Monday night’s new episode of “The Voice” started off the final two nights of the blind auditions, which of course begged many questions: Who was going to stand out, who was going to act the most ridiculous in pitching themselves to an artist, and most importantly, will someone come out and make us care so much that we’d watch their audition more than once? While there has been quality talent this year, we’re not sure we’d say that anyone really has enthused us to root for them in the Battle Rounds.
As per always, we’re going to be updating our take on the performances as the night goes on.
Dustin Christensen – At this point in time, do gimmicks really work on getting artists to join your team? We wonder that mostly because Blake did the whole “have the crowd hold up pictures of his face” bit, and it may have worked. It was just surprising, given that Dustin and his awesome classic-rock voice claimed that he wanted to work with Adam before coming in for this performance. Maybe he just wasn’t down for one reason or another with Adam doing the whole “grab the picture of Blake and mock it” routine, which was really not making it much about anything that Dustin was doing.
Dustin Monk – Just as Blake tends to get country artists who are similar to him musically, it made sense for tattooed rock star Dustin to get a chance to join Team Adam. There’s no surprise here at all. He’s got a really strong, interesting tone, and we think that what Adam can do is find a way to bring him a little bit better into the mainstream. We wish we could comment more on the deliberation, but it was for the most part rather boring.
Chase Kerby – “The Scientist” is one of our favorite songs, and we liked Chase’s emotional version of it. Sure, there is a little bit of the “obvious good looking guy who is going far” here, but we don’t mind when there is genuine talent and someone behind it who actually sounds different than the majority of the people who appear on the show. Gwen Stefani now has a new member of her team, and it’s someone who could go far.
Shelby Brown – Do we classify this as the surprise of the night? We’d say so, since Shelby marks the second country artist this season to not choose Blake when given an opportunity. She went with Adam instead! She showed in doing “Stars” that was not specifically just out to do country songs, and that may have played a part in her decision. Also, it could be strategic. If she is a part of Adam’s team, the odds raise to a certain extent for her to get some further time in the spotlight.
Amy Vachal – Dear Adam, this is what happens from time to time when you fill up your team too early! He ended missing out on someone in Amy who would have surely been a great addition to his team … but who knows? Maybe she would not have chosen him anyway. She has a soulful, imaginative voice that is super-unique, and may be one of the best that we’ve heard so far this season. As for her choosing Pharrell, it’s probably the right pick musically.
Blaine Mitchell – There was nothing about Blaine that really impressed us; he was a down-home Southern guy with an athletic past and an okay voice. His rendition of “Drops of Jupiter” was solid, but we’re not going to remember it more than half an hour from now. He did get both Blake and Gwen to turn around for him, and Blake has another member of his roster. We’re just not sure that this is one we see lasting for a long time.
Summer Schappell – Summer is great, and since Blake filled up his team with Blaine, he couldn’t have her. We are starting to get frustrated with the complete country overload that is going on at the moment on this show, but at the same time, she’s one of the better ones. She’s also one of the more seasoned ones, having toured with Little Big Town and other acts. Her challenge in the Battle Rounds is going to come courtesy of figuring out how to show growth.
Sydney Rhame – Our final contestant, and the final member of Team Pharrell! She’s right up his alley: She’s got real talent, and we like her choice in song with “Photograph.” The funny thing is that Adam and Blake tried to turn even though they can’t, and Pharrell really made her wait before he finally allowed her to come on his team and prepare for the Battle Rounds. They start next week!
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