UPDATE: Download studio versions of the auditions at iTunes HERE.
Tonight is the premiere of The Voice on NBC! We’ll be live blogging it here so come join in the fun and discuss! What will Carson Daly come up with for a catchphrase? What
judge coach phrases will we be setting our drinking games to? It’s all after the jump.
We start off with Carson Daly introducing our judges, Cee Lo Green, Blake Shelton, Adam Levine of Maroon 5, and Christina Aguilera. Now they’re performing “Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley. Somewhere, all the Idol contestants who’ve wanted to sing that song on American Idol are singing a more recent Cee Lo Green hit to Gnarls Barkley for not clearing it!
Ruh roh. Carson Daly just stole Randy Jackson’s “THAT is how you do it!!” line. Now the
judges coaches are discussing what they’re looking for (platitudes) while Carson Daly explains the process of the show. The process: auditioners perform for the four coaches who are in big red chairs and can’t see them. If a coach likes them enough to want them on his or her team of 8 then she or he will press the big red button and be launched into space which will result in his or her chair being turned around. If more than one coach turns around then the contestant gets to pick which coach to work with. The coach will work with his or her team, then cut it down from 8 to 4 in the Battle round that pits 2 contestants per team against each other singing the same song with only one of them getting through (coach’s pick). Then we get live performance rounds where America votes!
The prize: a record deal with Universal Republic, part of Universal Music Group.
Our first intro is to Tarralyn Ramsey, 31. She says she’s there because this is her last chance. She’s singing a melismatic version of Faith Hill’s “Breathe”. She’s oversinging it a little and straining a little when she belts. But she has a powerful voice and a nice head voice. Christina is the 1st to turn around, then Cee Lo. Christina says she heard the nerves at first but really felt her after that. Cee Lo dittos that. Adam jokes that he didn’t turn around because he’s jealous that she’s a better singer than he is, and Blake jokes that he didn’t turn around that she would never pick him over Christina and Cee Lo. – VIDEO
Tarralyn cries over the chance to work with Christina, and picks her. Hugs!
Next up is Patrick Thomas, 20 from Nashville. His sob story: he was bullied when he was a kid. He was never very athletic and was picked on for preferring to sing. He is singing “Live Like You Were Dying” by Tim McGraw. Adam and Cee Lo turn around pretty quickly. Blake turns around when he gets to the chorus. Patrick has a nice voice. Cee Lo says that he was the 1st to turn around because Patrick had the strongest entrance. Christina says he’s a cutie and asks him to take his hat off, and then jokingly asks him to take his pants off. Patrick does not comply. She says she didn’t turn around because she felt like she was out of her genre with him and he had other options. Adam says that he knows that he might not be Patrick’s 1st choice leading to some jabs between him and Blake. Adam tells Blake that if Blake weren’t 6’5″ Adam would kick his a**. These two trash talking is kind of fun. For now. Blake tells Patrick that the only reason that Adam and Cee Lo only hit their buttons because they knew Blake would want him. Then he says that he’s the guy with the country connections to make things happen for Patrick. – VIDEO
Patrick tries to be diplomatic but chooses the obvious, Blake, for the country connections. Blake taunts the other judges and then goes over to hug Patrick.
Carson Daly reveals that they went on a search and only invited back the best talent they could find. No deliberately bad auditions on the show tonight!
Jared Blake‘s next. His story is the redeemed bad boy. He has 6 kids. He’s doing a rocked up version of Cobra Starship’s “Good Girls Go Bad”. Christina seems to be agonizing. Nobody turns around! Adam said he started out great and faded. Blake said that he was ready to turn around but didn’t end up liking the song for him. – VIDEO
Vicci Martinez, 26 is from Tacoma Washington. Her hardest challenge was coming out to her very religious family. Her father passed 5 years ago and they had made peace with each other by then. She’s singing Adele’s “Rolling In The Deep” and has an interesting tone to her voice, a raspy rock/soul. She’s a little shaky on some of the high notes but she’s fighting for it. The emotions are definitely there. The judges are all looking at each other kind to see if the others are going to turn. Christina and Cee Lo turn around. Christina loves how she sang it and Cee Lo loves how she fought for it especially after they turned around. Vicci chooses Cee Lo because she liked that he talked about her singing from the heart. – VIDEO
Adam doesn’t have anybody on his team yet. He says he’s waiting to be blown away.
