So are you guys totally in love with “The Voice?” I am. Whether I can say I’d watch it if I weren’t assigned to recap this show is not the issue – the fact is I was forced to watch it and I, like millions of others, am officially on board for the rest of the season. But is it for the right reasons? I’ll never tell.
If you read my minicap, you know I made several comparisons between “The Voice” and “American Idol.” Please, please don’t make me explain these differences again. But if you’re interested in hearing my take on it, here’s the link:
And for the rest of you, here’s the play-by-play of Tuesday night’s episode:
We open on… Carson Daly? With all the advertising and promos thrown in our face over the last couple of months, someone forgot to mention that Carson Daly was the host. It’s a dilemma – he’s really, really boring, but no where near as annoying as Ryan Seacrest. While he may not be funny, at least you won’t have to worry about any awkward moments with this guy. So unless you want a host who hits on girls half his age or tries to high-five a blind guy, I guess you’re stuck with Carson
You’re right, dazzyfresh. He’s definitely sleep walking.
But I do have to say Carson gets right to the point. And the way they’re backlit, you’d think our judges are about to throw on capes and save the world.
Grammy nominees unite!
In case you haven’t heard of any of them, Carson gives us a little bit of background info about each of folks you actually tuned in to watch:
Cee Lo GreenAwards: Two Grammys
Band: Gnarles Barkley
Known for: “Crazy” (“Rolling Stone’s” Song of the Decade) and “Forget You”
Superpower: Can turn any object to ice with his coolness.
Blake SheltonAwards: CMA Male Vocalist of the Year
Close Calls: Two Grammy noms, eight #1 singles you never heard of.
Known for: Being engaged to Miranda Lambert.
Superpower: Can disappear in an instant.
Adam LevineAwards: Three Grammys
Known for: Lead Singer of Maroon 5. Also plays drums at Bar Mitzvahs.
Penis Size: With all the talk about what a huge success he is, I’m guessing probably slightly larger than average.
Superpower: Can suck the bad guy’s tongue right out of her body.
Christina AguileraAwards: Yes, many.
Known for: “You better know who I am, bitch!”
Remembers Lyrics to National Anthem: No.
Superpower: Master of Disguise – and apparently, Master Seductress
Together the four judges perform Gnarles Barkley’s “Crazy.” Adam plays the drums, Blake plays the guitar and Christina and Cee Lo just stand there, sounding pretty.
Hey, mom! Mom! Look at me! Did you get a picture? Huh? Did you get it?
But before I go on, I need to throw out a disclaimer: It’s pretty hard to make fun of Cee Lo Green. He is perhaps the coolest man on earth and as you watch the show, it’s apparent that he knows not only music technique but the industry inside and out. So I’m sorry in advance for the lack of Cee Lo jokes. It’s just morally wrong… but luckily, I have three other judges to mock!
Kiss me, Cee Lo! Kiss me now or lose me forever!
After the Judges explain what they’re looking for in contestants, it’s on to the rules. Since they take like 10 minutes to explain it, I feel like I should give some sort of overview:
- The judges sit in rotating seats and face the audience so they can’t see the contestants.
- During each song, the judges are required to make puzzled looks on their faces to prove they can hear them.
- If a judge likes the contestant, he or she pushes a button and the chair lights up and swivels to reveal whether the singer looks as good as he/she sounds.
- If only one judge turns, then that singer is automatically on their team. There is no going back, even if the contestant is Justin Guarini.
- If more than one judge turns around, they have to fight it out for the contestant by proving to the singer why they’d be a better coach. Clothing is optional during this segment.
- If no coach turns around, the contestant WILL NEVER SING AGAIN!
- Once the coaches finish choosing their 8 contestants, they move on to the “Battle Round,” where the coach mentors his/her team and finally cuts it down to four. For some reason, there is an actually boxing ring for this part.
- From there, the contestants are on their own and audience votes will decide who remains on the show and eventually wins.
Whew! This is gonna be one incredibly long series!
