The Voice would not be the same without Blake Shelton. While Blake and Adam have both been constants on the show since the beginning, Adam could take a break and things would move on relatively the same. It is Blake and his sense of humor that make even the dullest of episodes enjoyable. Blake, quite simply, is a troll and loves getting artists on his team as much as he loves taking them away from others.
This propensity for impish behavior is on full display during night four of the Blind Auditions. It’s the round of the last-second button press. One coach might be the sole choice for a prospective contestant and then Blake sweeps in and presses his button at the last possible moment, throwing everything out of whack. It’s rude, funny and, because it’s done mostly to Xtina, absolutely fantastic.
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Tamar Davis (“Chain of Fools”)
Tamar was in the original girl group that eventually whittled down to Destiny’s Child. Tamar also toured with Prince and has worked with Tyler Perry, who is at her audition, being noxious and annoying. (Confession time: I can’t stand Tyler Perry.) You might be saying maybe Tamar shouldn’t be on The Voice with all these chances at fame and you may be right, but she hasn’t found any mainstream success yet.
In any case, Tamar’s voice is nice if a little showy and it should be no surprise that Xtina presses her button. This is the first time that Blake presses his button to steal Xtina’s thunder, putting him also in the running. While Blake’s button press might be born out of spite and humor, he actually has the way better pitching session because he has actual points and arguments. Xtina just says it’s time for a girl to win, which has been her constant and repetitive refrain, but I guess Tamar is down with it.
Result: Tamar chooses Team Xtina
Jessica Crosbie (“Viva La Vida”)
For some reason, Jessica gets three chairs to turn around, even though she is a one-chair audition at best. It might be nerves as Adam points out, but still, Jessica’s not fantastic. Of the three chairs she gets to turn around, Pharrell is the most complimentary, while Adam and Xtina are pretty realistic and honest about Jessica’s voice. Jessica chooses Pharrell, but Adam says he might use a steal on Jessica, which would be a huge mistake.
Result: Jessica chooses Team Pharrell
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Justin Whisnant (“Ain’t Worth the Whiskey”)
Justin is a country artist who looks like Adam but sounds like Alan Jackson, or some other older country artist who I don’t know because I barely, if ever, listen to the genre. The point is that Justin is good, really good. Adam, recognizing it, turns around almost immediately for him. Blake sets his troll sights on Adam now and presses his button at the very last second. The pitching session isn’t so much about Justin or his voice but rather about Blake and Adam bickering with another, but it doesn’t matter.
The Voice could go on for another 10 seasons and I wouldn’t get tired of Adam and Blake making fun of one another. In fact, it would probably be even better because they’d both be that much more bitter. This might be the first time in an argument that Adam has actually pointed out Blake’s terribly ugly tattoo on his forearm. This tattoo has been bothering me since forever or whenever Blake decided to roll up his sleeves, which basically amounts to the same thing. Back to Justin, though; he is from Oklahoma as well as being a country singer, so you already know who he is going to pick between Adam and Blake.
Result: Justin chooses Team Blake
Daniel Passino (“Marvin Gaye”)
Daniel is a pop singer who has been training himself in opera. It’s weird, and not even Daniel seems that interested in talking about it. His rendition of Charlie Puth’s “Marvin Gaye” is pretty good. So it comes as a surprise that Xtina and Blake are the only coaches to turn around for him. Daniel says that Xtina is one of his idols, but I’m willing to let that slide and still like him. He, of course, ends up picking the pop singer as his coach.
Result: Daniel chooses Team Xtina
Owen Danoff (“Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right”)
Owen’s audition starts off with another painful interview with Carson, which is basically a commercial for whatever car Carson is driving. The “interview” is awful because a) Carson can’t hold a natural conversation to save his life, and b) Owen really doesn’t lead that interesting of a life. He’s a young artist in New York who is exactly like every other young artist in New York. It’s true that his dad started and performed in the Starland Vocal Band, but that makes Owen’s dad compelling, not Owen personally. Thankfully, Owen is a much better singer than he is a conversationalist and he kills his rendition of a Bob Dylan song. Admittedly, it doesn’t take much to sound like a better singer than Bob Dylan. Owen is the first artist of the night to get all four chairs and he picks Adam.
