asked. “I can do this all day.”
Back at the Salvatore manse, Elena smacked Damon, all healed up, “fresh as a daisy.” Then she went to go talk to Stefan. She thanked him. For never giving up on her. Then she handed him the vial with the Cure. “It’s yours. I want you to have it.” When he resisted, she said, “the only person worse at being a vampire than me is you. The rest of us will be fine. You deserve whatever you want out of life. You deserve this.”
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Alaric and Lexie eavesdropped. And talked about the other side. “You know there’s something else out there, right?” she said. “There has to be. Silas’s whole agenda was to find peace with his one true love. Whatever peace is, it’s out there.” She said they had to let go and move on. His take: “How are we supposed to do that when the knuckleheads we love can’t seem to keep their lives straight.
Caroline stood amongst the now-empty bleachers, satisfied with the world. She turned, Klaus waited. She asked how he’d gotten there so fast – but he was already on his way. He’d gotten her graduation announcement. “It’s very subtle,” he said. “I assume you’re expecting cash?” Certainly not the ticket to New Orleans he’d like to give her. So he had another gift. “Tyler is now free to return to Mystic Falls,” he said. “He’s your first love. I intend to be your last. However long it takes.” Then he kissed her goodbye. “Congratulations, Caroline.”
Stepping outside, Elena ran into Damon again. He said he wanted to apologize. But just like Damon, he wouldn’t. He wasn’t sorry. “You know what I really am? Selfish. Because yes, I’d rather die than be human. I’d rather die right now than spend a handful of years with you, only to lose you when I’m too old and sick and miserable. I’d rather die right now, than spend my last few years remembering how good I had it. There’s no apology in the world that encompasses all the reasons I’m wrong for you.” So she said she wasn’t sorry either. “I’m not sorry that I met you. That knowing you has made me question everything. I’m not sorry that I’m in love with you. I love you, Damon. I love you.” Seal that one with a kiss.
And of course, Stefan felt it. Deep down, in his centuries-old bones. In that old soul of his. Lexie held his hand, consoled him. But there was no getting over it.
Later, the brothers put the body in the car. Things were definitely awkward. “Hey Damon,” Stefan said. “I’m not happy about Elena. But I’m not ‘not happy’ for you, either. I just wanted you to know that.”
Jeremy went to go see Bonnie, who was preparing to close the veil. He was ready, and he wanted to be with Bonnie when it happened. What about Elena? He couldn’t say goodbye to her.
Alaric stared in to the distance, waiting. When Damon came by to offer a final drink, Alaric reminded him, “you got the girl, man. Now don’t screw it up.” Then he disappeared.
In the car, Lexie offered Stefan similar words of wisdom. “It’s time to start living your life.” But he asked her: “What if Elena was the one?” She told him: “Contrary to popular belief, there are actually multiple ones. Especially for vampires. Now go.” When he turned to tell her maybe he’d head to Portland, she was gone.
Elena looked for Bonnie, and for Jeremy. Instead, she found Kol, who attacked. “Well, well, speaking of unfinished business.” But before he could do any damage, he disappeared. But the same couldn’t be said for Katherine. And she was mad as hell.
Bonnie and Jeremy worked on the veil. But first, a last kiss. “There are a million things I wanted to say to you, but nothing seems right anymore,” he said, desperate to get the last words out. Then he convulsed in pain. “Oh my god,” she said. “It worked Jer. I didn’t think it would work.” She’d done a spell to bring him back. And the veil was up, but he was still there. “I’m alive,” he asked, and she smiled. She embraced him. But then he couldn’t feel her. She said it was okay. He could see ghosts. They could talk whenever he wanted. He needed to tell the others she was spending the summer with her mom, far away. “For the first time in forever, my friends are okay. I don’t want to take that from them. I’m going to be okay, I promise.” Then she walked away with Gram.
Rebekah went to see Matt. He was okay. She was okay. She told him no worry about their travel plans. “You and I,” he said, “this isn’t going to work. I need to keep my love life a low vampire zone, too. So whatever happens on the road, stays on the road. That little wedding town it Italy, don’t get any ideas.” Rebekah was shocked. “I do know it’s time I actually start living. And since you almost killed me, I think it’s your obligation to show me how.”
