Last week on the premiere of The Voice,
there was a lot to take in and process. For everyone. We weren't just judging the singers as they competed for spots on the four celebrity judge-coaches' teams, which tonight need to fill to eight members before then getting whittled back down to four in next week's Battle Round. We were also judging the show itself, and whether it's worth our precious TV time.
Thankfully for NBC, lots of you deemed The Voice
a great way to spend your Tuesday evening, and even though I wasn't totally sold after the premiere, I'm sticking it out too, and tonight's episode was better. Maybe it's because I finally understand the rules, or maybe because tonight's singers really were, generally speaking, even stronger than last week's, or maybe I'm just getting more invested as we move along. I think it's probably a little of each.
Here's who earned the coveted final spots on each coach's team and will move on to next week's Battle Round, plus more color commentary from yours truly, but first, just for fun:
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COACH SONG OF THE WEEK: "The More I Drink" by Blake Shelton.
From now on, we're going to kick off each recap with a song by one of the celebrity coaches.To kick off this special new tradition, I'd like to highlight Blake Shelton's anthem of overindulgence, "The More I Drink," Sadly, I can't embed the video, but head over to Youtube
, hit play and appreciate its sentiment while you cruise through the recap (and maybe a beer, too). Cherie Oakley
Song: "Gunpowder and Lead," Miranda Lambert
Cherie comes into the competition about as stacked as a contestant could. She's toured as a background singer with Carrie Underwood, and she wrote Reba's "Turn on the Radio." Blake's face when he realizes she's singing his fiance's song is pretty priceless. It takes a little while, but eventually Xtina presses her button. Blake explains why he didn't press his button: "I wanted you to beat Miranda, and I didn't think you did." Once again, Cee Lo kicks himself for not predicting that Cherie would be so hot. Adam wishes her voice was more refined, and halfheartedly says he thinks Xtina will help her refine it. Xtina is pumped to have another lady on her team. Grrrrl power!
TEAM: Xtina Turner
Song: "I'm Yours," Jason Mraz
He's a 19 year old med student (Ah, you mean pre-med? Or true Doogie Howser style?) but his dreams are bigger than simply saving lives and curing diseases. He wants to save our souls and cure our hearts with the power of song. "This is my passion!" says Devon, before he Mrazes the crap out of the judges. His voice is pretty similar to Jason's, which could be a blessing or a curse, and for a minute it looks like no one will press their button, but Cee Lo and Adam go for it. Xtina says she saw Devon more for Adam. Adam is excited to work with the tone and character of Devon's voice. Blake says Devon was off-pitch, just to be mean, since he didn't even press his button. Cee Lo doesn't work very hard to win over Devon (maybe he thought Devon was a hot girl?) so Devon obviously picks Adam.
TEAM: Out Adam Spot!
BTW, sorry to those of you I offended by calling Adam "creepy" last week. I mean, first of all, please relax. I was joking and this is reality TV. A little ribbing comes with the territory. I'm not saying Adam definitely sleeps hanging upside down from the rafters in a haunted house. He's probably harmless and definitely hot. But it wouldn't take that much for his face to slip into sinister. I think it's the strong brow and the way he smiles. And his Grease extra outfit. I'm just sayinggggg ... it's usually the pretty ones, you guys. Stay sharp.
Song: "Bleeding Love," Leona Lewis
She's a cute teen whose voice is pretty solid, but not completely mature just yet. Will one of the judges hear something they can mold? Weirdly, we watch as Blake and Adam yell at each other, "You press it!" "No, you press it!" Finally, Xtina hears what she wants to hear, and again stacks her team with another lady. Adam tips his hat to her for trying out at such a young age. Xtina sums it up like Raquel's new BFF: "You're so cute, I love your hair, I love your look, and you're 16!" OMG LOL! Raquel can also sing beyond her years, so that helps, too.
TEAM: The Girls NeXtina Door
Song: "Sober," Pink
We can't see her face at first, but based on her shoes and foot tattoo, I'm going to say she's edgy-hot. Her voice is deep, rich and raspy. Blake presses his button, and guess what, I was right: She's a hot blond with gauges in her ears. A little bit punk, a little bit pin-up. Xtina thought she was a bit too pitchy. Cee Lo says he's friends with Pink, and Adam says, "Let me get that name for you. You drop it?" and maybe I like Adam now, because that was pretty funny. Cee Lo tries to flirt Emily into picking him, but Blake reminds her he loved her voice first. And Emily chooses Cee Lo, who literally picks her up and hugs her. The bizarre sexual tension will be strong with these two.
