S2E2: NBC did a nice job of packing three weeks worth of blind auditions on The Voice into two, back-to-back nights. It’s amazing how last night’s two-hour special quickly tripled the team members and brought the total to 13 singers. Every coach is pretty even at this point with three singers except Christina, who has four, and keeps displaying her need to show off a little too much cleavage (I’m not complaining). It was a “jam”-packed night that saw some ultra-creative song renditions of Adele’s “Someone Like You” to a coffee-house cover of Trey Songz “Say Aah.” Oh, and the judges threw in a mini Prince concert to kick it all off. Let’s get this party started!
“As soon as I heard the second voice kick in, I was really, really intrigued.” - Christina
Our first duo of the season, The Line (consisting of Hailey and Leland) hit the judges early with “American Girl,” a song I’m proud to say was inspired in Gainesville at the campus of my Florida Gators (just saying). The group got together after Leland approached this buxom blonde by offering her a shot of Jack Daniels (my kind of guy). Apparently this couple is not involved even though you can tell Leland is playing the long con. Keep at it man, it will happen someday. Blake jumped on The Line first, later followed by the trio of Christina, Cee-Lo and Adam, almost at the same time. Blake was not happy. He was even less pleased when they chose Christina, who laughed and gloated a little too much.
The next singer selected is one who will definitely use the show’s platform to spread his message. Jamar Rogers got off Crystal Meth six years ago only to find out he had HIV. Cee-Lo is his personal idol and after he made a bold choice by singing “Seven Nation Army,” it was kismet as Cee was the only coach to turn his chair around and select the young man. It was a goosebumps kind of moment. He actually kind of sounded like a mix of Cee and Adam during the performance. Rogers put it best when he said “There is beauty that does come from ashes.” Okay, I’m done being sentimental, let’s move on.
“If you look across this panel here, you’ll see spikes and you’ll see tattoos, and things like that. I’m your county guy, I’m your man.” - Blake
Oh Blake, you smooth talker you. That plea cajoled Gwen Sebastian, who is putting off having a family to pursue music, to join his team after everyone except Christina buzzed in. The girl had a wide range from the start singing country hit “Stay” and Cee-Lo mixed it up by getting in the action. That would have been an interesting pair! Adam felt left out, poor baby, so he buzzed in as well. Blake and Cee hit the nail on the head by calling her rendition kind, considerate and tender in all the right places. We know what Blake meant by this but lord only knows what Cee meant and that’s probably for the best.
In addition to our first duo of the season, we saw our first 50 year-old in Kim Yarbrough. No early bird special jokes here. This woman is as cool as the other side of the pillow, once having worked security for Dave Matthews Band. You kidding me? There was also the little detail of her working in a potato chip factory (I can’t make this stuff up). The woman doesn’t look a day over 49 and with deep soothing tones, she belted out “Tell Me Something Good” to the delight of Cee-Lo, who started to hump his chair (again, not kidding). After Adam used his best Willy Loman (look it up people), she gladly chose the rock star.
“But you’re beautiful obviously, so congrats on that.” - Adam
It was a bad day for the hotties as Pamela Rose, who Adam congratulated on her looks, and Dez Duron, a Yale football star, were sent packing. Christina took one look at Duron, who sang Backstreet Boys and said “How adorable are you?” Obviously not cute enough.
“I saw a woman in a military outfit singing an incredible Adele song. I was like look at this hot chick singing who’s defending our country.” - Carson
Air Force hottie Angie Johnson has been deployed to the Middle East seven times, and that alone should earn her a spot on the show, but her voice was a nice addition. Carson actually helped get Johnson on the show after seeing a YouTube video of her with over a million hits. Johnson busted out “Heartbreaker” to the delight of Cee-Lo, who was obviously smitten. Even Christina could not pry this war vet away from Cee’s strong, yet little hands. Mark one for Team Cee-Lo.
The highlight of the night for me was Lindsey Pavao who had the stones to sing an acoustic version of “Say Aah” by Trey Songz, who tweeted #LOVE right after her performance. Her Fiona Apple influence was apparent to Christina, Cee and Blake who all buzzed in. Despite Christina creepily saying she wanted to “play” and “experiment” with Pavao, she still got her aboard the Aguilera train.
“I could hear the swag, it sounded like swag” - Cee-Lo
This was one of the more interesting pairings of the night. Jermaine Paul used to sing background vocals for Alicia Keys, but his audition piece was a soulful “Complicated” by Avril Lavigne and instead of going with the natural fit Cee-Lo, he went with Blake. That’s punk, R&B and county all rolled into one blind audition. Now, I think Paul made the right choice here and one that may catapult his career. Blake is not going to give Paul anything and he does not care one bit that he used to sing for Keys. You can just tell these two are going to push each other to their limits. Worse comes to worse, it will make for some entertaining TV.
I swear there must be some singers out there who had a normal life, but they are not on The Voice. Angel Taylor comes from an abusive father and used music as an escape. It was fitting that her audition was “Someone Like You” by Adele and prompted Adam, Blake and Cee-Lo to all fight for her. With a very smoky tone, this girl was absolutely nervous to start but even I could tell there was serious raw talent there. And even though she admitted to having a serious crush on Blake, she chose Adam who we all know has “Moves Like Jagger” (even thought Jagger is 70 and probably has a hip replacement).
After two intense nights, we get a well deserved week off from The Voice to marinate on the singers already chosen by the coaches. It’s time for everyone to pick a side and root for a team. So, the only question I have for you is what’s it going to be: Team Christina, Adam, Cee-Lo or Blake?
What did you think of the show last night? Do you like who was chosen for the teams? Do any of the backstories touch your heart? Let us know with some comments below and find me on Twitter @TheRealRothman.