I’ll be live blogging The Voice Blind Auditions right here!
Tonight’s best performances came from country singers Warren Stone and Holly Tucker. I expect them both to go far. Pop dork, Michelle Chamuel is interesting. But I have a feeling I’m going to either find her brilliant, or annoying, depending on where she goes from here.
There were an awful lot country singers on the tonight’s show. I suppose in order to prop up the “Adam must steal a country singer from Blake” narrative. Poor Julie Roberts. An obvious plant whose performance was so lackluster, none of the coaches bothered to spin their chairs. Ouch. I cut and uploaded her performance so you all could see and judge for your self. Do you think the coaches should have turned around?
The Swon Brothers – “American Girl” – These Oklahoma natives moved to Nashville and naively knocked on the doors of every label they could find. The two are a tight pop country duo. And they also seem very very familiar. Oh. My twitter feed tells me that Colton Swon was on American Idol Season 7. He was cut right before the Top 24. It’s all coming back to me now. Zach, the older of the two brothers and kind of a pudgy, ordinary looking guy, jokes that he’s the talent and that cute, younger brother, Colton is the face. Shakira, Usher and Blake turn their chairs around. Blake drops the Oklahoma card, the girl card, “We could have some fun together,” she teases. They choose Team Blake.
Taylor Beckham – “I’m Going Down” – She’s was an Olympic-bound gymnast when she was a kid, but when she realized her heart wasn’t in it, singing took over. SHE’S ONLY 17! OMG! She’s got a big soulful voice, but she sings like a kid. She hasn’t lived enough to connect to grown up emotions. Usher turns around immediately. Then Shakira. Usher notes her obvious nerves, but feels that she still managed to sell the song. Shakira and Usher duke it out! Shakira says she’s been where Taylor has been and would be a great mentor. Ultimately, though, Taylor chooses Team Usher. Shakira is disappointed. She does the evil eye pointy thing in Usher’s direction, and she is a little scary!
Sam Alves – “Feeling Good” – He’s from Brazil. He was literally dropped off on someones doorstep by his biological parents, with a note pinned to him. When he was 4, the family moved to the US. Eventually, Dad took off. Now Sam feels responsible for taking care of his mom. Oh, this song choice. NO NO NOOOOO. He’s not bad, but he’s not doing this classic song justice. Too many great singers have covered it. And it’s so played out on these singing shows at this point. The coaches sit and listen. But nobody turns around. Aw. Mom is crying backstage. He wasn’t special or perfect, but he wasn’t terrible either. I’m surprised he didn’t get at least one coach to turn around. He would have been better off with a different song, choice.
Karina Iglesias – “I’m The Only One” – She teaches at a Miami music school for kids. Grandma had a stroke and brought brought her all the way to Hollywood. That’s not an easy trip for someone in her condition. Karina covers the Melissa Ethridge hit, throwing a little Spanish in the middle. She’s got a powerful rock tinged voice, but is a bit of a Shouty McShouterson. The coaches hold out til the last minute. Finally, Adam and Blake turn around after daring each other. Shakira didn’t realize she was Latina EVEN THOUGH SHE SANG IN SPANISH. She immediately regrets not turning her chair. Adam and Blake were both impressed with her energy and power. She chooses Team Adam. Not surprised. Shes been a fan since the beginning of the show. At the end, Adam and Blake hug it out!
Garrett Gardner – Seven Nation Army – Garrett auditioned for Season 3, but the coaches didn’t turn around for him. He’s only a high school student. After some constructive criticism, from the coaches,–which he took to heart– he’s back and better than last year. He’s got a super raspy voice that he still pushes too hard. In this setting, it sounds really unpleasant. He might do better fronting a rock band. This time, Sharkira turns around for him. Adam recognizes Garrett the minute he sets eyes on him. He feels he’s improved (even if he didn’t turn around for him.) Shakira was pissed when nobody turned around for him last season, so his improved singing didn’t really make a difference to her. Garrett thanks Blake for his great advice last time. Garrett is on Team Shakira.