Katherine was trying to take her doppelganger out. She was really mad. “You have everything, and it’s not because you’re a good little girl who deserves happiness,” she said. “It’s because you stole mine.” Elena pointed out that Katherine had killed her brother. Amongst other things. Katherine admitted, “that was nasty. But I have nothing. And I’m about to change that.” Then she stabbed her in the neck with a stake.
Flashback to the moment with Stefan, when she handed him the Cure. He didn’t take it from her. It was hers. And it was her choice what she did with it.
So as Katherine stabbed and tortured her, she took it out of her pocket. Then she shoved it down Katherine’s throat. “Have a nice human life, Katherine,” she said, a satisfied smirk on her bloody face.
Stefan got to the quarry and unpacked Silas’s body. But it wasn’t his body at all, just a bag of rocks. “Don’t bother, I’m not there,” Elena said, appearing out of nowhere. Silas. “You were stone, I saw you, the spell worked.” Silas-as-Elena informed him that every spell had a loophole – and this one was bound by a witch. “A living witch. When that witch died, the spell broke.” Stefan tried to absorb this information, but Silas said it didn’t matter. “I created the immortality spell 2,000 years ago. I can never die. So nature needed to find a balance. A version of me that could die. A shadow self. A doppelganger.” So Stefan said, “This is finally your real face? Another one of them.” Not exactly. Silas-as-Elena’s reflection in the car window? Stefan. “Hello my shadow self.” Then he stabbed Stefan, whispering, “Do you have any idea what it’s like to starve for 2,000 years?” Then he tossed him in a box and into the quarry, where Stefan screamed in his watery grave.
"The Vampire Diaries" will return to the CW with Season 5 in September.
Juliette's world imploded, and so did Rayna's - she doesn't know it yet
With the first leg of their tour wrapped, Rayna was splitting her time between getting her label Highway 65 Records on track and making out with Deacon. She wasn't ready to tell her girls they were a couple yet, but had no problem bringing Uncle Deacon home for dinner. Needless to say, Teddy was pissed when he showed up and found Deacon and Maddie having a little singalong. Rayna firmly told Teddy to but out of her life, but also again confirmed Maddie would always be his daughter. Instead of trusting Rayna, Teddy served her with a temporary restraining order that demanded Deacon stay over 100 feet away from their girls. "I'm the mayor of this city," he smirked. "Trust me, it'll stick."
When Rayna called to tell Deacon about being served, Maddie overheard her say, "I love you." Rayna confirmed she was back with Deacon, but didn't answer Maddie's "adult" questions about their past.
Juliette was being squeezed by Dante, and not in a good way. Her scheming ex wanted $2 million for the sex tape he'd recorded. Her security guy wanted to get Dante locked up, but with the CMA nomination hanging over her, Juliette just wanted to sweep it under the rug and avoid a scandal. Unfortunately, Dante realized that and decided to up the price to $10 mil.
At the CMA run-through, Juliette and Rayna ran their lines and Juliette got annoyed with the insulting script. Then she diva'd out over bottled water. Rayna told her to grow up and act like a pro. Juliette sniffed that she'd be happy to once she received a bit of respect. "You gotta earn that," Rayna sighed, warning her that even if she won Best Artist, it wouldn't give her what she was looking for.
After that, Juliette decided not to pay Dante. She could pull together the money, but he'd probably ask for more. She was going let him sell the tape, but get in front of it by giving "The View" an exclusive interview.
"This way, he makes less money and the world just finds out what they already know," she shrugged. "I'm a train wreck."
Jolene felt responsible, in part because Juliette kept blaming her, and decided to handle it another way. She snorted some Oxy, threw back a drink and called Dante. She told him Juliette wasn't going to pay him, but she was willing to give him the $2 mil for the SD card. She cried about loving him and made it sound like he was on his side.
When he showed up for the exchange, she pulled out a gun and shot him!
Gunnar was playing the outlaw and building a reputation on his brother's songs, which left little time for sleep or Scarlett. Scarlett seemed to be fine with it, until he went on the radio and made it sound like he was a ladies' man. Scarlett reminded him why he'd walked away from his brother's lifestyle and sniffed that he didn't have to come to her big debut at the Grand Ole Opry if it wasn't "outlaw" enough. He promised to be there.
