We’re at the midway point of the blind auditions, which means more than half the spots on this season of The Voice have already been filled and the competition is heating up. It also means that more hopefuls are being left standing onstage with their dreams dashed.
Sometimes you want the coaches to push their buttons so bad, you almost have tears in your eyes when they do. (At least, we do.) Other times, it’s clear the singers just don’t have what it takes, and that can make you tear up too. And that’s what helps give The Voice its charm: the suspense, the excitement, the fact that you feel for these people whether they turn all four chairs or none. It’s that raw emotion – and Adam Levine and Blake Shelton’s blossoming bromance, natch – that gives the show a leg up on reality TV dinosaur American Idol, which rarely conjures up those sorts of feelings any more.
Take, for example, 24-year-old Washington D.C. native Orlando Dixon. After giving a little backstory about how he hopes to provide a better life for his mom and sister, he sang Ne-Yo’s “So Sick.” As the clock ticked down and no one turned around, his sister gave up hope backstage, seemingly resigning herself to the fact that he’d leave empty-handed. But at the last second, Usher tapped his button and turned around.
As a viewer, you couldn’t help but feel relief as his mother and sister shrieked, hugged and cried backstage. You genuinely feel for these people, because for a brief moment there’s hope – hope that dreams really do come true. If you’ve never felt this way while watching this show, you must be dead inside. No, seriously, go to a doctor right now. (We’re only half-kidding.)
But for every high, there’s a low. And last night’s went to 22-year-old street performer Betsy Barta, who failed to turn any chairs with her rendition of “Set Fire to the Rain” by Adele. “Boy, you bit off a lot to chew there,” Blake said bluntly. When she started to well up, Usher added fuel to the flames by saying, “You have to be able to take the good and bad in this business.” When she just stood there sniffling, Adam jumped out of his chair to give her a hug. As she walked away, you could see her legs shaking as her family and friends backstage hung their heads in sheer disappointment. Tissue, anyone?
The show is such a roller-coaster ride of emotions, we thank the reality TV gods – a.k.a. the show’s producers, editors and coaches – for mostly keeping things light. (Seriously, are we the only ones crushing on Adam and Blake?)
Ending on a high note, the judges fought over 17-year-old Texan Savannah Berry, who sang Taylor Swift’s “Safe & Sound.” As soon as Adam and Shakira turned around and saw her cowboy boots, they had to have known they were screwed when Blake threw his hat into the ring. When she named her influences as Sugarland and Miranda Lambert, Blake immediately swooped in and pointed to his wedding band, reminding everyone – as if he’d ever let us forget – that he’s married to Miranda. And guess what? They’re looking to adopt! “Seventeen is a very adoptable age,” he quipped. And with that, the paperwork was signed and the umpteenth country-leaning artist joined Team Blake. Guess we know what his strategy is this season: Country, country and more country.