Christmas came early for "Voice" fans, not to mention for Muppets fans, on October 10, when "Voice" coach Cee Lo Green taped his "Cee Lo & Friends" holiday special at Las Vegas's Planet Hollywood resort and brought out some very special friends indeed. In fact, it was practically a Christmas miracle when a whopping 20 Team Cee Lo contestants, along with the legendary and beloved Muppets, joined Cee Lo onstage for a massive group singalong of "All I Need Is Love," an original track from his forthcoming Christmas album, Cee Lo Green's Magic Moment.
True to his word, Cee Lo gave several of his past "Voice" cronies a chance to shine on this not-so-silent night. First Season 2's Jamar Rogers and James Massone joined him for a rousingly soulful version of "This Christmas," followed by their Season 2 castmate Tony Vincent--a veteran of the musicals American Idiot and We Will Rock You--who fully tapped into his theatrical experience for a wonderfully campy "You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch," augmented by rave-style laserbeams and a Phantom-masked live DJ.
Niki Dawson, James Massone, Tony Vincent, Cee Lo Green, and Vicci Martinez in Vegas (photo: Twitter)
The spirit-of-Christmas camaraderie between all of "The Voice" alums was definitely a cheerful sight, especially considering that many of these contestants from different seasons had never even met before. Nakia and Tony in particular seemed to have become fast friends, clad in matching red holiday-wear and joking and socializing with fans before the show:
In addition to the "Voice" and Muppet cameos, world-class crooner Rod Stewart dueted with Cee Lo on "Merry Christmas Baby," and soul star Eric Benet was a surprise guest on "Silent Night." And at the end of the revue, the entire "Voice" cast, along with a few scantily-feathered showgirls, hit the stage again for a finale of Cee Lo's not-exactly-Christmassy "F*** You." But it was the censored version, of course, and really, "Cee Lo & Friends" was a surprisingly tame and traditional affair, heavy on perennial-favorite carols and brimming with tidings of comfort and joy. Cee Lo's above-mentioned "S&M store" comment was really the only PG-13 eyebrow-raiser of the night, so rest assured that when the full "Cee Lo & Friends" special airs on television later, it'll be suitable viewing for the entire family--just as "The Muppets" and "The Voice" have always been.on hiatus from "The Voice") or of the Magic Moment album, which comes out October 30. It was also a fundraiser for the charity Keep Memory Alive, which benefits the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center For Brain Health. The concert special will premiere November 30 on the TV Guide network and on the Warner Sound's YouTube channel, with portions of the show airing on "The Voice" as well. It'll be the musical gift that keeps on giving!
Here is the setlist from "Cee Lo & Friends":
"Santa Claus Is Coming To Town"
"This Christmas" (with Jamar Rogers & James Massone)
"What Christmas Means To Me"
"The Christmas Song" (dedicated to audience members Kermit & Miss Piggy, who were celebrating their anniversary)
"You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch" (with Tony Vincent)
"Run Run Rudolph" (with Nakia)
"Merry Christmas Baby" (with Rod Stewart)
"River" (with Vicci Martinez & Niki Dawson)
"Mary, Did You Know?"
"Silent Night" (with Eric Benet)
"All I Need Is Love" (with The Muppets & "Voice" contestants)
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