S2E3: Stroking his white, fluffy cat like a black Dr. Evil, it’s all about Cee Lo. The Gnarls Barkley frontman has picked up right where he left off last year, as the most likable judge, hands-down, on The Voice. But, as Adam can tell you - and often does...over and over again - being liked doesn’t automatically win the show. Even though everyone has to think a second longer when Cee Lo picks you to possibly be on his team, Adam, Christina and Blake are building their own powerhouses that should provide be steep competition. Last night, we saw power, we saw unique style and we saw Pip - who will supply us with jokes for the remainder of the season. It was a great night for auditions, so let’s get this show on the road.
“So in other words, Cee Lo would like for you to be an experiment.” - Blake
Sarah Golden was our first blind audition of the night and the first time the audience was actually blind too, just like the coaches. We heard her story of being turned down by record labels for her plain looks and didn’t get to see her face until Cee Lo was first to buzz in. Her rendition of “You and I” by Lady Gaga was one that Blake called “honest” and he also chose her. In textbook fashion, she chose the unique Cee Lo over country star Blake, who ranted a bit after about the contestants believing Cee’s crap. Nothing but love flowing back and forth on stage at The Voice.
“It takes a real man to wear a bow tie, first of all.” - Adam
No, we didn't find the Dickensian South Park character, but instead 19-year-old Pip Andrew was up next, bow tie, suspenders and all, and he hoped too that the judges not seeing his youthful face would help his chances. His powerful audition choice “House of the Rising Sun” had an immediate impact and Adam took notice first. Then the rest of the panel turned too. It was our first foursome of the night. Low blows came out as Christina brought up her success before Maroon 5 and Blake called out Christina for not waking up before noon. And this is all over a guy named Pip; go figure. Adam’s love for Pip’s style earned him a team member that could go far on this show. Just when we are having fun, the touching stories start to roll in again. Contestant Erin Willett dedicated her performance to her father, who is dying of cancer and was poignant in saying that one day he might be gone, but today is not the day. Well said, Erin. She brought out the big guns with “I Want You Back” and her voice was a weapon on stage that caught the eye of Team Blake. It was an easy decision, since he was the only one to pick her.
“I win...I want something different and that’s what I really heard.” - Adam
Last night was all about those who didn’t look the part and Katrina Parker definitely fit that bill. Parker was surprised by Carson during work and no one could miss the obvious Kia plug when he was driving to her office. Carson pulls the old, “Let me just use Kia’s simple navigation to find my way.” But we can't hate, we all need sponsors. Parker did a country version of “One of Us,” a personal favorite from my youth. A sleeping Adam jumped on Parker and earned his second singer of the night. The champ is back!
Some notables left hanging included Linebacker-looking David Grace and I couldn’t tell if he was getting ready to sing or wrestle The Rock at Wrestlemania. As it turns out, I’m not the only one making these jokes. (UFC fighter, why didn’t I think of that one, damn!) I guess the show has enough backstage security because he was not picked.
Another contestant not picked was Winter Rae, who sports blue hair, tattoos and a partially shaved head. Blake thought her hair was badass but not enough to buzz in. Her song “Take a Bow” compelled the one and only Perez Hilton to come to his friend’s audition, but it was not compelling enough to get her on a team.
“I may not look like Cee lo but I have soul too.” - Christina
Geoff McBride, at 51 was one of the oldest, if not the oldest, artists we have seen on the show. He wears his sunglasses at night because of a kickboxing injury he sustained as a kid. His interpretation of “Higher Ground” infused the crown with a whole lot of soul and Christina felt this enough to push her button. It felt a little like church on Sunday, but being Jewish, I have no idea how that feels. Cee Lo had to jump in and picked Geoff too. Too little, too late as he went with the blonde who always likes to show off her soulful assets.
Former model Erin Martin threw on her best pumps and sang a very unique version of “Hey There Delilah” - unique and a bit weird. She had an interesting voice, sweet and awkward at the same time like a singing butterfly. There’s my best Confucius impression. Cee lo used his flirting to earn him another member on his merry band of unique artists. Cee put it best by calling her voice bizarre, but that is what this competition is all about. Oh yeah, and Blake complained that everyone likes Cee Lo. Cry me a river.
“Adam what happened to you?” - James Massone
Our competitors really stick it to the coaches on this show and James Massone was no different. This rugged, Boston version of Justin Bieber looks 15 but is 23 and came on The Voice to get away from his father’s body shop. Christina buzzed in, than saw that fresh face and was reminded of her days with the Mickey Mouse Club during Massone’s “Find Your Love,” followed by Blake and Cee lo ... but no Adam. Surprise, he picked Cee Lo.
During highlights, Moses Stone, the first ever rapper and MC was picked for Team Christina after he laid down some Black Eyed Peas on the panel. He could be an interesting choice or could be gone before you know it, only time will tell. Mike Posner look-alike Chris Cauley came up next and exploded with his take on “Grenade” by Bruno Mars. Cee Lo and Adam both chose this young man who was influenced by his musical grandmother. Even though he is an Atl guy, he was able to stay away from Cee’s clutches and go with Adam - last year’s champ earned his third singer of the night.
“Your voice makes me want to push myself.” - Blake
Last but certainly not least was Jordis Unga who took it back a bit with “Maybe I’m Amazed” by Sir Paul McCartney, a performance that made Adam mouth, “I love this song!” when it started. Blake, Christina and Cee Lo all hit their buttons for Unga, especially when she got on her knees for the final verse. Adam was gracious in admitting he was the “A-hole who didn’t pick you.” Blake’s kind words got her on his team.
Things are really starting to heat up and we are just about half way through the auditions. The competition couldn’t be more of a welcome change looming in a few weeks. Even with the always entertaining back and forth from the coaches. I’m sure there will be plenty of drama when the singers are fighting to stay on the show.
What did you think of last night? Do you like who was chosen for the teams? Any favorites? Let us know with some comments and find me on Twitter @TheRealRothman.