If it were Season One of The Voice, we’d be finished with blind auditions: all the judges had loaded up with eight contestants by last night, and the winner would have eventually come from that pool. But it’s Season Three, which means there’s approximately 30 more people to go, and on we roll. Last night was the long night of this week’s two episodes, so the producers toyed with us, chewing up more time creating drama over people with curious backstories (turning your back on a baseball scholarship to pursue singing like a so-so Usher; being a one hit wonder who wants to be a two-hit wonder; the long, slow slide down from being signed to Sony at age 10) and then don’t turn any chairs. It’s unfair that the people who wind up actually making it onto a team get slighted with only a 10-second clip, though invariably it seems they are all teenage girls doing Katy Perry songs. Despite Carson Daly’s insistence that tonight’s pool of talent were “some of the best singers in the country” Monday’s show was a bit of a grab bag. Here’s how it went:
Coach: Adam Levine
Tonight Adam swooped in and picked up four new additions – three of them high school girls – by enticing people onto his team with confidence. He gets over by being the handsome guy whose “charm” is cockily explaining how awesome he is. Levine has obviously read though Neil Strauss’ The Game and made notes; can’t wait until he’s negging FAME-schooler Alessandra Guercio in the battle round to make her work harder. Tuesday’s Team Adam additions included Brian Scartocci, who dedicated “Isn’t She Lovely” to his daughter and sounded like Simply Red’s Mick Hucknall. Adam scooped the soulful single father by namedropping his tight bro, Stevie Wonder. He also nabbed Guercio, a 17-year-old pop singer whose taut bod got its own plotline. Shooting her from below to highlight her boobs – c’mon, The Voice, she’s 17. Most notably he picked up Melody Martinez, who sports a Cruella DeVille dye job and dresses like a steampunk Minnie Mouse. Martinez did Britney Spears’ “Toxic” as an acoustic number, accompanying herself on guitar while stomping on a tambourine. High schooler Adanna Duru got all of 10 seconds; according to her Voice web bio, she started an organization to raise awareness about sex trafficking. Curious to see if that gets any play in future episodes.
Coach: Cee Lo
Cee Lo is picking up a lot of big dudes and relative weirdos, as if he can sense who his people are from behind the big red chair. Tonight he picked up Alaskan YouTube phenom JR Aquino, who has more views of his original songs (5 million) than some of the judges do, and can surely harness his massive online fanbase to vote for him if he can hold out until the finals. Team Cee Lo also counts Nicholas David amongst its ranks. The hirsute stay-at-home dad had a voice that is a dead ringer for Boz Scaggs’, though the judges drew Aaron Neville comparisons and were maybe a little shocked by David’s unkempt thrift-store wild style. And in perhaps the biggest coup of the night, one that seemingly surprised Cee Lo himself, 16-year-old Avery Wilson, who received solicitations from all four judges after shredding “Without You,” went to Team Cee Lo. Wilson looks like an easy candidate for the semi-finals, especially given Cee Lo’s rep for being super hands-on with his coaching. As David said, “HOLY BUCKETS!”
Coach: Blake Shelton
Shelton seems to be stocking primarily country singers after several seasons of compiling ecumenical teams. Whether that’s a plan or just a default of his taste is TBA, but he had the balls to put his Country Music Award for Best Male Vocalist on his podium to reel in Nashville waitress Liz Davis, who is so country that her b-roll showed her standing with a pair of cows. Shelton also picked up 15-year-old country doll Kelly Crapa, whose last name is not pronounced “crappa.”
Coach: Christina Aguilera
Team Xtina scooped up Vancouver, Washington, husband-wife pop duo Beat Frequency. Their b-roll was better than their version of Katy Perry’s “E.T.”: they’ve been singing together since their second date, they met at church as teenagers 12 years ago and the wife left a career in “sports dancing” to pursue music. Her husband looks like he’s going as Eurotrash Pitbull for Halloween, and when the wife hugged Christina, it was just a big tangle of flowing white hair, tan skin and stilletos. Team Xtina also picked up redhead YouTube sensation Paulina, barely shown.
Worst use of extended metaphor: Baseball playing Tyler Lillestol, who got no chairs, but managed no fewer than four baseball metaphors, including him and Carson using “knock it out of the park” once each.
Most curious outfit of the night: Despite Davis singing about partying, her outfit was all business attire: a pleated tan blouse and a tennis-length skort.
Most unfortunate song choice of the night: Cupid, for auditioning with “Cupid Shuffle,” his 2006 worldwide dance craze, which turned no chairs. Later, Cee Lo immediately recognized him by name before he could introduce himself, incredulously blurting, “What are you doin’ on the show?” Cee Lo demanded he sing something other than “Cupid Shuffle,” and after a few bars of Al Green, all four judges said they would have turned for that.
Last recap: No One Wants to Be on Cee Lo’s Team