Those of you who have cringed through the AI auditions over the years can finally breathe a sigh of relief. All of the contestants went through a pre-lim round before meeting the judges, so don’t expect any terrible singers here. And to further keep your heart from sinking, there’s no Simon Cowell to crush dreams or Steven Tyler to hit on teenagers. In fact, the judges are pretty nice to the contestants, and any general ribbing from the judges is directed solely at each other.
So now let’s meet the contestants:
Tarralyn Ramsey has a great voice but a terrible dress. Yep, she hits it right on the head when she says the judges not being able to see her is to her advantage. And at 31, this is her last chance to really make it in the music industry. You’re going to hear that a lot this episode. “The Voice” is the end-all-be-all, so if the contestants don’t make it this round they might as well go home and off themselves.
Oh honey, no. Just… no.
She sings “Breathe” as we watch reactions from the judges. This is right up Christina’s alley, so she turns her chair first, followed by Cee Lo. After listening to the judges explain why she should choose her, it’s a tough call for Tarralyn – she sounds like Christina, but she looks like Cee Lo. In the end, she goes with Christina, even though she doesn’t understand her Spanish-language albums. Yeah, she said that.
After each audition, the contestant returns to a viewing room to greet Carson. Not much happens during these – and not every interview makes it to air, leaving one wondering how much more boring some of these could get.
Patrick Thomas is a 20-year-old young buck in a cowboy hat, so it’s inevitable he’ll be paired with Blake. Sorry for the spoiler. During his pre-audition interview, Patrick tells us he was different growing up. Rather than play sports, he played music – and he was bullied for it. Well, if those kids could have heard him sing “Live Like You Were Dying,” I’m sure they would have taken it back. Unless they got out of that small town and went alternative – then I’m sure they wouldn’t care.
Adam teases us by suspending his hand over the button – but not for long. He and Cee Lo turn their chairs, finally followed by Blake way later.
WTF, Blake? Press the gosh darn button, already!
Once the song is over and Christina turns around she wishes she could take it back. Hell, if she knew he was this hot she would have had him on her team. So to make up for her mistake, she decides to sexually harass him. She asks him to take his pants off – all while his parents are watching backstage, looking mortified.
Dear God, please, please keep that dirty whore away from my son.
Since Patrick has caught the interest of several judges, they have to really fight it out for him. Blake, of course, is the perfect fit – he knows country music and can definitely “open some doors” for little Patrick (alright, who’s harassing who now?). I’m not even sure why Adam opens his mouth – and I wish he hadn’t. Have you ever heard Adam Levine speak? Let’s just say he should stick with singing. Patrick agrees – and off he goes with Blake to make perfect music together.
Jared Blake is a father of six. After fighting an addiction to drinking and drugs, Jared is now clean – and he has his four daughters to thank for it. He doesn’t really care about the other two kids, though. He screams out “Good Girls Go Bad,” but the judges look unimpressed and no one turns around. It’s bad enough he has to leave empty-handed, but he also has to face Carson Daly on the way out, who sends him off without so much a hiccup.
Maybe you should have a cocktail to relieve the pain. Oh, wait…
Our next contestant is shrouded in secrecy for some reason. We know her name is Vicci Martinez, but the producers refuse to show her face until midway through her song. Maybe it’s because she’s a lesbian whose religious upbringing made coming out a difficult journey for her. But hey, if you’ve seen one Justin Bieber haircut, you’ve seen ‘em all, right? So we don’t judge, we’re kept from seeing her face until halfway through “Rolling in the Deep” (her voice is pretty neat, BTW), when the camera pans up to reveal… a pretty, normal-looking girl. Cee Lo and Christina fight it out, but Cee Lo wins.
The witness’s identity has been concealed for her protection.
Oh and Christina probably wants to de-pants Adam too, since this is about the time they start a little tiff that escalates into minor sexual tension throughout the rest of the show.
