Mixing Old Fashioneds
The Voice 5/3 Recap: Rounding Out The Teams
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And we’re back for the second and final show of blind auditions. Somehow in the next two hours, Blake, Adam, Christina and Cee Lo have to each fill five spots on their teams of eight. Will Adam and Christina continue the snark? Will Cee Lo show up in a Batman suit? Will Blake continue to be oddly attractive to me? I blame that on my love for “Justified”—Raylon and Blake have the same accent.
Once More Unto The Breach
And we’re back for the second block of blind auditions. Going in front of the judges first is background singer Cherie Oakley; she has a lot of professional background singing experience from touring with big name country acts. She’s also a bit of a basket case of nerves but gets a grip to sing “Gunpowder & Lead”, a song by Blake’s fiancé Miranda Lambert. I dunno, she sounds pretty standard pop country to me. The judges let her go on and on without pressing any buttons to turn around, until Christina finally does at the very end. Adam thinks the pairing is great because Cherie has a big voice and Christina can help teach her to control it.
Stepping up next is Devon Barley, a young lad who would not look out of place in Devo. Though only 19, he claims to be in medical school; his parents aren’t exactly thrilled at his decision to pause school to become a singer. He starts into “I’m Yours” and sounds like he’s just imitating Jason Mraz with a bit smokier voice. With no one pressing their buttons, Devon’s confidence is clearly flagging. He picks up after Cee Lo and Adam turn around. Adam finds character in his voice and Cee Lo was completely impressed but Blake says what’s obvious—Adam missed the pitch at the end of the runs. In the end, Devon goes with Adam for his coach.
Third up is Josh Hand, one goofy-acting allegedly humorous dude; maybe I’ve read too many on-line dating profiles, but if you have to tell me you’re humorous, you usually are just an asshat. He straps on an acoustic guitar to sing “Paparazzi” in a power ballad manner. And no one presses a button for Josh. The general consensus is it was a bad song choice and he didn’t really commit to it.
Raquel Castro, the youngest competitor at age 16, worries about the age difference and lack of professional training. She sings “Bleeding Love” and sounds a good ten years older than her chronological age. Christina eventually picks the girl who has idolized her since she was merely four years old. The judges agree that Raquel really should be on Christina’s team.
Just like last week, the show wants you to play along at home too when they introduce Emily Valentine and show only her cut calves, tattooed foot, and black stilettos. Oh, she has tattooed arms as well. She has a low, raw, smoky voice and sings “Sober”. Blake pushes his button first then Cee Lo does too. Emily looks kinda like I expected—black pencil skirt, blue cardigan, Dita Von Teese light, with blonde hair. Cee Lo sees the Pink in her and wants to check out her tattoos. Blake loves her voice and points out he pressed his button first. However, she goes with Cee Lo. I expect a full checking of tats by our Stay-Puft friend.
The show moves into fast forward position as they just tell us Cee Lo picked up a gal named Niki Dawson who sang “Teenage Dream” and Blake picked up an allegedly bashful Sara Oromchi who sang “Imagine”. Since they were introduced with little fanfare, I doubt they’ll be sticking around all that long.
Tim Mahoney, a professional singer from Minnesota, has never quite made it. He performs “Bring It On Home To Me”, which is one of my all-time favorite songs. I’m not impressed but Adam turns his chair around almost immediately, but no one else does. Adam confesses he thought she was a woman—something he gets a lot. Adam needs a girl for his team, but is cool with Tim’s possession of male genitals. Blake might have pushed his button if Adam hadn’t, and thinks Adam is a better fit.
Next up is Julia Eason, a soccer player until recently. She’s nervous to sing in front of the judges but manages to pull out a confident “Mercy”. Cee Lo and Christina both turn around early in the performance, and that’s all she gets. Christina is in love with this girl and compliments her technical abilities. Cee Lo also loves the confidence and tone she has, but Julia goes with Christina.
Angela Wolff is a southern gal who is there to impress Blake, whom she follows on Twitter. She is also singing another of Blake’s fiancé’s songs, “The House that Love Built”. She’s got a nice voice but just nice. No one presses their buttons to turn around. Blake loves the song, but she didn’t do it for him. Adam would have pressed his button if he had more spaces on his team.
Next up is Tyler Robinson, gay Mormon. Look, that’s how he was introduced—no judgment intended. He dresses a bit like Mondo from Project Runway, but with a beard. His mom is really supportive, but his dad doesn’t support his singing and doesn’t know he’s gay. Until now, he supposes. He sings “Hey, Soul Sister” and gets Blake to turn around. Blake lets out a laugh at checking out Tyler’s look, which reminds him of Drew Carey. No one else turns around so Tyler is on Blake’s team.
Nakia, a dude who only goes by one name, is taking a risk by singing Cee Lo’s “Forget You”, which apparently is the clean version of the “F… You” song that is so damn cute (seriously—the video is precious if you’ve got a sense of humor). He apparently nails it, because Cee Lo turns around pretty early. Blake opts to turn around as well. Cee Lo had to turn around to see who this brave soul was; he sees Nakia as like himself as the exception to a stereotype. Blake loves his voice and was impressed with the crowd’s positive reaction. He wasn’t expecting a big ole white guy singing Cee Lo’s song. Blake makes his case—he won’t dress like a peacock—but Nakia picks Cee Lo.