Result: Owen chooses Team Adam
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Maya Smith (“Do Right Woman, Do Right Man”)
Before her audition, Maya says that her two top picks for coaches are Pharrell and Xtina. You won’t believe then that both Pharrell and Xtina turn around for her. It’s almost as if The Voice is a pre-produced and edited TV show and not life in motion. She is so visibly excited by Pharrell’s approval, though, that Xtina could basically be saying gibberish because her opinion doesn’t matter. Funnily enough, Xtina effectively is speaking nonsense trying to win Maya. Xtina tries to go after Pharrell, only to realize that you literally can’t say anything bad about Pharrell Williams. Pharrell appeared in the music video for “Blurred Lines” and people still love him. He is untouchable.
Result: Maya chooses Team Pharrell
Nolan Neal (“Drive”)
The Voice loves a contestant with a good tragic backstory, and Nolan’s history might take the depressing cake for all 10 seasons. Nolan’s father killed himself shortly after he was arrested again for drugs possession. Nolan ignored his father’s threats of suicide before it happened. Following his father’s death, Nolan became addicted to drugs and lost his record deal both because of his grief and guilt. Usually, The Voice likes to redeem and give a happy ending to the sadness. Now is not that time, as Nolan doesn’t get any chairs to turn around, but all the coaches tell him they like him anyway. It’s a remark on Nolan’s self-restraint that he doesn’t cry, strangle each of the coaches or do some manner of both. The coaches tell Nolan to come back next year and I guess hopefully they will pick him that time.
Result: No chairs
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Brittney Lawrence (“Warrior”)
Brittney’s is the latest audition to become a battleground in Blake’s troll war against Xtina. Xtina the only coach to press her button and Blake undermines her. This is about the only thing that makes Brittney’s audition remotely interesting. She is an okay singer and very likable, but it makes sense that she was turned down for The Voice seven times. I could just be bummed out about Nolan Neal’s life, though, so I might not being completely fair to Brittney. Adam and Pharrell back up Xtina in her mission to win Brittney, but for some reason Blake sways her.
Result: Brittney chooses Team Blake
Matt Tedder (“(I’m Your) Hoochie Coochie Man”)
Honestly, Matt is a better guitar player than he is a singer, but I have a feeling he is going to go far in the competition. Matt just has the vibe of that persistent contestant on The Voice who stays forever in the competition despite being completely ordinary (see: Zach Seabaugh from season 9). I’m not surprised that Adam is the only coach who chooses Matt. I am a bit surprised that Adam chooses Matt when he has so few spots left on his team.
Result: Matt goes to Team Adam
Joe Maye (“I Put a Spell on You”)
Joe is another returning contestant who failed to make it in season 9. At this rate, half of the live shows in season 10 are going to be rejects from season 9. The last audition of the night occurs like all auditions on night four. Blake starts a battle with Xtina at the very last second of Joe’s audition. Finally, things work out in Xtina’s favor as she decides to sing a duet with Joe. This obviously sways Joe to Xtina’s team because, unlike me, he loves Xtina’s voice. I mean really loves it, in a way that honestly seems a little unhealthy.
Joe’s obsession with Xtina aside, I’m actually glad she wins an audition. Maybe it’s just the underdog lover in me. Maybe it’s the fact that Joe is roommates with Mark Hood from The Voice season 9, who should have stayed in the competition way longer. So I’m happy that Mark is happy for his friend. Either way, I’m happy this is the note that The Voice ends this round of the Blind Auditions on, even if it is not the usual crowd raising four-chair turnaround.
Result: Joe chooses Team Xtina
The Voice airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8pm on NBC.
(Image and videos courtesy of NBC)