The producers have lots of time, even though there’s about 2000 contestants still left to go. So they show us various contestants being informed they will be coming to Hollywood. We see Josh and Nicole, aka the duo “Elenowen.” They’re married and living in her parent’s basement. Aww, how cute. So cute I want to puke. On to the competition!
Sonia Rao is the daughter of Indian immigrants who goes against stereotype – not only is she NOT a doctor, but she has no back-up plan. And it’s apparent during her warm-up that she should get one. She totally messes up a high note on “If I Ain’t Got You,” and for the first time the inner-cattiness of the judges are revealed. Even my darling Cee Lo, who toys with the idea of pressing his button, can’t bring himself to help this girl. Guess the only back-up plan she has left is an arranged marriage.
Elenowen is back to totally mess with the judge’s mind. One starts singing, then the other chimes in, and everyone looks really confused. Nobody knew that duets were allowed in this competition, and Adam actually states he thought they were one person. He’s no Cee Lo Green, that Adam Levine. Oh and Christina points out how good-looking they are, which means she wants them both to take off their pants.
Clap louder, Adam! Clap louder so Tinker Bell can live!
After Cee Lo and Blake fight it out, they have to choose. And Nicole does what every good married woman should do – she calls her husband “the leader” and asks him to make the choice for her. He picks Blake. It’s probably a good choice in the long run – Cee Lo wants to market them like Sonny & Cher, and we all know what happened to them. Seeing as he has a Ph.D. in psychology (he doesn’t), Blake promises them he’ll help their marriage weather the trials and tribulations of fame (he won’t). And he can also counsel them later down the line if any of their children decide to change their gender.
I’ve got you, babe… at least until something better comes along.
Remember Frenchie Davis? The former A.I. contestant who was kicked off the show for taking nude pictures? Well, she’s baaaackkk! Now 31, Frenchie is here to prove that she still has what it takes. Because apparently a run of “Rent” on Broadway isn’t enough to prove you’re an amazing singer. Regardless, Frenchie wants to change her image from her nudie pic days, so she picks the most innocent song possible: “I Kissed a Girl.” But while she’s singing, the judges just sit there. And sit there. And sit there. God this is embarrassing. To think she might be sent home – and she’s fully clothed!
Please, please someone give me a chance! Please! I’ll do what ever it takes. Do you want me to take my clothes off? Cuz that’s not a problem…
But finally Christina sees some potential and presses her button. Frenchie is elated – it’s nice to know that she’s so humble. She’s even more thrilled when Cee Lo recognizes her, and isn’t at all offended when he says, “You just won’t give up, will you?”
And now we have it – our token pretty girl who’s here to prove that looks aren’t the only secret to her success. Kelsey Ray has never used her looks to her advantage, especially not that time when she shot that music video where she was scantily clad that made her an internet sensation in Europe. Poor, poor Kelsey – she wants to be taken seriously for her music, not her looks. Well, what better place to prove yourself than a blind audition?
People just don’t understand how hard it is to be so beautiful!
She shouldn’t get too excited. Kelsey sings for awhile before Adam and Cee Lo finally turn their chairs, but Christina does join them at the last second – which will hopefully give Kelsey the confidence she obviously lacks. So once they see how pretty she is, Adam and Cee Lo have it out over her. And I have to say Kelsey actually has some brains – she could pick Adam for his looks herself, but she chooses Cee Lo based on his excellent feedback. Of course, not without throwing a backhanded compliment Christina’s way: “I totally grew up listening to you,” which in 20-year-old speak means, “Wow. You’re really old now!”
Jeff Jenkins = Barry Manilow. If you’ve ever seen Barry Manilow in concert, you’ll know that’s a HUGE compliment. And yes, I did see Barry in concert, but I have a good excuse. I took my mom for Mother’s Day. Hey – she was cool once, too!
Like Barry, Jeff doesn’t exactly look like a rock star, but he has the voice and stage presence to make all four judges turn their chairs and start a fight club. Even though Jeff has a bit of a country twang, Blake feels his voice is almost too good for country. And I commend him – it’s about time someone acknowledge what a crock it is. In the end, he chooses Adam – mainly cuz the guy begs him to. Pathetic!
