The free and breezy days of the first week of Blind Auditions are a distant memory on The Voice. The teams are starting to be filled up quickly. The coaches can’t just punch their chair-turning buzzers all willy nilly now. It takes something really special to impress the coaches in the second week of auditions.
This probably explains why this particular night of Blind Auditions is rather boring. There are some nice performances but, outside of a couple acts, no one that would qualify as a true frontrunner. The Voice hit the ground running in the first week but has slowed down considerably in the second. I guess some artists need to be around to be eliminated in the Battle Rounds.
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Darius Scott (“You Make Me Wanna”)
Darius’s pre-recorded package presents him as an artistic virtuoso. If there is some kind of creative pursuit, Darius has some kind of experience in that field. Darius’ primary passion is music and singing, if that wasn’t obvious because he’s on The Voice and all. He turns three chairs from Pharrell, Adam and Gwen. He ends up going with Pharrell because he has a tattoo of Pharrell’s old band, N*E*R*D.
Result: Darius joins Team Pharrell
Korin Bukowski (“Cecila and the Satellite”)
Korin is basically begging for her life story to be made into a sitcom where she is played by Zooey Deschanel. She’s that adorable and dorky. (I refuse to say or write “adorkable” on principle.) Korin’s voice is interesting and enjoyable but not exactly a powerhouse. This is probably why she gets only one chair. It’s the perfect chair to turn around, though, because it’s Gwen. I can’t see Korin with any other coach.
Result: Korin joins Team Gwen
Krista Hughes (“Angel from Montgomery”)
Krista is a young artist from Virginia who was raised by her grandparents. The staging of Krista’s pre-audition video package is incredibly awkward. Krista tearfully thanks her grandparents for everything they have done for her. They are all standing around a table, so it feel very impersonal. Anyway, that’s some behind the scenes nonsense. Krista’s voice is amazingly strong and polished.
She turns all four chairs, but she’s a country artist. She’s seriously country, like old-school country. The other coaches want Krista on their team, but they couch all their arguments in why Krista should pick them over Blake. So when it comes time to choose an artist, it’s no surprise who Krista picks as her coach.
Result: Krista joins Team Blake
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Janae Strother (“Uptown Funk”)
Janae is basically an excuse to exhibit again how utterly white Carson Daly is as a person. “What is stepping,” he asks, completely perplexed. Janae seems like a sweet person. She just picks a horrible song that doesn’t show off her voice well. No coaches turn around.
I will say, I wish Janae’s friends and family stayed around for every audition. I want to see them dancing in the green room for everyone. I’m assuming that room the families watch from is called the green room. Green room seems more official, but I’d like to think it’s unofficial to make it a bit more risque and accurate. I’m thinking something like Carson’s Indoctrination Room where he convinces the families he’s their lifelong friend by the way he jumps around and screams when a chair gets turned around.
Chance Pena (“I See Fire”)
Chance is another of The Voice’s favorite type of contestants. He is a teenager that sounds nothing like his actual age. This 15-year-old has the voice at least a 40-year-old man. Adam is the only coach to turn his chair around for Chance, though. The rest of the coaches, especially Gwen, lament missing out, but Chance moves on to the next round.
Result: Chance joins Team Adam
Viktor Kiraly (“What’s Going On”)
Viktor was born and raised in America, but he moved to Hungary, his parents’ homeland, when he was 16. Viktor is a bit of a minor celebrity in Hungary, but he is coming to America and The Voice to broaden his horizons. Carson doesn’t pass up an opportunity to let Viktor know how risky this is for him. This is not the first, nor will it be the last, time where Carson should just shut up.
If Viktor’s audition is anything to go on, the risk might pay off. He turns around all four chairs, even with all the coaches’ teams filling up. There are all super impressed with Viktor. He chooses Adam to the surprise of exactly no one. They pretty much look like cousins.
Result: Viktor joins Team Adam
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Julie Broadus (“Brand New Key”)
I’ll be honest: Julie kind of scares me. Her thousand-yard stare and thousand-yard long legs make me vaguely uncomfortable. She is also a scary perfectionist. Anyway, all of my irrational dislikes are irrelevant. No one picks her, though Gwen is tempted. I feel slightly bad about automatically disliking her — slightly.
Cole Criske (“Dreaming with a Broken Heart”)
The pre-recorded packages on The Voice can be overly sappy sometimes. Okay, they are overly sappy almost all the time. When they do hit, they hit hard. In Cole’s case, his package definitely hits. Cole’s dad has passed away and the story of how it happened is heartbreakingly sad. Cole’s dad was killed by a drunk driver the day before Father’s Day.
Cole’s voice is just as effective and emotional. He gets three chairs to turn around from Pharrell, Blake and Gwen. Gwen makes her pitch hard, telling Cole that she thinks they made a connection. Blake pulls out the big guns, which is apparently knowledge of Cole’s hometown. So Cole rejects the seductive allure that is all things Gwen Stefani.
Result: Cole joins Team Blake
Alex Kandel (“Bright”)
Alex is the former lead female singer of an otherwise male rock band called Sleeper Agent, which is a band I have literally never heard of before Alex’s audition. This means almost nothing because I have the same amount of awareness about the current music scene as a person about 50 years older.
Alex’s audition starts off very strong, but it falters when she gets her two chairs to turn. Adam and Gwen are her two possible coaches. They basically give her the same constructive criticism. Alex and Gwen are simply too similar for them not to team up.
Result: Alex joins Team Gwen
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Next, there is the prerequisite time fluff/montage of artists. Yet this is a montage of people who don’t make it through to the next round, which kind of just begs the question of why The Voice even bothered showing them all. Anyway Tom Rhodes, Junior Reed and T’alia Scot don’t get any chairs to turn around and go home.
Celeste Betton (“Love You I Do”)
Celeste epitomizes the second chances that make The Voice great. She had to put her singing career and her own life on hold right after high school when she became pregnant. Now her daughter is the best thing that ever happened to her and she has grown up. You know the deal. Now that I’m thinking about it, there are a lot of former teen moms and dads on The Voice.
Anyway, Celeste is so easy to root for that it becomes painful how long her audition goes on without a chair turn. Just when things look hopeless, though, Pharrell turns around. He is the only coach to want Celeste on his team.
Result: Celeste joins Team Pharrell
Andi and Alex (“Thank You”)
Andi and Alex’s audition has been amped for about half the show. Usually, that amount of build-up is a recipe for disaster, but twins Andi and Alex deliver. They really do have one of the most pure and harmonic duo performances that The Voice has ever seen. Of course, all four coaches want them on their team and they get the four-chair turnaround.
The Voice spoils the final result, though. They shows Adam celebrating his victory at getting the twins before they even perform. Andi and Alex’s decision to go with Adam does prompt the rest of the coaches to reflect on Adam’s team. They think he has one of the strongest teams out of anyone; even Blake has to admit it. Adam definitely got the best artists in this round.
Result: Andi and Alex join Team Adam
The Voice airs Mondays at 8pm and Tuesdays at 9pm on NBC.
(Image and videos courtesy of NBC)