After Tuesday’s glacial pacing and recitation of family medical histories, The Voice sped things along last night – though mostly to demonstrate that none of the contestants were choosing Team Cee Lo. While we were shown full auditions of crestfallen boy banders, there were only mere seconds of performances from a trio of young singers who actually made it onto teams. This forced viewers (and curious recappers) to iTunes or the show’s site to check out what actually happened. It seems like that this’ll be the new normal as winnowing the field to 64 means we’ll likely be seeing around 100 auditions in the coming weeks. Here’s how it panned out:
Coach: Christina Aguilera
Why: Girl is just swooping up all the big, radio friendly voices. She has a strategy and is winning over most everyone she wants for Team Xtina. Every competitor under the age of 30 with a big voice grew up idolizing her, so they are geeked and eager to have her on their side. Also, she knows how to reach contestants’ inner-diva with her come-to-me speeches. She directly addresses their egos, telling smooth-voiced Nigerian emigre Nelson Emokpae that she wants a full concert from him, not just his modern take on Bill Withers “Ain’t No Sunshine.” Aguilera also nabbed 15-year-old Marissa Ann, who performed a Katy Perry song in the style of Katy Perry; and picked up Lisa Scinta – a trio of powerhouses now under the Team Xtina banner.
Coach: Adam Levine
Why: Team Adam picked up some killer as well as some filler. Self-described hippie Nicole Nelson turned all four chairs with her version of Jeff Buckley’s version of “Hallelujah.” The coaches always say things like “You made it your own,” but Nelson really did, and the audience went berserk. Levine also pulled Samuel Moulton, who did an eerily perfect imitation of Bob Marley with his “Redemption Song.” Levine seemed to register only minimal surprise that Moulton (a college-age pizza chef who was essentially described as a loser by a blood relation in the b-roll) was a white teenager. He can actually sing, but, I and I wonders, can he not sing like Bob Marley? Moulton pulled Christina and Cee Lo as well, but he went for Team Adam, as all the swaggy bros do. Also in the mix is Loren Allred, who may have wound up with Adam simply because Cee Lo’s manner of courting her for his team was to compliment parts of her body in front of millions of viewers. And Cee Lo wonders why no one ever wants to be on his team!
Coach: Cee Lo
Why: You know who does like being looked at like they’re a cartoon pork chop? The newest member of Team Cee Lo, DOMO (pronounced “Dah-moe,” not, as some of us were hoping, “Do Mo”) rapped her name and then pranced around the stage engaging the studio audience in a call and response: “When I say ‘DAH!’ You say ‘MO!'” Christina’s eyes rolled so far back in her head they came back around from the bottom. The singer/hip-hop dancer’s b-roll was edited to show her bragging about her many professional accomplishment: “In China, I’m, like, Lady Gaga.” DOMO had Cee Lo marked from the outset, performing “Don’t Cha” (which Green penned for Pussycat Dolls) dressed like a Rhythm Nation backup dancer. The other judges may be snickering now, but DOMO seems like the kinda girl that’ll hold on with her claws or order to stay in this competition. She’s the early star of Cee Lo’s teeny team.
Coach: Blake Shelton
Why: Shelton nabbed mother-daughter country duo 2 Steel Girls, who are now the successful members of an admittedly unsuccessful family band. They’ve sold their house, their truck and now the mom has quit her job to pursue their music dreams of competing on The Voice. Heavy! Their voices are gorgeous together, but as we know from Season Two, family duos never make the cut.
Highest point of manufactured drama: Former boy-bander Chris Truesdale choking back tears as he retold how he who went from being a spray-tanned adolescent in the million-selling Dream Street to getting recognized by incredulous former fans at the sushi restaurant where he now waits tables. And then no chairs turned for him. Woof.
Highest point of actual drama: Emokpae’s family fleeing Nigeria with their lives and two suitcases to escape political persecution.
People you most wish you were related to: Nelson Emokpae’s brothers congratulated him with an elaborate handshake ritual that also included synchronized dance steps.
Last recap: Team Christina Nabs Pitch-Perfect Hottie