'The Voice' Season 2, Episode 1 Recap - 'Blind Auditions #1'
We're back for season two! Yes, "American Idol" is going on right now, and yes, they're about to head into Hollywood Week. But the audition rounds of "The Voice" may be the best part of the show, thanks to the fun chair-turning gimmick and the argumentative banter between the four mentors: Adam Levine, Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green and Blake Shelton.
There isn't a whole lot of pomp and circumstance leading into the competition, presumably because a lot of us watched last year and know how everything works, and also probably because we all just got pomped and circumstanced out by the Super Bowl.
So without further ado, the night's contestants:
RaeLynn is pretty clearly on Team Blake from the start. This is evident from her southern accent, her country leanings, and her whispers of thanks to Jesus before she goes on stage.
Surprisingly, though, Adam is the first one to turn. It isn't until RaeLynn cuts the cutesy stuff during the verses and starts getting tough in the chorus that Blake turns as well.
Adam makes the fatal error, though, of asking her if she wants to be "just a country star." Of course she goes with Blake. Hopefully the rest of these won't be quite so predictable, eh?
Jesse Campbell tells us his story, which involves his wife leaving him after he couldn't care for his family, and becoming homeless and sleeping in his car with his daughter. Couldn't he have gotten a side job? No? Oh well.
He gets an immediate turn from Cee Lo, Adam and Christina. Blake is a little stubborn, but eventually her hits the button as well. From there, the judges just sit there and enjoy. Jesse is no Javier, but he has a similar tone and style, a little higher in the register and some nice control.
The judges all start their ingratiating, and Cee Lo says "brotha" at least three times. Christina notes that she can do a good job even though she's "not the same color" as Cee Lo. Cee Lo comes back with "everyone's the same color with the lights off, baby." Snappy.
Eventually (after a commercial break), Jesse goes with Christina, who is tremendously excited. "I can't protect you now, brotha!" yells Cee Lo.
Daniel Rosa is a large man with a ukelele and major self-esteem issues. Already I hope he does well. Unfortunately, when he gets up there he's very shaky at the beginning, and pitchy throughout. You can even see Blake mouth "pitchy." It's too bad, because he has a nice tone and everything.
As further proof that Daniel is a good guy, he asks what he could do better. "Pitch," answer Blake and Christina, and Daniel takes it to note. Hopefully we see him in a future season.
Juliet Simms has a gritty rocker kind of thing going on, and has a tattoo of the name "Andy" on her arm. Here's hoping whoever "Andy" is, he's still in her life, or that would be awkward.
She growls her way through "Oh! Darling" and when she gets to the chorus, she turns Adam and Cee Lo, with Christina following later. It's a surprise that Blake doesn't turn. Christina tries desperately to make her pitch and bad-mouth Adam, but it's probably not working. Adam does his thing. Cee Lo opts for "you turn me on."
Apparently Cee Lo's trademark creepy vibe works, though, as Julet picks him. She should fit in well with him.
Chris Mann is probably doomed from the start here, as he's a classical singer, trained in opera. He wants to win for his mom, who has pancreatic cancer, but the judges presumably don't know that. Classical singers almost never make it through on "American Idol," so will it work here?
Adam looks surprised. Blake looks confused. Christina looks turned on. Cee Lo turns first. Of course he does. He'll find something to do with an opera singer. Christina follows, probably recognizing that Chris has the foundation that could make a terrific pop voice as well.
"I couldn't understand one word he was saying," says Blake facetiously about Chris' Italian performance. When Cee Lo asks "Why this song?" Chris answers that he has had to "shrink myself down" to fit into the mold before, and wanted to perform as himself. Chris rather decisively goes with Christina. Too bad... I would have loved to see what Cee Lo would have done with an opera singer.
Tony Lucca is a former Mousketeer who performed with Christina back in the day. The question is whether Christina will recognize him. Considering I wouldn't recognize Christina comparing a picture of her five years ago to now, why should she recognize him?
Adam turns first, followed by Christina and Blake. Cee Lo holds off for a while until Adam finally presses the button for him. The performance is great, a lot of solid control and emotion in the song. Christina still doesn't recognize him, even after she hears the name. Adam notes that he pressed the button twice, which convinces him.
No mention from either him or Christina before he leaves the stage, then the producers undoutedly informed Christina about it and she heads backstage to say hello and tell Chris that Britney Spears had the biggest crush on him back in the day. Huh.