After five nights (or expanding by 1.5 times the size of last season), The Voice’s blind auditions come to a close. What do the final rosters look like? Who’s your favorite team?
Whitney Myer arrives with her version of Alicia Keys’ “No One,” and though Adam looks like he’s taking a nap, he loves what he hears because he hits his button. He’s only the first of all four judges to do so. Though Blake declares he’s a fan of hers regardless of who she picks, Whitney goes with Adam.
David Dunn shows up with The Script’s “The Man Who Can’t Be Moved,: which Adam appears to have some sort of undefined reaction to, and which season one fans will recall Xenia covered very well in season one. No one turns around for him, and Blake even cites Xenia’s take as his reason why.
The Shields Brothers are next, declaring they want to “punch America in the face with rock and roll.” Cee Lo approves of this plan and selects them, with everyone in agreement that he’s the perfect fit for their “chaos,” as Blake puts it.
Following them is Cheesa Laureta, who reminds me just a little bit of Frenchie Davis as she belts out Beyonce’s “If I Were A Boy.” After being prompted by Adam, Cee Lo turns for her, which is great because that’s exactly what she wanted. Thus, Adam refers to her selection as “a collaborative effort.” Cee Lo even gives Adam props on Twitter for the assist.
64-year-old Preston Shannon comes from Memphis looking to learn from the show’s musician coaches. He calls it one of his last opportunities, which makes it all the more heartbreaking when his rendition of “In The Midnight Hour” doesn’t get any of the chairs to turn. He does, however, get Adam to swear when Adam turns around and sees who he missed out on. “He was dope,” Adam says. “[He] should’ve been on someone’s team.”
Austin native (seriously, how many people on this show come from Texas?!) Lex Land is next to sing. Although her supporters admit “she sounds nervous,” her version of Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me” still attracts both Adam and Cee Lo’s attention near simultaneously, and Blake decides to join the fray a few moments later. “I’m just…going to start coaching you,” Adam declares in mid-spiel for Lex’s attention. Blake attempts to swoon, and Lex chooses him, which is cue for the camera to give us a shot of Adam looking defeated, as if the moment is a little more dramatic than it is.
Cameron Novack calls himself a “jack of all trades” musically, as proven by the fact that he can start rapping and doing opera in the waiting room. Calling the show “a perfect show for real artists,” he’s not short of confidence, talking about how he can already visualize himself winning. He’ll have to keep dreaming, because his version of Alanis Morrisette’s “You Oughta Know” doesn’t land him on a team. “How are you not a woman? Man, it’s shocking,” Adam blurts in surprise when he sees Cameron. He lobbies for breaking the rules to allow Cameron onto Cee Lo’s team, but it’s too late.
Personally, regardless of how talented Cameron is (and I can’t say that I was a huge fan of his performance), his obvious ego was off-putting to me. It just didn’t mesh with the more positive, almost family-esque vibe that The Voice has always had. This probably wasn’t the best avenue for him.
After this, Carson hits the street again, this time to surprise Los Angeles native Orlando Napier. I must admit that I have a soft spot for Orlando, because he’s right in my genre and in the sound that I grew up with. Adam and I share that appreciation, because he hits his button before Orlando has finished a sentence. My team gets Orlando uncontested, which makes me very happy. With that selection, Team Adam is the first time to complete its roster. We get an immediate recap in case you forgot that.
Next to sing is Lee Koch, who’s the second singer from Temecula (following Xenia). It’s pretty neat to see my old neighborhood represented for the second season in a row, and by a guy that comes with a guitar and a harmonica, no less. In what qualifies as a surprise, after his rendition of Bob Dylan’s “Like A Rolling Stone,” it’s Christina that goes for him. Her team is looking really quirky this season, which is great. Much like my attitude toward scripted TV, I’m all for coloring outside the lines.
Following Lee is Wade (and what is it with all the people with one name this season?), who delivers an interesting spin on Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab.” Cee Lo uses his last push on the 18-year-old, which is a wise move and a great match in my eyes. Cue another recap montage.
Adley Stump from Tulsa is the next to perform, even though she’s only been singing for ten months. She’s well aware of her inexperience; she’s looking for a coach to help her grow as an artist. Will it be Blake or Christina? Both of them turn for her, but Adley’s gut tells her to go with Blake, making her Team Blake’s final artist.
Only Christina can pick someone now. She goes through a few voices before she selects 24-year-old Sera Hill (but you knew that if you were spoiled by Rolling Stone or Facebook or Twitter last week). “I just love to sing everywhere,” Sera says, which I can identify with, though I don’t sound nearly as good as she does. She’s so good that Christina decides to grab her own microphone and sing along with her, which makes Sera over the moon as Christina is one of her inspirations. I’m so happy for her; if Adam decided he wanted to sing with me, I’d probably faint before the next line. That moment has to have been so impossibly cool.
There’s no doubt that the show saved some great blind auditions for its final round. With the likes of Whitney, Orlando and Wade, there was some real talent which, when added to the rosters established over the past month, is making season two of The Voice look mighty compelling. As I’ve mentioned before, it’s almost less about the artists than it is about the collaboration between artist and coach. Last season, I was floored by Javier Colon from his blind audition. This season, I love the sounds I’m hearing, but I’m even more excited to see what our coaches will do with them. I see the potential for real growth and some really unique performances.
The one criticism I have is the length of this round. As much as I love my show, I have to say that maybe five nights of blind auditions is a bit much; it was more than double the amount we had lost year, and I think there was some filler we could have chopped out over the five weeks.
At the end of the episode, the Adam Levine Bleeping Counter is +3, making 10 total this season.
The teams are set and we’re on to the battle rounds. Who’s your early favorite? What team do you think has what it takes to win? Sound off below, and I’ll see you next Monday!
(c)2012 Brittany Frederick/Digital Airwaves. Appears at Starpulse with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted.