'The Voice' Recap: A Returning Singer Stuns the Coaches
'The Voice' Recap: A Returning Singer Stuns the Coaches
Catherine Cabanela
Catherine Cabanela
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
Well, folks, it's the third night of the Blind Auditions for The Voice's seventh season and the Hollywood Squares-style contestant grids are filling up and the slots for newcomers are dwindling down. Tonight, we had another crew of hopefuls with vocal performances reminiscent of Stevie Wonder, Bonnie Tyler, Bob Marley and The Charlie Daniels Band. By the end of the night, 12 more hopefuls have been added to the list of competitors who will receive coaching from tenured coaches Adam Levine and Blake Shelton, and from the highly skilled and wildly successful Gwen Stefani and Pharrell Williams. 

Before we get started, take a look at all the singers who've already signed up with these four judges. Gwen began the evening with four vocalists, Blake's looking to add more to his crew of four singers, Pharrell opens up the evening already having won over five artists and Adam opened up with a mere three singers. I think Adam's feeling the heat that these two new coaches have brought. We'll just have to see how tonight turns out.

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The Best Parts of The Voice

How fun is it to watch these high-powered amazing singer-songwriter, award-winning coaches banter and bicker with each other? This is my favorite part. Let's face it, the contestants at this stage are sometimes as course as raw silk. The real fun comes after they've had some of that professional coaching that you simply cannot buy anywhere else. So what keeps me coming back are those four shining stars in the rotating red couches. 

Here are these unbelievably successful superstars playing around like little kids and it's a total gas to watch. Wait -- more like three little kids and their Uncle Blake who won't scale a rotating red couch to show his appreciation for any performance. Some of my favorite elements are Gwen's perfect blonde bombshell hair and bright red lips around the whitest smile I have ever seen. Oh, and I want some of that sparkly gold eye shadow she's wearing. Pharrell's phenomenally sweet and positive attitude seem so genuine that you wonder if the guy is faking it, but there's now way he is -- he just seems to be the nicest, most unassuming guy ever. And Adam? Well, he's Adam Levine, for crying out loud. Need I say more? So let's get this party started.

John Martin ("Sweet Pea") 

This cool and laid-back 6'2" quirky singer starts off the evening. His performance is either kitschy or really off-key, it seems to me, but three chairs turn around for him, so what do I know? First, Blake swings around, then Gwen and Pharrell, but Adam is pacing himself and holds back.

Result: John chooses Blake



Jessie Pitts ("The Story")

This little gal approaches the stage in a black bowler hat and already I like her. You know how it is when you hear (watch) someone's story and you like them right off the bat, then you hold your breath and pray to God that they have some talent? That's how I am with Jessie. Her voice is soft, like satin and lace, with a melodic lilt that gives me goosebumps. Blake and Gwen turn around. Gwen says she loves the way Jessie wiggles way up in those high notes and then scoops down without missing a pitch.

Result: Jessie chooses Gwen



Michael Stein ("The Devil Went Down to Georgia")

This guy's a character. He's a 62-year-old minister of music and a mean fiddle player who sounds exactly like The Charlie Daniels Band. His performance is entertaining, but no one turns around. The judges say his song choice showed very little range and the song was more chatty than singing. 

Ricky Manning ("Love Me Again")

Ricky comes from a big musical family and grew up on a steady diet of The Jackson 5 and Stevie Wonder. He says he was a ladies man even in the third grade. He's been playing guitar and singing in the streets and in the subway in New York and it just isn't paying the bills, so now he's on this enormous stage in front of 12 million people (some of us are in the comfort of our own homes, but still). Pharrell turns around and says Ricky's runs were consistent every time. Isn't that the definition of consistent? I myself found Ricky to be uninteresting and not that strong at all. We'll see what happens once Pharrell gets his gifted hands on him.

Result: Ricky choses Pharrell



Commercial Breaks and Breaks and Breaks and Breaks

I don't remember the last time there were that many commercials strung together between acts. Man, I think I aged 11 years while slumped on my couch tapping away at my laptop. Dang. When we come back, we hear about how Adam is still holding back. He's waiting for that special someone.

Well, that special someone does not turn out to be any of the next three performers: Misty Merrit sings "You Gotta Be," Jeremy Cole doles out a subpar rendition of "I Can Dream About You" and Samantha Sampson belts out "Heads Carolina, Tails California," which just so happens to be one of my favorite driving-down-the-freeway-with-the-top-down Jo Dee Messina songs. She seems a bit off-key and no one picks her. 

Kelli Douglas ("Danny's Song")

Well, who cold sing an oldie and a goodie like this one and not be high quality? Thirty-one-year-old Kelli is an absolutely gorgeous single mom with a smoky voice that needs some honing. Gwen says she could help her with the technical parts of her performances. Adam pours on the charm and the flattery and acknowledges her nervousness but wants to work with her real bad.

Result: Kelli chooses Adam



Blessing Offor ("Just the Two of Us")

Blessing is a 25-year-old blind man who was cut in Stevie Wonder's image. His vocals are smooth; the power sneaks up on you when you least expect it. He says he wants to spend the rest of his life writing songs and singing. His vocals sound to me like they are a bit behind the music, but his tone is good. At the very end of his performance, all four chairs turn around. 

Result: Blessing chooses Pharrell



Cole Wilkinson ("Classic")

The kid is so young you can smell the Ivory soap still drying on his skin. He's adorable and looks like he just fell out of a Jell-O mold in the shape of boy band members. Cole gives an impressive list of all the animals he has on his farm, but no chairs turn around for him.

Mia Pfirrman ("Unconditionally")

Nineteen-year-old Mia Pfirrman is exquisitely made and adorable as all get-out. She's in community college studying singing. She has perfect dark eyes and these pouty lips that are to die for. All four chairs spin around and Mia receives a standing ovation. Then the judges talk about her lack of finesse, which sounds like it's something they all want to help her refine. Adam says the fact that she was able to perform that kind of song live despite her nerves was simply amazing. All four judges are gagging to have her on their team as the clock ticks away. As she tries to make up her mind, it's a bit like she's a contestant on The Price is Right.

Result: Mia chooses Adam



Three More Choose Coaches

Jordy Searcy ("Skinny Love") performs and chooses Pharrell as his coach, but there must not be enough time in the 120 minutes of The Voice to air every performance. Could that possibly be because 40 of those minutes are filled with commercials?!

Alessandra Castronovo chooses Adam and Blake picks up Kensington Moore for his team.



Bree Fondacaro ("It Ain't Me, Babe")

Bree has an interesting husky voice which doesn't sound like it has much range, but she wants the exposure and the coaching that The Voice will give her to advance her career. She reminds Blake of Bonnie Tyler, so he is the lone coach to turn around.

Result: Bree gets Blake



What's the Score?

For tonight, her's how it adds up: 

  • Adam's added Kelli Douglas, Mia Phirrman and Alessandra Castronovo.
  • Blake got John Martin, Kensington Moore and Bree Fondacaro.
  • Gwen has gained Jessie Pitts and Troy Ritchie
  • Pharrell has Ricky Manning, Blessing Offor and Jordy Searcy.

Now we're ready for the final performance (the pimp spot) and -- wouldn't you know it? -- it's a returning performer from a previous season of The Voice.

Anita Antoinette ("Turn the Lights Down Low")

She performs a Bob Marley song with only a guitar to accompany her. She is more confident than she was last time around and she's a lot classier. Just moments into her rendition, all four judges turn around to watch her sing. She's unique, soulful and she knocks it out of the park.

Result: Anita chooses Gwen



So there you have it, folks. Another 12 singers have been added to the competition and more will come aboard tomorrow night, so stay tuned.

The Voice airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8pm on NBC.


(Image courtesy of NBC)