The Voice kicked off season 4 Monday night with plenty of terrific singers and a solid debut for new coaches Usher and Shakira. After two hours of Shakira’s sweetness and Usher’s leg kicked up on the ledge of his chair, I was left thinking “Cee Who and X-what-a?’
The Voice Season 4 Premiere Recap>>
In this episode, Jon Peter Lewis from American Idol shows up, minus the pen, as part of a duo. This isn’t the first time an Idol has transferred to The Voice (remember Frenchie), but she was DQed from American Idol. JPL, on the other hand, is one of the more memorable finalists from the early seasons.
We also get a Spanish audition (I’ll give you one guess whose team she joins) and a male model who takes his shirt off. So overall, it’s a pretty terrific episode.
Tawnya Reynolds (“Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys” by Ed Bruce)
She’s a country singer based in Nashville working in hotel lobbies and wherever else she can sing. She has a very, very old school country sound.
Coaches: Oddly enough, everyone BUT Blake Shelton turns around. I love the expression on Shakira’s face every time she spins around, like a 6-year-old girl on a ride at Disney World. All three coaches fight for the Blake Seal of Approval. Usher and Blake form a secret alliance to work together, Adam Levine claims he’s in Blake’s will and Shakira pulls out an English-to-Country dictionary to say that she “reckons” Tawnya should join her team and she would be “much obliged.” Shakira is officially my favorite coach. Ever. Tawnya joins Team Shakira, despite Blake pimping Justin Bieber for Usher.
Josiah Hawley (“Sunday Morning” by Maroon 5)
He’s a male model, which means we get a gratuitous shot of him putting a shirt on. Yes, he’s super hot, and singing Maroon 5 is a gutsy choice. And here’s a fun fact, he was actually one of the six finalists who almost made it onto season 1 of Bravo’s Make Me a Supermodel, but sadly he didn’t get enough votes to make it into the actual competition. Still, here’s his photo from that show. The most upsetting part is that he’s really good. Like, imagine a guy who is both better looking and more talented than Dez Duron.
Coaches: Blake turns around almost immediately, mostly just to spite Adam. Usher and Adam follow him. The fight is on as Blake messes up his hair as a bonding technique, but Josiah picks Team Usher. I’m enjoying the Usher/Blake bromance that is developing. They’re like Sam and Blaine on Glee, which I guess makes Adam Kurt.
Midas Whale (“Folsom Prison Blues” by Johnny Cash)
These are two weird Idaho dudes who do folk music, and even though they don’t mention it at all, one of them is Jon Peter Lewis, aka the nerdy pen guy who finished eighth on American Idol season 3. Seriously, are there any rules for being on The Voice? Because he’s not just some random guy who made it to the semifinals, he finished in EIGHTH PLACE on American Idol! He was eliminated one week before Jennifer Hudson. Anyway, they got their name when Ryan asked Jon if he wanted to duet, and Jon said “Might as well.” They’re just kind of awesome and remind me a lot of a grown-up version of Zack and Brian, Lane’s Hep Alien band mates from Gilmore Girls. They even look like aged versions of them. Hopefully they make it to the finale and perform with Sebastian Bach.
Coaches: All four coaches turn around. They love the fun and creativity of these guys. They connect with Shakira because they both speak fluent Spanish after living in Spain and Ecuador, but that’s not the end. They choose Team Adam. I wonder if JPL will do better than eighth this time.
Abraham McDonald (“Best Thing I Never Had” by Beyonce)
He’s a big guy with one of those gospel voices, and if he were on American Idol this year, Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey would be standing. But The Voice has higher standards. Or rather, standards.
Coaches: No one turns around. He’s just not that good.
Cathia (“No Me Doy por Vencido” by Luis Fonsi)
She’s a Latina from the Bronx whose first language is Spanish, so she chooses to sing entirely in her native language. Gee, I wonder where this is going.
Coaches: Usher turns around first, then Shakira turns around and Usher knows he’s screwed. Blake turns around too for no real reason. Usher really tries to make the hard sell, but it doesn’t work because Shakira speaks her language, literally. She picks Team Shakira.
Sarah Simmons (“One of Us” by Joan Osborne)
She’s studying music in Tennessee and her dad is three years sober. Man, sobriety seems to be a popular topic this season. Also, this song takes me back to high school and she does an amazing job with it, pulling off unexpected notes and making it original and unpredictable.
Coaches: All four coaches turn around. Adam is 150 percent sure she can win this show. Blake calls her one of the three best blind auditions ever. Shakira loves her raspiness and emotion and plays the “female” card. Everyone really, really wants her, but Sarah picks Team Adam. Wow, Adam is getting a stacked team, between Judith, Sarah and Midas Whale. Those Battle Rounds are gonna be blood baths.
So tonight Adam got two more potential winners, Shakira took the overall lead with four singers and Blake got shut out. The Voice returns next Monday and Tuesday at 8pm for even more blind auditions. Maybe if we’re lucky Ashley Parker Angel from O-Town will show up to audition.
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(Image and videos courtesy of NBC)