'The Voice' Season 5 Recap: Contestants Keep Shinin' Bright Like Diamonds

This morning, I googled "will the government shutdown impact The Voice?" with shaking hands and panicked eyes. I was overcome with relief when I read that my beloved singing competition reality show has nothing to do with the shutdown. The show would go on! As of Monday night, the team numbers are as follows: Adam Levine, Cee Lo Green, and Blake Shelton each have seven singers, whereas Christina Aguilera has eight. So close to the Battle Rounds, yet so far. Let's keep trucking along.

Eh, not so fast, Rohwedder. The shutdown got me after all! Due to technical issues, I missed the first 40 minutes of the episode. I have no clue as to what went down. You could tell me that Adam looked directly into the camera and professed his undying love for me, and I might believe you.

The highlights of the night:

  • Jennifer Newberry didn't inspire any button hits, but the old photograph of her in traditional Saint Lucia Day wear was my favorite thing ever. I was immediately reminded of my childhood literary hero Kirsten Larson, and my heart was full.
  • Last season, no chairs turned for James Irwin or his green eyes, but he's back! This time around fared better for James; all of the coaches justifiably spun around for his stellar performance of "Losing My Religion." He is the first return contestant to receive a four chair spin, a genuine "never give up on your dreams" teachable moment. This show is all about dreams. Speaking of dreams, James went with Team Adam, which is the dream to end all dreams.
  • Before country singer Olivia Henken even began "Two Black Cadillacs," Blake yelled out from behind his chair, "be good, whoever you are!" Is Blake into some New Age stuff? He put that out into the universe, and BAM! Olivia was solid enough to inspire Xtina and Cee Lo to slam their buttons for her. Hey, Blake! Can you use your magic to make some snickerdoodle cookies appear in my kitchen?
  • Teen Jason Kertson's rendition of "Lips Of An Angel" didn't win any coaches over, but all four were shocked to see the baby face behind that deep voice. As Adam said, "There's a 16 year old who sounds like more of a man than I ever will." Side note: check out the Kidz Bop version of the song. Nothing is worse/better than children singing about an emotional affair!
  • As soon as Ashley Dubose began "Diamonds," I gasped with delight. The song is sacred to me, and Ashley crushed it into brilliant, diamond-esque smithereens. I assume she channeled her power from the Rihanna talons she was sporting. I, like Xtina, was waiting for something to go wrong (because RiRi songs are deceptively tough), but Murphy's Law was no where to be found. When she hit that note transitioning from the bridge into the chorus, the coaches knew what they had to do. All four spun around for her. Cee Lo and Xtina couldn't stop grooving during her performance, but that wasn't enough to deter her from choosing Adam.
  • After Justin Chain's rendition of "She's Country," new coach (and shirt twin) Blake commented, "I'm inbred and everything." Uh, what?
  • I wish we saw more of Amber Nicole's "Russian Roulette". The brief clip was enough to pique my curioisty, but then coach Xtina said, "I'm a little jealous of your range." Okay, AMBER. Way to get the best compliment in the history of compliments.

Final thoughts: was Cee Lo's head tattoo melting? I think his head tattoo was melting. Next week, we must finish the Blind Auditions and mentally prep for the Battle Rounds. Bracing myself now.

Photo: NBC