Josh and Nicole are Elenowen from Nashville. They’re a good looking married duo who sings folk/pop and they live in her parents’ basement.
Sonia Rao, 24, wants to prove to her Indian immigant parents that she can sing for a career. She doesn’t have a back up plan. She’s singing Alicia Keys’s “If I Ain’t Got You”. Her parents are really proud of her. Cee Lo was THIS close to pushing the button didn’t. He kicks himself when he sees her because she’s gorgeous. Christina said she wanted some more intent and passion but the road doesn’t stop here for her. – VIDEO
Elenowen is singing “Falling Slowly” by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova. Solid harmonies but occasional pitch problems. Josh has a pretty weak head voice. The judges are all shocked to hear 2 voices when Josh starts singing after Nicole. Blake turns around because he wants to see what it’s about. Cee Lo turns around too. Christina talks about how cute they are and the judges learn that they are a married couple. Nicole asks Cee Lo and Blake each what they want to bring out in the couple. Good question! Cee Lo talks about their sound. Blake says he knows all about how hard it is to maintain and nurture a couple’s relationship in this business and he wants to protect that in them.
Nicole tells Josh that he’s the leader and has to choose. Uh. Why? Cool points lost. We’ll find out who they picked…..after the break! – VIDEO
Elenowen chooses Blake!
Frenchie Davis, 31 is from LA and a contestant disqualified from season 2 of American Idol. She’s singing “I Kissed A Girl” by Katy Perry. She’s inconsistent hitting the high notes but she’s got a great lower register. Christina lets her get through about 2/3 of the song before turning around. Frenchie’s SO excited when she does. Cee Lo recognizes her and comments on how she just won’t give up. Blake says he thinks Frenchie and Christina will make a great team. – VIDEO
Adam still doesn’t have anybody on his team! Blake and Christina have 2 acts apiece, and Cee Lo has 1.
Kelsey Rey, 20 wants to be known for more than her good looks. She has youtube videos that got her hits and friend requests from European men. OK then. She’s singing “American Boy” by Estelle. Doing a pretty good job. Not the biggest voice but she’s in tune and has pretty good control. Christina warns her against Cee Lo because he’ll hit on her. LOLZ. She picks Cee Lo anyway after complimenting all 3 judges who turned around. What, no love for Blake? ;) Not the most sympathetic of backstories. – VIDEO
Jeff Jenkins, 22 is from Jones Creek, Texas and sings for his mother, who passed away. He wants to be a voice for the fighters. This will be the first time that she won’t be there live for a performance of his. He’s singing “Bless The Broken Road” by Rascal Flatts. Strong voice, lots of melisma a la Gary LeVox of Rascal Flatts. Adam and Cee Lo turn around quickly. Christina waits awhile. Jeff’s dad jokes that Blake’s playing hard to get. Blake does turn around. This is the 1st person to get all 4 judges turned around!! They all fight for him, Blake says he’s not even sure country is this guy’s thing. WTF Adam’s never heard that song? Adam’s fighting for him, Christina compliments the way he handled the ad libs. Jeff goes with Adam. Christina gives him the evil eye. He says he thought he’d go with Blake or Christina but something about the way Adam wanted to work with him changed his mind. – VIDEO
Rebecca Loebe lives in her car. She’s singing Nirvana’s “Come As You Are” as a torchy, stylized ballad. She’s got a very good voice, nice tone, good power, really good control. Christina turns around 1st, then Adam. Adam and Christina fight for her. Adam really felt what she was doing. Christina snarks on how Adam’s going to campaign again after she’s done talking. She loves the artistry that Rebecca showed and was almost envious she hadn’t thought of doing that with the song first. Sure enough Adam says again he’d just love to nurture what Rebecca’s got.