TEAM: Cee Lo the Light
We didn't get to see it, but Cee Lo also added a girl named Niki Dawson to his team, while Blake added "soulful" Sara Oromchi. There are too many spots to fill and not enough time in the two hours for us to meet everyone, apparently, so they're rushing us through it. Whatever, guess we'll have to learn to care about these people next week, but it doesn't bode well for their chance of long-term survival, does it?
Song: "Bring it on Home to Me," Sam Cooke
Tim is in his thirties and he's knocked on a lot of doors in his day. "I feel like this is my last shot," he says. His voice has soul, and Adam immediately hits his button, and looks glad he did. I like Tim's vocals -- there's a sense of urgency and character to the way he sings. Adam says he thought Tim was going to be a woman at first, which Adam himself has heard about his own voice. "I need a woman for my team, and sadly, you have a penis." Still, he'll take Tim anyway and Blake thinks they'll "make a cute couple." Eeeek. Adam is not helping his case for me thinking he's not creepy again. But I'm glad he picked Tim, so I'll give the genitalia talk a pass.
TEAM: Adamsel in Distress
Song: "Mercy," Duffy
Sweet little Julia's got soul, and a good case of the runs. As in, she can run her voice like whoa. Cee Lo and Xtina both pick her, and Julia's got a tough choice on her hands, since her voice could easily work with either coach. But once again, Xtina's power with the girls, who grew up idolizing her, overrules the boys' influence. They're going to have such fun slumber parties, you guysssss.
TEAM: SeXtina and the City
Song: "The House That Built Me," Miranda Lambert
She's been called a "Georgia peach with an edge," and she's a huge Blake Shelton fan. She's also singing another Miranda Lambert song, who, if you didn't know, is engaged to Blake Shelton. Angela threatens to stop following Blake on Twitter if he doesn't press his button. OH NO NOT THAT! This is Blake's face when she starts singing his lady's song:
Unfortunately, nobody presses their buttons. Sorry, Blake. You just got UNFOLLOWED.
Song: "Hey, Soul Sister," Train
Tyler's backstory: He grew up Mormon and he's gay, so ... those don't exactly go well together, but his mom is supportive. What does go well together is Tyler's outfit. Also, Tyler doesn't get along very well with his dad: "My father doesn't know I'm gay. I haven't told him yet. But I guess he knows now." (Dad probably should have known based on Tyler's perfect fashion sense, sharp glasses, flamboyant dance moves and sassy song choice, but hey ... that's dads.) Blake presses his button for Tyler's Train rendition, and loves his "solid, full voice." Then he slams Tyler and says he looks like Drew Carey. Yeah right! Tyler's precious. I hope Blake and his dad both learn to appreciate him.
TEAM: Gimme A Blake
Song: "Forget You," Cee Lo
Nakia's going for it, by singing Cee Lo's ubiquitous hit. Mr. Carson's advice: "Remember, it's "Forget You," not, uhh, the other one." It's a risk for Nakia, and he starts off a bit shaky, but hits his groove toward the middle, and Cee Lo is the first to hit his button. Nakia is such a big cuddly bearded bear, I love him! And so does Blake. It's a showdown now. Cee Lo: "I had to turn around to see who this brave individual was. You have great taste in music." Cee Lo says he thinks Nakia could be "an exception to a rule." Xtina: "Can I say balls on NBC? It takes some balls." Nakia sasses her right back: "That's OK, your loss." Blake was convinced by how well Nakia got the crowd going, and says he shouldn't choose Cee Lo "because he dresses like a peacock." Nakia picks Cee Lo, no duh. Everyone loves peacocks, Blake.
TEAM: Cee Lo the Deal
WHAT WE MISSED: Blake picked up a gal named "Serabee," Adam landed a redhead "glam rocker" named Casey Desmond, and Xtina picked up her first male singer, Justin Grennan. Clearly, lots of judge banter is more important than actually hearing each of the contestants who will move on to the Battle Round. Toward the end, the judges start to get too cautious, and Mr. Carson tells us there are more spots to fill than there are auditions left.
Song: "Bubbly," Colbie Cuillat
On the side, she writes children's books. Cute! She's very sweet and shy before she starts singing: "I usually feel like I'm going to die within the first five seconds." And within five seconds of her singing, Blake is sold, as am I. There's an almost effortless beauty and dimension to her vocals. It's very rich. Colbie Cuillat was a good choice. Cee Lo presses his button as well. Blake: "When I heard your voice, it made me smile. You have that earthy thing about you." He thinks he can help with that, being a country boy. Cee Lo: "You look like that song. All warm and cuddly and cozy." Guess who just overtook the creepiness race! (Kiddddding.) Dia picks Blake.
