I greatly enjoyed the two week opening round of the Voice, and apparently I’m not the only one!  The show attracted over 12 million viewers in it’s second week, making it a legitimate American Idol contender especially amongst older viewers.  This week the show aired at 10 PM on the east coast, making it a part of the latest prime time slot.  Hopefully that doesn’t harm it too much in the ratings, because I’d love to see more of this one!

As you might remember, over the past two weeks the coaches selected their 8 person mega singing team.  Now it was time to take those teams down to 4, and they decided to do it by way of duets.  At first I thought this was a terrible idea, the producer in me was screaming that duets are all about working together.  I am okay with admitting that I was wrong.  They weren’t really duets as much as singing duels but man were they fun!  Each one was set up with a professional wrestling style introduction and the stage was even a wrestling ring ropes and all.  Pretty awesome!  The contestants who tried to work well with their competition were rewarded, but only if they were able to distinguish themselves.  It made for very interesting television.

Keeping with it’s signature attention to the competition process, the show featured a nice build-up to each performance.  It provided a time to get to know the competitors while also seeing the coaches and their friends.  Friends this week included Monica and Reba McEntire, who has apparently taken the Steven Tyler route to looking like an alien.  Like the coaches, they were a part of making the decisions of who should stay and who should go.  It was neat, but I didn’t find that it brought much to the show as a whole because the coaches already have such interesting personalities.  Give me more Cee Lo NBC!

As for the duets themselves, they all certainly had their charms!  Former Idol Frenchie Davis advanced to the next round with her subtle yet effective performance of “Single Ladies.”  This one wasn’t so much determined by her performance as her competitor”s, it seemed the she was more concerned with hitting ridiculous notes than actually singing the song.  Christina Aguilera was not fooled.  Blake Shelton had a tougher decision with his duet.  Cowboy Patrick Thomas and sharp dressing Tyler Robinson both sang their Elvis cover with skill and style, but Blake went with the more country Tyler.  They were both great, but I think Tyler could have had a great future if he had been a part of Cee-Lo’s team.  That’s the breaks!

Cee Lo Green Team Member Vicci Martinez

Adam Levine’s duet was the only one that paired a guy and a girl, and Casey Weston took it easily with her dead on Stevie Nicks sound.  Last but certainly not least, Cee Lo picked Niki Dawson and Vicci Martinez to perform the latest Pink joint.  Vicci was one of the few voices that I remembered from the first week, as her performance of Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” was one of the best that I caught.  Both ladies sang this song with their own flare and really worked together to make it a powerful performance.  Since their singing was so strong, it really came down to style and uniqueness.  There Vicci took the prize, but don’t be surprised if it isn’t the last you hear of Niki Dawson.

When it all was said and done I found myself enjoying The Voice yet again.  The show packed a lot into an hour, and there was never a time when I felt like the show was wasting my time with silly drama or ridiculous product placement.  It’s all about what it should be about – singing.  And man, they all did that really well.  Unlike most of their Idol counterparts, these folks know how to harmonize with each other.  That counts for a lot in my book.  I can’t wait to see what happens next week!

Keep it up NBC!

Related – The Voice Premiere on NBC

Follow the Prophet of Pop on Twitter and on Facebook!

More from Beliefnet and our partners