In more “NBC hits the FF button” we learn some hippy-dressing woman named Serabee landed on Blake’s team with a craptastic take on “Son of a Preacher’s Man” and Adam picked up a “glam rocker” Casey Desmond who sang “Born This Way”. Christina picked her first dude, Justin Grennan, who sang “Drops of Jupiter”. I guess this is more early elimination fodder. Then, Debbie Downer style, we’re given a montage of people who didn’t cut it and the judges’ regrets. The judges have been so cautious that they only have three more blind auditions to go but seven spots overall to fill. Oh noes! What will we ever do?
One of those three is Dia Frampton, a 23-year-old children’s novel writer with a very soft spoken voice. She comes out and performs “Bubbly” and immediately Blake turns around. Cee Lo turns around as well. I don’t know this song, but it has the same cadence as the Mraz song earlier. (I only know the Mraz song because a friend of mine told me about it to have a laugh, and laugh we did.) Something about her voice made Blake smile—she’s got an earthy sound that is common with country music. Cee Lo says she looks as bubbly as the song, which gives Adam the faux dry heaves. Young Dia chooses to be on Blake’s team.
The Final Three?
We’re down to just two more blind auditions; Curtis Grimes wants to be on Blake’s team and will even sing one of Blake’s songs, “Hillbilly Bone”. Good ole boy Curtis gave up a college baseball scholarship to follow a girl who broke his heart, thus resulting in his country music career. Blake looks conflicted; the Curtis has a pretty good voice but I have no idea how this compares to the original because I abhor country music. Cee Lo hears something he likes and turns around but is the only one to do so. Blake likes his voice but thought he lacked the edge and cockiness the song has. Cee Lo wants to get some country under his belt and Curtis seems genuinely country.
The final blind audition is a pair of farm girl sister, Tori and Taylor Thompson; one blonde, one brunette, they’re 17 and 19 and each year raise a pig to take to some kind of pig pageant thing people in the country do. One now has issues with bacon, one does not as long as it is not her pig. Wait, you take a pig to pig pageant and then eat it? Is it for best looking pig or tastiest? Note to self: investigate pig pageants. But they seem like nice girls and frankly it’s refreshing to see two teenaged sisters getting along so well. They sing “Stuck Like Glue” and when they sing together, it’s like organic double-tracking since their voices are so similar. Cee Lo turns around at the last possible second. Adam and Christina both think they’re adorable; Cee Lo wants to work with a duo and will get them to come up with something original and not so bubble-gummy.
So now we’ve got an issue—no more blind auditioners are left. So
Christina the producers decide to give some others a second chance. Cee Lo’s roster is full, so he can just hang out and watch while the other three judges need fill their teams up. They’ve picked eight unanimously to re-audition in a random order. The performers have new songs and have not rehearsed. Lily Elise, a girl who gave Christina regrets not choosing, is up first. She sings “If I Ain’t Got You” with a powerful soul voice for a tiny girl. Christina takes the bait and her team is filled. She wobbles up to the stage on impossibly high heels to congratulate Lily.
Sonia Roa auditioned last week and Cee Lo regretted not picking her, but his team is full. She performs “Chasing Pavements”. It’s a pretty good performance; Blake’s hand hovers, but doesn’t go and Adam won’t press his button. Poor Sonia loses a second time.
Prolific procreator Jared Blake (32 and father of six…if that ain’t proflic, I don’t know what is) gets his second shot. Blake nearly picked him last time, but didn’t quite get there. This time around, Jared performs “Not Ready To Make Nice” and Blake goes for it. He’s now got his full team and Jared is so happy he’s going to go father another half dozen children.
So now it’s just finicky Adam left—he’s still got two slots because really and truly, it’s harder to find people who sing worse than he does. Country hopeful Casey Weston apparently washed out the first time around, but we didn’t get to see that. She goes out with an acoustic guitar to perform “Stupid Boy”. It’s country but more Cowboy Junkies and early Dolly Parton than Nashville; I want her to cover “Sweet Jane”. Adam finally presses the button and takes her. I guess chicks who sing better than him are safe territory.
Angela Wolff, chucking the idea of doing another song connected to a judge, goes with “Rolling In The Deep” for her second shot. That reminds me, I need to get that Adele record (yeah, I’m that old…it’s a record). Her voice reminds me of a cross between Joss Stone and Beth Ditto, though her name reminds me of my 8th grade religion teacher whom I disliked, ergo conflict and delay in purchasing. Angela does a pretty good take on the song, though her voice wavers a bit and lacks the gravity of Adele’s. Nevertheless, Adam picks her and this drawn-out blind audition process is finally at it’s end. When Angela smiles she looks like a young Parker Posey. I don’t like Parker Posey.
Next week the battle rounds begin and the show is only an hour so it won’t take me four days to recap. Plus, next Tuesday when this show airs, I’ll have met the local US Marshals It’s too much for me to hope to meet a real Raylan, I know.
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