Rebecca tells Christina she loves her and will never forget that she was the 1st coach to turn around for her, and that she’s really beautiful. She picks Adam because his career is more of what Rebecca’s aiming for. – VIDEO
Joann Rizzo from Freehold, New Jersey is 56 and has QUITE the New Joisey accent. She’s singing “Say A Little Prayer” by Aretha Franklin. She has a kind of thin voice but she’s in tune. Christina and Adam think about it but nobody turns around. They all compliment her performance and say she was very good but didn’t stand out enough. – VIDEO
Xenia Martinez is 16 and from Temacula, California. She’s a quiet teen looking to come out of her shell as a performer. She’s singing “Breakeven” by The Script. Her voice during the verses is really interesting! She’s got a sort of jazzy rasp going on. Her head voice is a little weak though. There’s some good raw talent there. Cee Lo is the 1st to turn around. Then Blake turns around. Blake likes the break in her voice and the vibrato. Cee Lo likes her old soul and her rasp. Blake warns Xenia that at such a young age, change can be difficult and Cee Lo may traumatize her by showing up in a Batman costume and other strange outfits. LOLZ! Xenia picks Blake. – VIDEO
Tje Austin, 27, is from Austin, Texas. There’s a fakeout by showing his parents, whom he looks nothing like. Tje is a lanky dude with a big Afro. He’s singing “Just The Way You Are” by Bruno Mars. He’s got a big, free, open voice with a nice tone. Adam and Cee Lo turn around almost simultaneously. Christina regrets not turning around and says she hears a little Stevie, a little Cee Lo. Cee Lo says he hears some of himself in Tje. – VIDEO
Javier Colon, 33, is from Stratford, Connecticut and is a father of 2. He’s looking for some financial security to provide for his family. He’s singing “Time After Time” by Cyndi Lauper. He’s got a nice contemporary R&B voice. Adam and Cee Lo turn around quickly. Then Christina. Adam urges Blake to turn around. He does. Cee Lo says his performance was perfect. Adam says he can tell Javier’s got a bigger voice but appreciates him being tasteful with it. Christina says she likes that he made it his own and promises she’s got people he can work with, so does Adam. Javier asks Christina why she took longer to turn around and she said she wanted to get lost in his performance. Blake jokes that Javier’s all set because Christina wants to feel him. Oh Blake. Javier thanks everybody and says his choice may surprise people, he’s going with Adam. – VIDEO
Beverly McClellan, is from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. She’s there with her girlfriend and another good friend. She’s got tattoos and a deliberately shaved head. And piercings in places other than her ears. She rocks out Janis Joplin’s “Piece Of My Heart”. Really good voice on this one, she can rock but she’s got a very flexible voice and can do way more than just rock with it. Adam and Christina turn around at about the same time. They’ve been playing up this rivalry between them and it’s kind of predictable that since Christina’s the only one who doesn’t have 3 on her team yet, she’s going to win this one (especially since Adam won the last one). Adam does the hard sell, Christina says he’d sell a used car to her grandmother. Blake Shelton says he didn’t turn around because he was afraid of Beverly ever getting this mad at him. No shocker, Beverly picks Christina. – VIDEO
Christina‘s team has Tarralyn Ramsey, Frenchie Davis, and Beverly McClellan.
Blake‘s team has Patrick Thomas, Elenowen, and Xenia (who dropped her last name?).
Cee Lo‘s team has Vicci Martinez, Kelsey Rey, and Tje Austin.
Adam/s team has Rebecca Loebe, Jeff Jenkins, and Javier Colon.
Preview of upcoming attractions: more auditions including somebody singing The Song Otherwise Known As Forget You and somebody singing “Gunpowder & Lead” by Blake Shelton’s fiancee Miranda Lambert. Good times!
Strong premiere episode. The biggest thing is they hit a home run with each of the coaches. It’s a good mix, they’re all articulate, the banter between them was good natured and funny (especially when Blake Shelton was involved), and they had fun with it. Adam was set up as the guy with arguably the best taste, Cee Lo’s part goofball, part guy with the ear for soul, Blake is part goofball but also the guy with the down home sense, and Christina is poised and focused, but not above a few raunchy jokes. The talent’s more of a question mark. There are some interesting and good voices and a couple of possible “package artists” but I wonder if it’ll turn out the coaches are more interesting than the talent. The previews of the coaches working with the talent focused on the coaching. Understandable but possibly a warning sign? Maybe but I’ll be tuning in to find out.