'The Voice' top 4 perform: Sweet homecomings
Terry and Nicholas step up their game amid touching family reunions
By John Kubicek
And then there were four. "The Voice" heads into the semifinals of Season 3 with a clear divide: Team Cee Lo vs. Team Blake. Trevin Hunte and Nicholas David are still standing for Cee Lo Green, while Terry McDermott and Cassadee Pope can both make Blake Shelton a repeat winner. Christina Aguilera and Adam Levine are left on the sidelines to muse about the cost of wigs and pre-torn T-shirts.
Will we see one coach land two singers in the finale, or will it be a heads-up battle? And more importantly, what will we do with that extra hour Monday nights, since "The Voice" is half its usual time? Will we stay tuned to watch Howie Mandel's new white elephant/Yankee swap/nasty Christmas show? Or will we flip the channel to catch the final episodes of "Gossip Girl"?
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This is "The Voice"!
Wardrobe Watch: Adam and Blake are looking dapper in suits and ties. Damn, Adam Levine cleans up nicely. Xtina has some weird two-face dress on, and Cee Lo is in a T-shirt. C'mon, Cee Lo, step it up.
There will be three singers in the finale; only one person is going home tomorrow. So I guess it won't be just one team at the end.
We kick things off with a Michael Bublé performance to help promote his Christmas special, airing at 10 p.m. this night. Thank you, Michael Bublé, for giving our aunts someone to lust over while enjoying their boxes of wine.
After talking to the coaches, Carson Daly takes a moment to honor the late Jenni Rivera, who was a coach on the Mexican version of "The Voice." Carson is a class act.
Trevin Hunte: "Wind Beneath My Wings" by Bette Midler
The final four are going back home for sweet family reunions. I'm distracted by Trevin's dad. Trevin goes to his school to inspire the kids, imparting to them that he was once told he wouldn't succeed. The song choice is definitely driving home his entire theme as a contestant, complete with his dedicating it to the kids at his school. If you're into this whole inspirational storyline the show has cultivated for him, then this is right up your alley. Otherwise, it's just more of the same. Yes, his voice is amazing, but I can't imagine people would be rushing to their computers to buy his album on iTunes.
Xtina mentions how she used to sing this song at weddings and talent competitions when she was a kid. That's where this song belongs.
Howie Mandel is in the audience, dressed like Cee Lo Green and hyping his new game show, "Take It All," as if it were the best thing that ever existed.
Nicholas David: "You Are So Beautiful" by Joe Cocker
His homecoming with his adorable kids melts my heart. He goes with his pregnant wife for a checkup to hear his new baby's heartbeat. Dang it, he's making me like him. It seems Team Cee Lo's song choices are designed to tug at viewers' heartstrings. Nicholas gets very choked up during the song, and it causes him to break a little bit, but it adds a lot to the performance. He sings directly to his family, and near-constant cutaways to them is a bit of overkill. The best part is that his son just doesn't care at all and is fussy in his wife's arms.
Christina Milian time
She chats with Michael Bublé, who tells us that he got Blake a Snuggie and vodka for Christmas. Those are the best presents ever.
Team Blake's "White Christmas"
Blake Shelton reunites with his entire team to perform this classic from his new Christmas album. I desperately try to remember who most of these people are. Hey, it's Fat Criss Angel (aka Rudy Parris)! And, of course, Michaela Paige's faux-hawk! And about half a dozen failed country gals.
Cassadee Pope: "Stupid Boy" by Keith Urban
Cassadee's homecoming is just kind of OK, as she heads to Florida with her mom and her boyfriend. But her performance is far more than just OK. Blake clearly wants her to win, because this is a perfect song for her. It fits into that country/pop/rock genre she does so well. It's sweet, tender, fierce, emotional and everything I've grown to love about this girl.
Blake defends picking country songs for her by explaining that she connects with lyrics better than anyone else, and Blake happens to know a lot of country songs with the kind of powerful lyrics that Cassadee can perform so well. That's a well-reasoned defense of him turning this pop/rock girl into a country darling.
Terry McDermott: "Let It Be" by the Beatles
His homecoming is just plain cool. His son doesn't know he's coming back, and Terry surprises him while his son and wife are making a gingerbread house. The kid's reaction ("Oh my gosh") is priceless. Then there's another shock, as Terry's aunt and uncle fly over from Scotland to surprise him.
In terms of song choice, I don't think he could've picked one more perfect. Seriously, this is perhaps the most universally beloved song. He gets his big rock star moment, but the whole thing is just like a great, big, warm hug.
So that does it. Tomorrow night one person goes home. I'm hoping it's Trevin.
"The Voice" airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.
Nicolas David , My husband picked him from the beginning. "Hey Ceelo, sure would like to hear some Boz Scaggs from Nicolas,