Here's a riddle: What goes on for months but feels like it began only yesterday? The Voice. Awesome riddle, huh? Found it printed on a popsicle stick. The top eight sang their little hearts out Monday night. Coaches Cee Lo Green, Christina Aguilera, Adam Levine, and Blake Shelton offered brutal criticism. And by "offered brutal criticism" I mean "smothered every competitor with compliments." Carson Daly kept time. There weren't any Janet/Michael medleys, but I managed.
Here are my thoughts regarding the eight remaining vocalists:
James Wolpert singing "Somebody To Love": This was crazy impressive. Adam was really proud of his idea to put James and James's backup singers in tuxedos. Okay. I don't know what inspired that choice, but do what you want, Adam. The song felt like it lasted 25 minutes, but not because it dragged on. It took me on a journey. So much happened in so little time. It was great.
Tessanne Chin singing "Underneath It All": Totally different performance for Tessanne, but it was a cool move for her. The vibe was sunny and cheery and bright. It didn't hurt that she was wearing a bright yellow jacket. She used every nook and cranny of the song to show off different dimensions of her voice. Xtina said Tessanne "tapped into her truth," and I'm always happy when Xtina gets New Agey on us.
Will Champlin singing "At Last": This was really something. He WENT for it without forcing any part of the performance. It was one of the more epic performances of the season. Xtina said, "My spirit lives in that song," and she told Will he did "a tremendous job." He DID.
TEAM CEE LO
Caroline Pennell singing "The Dog Days Are Over": This was good. While a Florence and the Machine song seemed like an obvious choice for twee Caroline, it wasn't necessarily a natural fit for her voice. BUT! It made for an interesting performance. She didn't sound like someone trying to emulate Florence Welch. She sounded like Caroline. Slight issue: The backup vocalists' microphones were a little too loud, so it was kind of hard to hear Caroline's softer moments.
Ray Boudreaux singing "Give Me Some Lovin'": He gave us energetic, swampy soul. I liked it, but it wasn't my favorite. It just didn't stick with me like some of the others did.
Cole Vosbury singing "I Still Believe In You": This was beautiful. It was simple yet full of feelings. I've said it before, and I'm sticking to it: Cole's voice sounds like Sugar In The Raw. That raspy sugar tone! What a magician.
Matthew Schuler singing "It's Time": It's time for truth time! I can't deal with any more Imagine Dragons songs. There. I said it. I guess this was fine. I don't know. Matthew's been bringing it home week after week, but this was fairly underwhelming. Bright side: Xtina brought in some backup dancers/marchers/stompers, and that was a fun choice.
Jacquie Lee singing "Who's Loving You": Shut it down, everyone. Close down the shops. Get the sandbags. Tape the windows. A storm is a-brewin'. Her name is Jacquie, and she's about to annihilate everything in sight.
HIGHLIGHT OF THE NIGHT
Cee Lo wrote a bizarre poem for Caroline. He read said bizarre poem on live television. I don't know why I'll ever watch TV again, because nothing will surpass Cee Lo reading a bizarre poem on live television to twee Caroline Pennell.
Image: Tyler Golden/NBC