Juliet Simms and Jamar Rogers
Lewis Jacobs/NBC (2)
Adam Levine and Cee Lo Green's teams took the stage on The Voice
Monday, and as Levine told host Carson Daly before the show, "It was pretty evident that we had our work cut out for us" after strong showings
by Christina Aguilera
and Blake Shelton
's teams last week.
The testy relationship between Levine and Aguilera, who squabbled back and forth
on last week's show, continued. But one thing all the judges agreed on was the power of one contestant, who emerged as a frontrunner.
Keep reading to find out whose performance was "the best so far," according to Levine.
Team Cee Lo's Juliet Simms, 26, used her gravelly voice to put a soulful spin on The Police's "Roxanne" – and she earned a standing ovation from Green and Aguilera, as well as the audience.
"Well, this just pisses me right off," Levine told her. "I really wanted you on my team. ... You're the best performance I've seen so far. As much as I hate having to admit that, that is the truth."
"I'm jealous of this one," Aguilera agreed.
And Green summed up the performance with one word: "Wow."
Faring less well was Kim Yarbrough, whose decision to take on Adele
's "Rollin' in the Deep" was met with skepticism by all of the judges, including her mentor, Levine.
"You are an unbelievable singer," Levine said after the performance. "But, I'd be remiss if I didn't say that there were some problems."
Also receiving tepid praise was Team Adam's Karla Davis, whose choice of B.O.B.'s "Airplanes" was called "the biggest surprise of the night" by Aguilera.
"There was breathiness and there were some nerves, and I heard those and I felt those. So, you could have been better," Levine admitted.
The judges also found plenty to disagree about.
Aguilera and Levine had a tense exchange after Aguilera criticized her former Mouseketeer colleague
Tony Lucca's performance of Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes."
"I thought that was a good performance," Aguilera said. "I just find you to be very one-dimensional. ... I would love to see, if you make it past this point, where you would grow from this stage."
"That was honest," Levine sniped afterwards, before telling his protégé: "I really gave you a huge challenge. ... I'm so proud of you."
James Massone, from Team Cee Lo, made a bold choice to perform Norah Jones's "Don't Know Why," solidifying himself as this season's heartthrob as he pandered to the female audience members.
"I almost threw my panties on the stage just now," Shelton told him after the performance.
And Jamar Rogers, also from Team Cee Lo, brought the house down with his take on Lenny Kravitz's "Are You Gonna Go My Way?" to close out the evening.
"You embody what this show is with what you just did," Levine told him.