With the “how’s it going to be?!” of the premiere out of the way, The Voice is now focused on picking more artists for its four Season 5 teams. BFTV is dialed in to tell you who made the cut in the next two hours, and of course, what the coaches said and did to keep us in our chairs.
Things start with a little more chat between our coaches (with Christina saying what we’ve all been thinking: “Is it now called The Blake Shelton Show?”) before we meet 16-year-old Jacquie Lee, who tells herself to “say hi to Adam” before her performance of Amy Winehouse’s “Back To Black.” While Adam likes the song choice (he’s already used it on this show), Christina and Blake are the two that turn for Jacquie. Cee Lo would rather discuss where she bought her boots. Let the pitches begin!
Christina (to Jacquie): You look up to Blake.
Adam: We all do. He’s like 6’9″.
Jacquie signs up with Team Christina, home of the female vocalists. Christina calls her “Jacqueline,” so let’s hope that’s her full name or that’s a bit awkward. Whatever she wants to be called, she’s a good, solid pick, but Bryan Keith still owns the Voice monopoly on that song. And on another note, is Season 5 skewing on the younger side already?
Second to the plate is 27-year-old Barry Black, who left the family hotel business to pursue music in Las Vegas. He gets points for using the word “flugelhorn” in a sentence. In fact, he can imitate a horn (in this case a saxophone) with his mouth. His version of Bobby Caldwell‘s hit “What You Won’t Do For Love,” which is one of the best songs ever written, immediately draws Adam’s attention. Blake decides to make it a two-way competition, and pretty much beats up on Adam in the resulting discussion with a series of hilarious quips. Despite this, Barry joins Team Adam, and adds some more awesome to our mix.
That’s going to be hard to beat, but here comes 19-year-old alternative rocker Mike Unser. Mike has brought us “Dirty Little Secret,” but his version fails to draw the interest of any of the coaches. What follows is the least awkward conversation ever, as no one can put their finger on why they didn’t turn for him, and he actually ends up encouraging the panel instead of the other way around. At least Mike still has really lovely hair.
Destinee Quinn gets a sweet shout-out from Alice Cooper before her audition. She describes herself as a country artist, so let’s all turn and look at Blake while she sings “Cowboy Take Me Away.” It’s Christina who pushes her button for Destinee, though, followed by Cee Lo. Christina calls Destinee “Angel of God” before playing the ever-common “I pushed my button first” card, and not letting Cee Lo get much of a word in edgewise. Blake regrets not pushing his button, but isn’t bothered.
Blake: And then you can shove it in my face, and I can steal her in the battle rounds. It won’t matter anyway.
Since Cee Lo put up almost no argument, you can’t really blame Destinee for signing on with Christina, who will have an interesting challenge in front of her with a country artist. It’s a genre she hasn’t dealt with since she mentored The Line, who didn’t get through battle rounds in Season 2.
Cole Vosbury is next to audition, bringing along his grandmother, who used to tour with some musical greats including Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis. Grandma claims that she once turned down Elvis. But that’s beside the point, really. The point is Cole’s song choice, “Movin’ On Up,” which TV geeks like this writer and Adam know as the theme to the classic sitcom The Jeffersons. We’ve had movie themes on this show, but this is the first TV theme. (If somebody breaks out “In The Heat of the Night,” it’ll be a perfect world.) Cee Lo is pleased by this song choice and spins around, offering Cole a place on his squad uncontested.
19-year-old Holly Henry follows Cole. continuing the tradition of Voice artists from Minnesota (see: Tim Mahoney, Nicholas David). Holly’s take on Coldplay’s “The Scientist” finally gets Blake to push his button (backstage, Carson is particularly amused that it took all of one word). However, the returning champ has a fight on his hands, as Adam, Cee Lo and Christina all decide they want Holly, too. It’s another night, another four-chair performance.
Adam and Blake talk like they’ve already signed her up, while Cee Lo lays on his trademark charm, and Christina leads with the “we’re both women” argument. Not to be outdone, Blake pulls out the “Have you watched this show in the past?” and the “who I’m married to” cards simultaneously. One of those works, because Holly joins Team Blake. This makes her the second Holly on Blake’s roster in two seasons, following Holly Tucker.
Next is 16-year-old Sammy C., who brings hip-hop back to The Voice with “Where Is The Love?” Unfortunately, although some of the coaches come close to saying yes (particularly Blake, which is a surprise), nobody pushes a button for him and so he won’t be joining us this season. Wisely, Sammy takes a moment to ask for constructive criticism before stepping off stage. His failed audition starts the nightly montage of similarly unlucky folks.
Then here comes Austin Jenckes and the rock classic “Simple Man.” Everyone has a group huddle that results in both Cee Lo and Blake pushing their buttons for Austin, who joins Team Blake.
If you missed the segments with Carson and his Kia, you’re in luck, because he’s on the road to visit E.G. Daily. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because she’s also a voice actress, known for shows like Rugrats and The Powerpuff Girls. Now she’s getting a shot as a musician in front of our coaches. She selects Faith Hill’s “Breathe” for her audition, and picks up Cee Lo and Blake.
Adam: That’s awesome that she’s not from anywhere near where you live, Blake.
Cee Lo name-drops Rod Stewart, while Christina recognizes E.G. from her role in Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure and everyone promptly freaks out. Despite Christina and Adam trying to nudge her to the contrary, E.G. selects Blake as her coach, making Cee Lo a very sad man indeed.
There are two more auditions left in the first week of Season 5. The first is Jonny Gray, who brings us The Killers’ “All These Things That I’ve Done.” Nobody’s quite sure what to make of this at first. Then Cee Lo decides to go for it, followed by Adam, who was Jonny’s choice going into the performance. After Cee Lo has an epic moment, Adam uses the term “emo,” which prompts Blake to remind us he’s pop-culture clueless at times.
Blake: Is emo one of those big birds? Like an ostrich,
Adam: (facepalm) Yeah, exactly.
Despite his earlier statement that he wanted badly to work with Adam, Jonny selects Cee Lo because he made a Pearl Jam reference. It goes to show you, never listen to who an artist says they want before they audition, because they’re not necessarily going to stick to their guns afterward.
Tuesday’s final performer is Tessanne Chin, who’s another backup singer (for Jimmy Cliff), and whose version of Pink’s “Try” attracts Christina, Cee Lo and Adam almost in sequence. Blake joins them a moment later, giving Tessanne her pick of coaches in the second four-chair audition of the evening. Adam thinks she could “easily” win the competition; Blake retorts that he’s lying, because it’s not easy to win this show. Cee Lo calmly sits there and talks about accompanying Tessanne on her journey, prompting Adam to point out that she’s married. After a little more pleading from all involved, Tessanne breaks the four-way deadlock by pledging for Team Adam.
With Week 1 in the books, your counts are Team Adam 5/12, Team Blake 4/12, Team Cee Lo 4/12 and Team Christina 4/12.
Stay tuned Monday night for the next round of blind auditions, and for more on all things related to The Voice, be sure to check out BFTV’s sister site Big Red Chairs and follow us on Twitter (@bigredchairs).