Yes! I am THE MAN!
Rebecca Loebe is living out of her car, so she really needs a break. She performs a unique rendition of “Come as You Are,” which is really, truly weird but gets turns from Christina and Adam, who appreciate how she reworked the song. She picks Adam, reasoning that she wants to follow his career. I would watch it, Adam. She’ll be living in your garage before you know it.
In the post-audition interview, Carson says he can relate to her life. How’s that, Carson? Have you ever lived in a van down by the river? Yeah, I’m sure you’ve eaten a lot of ramen noodles in your time.
High-five for homelessness. OK, I’m gonna go back to my mansion now.
Joann Rizzo is a 56-year-old NJ mom in a super-loud outfit – apparently so loud the judges can hear it. No, it’s her outdated version of “I Say a Little Prayer for You” that keeps the judges from passing her. This ain’t Atlantic City, sweetheart, so it’s back to a mundane life of housework and soccer practices for you.
Pigtails ain’t gonna make you look any younger, honey.
Xenia is so shy and quiet you can barely hear her speak, but when she opens her mouth out comes this low, raspy voice that doesn’t fit a 16-year-old. Blake is extremely impressed by her “vibrate-o,” and is happy to coach her once he can figure out how to pronounce her name:
Blake: What is your name?
Blake: Cin-a? Yeah, we’re gonna have to change that if you want to be a country star.
Xenia: I don’t.
Tje Austin (it’s pronounced “Ty,” by the way. I blame parents of the 80s for trying to make their children’s names sound original and confusing everyone in the process) is also shrouded in secrecy for some reason. While he’s kept in the dark, we do get to meet his parents: a nice, typical Mormon family.
We’re just so dang proud of our boy!
But during his song “Just the Way You Are,” the camera pans up to reveal a tall, lanky African-American man, complete with afro. Um… but your parents are – they’re whi—you know what, even though they obviously wanted to surprise us with this nobody on the show is saying anything, so I’m not gonna say anything. I’m sure the story will come out at some point.
Hey… wait a sec…
I know, Blake. We’re all confused.
He does great blah blah blah Cee Lo and Adam press their buttons blah blah blah then Christina turns around and asks him to take his pants off blah blah mortified parents yada yada yada he picks Cee Lo.
Bare with me people. Only two left.
Next we have Javier Colon. No, it doesn’t sound like that. His last name is actually pronounced “Cologne,” which he reminds us of several times. Still, for some reason they tend to throw his name up on the screen more than any other contestant.
I bet there were a lot of giggles in the editing room over this one.
He’s a father of two girls and being a professional musician doesn’t always pay the bills, so Javier could use a break. And he gets one. During his rendition of “Time After Time” – in which he gets extra brownie points for playing his own guitar – everyone turns their chairs. But after Christina scares him away by telling him she wants “to feel him,” Javier chooses Adam, who as the least feminine judge on the panel (no, no he’s not), is very non-threatening.
Beverly McClellan is a total rocker, but at 41, this is her last chance to make it. With her shaved head and well-placed tattoos, Bev looks just like Britney Spears.
A very crazy Britney Spears.
I bet you $10 that she sings Janis Joplin and… oh, I win! That was easy. So Christina is impressed and hovers her hand over the button for awhile, but just to spite her Adam presses his button the same time she does. And boy do they have it out – to the point that Christina calls him a used car salesman. But her tactic works and Beverly chooses Christina as her coach.
If Christina wants any of her contestants to sleep with her, she finally has a ready and willing participant. Beverly is thrilled that Christina kissed her. She’s never going to wash that cheek again.
So that’s it. They really don’t say much after that – well, there’s a super-long preview of the upcoming season, but like we really learn anything from that. Next week I believe we finalize the teams – and thank God, cuz this was exhausting! So until then…
Peace out, my friends!