Night four of blind auditions on The Voice sees our coaches’ rosters filling up, and that usually means it’s the time when they become more choosy, letting some good artists go home in the hopes of saving a spot for one that is great or unique. Will that be the case tonight? Let’s find out.
Adam, Blake and Cee Lo all need 5 more singers to complete their squads, while Christina only has 4 spots to give. Our coaches roll up to the soundstage in style, while Carson and his Kia fetch Will Champlin, the son of Chicago member Bill Champlin. For those of you too young to remember Chicago, they were great. (In a case of ‘it’s a small world,’ Bill also performed “In The Heat of the Night,” which we discussed last week.) Will’s hoping his audition will help him establish his own music career. His performance of Gavin DeGraw’s “Not Over You” gets Blake to push his button, followed by Adam and then Cee Lo. (But the most important thing here is that Will’s daughter is adorable, pointing at her dad on the backstage monitor.)
Adam starts the pitch process, talking about how if Gavin DeGraw songs reflect Will’s taste, then he knows a little something about that. Cee Lo’s argument is a little bit vague. Blake is almost alliterative, as he compliments Will’s power, passion, pitch – and hair. Christina admits she didn’t want to be a part of this fight. Will makes the smart decision and joins Team Adam, as Adam tells his colleagues that Will reminds him of a male version of Season 3 finalist Michelle Chamuel. What do you think of that comparison?
Next to audition is 18-year-old Macey Estes, who wants to be a hip-hop/rap artist. Her performance of “The Way” has our panel immediately picking up on how young she is, and also staring at Cee Lo to see what he’s going to do. The answer to that is nothing, and Macey goes home, but not before she whips out a rap about her audition.
29-year-old Stephanie Anne Johnson is third to go, and we learn that she studied classical voice and opera (as Chris Mann did before he came and wowed us). Stephanie chooses KT Tunstall’s “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree” for her audition, After some argument as to who’s going to push their button for her, Christina finally goes in, followed by Cee Lo. Cee Lo compares Stephanie Anne to his Season 1 finalist Vicci Martinez, who as it turns out was a high school classmate of Stephanie Anne’s. (Again, small world.) After Blake assures Christina that it’s okay that she doesn’t play guitar, Stephanie Anne signs up with Team Christina.
25-year-old Sam Cerniglia joins us next, aspiring to break out of his customer service job and kickstart a music career. He performs “It’s A Beautiful Day” and immediately has the ladies in the studio audience making noise. But what do the coaches think? They wait a ridiculously long time, but Blake and Cee Lo decide they want Sam on their teams, thankfully because he definitely deserves it.
Blake: What you’re doing took me to a Michael Buble concert.
And Blake would know, since Buble has been one of his advisors. Cee Lo thinks Sam is a “swinger” (while Sam’s fiancee laughs backstage, saying “not so much”) and that the two of them should hang out. Sam opts for Team Blake, while his new coach says that he’ll be phoning Buble to ask him about “the right things to do for an artist like that.” Wise idea there, Blake.
While Adam sits on Cee Lo’s lap in hopes of changing his luck, 32-year-old Jennifer Newberry arrives. Jennifer’s rendition of Bruno Mars’ “Locked Out Of Heaven” strikes out with the coaches, though. Cue tonight’s montage of unlucky folks.
Moving on, re-meet 31-year-old James Irwin, who’s our first returning artist of Season 5. He didn’t get any interest with his version of “The Man Who Can’t Be Moved” in Season 4, but he admits that it wasn’t his best work, and he’s back to do better this time around. His new song choice is R.E.M’s “Losing My Religion,” and he’s doing something very, very right as all four coaches turn for him before he even gets deep into the song. How fantastic is that – to go from a missed audition to a four-chair turnaround? Congratulations, James, on all your hard work and persistence paying off in a big way.
Blake and Adam recognize James from last season, with Blake so enthused that he came back and Adam pointing out how momentous James’ accomplishment is. When he continues by saying that there are some things he’d still work on, James admits that he got distracted from the song when he saw all the chairs spin, and we can totally forgive him for that.
Christina’s pitch to James consists of “I wasn’t here last season, but I’m here now,” while Cee Lo talks about style and Blake discusses how James is clearly our winner of the Most Improved Award. He has every option available in front of him, and eventually punches his card to Team Adam. Welcome aboard, James!
Adam: That kind of accelerated improvement makes me think that this dude is capable of anything.
As we hit the halfway point of the evening, welcome 25-year-old Olivia Henken. She might be country, but Olivia’s take on “Two Black Cadillacs” draws Christina first, and then Cee Lo. Christina admits that she’s glad that Blake didn’t push his button, but suggests that Blake might give her ideas for Olivia since they’re buddies. Cee Lo takes the opposite tack, saying that he isn’t going to let Olivia stay in one genre, although his use of the phrase “different positions” causes everyone fits of inappropriate laughter. Olivia wants to be a country artist, though, so she takes the safe approach with Christina. We’ll see if staying the course works for or against her in later rounds, as we’ve seen it unfold both ways in previous seasons.
16-year-old rocker Jason Kertson is our next hopeful up, with a unique talent: he can play two guitars at once. Like many artists before him, he found a measure of fame via YouTube. Now he wants to continue to improve his craft beyond that. Jason’s take on Hinder’s “Lips of an Angel,” sans guitars, is a little bit underwhelming and fails to connect with any of our coaches. With a little more life experience, though, he might just be back.
Adam: It makes me feel like less of a man that there’s a 16-year-old that sounds like more of a man than I ever was.
Oh, Adam. There you go again being all self-deprecating. We’ll turn our attention to R. Anthony (in the naming style of C. Perkins), the former member of a gospel trio who put music aside to focus on marriage and family. His attempt at The Script’s “Hall of Fame” takes a bit to catch on, but eventually Christina pushes her button for him. At the absolute last second, Cee Lo spoils the party by jumping in to fight her. While Christina tries to imitate Blake’s finger-pointing, Cee Lo explains what took him so long. And when Christina tells him to “go with your heart,” R. Anthony joins forces with Cee Lo.
Here’s where more artists get their screen time chopped. Keaira LaShae joins Team Cee Lo, while Team Christina picks up Amber Nicole and Team Blake signs up Emily Randolph. Rather than reiterate our feelings on successful audition montages, we’ll just direct you back to last night’s recap.
The last singer of the night is another country artist, Justin Chain. Justin’s take on “She’s Country” immediately attracts Blake (no surprise there, right?) and after Christina tells Blake she has no interest in competing with him, Justin joins Team Blake without a fight. Cue some country jokes to finish the night out.
Blake: I’m inbred and everything.
Justin: (laughing) Me too. We’re probably related or something.
Our last singer to perform is Ashley Dubose, with her version of Rihanna’s “Diamonds,” which made for a phenomenal group number last season. Ashley turns all four chairs, giving her the opportunity to choose anyone she wants as her coach. While Adam and Cee Lo play “who gets to name-drop Rihanna,” Blake talks about how he can be more than a one-trick pony. Adam interrupts him before he’s done, saying that he really wants to dethrone Blake. Ashley ultimately says hello to Team Adam.
At the close of our second week of auditions, Team Adam has 10 members, Team Blake has 10, Team Cee Lo has 9 and Team Christina has 11, meaning she has only one more chance to push her button. Would you want to be in her position?
Stay tuned next week 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).