Round 3 of “The Voice” blind auditions are upon us! With that, we got another two hours Monday night where we learned that the American talent pool is not dried up yet — and also that not one person on the panel is above sabotaging someone else.
During this week’s episode, there was big hair, blue hair, tattoos left and right, and a guy with one syllable for a name that stunned our cynical self to silence.
Sarah Golden – The show started out by giving us a blind audition on Sarah — a singer with a passion for folk music, but who ended up auditioning to a Lady Gaga song in “You and I.” To twist the words of Gaga’s song, there was “something, something about that voice.” It was gripping, and when you thought it was about to venture off-key it found its way back.
Sarah made a smart choice in picking Cee Lo Green — a man who will embrace her inner musical warrior while not forcing her to be someone she’s not. (We still remember what kind of madness he spawned with Vicci Martinez last season.)
Elley Duhe – Elley sounds like the real-life version of Rachel Berry from “Glee,” except that she traveled more with her parents in order to pursue a music career — to the point where she even quit school before graduating.
Let this be a lesson for everyone — stay in school. Elley actually had a pretty unique voice, but the problem is that unique isn’t always a great thing. Her voice was particularly grating at times, and she seemed to be afraid to stay in falsetto too long in order to keep from being out of tune.
Pip – Where do we get in line to buy his album? We have heard some great renditions of “House of the Rising Sun” over the years on reality TV (Siobhan Magnus, Haley Reinhart), but this was actually right up there.
We loved everything about Pip — from his tone to his stage presence to the fact that he has the same name as the lead character in “Great Expectations.” We certainly have just that when it comes to this bowtie-sporting singer’s prospects to go far, and he had his pick of all four coaches. His choice? Adam Levine — mostly because he turned his chair around first.
Erin Willett – Erin has got some serious hair, and she also had a serious story — her father was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer just before her audition, and this may very well be one of the more painful stories we have heard. She did have a great spirit behind her audition, though, as she wanted to do something to make her father smile for however long he has left.
Considering that she had a voice in the vein of Christina Aguilera, it was a shock to see that Blake Shelton was actually the only one to turn around and welcome him on board his team — which is going to be fascinating to see what a country star does with a diva.
David Grace – This is a strange case for a show like this — a football player who actually picked up music after he had started a career as a coach, and has really only been doing it for about three years. At some point in the next couple of years, we hope that David learns a lesson — you have to pick a song that impresses the panel. “Sweet Home Alabama” is the sort of song you sing at a jam session, and not so much a singing contest.
Katrina Parker – Just from her makeup and her hair, Katrina reminded us almost as a starlet in the 1940s — but from her story, we were actually reminded of Kirk from “The Bachelorette.” (Both parties have been sick for long spans of their lives due to mold.)
As for her voice, Katrina had a little bit Adele in her voice mixed in with some Alanis Morissette. The pitch wasn’t always there, but we do get what Adam Levine was saying when it came to his critique — she does have a unique tone that we haven’t seen on the show thus far.
Geoff McBride – From his appearance alone, we liked Geoff. He had a rather hip vibe, and he was one of the few people who (thanks to a boxing injury) has a legitimate reason to wear sunglasses indoors. As for his performance, our favorite part of it was that he really wandered around the stage like it was his entire playground. He was like LeRoy Bell could have been if he showed off more energy.
One of the nice things we have enjoyed about this season is that the contestants are not necessarily picking coaches based on their own personal favoritism. It was clear that Geoff was a major fan of Cee Lo’s music, but you couldn’t discount the fact that Christina pushed her button first. This was obviously enough to win Geoff over.
Erin Martin – Even without seeing her bizarre Egyptian princess get-up, it only took Blake about three seconds to realize that Erin had the most interesting voice of the competition so far. She does some strange things both with the letter “s” as well as her breath control, and Blake was pretty much freaking out in his seat the entire time.
Unfortunately, Blake’s animated gestures were not enough to make up for the fact that Cee Lo spent a good five minutes trying to book her as the opening act of his tour based on appearance alone. In the words of Blake, “everyone likes Cee Lo more than us.”
James Massone – In what may be the biggest surprise of the guy, an Italian kid from Boston wearing a letter jacket came out and performed a pretty stellar cover of Drake’s “Find Your Love.”
Unfortunately for the other coaches, the stampede for Cee Lo continued here. Adam was the only person to not push his button, and he missed out on a guy who may have drowned in his own tears if he had taken any more time to make his decision.
Winter Rae – She has blue hair, about two million tattoos, and she works in a bowling alley — and this wasn’t enough to get any of the coaches to turn around. Yes, it was the saddest coincidence ever that she performed “Take a Bow” only for this to happen with her. On a different note, why in the world was Perez Hilton at the audition with her?
Chris Cauley – Anyone who tries to audition with a Bruno Mars deserves some major credit — mostly because this is one of the most-difficult artists ever to emulate. While Chris’ audition to “Grenade” was a little bit like a lightning strike of joy, we’re still not sold on the guy’s stage presence or even his personality. He’s just so humble, and that’s not the easiest thing to sell in the modern-day music business.
Nathan Perrett, Brian Fuente, and Moses Stone – Out of these three artists who were shown in passing, only Moses was particularly notable in that he is on Christina’s team, and is the show’s first emcee to ever appear on “The Voicce.”
Jordis Unga – What a stellar way to end this show! Jordis has a voice that is genuinely rock and roll — she understands that “Maybe I’m Amazed” is a song about melody and meaning versus hitting some big notes. Then again, Jordis has some experience — she was on a singing show before in “Rock Star: INXS,” which does give her a little bit of an edge into how reality TV works over the other stars.
This performance did happen to be to be the most entertaining of any on the show to watch in terms of the coaches’ reaction — mostly because we saw Blake Shelton trying to encourage her to join his team by making hand gestures over his head. Surprisingly, it worked.
Another week gone, and we are starting to enter the home stretch of the blind auditions (as fun as they are). Of course, we’ll have more snap judgments next week on the performances — and we’ll continue to take joy in the fact that every time Cee Lo pushes his button, he smiles like a kid ready to open a gift on Christmas morning.