Scarlett's big debut had her listed with the likes of Darius Rucker, Vince Gill and Carrie Underwood. Will was hoping he'd also get on stage as Highway 65 Records's second new act and snuck into Rayna's top-secret tryouts. She hadn't seen anyone she liked, so she gave him a chance. The cowboy dropped his cocky hard sell approach and sang the quiet song "A Showman's Life." Rayna was hooked, though Will wasn't going to get to play the Opry just yet. Scarlett asked Will to return the favor by having a talk with Gunnar, so he showed up at Gunnar's grungy gig and tried to talk some sense to him. Gunnar told him to back off so he could finish his set and get to the Opry for Scarlett. That's when a patron got in Gunnar face about whether he'd really done time in prison or was just a poser. A fight ensued, landing the boys in the slammer.
While in lock up, Gunnar admitted he was lost and Will apologized for the kiss, revealing his father had kicked him out after catching him with a boy. Will still didn't understand those feelings. What he did know was that the only time he was happy was on stage, so he was going to be a country star, "no matter what." "Me too," Gunnar agreed.
Deacon escorted Scarlett to the Opry, where he introduced her to Steve Buchanan, real life Opry and CMA board president (and "Nashville" executive producer). He showed her to the Intro the Circle dressing room, which all first-timer's used. Overwhelmed, she called Gunnar, hoping to bring him backstage for support. He wasn't there, but Avery, who'd recently told Juliette he believed in love, was. He sent Scarlett a whisk for good luck, reminding the shy poet just how far she'd come since he'd helped her work on her performance anxiety in their kitchen. Avery grinned up at Scarlett from the audience and with Deacon backing her up, she earned a standing ovation.
Then she went to bail out her boys. She understood Gunnar was hurting over his brother's death, but couldn't stand by him the way he was acting. "I've tried to fix it and I can't," she told him. "I fell in love with you, not your brother."
Lamar wasn't paying attention during a meeting, so Tandy decided it was time to make her play. She called a board meeting to replace him. No one was fooled into thinking it was "pure concern" on Tandy's part, but they agreed it was time. As the official ousting got underway, however, Lamar strolled in and reclaimed his seat - literally and metaphorically - from Tandy.
Juliette was about to go on "The View" when her mother called, babbling incoherently. She rushed home and barely even noticed Dante on the floor as she ran to cradle her mother. Jolene had OD'ed on the couch. Juliette cried alone in the dark as the news reported the story of her mother's murder-suicide.
Rayna approached Lamar for her first favor since she was a teenager, and he was more than happy to take care of Teddy for her. After the judge sided with Rayna and rescinded the restraining order, she tried to make nice with Teddy. She once again promised she'd protect his relationship with Maddie. This time he believed her, but it was out of her hands. At home, Maddie went through her mother's hidden lockbox and found a paternity test.
"I don't think that my dad is my father," she cried to one of her girlfriends.
Find the 411 on the music in this episode on ABC's Nashville website.
"Nashville" airs on Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.
The Dunphys live road rage, Mitch gets evil, Jay and Gloria snoop
Manny (Rico Rodriguez) has a poetry reading. But his poems are in his backpack, which he thinks he left at the Dunphys'. He accepts a ride from Gloria (Sofia Vergara) and Jay (Ed O'Neill), even though it's dangerous because he doesn't want them aware of the reading. (He's exploring darker themes -- including poems entitled "The Umbilical Noose" and "Smother Nature.")
But wait. Pictionary is out, as are the guest soaps. And Claire's lipstick is on the wine glasses. A game night was had at Cam and Mitch's without an invite extended to Jay and Gloria. And not only were they not invited; they were made fun of. Jay notices a sketch of a pile of money and an outline of a voluptuous woman. This is too much. Jay retorts with a sketch of his own: a kiss and an ass. Gloria can't decipher it and she and Jay begin screaming at each other. Manny observes that the question isn't why they weren't invited to this game night, but why they are ever invited.
Manny discovers an envelope he forgot to give to his parents. It was the invitation to game night. But how can he tell them now, after he has just shamed them? Gloria the snoop figures it out, though, when she finds the invite planted back in Cam's bag. She also realizes that Manny has been hiding his poetry reading from them. Manny is an evil sneak. And she and Jay couldn't be happier to discover that their son is just like them.