There’s a lot going on in tonight’s fifth volume of The Voice blind auditions! The coaches have just 16 spots left on their four teams, and Adam Levine is about to be honored with a new award that he can soon produce any time Blake “just happens” to find his CMAs or ACMs or whatever else he has. Not to be outdone, Blake’s officiating Kelly Clarkson’s wedding, even as Kelly is about to tour with Maroon 5. It never ends with these coaches!
Our Fantastic Four are still on the lookout for more great singers. The search begins with golf cart-driving Jeff Lewis, who comes armed with Usher’s “U Got It Bad.” Cue the obligatory shot of Usher being pleasantly surprised by this song choice. He deliberates for a good, long while before pushing his button, after which Blake and Shakira decide that might also be a good idea. Although Blake doesn’t give himself much of a chance.
Blake: Let me just get my little thing in here, because I’m screwed. I know I am.
He’s right, because Jeff signs up with Team Usher. Following him is 45-year-old Shawna P, who seems to be living that phrase “you’re only as old as you feel.” She name-drops for a little bit before performing the Black Crowes song “She Talks To Angels,’ which appears to startle Shakira for a second, but that doesn’t stop the Latin superstar from pushing her button. Adam contemplates a nap, but then joins her. Shawna hears them talk about how rock and roll they both are before joining Team Shakira. At least Adam and Shakira hug it out afterward.
We move to St. Louis to meet coffeehouse singer Caroline Glaser, who steps onto the Voice stage with Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer.” Adam recognizes the song immediately, as it’s one of his favorites. While he’s completely Zen with the music, Blake and Shakira hit their buttons for Caroline, making this a two-coach battle. Blake continues his habit of trying to convince contestants he has everything in common with them. Shakira whips out the word diaphanous. Caroline decides to sign up with Team Blake. Afterward, the coaches debate whether or not Blake plants people in the audience to yell his name.
Next up is Cameron, who tells us that he can do just about everything in the music business, before declaring that he’s going to sing “As Long As You Love Me” by Justin Bieber. We’ve already seen Vedo have success with a Bieber cover, so will Cameron be able to do the same? He seems a little more invested in his footwork; Adam makes a point of noting that he’s dancing. No one turns around for Cameron, with several of the coaches bringing up that his performance was more about his moves rather than his sound.
Usher: You have to put in the work to manage both. It’s about finding the balance, because it’s really based off of the voice first.
Following this is Michael Austin, who you probably don’t want to get on the bad side of, because he’s also a deputy sheriff. Speaking as someone who almost joined my local sheriff’s department before I got my first big writing gig, I wholeheartedly approve of this guy. Michael’s cover of “Someone Like You” draws Adam’s approval, followed by Shakira. Blake doesn’t buzz in because he thinks it’s pitchy, but Adam doesn’t care. In fact, he ribs Blake quite a bit for not chiming in. Although Shakira can yodel, Michael joins Team Adam, giving the Maroon 5 front man two country artists on his roster.
Coming up next is Sasha Allen, who’s sung backup for Christina Aguilera as well as Alicia Keys (wonder if she knows Jermaine Paul?). She wants to work with Shakira and Usher, calling Blake and Adam “the farthest from what I do.” She’s singing the Dixie Chicks’ “Not Ready To Make Nice,” and draws the attention of all four coaches. Adam immediately begins pleading his case, while saying some really nice things about The Voice, too:
Adam: This show changed my life. I was a cynic. It brought back the joy to music.
Then there’s Usher giving a Presidential-esque speech about fighting for the talent on his team.
Blake: I’m Usher, and I approve this message.
Despite her earlier statement, Sasha decides to become a member of Team Adam. That ought to make her friend Amanda Brown, who was one of Team Adam’s finalists from Season 3, very happy. If you’re keeping score at home, Team Adam is loaded this season with four-chair artists – Sasha, Sarah Simmons, Midas Whale and Judith Hill, who remains the frontrunner for season four.
That’s a tough act to follow, but Matt Cermanski has to do it, with Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” no less. Carson is surprised by the song choice, saying that it’s either going to be the greatest decision of Matt’s life or hurt him. Hey, if Kris Thomas can sing Whitney Houston… But Matt’s performance lacks the vocal ability of Kris’s, and he goes home empty-handed, while the coaches specifically call out his song choice as a contributing factor to his departure.
After NBC tries to compare The Voice to its new matchmaking series Ready for Love, leaving us scratching our heads, we get another montage. Jamila Thompson joins Team Usher, Amy Whitcomb becomes the newest member of Team Adam (after being a member of Delilah on NBC’s The Sing-Off), and Justin Rivers and Michelle Raitzin sign up with Team Blake. You’ll have to wait for the battle rounds to get to know them.
Mary Miranda (not to be confused with Janetza) arrives next and her version of Selena’s “Como La Flor” immediately wakes up everyone in the room. Since she’s singing in Spanish, we get to watch the camera hover over Shakira for half of Mary’s audition. Shakira does the right thing and hits her button, while Blake and Usher decide to go in together, which causes Shakira to curse.
Blake: She’s really good, but I don’t understand anything she’s saying. But then it dawned on me, nobody can understand anything I say, either.
Wisely, Mary picks Shakira. She’s followed by Memphis native Grace Askew, who blinds us all with her chrome guitar. That aside, her version of Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Are Made For Walkin'” perks up Blake almost right away, and he is not happy when Shakira decides to challenge him. Usher and Adam smartly decide to stay out of the fight, which proves to be a good idea as Blake starts clapping and yelling excitedly.
Adam: And you had a lot of coffee this morning.
After Blake professes his love, Grace picks him as her coach. Blake’s so excited about this that he’s even yelling on Twitter. After Grace is Cincinnati native Jane Smith, who crushes us all by telling us both of her parents were diagnosed with cancer. Although her father has passed on, her mother is in remission and present to cheer Jane on as she performs “You’ve Got The Love.” Unfortunately, with space at a premium, she doesn’t earn any button pushes, but the coaches encourage the 18-year-old artist to keep working and come back for another attempt.
There’s the next montage of similarly unlucky folks before one last audition. That’s Ryan Innes, who likes to play with the set decorations and whose version of “Gravity” gets all four coaches to want him on their teams. After hearing all the pitches, which include Blake comparing his turning around to one of those epic movie reunions where couples run toward each other and Adam offering to kick him in the stomach, Ryan signs on with Team Usher.
At the end of the evening, with the Adam Levine Expletive Counter still holding at 2, Team Adam has 11 members, Team Blake 11, Team Shakira 11 and Team Usher 11. That means there’s only room for four more artists as we go into tomorrow night. I’ll see you Tuesday to uncover who gets those chairs to spin for the last time!
For more on The Voice and its artists, you can visit BFTV’s dedicated The Voice blog, Big Red Chairs.
(c)2013 Brittany Frederick/Big Red Chairs. Excerpts appear at Starpulse and Examiner with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted. Visit my official website and follow me on Twitter at @bigredchairs.