J’sun also ends up on Shakira’s team. Duncan, a Hawaiian folks singer, ends up with Adam. Chelsea M landed on Usher’s team
Holly Tucker – “To Make You Feel My Love” – Holly plays in the Baylor marching band, but her real love is singing singing country music. Her entire family sings together. They have a little act that they take on the road. Whoa. Adam, Shakira and Usher turn around IMMEDIATELY. Blake soon follows. I wouldn’t call what she sings, “country” exactly. It’s adult contemporary balladry with a country flavor. She possesses a beautiful tone and great control. She insists that she loves country when Adam asks. He believes she could blow any genre out of the water. Usher promises he’ll nurture her talent. Shakira was moved by her honest performance. The 3 coaches try to roadblock Blake! Blake explains why he was the last to hit his button. Because he was trying to listen while “Gusher” was yapping in his ear. Finally, Holly chooses Blake Shelton. Of course. Someday…Adam swears he’ll steal a country artist from Blake.
Now, a montage of singers who didn’t make a team. La la la.
Landon Medvec – “You Give Me Something” – Currently, he’s a professional mover. He’s got the same raspy quality as James Morrison, but he’s like a poor man’s version of the singer. The comparisons here are inevitable. Nobody turned around. Totally wrong song choice. Usher and Blake thought Ladon was a girl. WHAT? He didn’t sound like a girl. Adam felt he was too much of a knock off of James Morrison. If he comes back, Shakira suggests he try a different song.
Michelle Chamuel – “I Kissed a Girl” – She’s a nerd and an introvert. She plays in a band called Ella Riot, as in Ella Fitzgerald. Michelle is brainy, dorky and a plain Jane. And she doesn’t have a great voice–it’s thin and has way too much vibrato–but there is something about her that’s really compelling. She’s a dork/pop princess. She’s the kind of quirky contestant that The Voice coaches eat right up. Adam turns around immediately. Shakira is next. And finally, Usher. Shakira thinks she’s spectacular and sees the rock chick inside of her. Actually, their voices are kind of similar–particularly that quavering vibrato. Adam loves her fierce quality. Usher is really impressed. Michele quizzes the judges. How would they help nurture her talent? Usher turns the tables and asks where Michelle sees herself fitting in musically. She describes her genre as alternative electronic pop. She knows who she is. Ultimately, she chooses Team Usher.
Julie Roberts – “God Gave Me You” – She’s from Nashville, and was a receptionist at the label that eventually signed her. She released an album that went gold. Oh. There’s Julie on The Tonight Show! The second record didn’t do as well. She was dropped from her label the same week as the Nashville flood. Her family lost everything. Oh no. She also has MS. Heartbreak city. Considering she had a major label deal at one point, I’m really surprised by this performance. It’s not that great. Her phrasing and vocals are really strange and off-putting. There’s a disconnect with the song–an emotional love ballad that’s a Blake original. NOBODY TURNS AROUND. And I’m not surprised. She’s a plant with a prior record deal and nobody turned around. How embarrassing. Blake immediately recognizes her when he turns his chair, and feels instantly bad. But he admits, pretty much, that he didn’t care for her interpretation of the song. That’s the risk a contestant takes when the choose to sing one of the coach’s songs.
Monique Abbadie – “Loca” – She was a regular performer on Sabado Gigante when she was just a kid. For those of you who don’t know the show is HUGELY popular Spanish language variety show that airs on Univision on Saturday nights. Monique’s family is from Cuba. After her run on the show ended, Monique fell into a depression. These days, she works with her Dad in his exporting business, but her heart belongs to show biz. She’s got a big shouty voice, and still has that aura of “kid star” around her Not pageanty exactly, but like a child who is play acting. She’s got a great tone and musicality and she’s very energetic. Definitely potential there. Blake turns around immediately. But eventually, all 4 coaches spin their chairs for her. She cries when she finishes her performance. Blake isn’t going to waste her time, because he knows she’ll choose Shakira. In face, the entire team pretty much hand her over to Shakira without a fight. And of course, she chooses Team Shakira.
Warren Stone – “Colder Weather” – Dude is a firefighter and divorced Dad. He’s been singing country music for 13 years. This audition feels like his last chance to be heard and man, he sings his heart out. Warren’s got something really special. Not only a beautiful voice, but a natural ability to tell a story. I believed every single word he sang. He’s got the potential to be a country star. Adam turns around immediately. Shakira and Usher are next, and then finally Blake. Adam and Usher try to wrest him away from Blake. They figure the country singer will pick the country coach. Blake reminds Warren that country is a hard genre to break into and that HE’S got the connections in Nashville. Shakira feels she can mentor him, because talent is talent. Adam urges him to be adventurous. Whoa. Warren the country singer picks Team Adam. Adam rubs Blake’s nose in it, of course. I think Warren was impressed that Adam turned around first and was very enthusiastic and determined to be his champion.