TEAM: Blake It or Leave It
Song: "Hillbilly Bone," Blake Shelton
He's a down home country boy who may as well have "Blake or Bust" tattooed on his face. Which is why he's chosen a Blake Shelton song to sing, but Curtis is missing that secret weapon: Trace Adkins' ponytail. Blake looks torn, but Curtis hits just a little too close to home. Curveball: Cee Lo presses his button instead! Blake says Curtis wasn't cocky enough for the song, but he's excited to see what Cee Lo does with him. Cee Lo liked Curtis's relaxed vibe, and he's looking to branch out into country. So it's a win-win.
TEAM: Cee Lo 2021
Torrie and Taylor Thomas, 17 and 19
Song: "Stuck Like Glue," Sugarland
These "farm girl sisters" love raising pigs and singing together at the county fair. It's like a Disney Channel adaptation of Charlotte's Web. They're extremely cute, though I think their voices lack maturity. Cee Lo is intrigued enough to press his button, if only for the double cuteness potential. "That was the most adorable thing I've ever heard," says Adam. "I thought I was listening to a great bubblegum commercial," says Xtina. Cee Lo is excited to work with a duo, and the giggle twins are sold. Triple hug!
TEAM: Signed, Cee Lo'd and Delivered
Now it's Mr. Carson's time to shine: He explains there are four spots left to fill, but no one left to sing for them. Xtina pitches the idea (not her idea, obviously) to "blind test" all the rejected artists again. Good idea, Xtina! "Some lucky people might get a second shot at greatness," says Mr. Carson. And some will get a second shot at needing serious therapy after getting rejected by their idols twice. The coaches don't know the order that the eight second-shotters will sing, and they'll be singing all new songs. Mr. Carson: "So it's a truly blind audition." Unless the coaches have any sort of voice-memory. Here's who makes the cut:
Song: "If I Ain't Got You," Alicia Keys Xtina said she "almost had a regret" when she didn't press her button for tall, cute redhead Lily's big, soulful voice last time around, and she almost lets her slip away again, but not this time. Xtina's boat is now full of 7 ladies and one (happy, happy) dude.
TEAM: Let's Talk About seXtina, Baby (Yes, I am running out of puns.)
Song: "Not Ready to Make Nice," Dixie Chicks
Last week, he suffered from wrong song choice with the completely crappy (Don't deny it!) "Good Girls Go Bad" by Cobra Starship, but this week he chose more wisely, and Blake is sold. "I got my guy!" Jared: "Well so did I." Aww. That was a moment.
TEAM: Blake 'n' Blake
Choosy Adam is the only one yet to fill out his team. He's the only one who has to turn his King's Swivel Chair around until he finally picks his final two team members.
Song: "Stupid Boy," Keith Urban
She's got a lovely, folksy voice! Again, this time it's all about better song choice. It's really cute when Casey's mom yells, "Yes! I love that guy," when Adam presses his button. Even cuter, she promises Adam, "I promise next time I won't screw up in the beginning." Aww, teenagers. So eager to please.
TEAM: Adamed If You Do, Adamed If You Don't
There's one remaining spot, five minutes left in the show, and Angela Wolff is at it again. I wonder if she'll get Adam's final spot? (Yes. She will.)
Song: "Rolling in the Deep," Adele
As predicted, Adam presses his button for Angela, who has a lovely voice of her own, if a bit understated and inconsistent. Maybe it's the nerves. We'll have to see how she fares in battle.
TEAM: The Adamage Is Done
That's it for the Blind Auditions! Here are the teams after the first phase of THE VOICE:
TEAM BLAKE: Patrick, Elenowen, Xenia, Sara, Tyler, Dia, Jared, Serabee
TEAM CEE LO: Vicci, Kelsey, Ty, Emily, Niki, Nakia, Curtis, Torrie & Taylor
TEAM XTINA: Tarralyn, Beverly, Frenchie, Cherie, Raquel, Julia, Lily, lone male Justin
TEAM ADAM: Jeff, Rebecca, Javier, Devon, Tim, Casey, other Casey, Angela
The battle rounds begin, when each of the coaches will pair up their artists to sing the same song on the same stage. After training with the help of their new advisers
, the duos will battle it out, HARDCORE DUET STYLE, and their coach will choose who stays and who goes. In other words, the coaches' feedback will only get more awkward from here. Can't you or can't you
Another thing to note:
Next week, we move to The Voice's regular time of 10pm. Don't forget! I'm not going to watch this alone.
Until then: Who are your favorites? Which team would you like to be on? Comments, go!
(Images courtesy of NBC)