When last we left The Voice Season 6, Teams Adam and Usher had 4 of their 12 artists selected, while Team Shakira had 3 and Team Blake only 2. Who will get the lucky call-ups (0r button-pushes) tonight?
Batting leadoff is Ryan Whyte Maloney, who’s looking forward to being able to make music his career, and not just his hobby. Ryan’s version of “Lights” attracts Adam and Blake simultaneously, and then Shakira follows right afterward, apparently keeping good on her promise to push every time Blake does. Usher finally joins the party just as the song is drawing to a close, making Ryan yet another four-chair scoring artist. Usher claims he waited so long just to see if Ryan would “continue to work” for that last button. We’re not entirely sure if we believe that.
Let the pitching begin. Note the total difference in approach between the show’s two veteran coaches.
Adam: You have a high voice. I have a high voice. We’re basically already best friends.
Blake: I have pictures of you in my mind with a helium balloon like [mimes sucking helium].
Ryan decides to base his decision on what his kids would tell him, and signs up for Team Blake. We’re not sure if that’s the most scientific way to choose your coach, but welcome him to the show anyway.
Deshawn Washington is in the number two spot, hoping to improve the quality of life for his family like many artists before him. His performance of “Twistin’ The Night Away” is a welcome departure from the usual song selections we hear during blind auditions. After much deliberation between our coaches, Shakira decides to push for Deshawn, and she gets him uncontested. Adam chides Usher for not making the turn. Too late.
We’re also still scouring Los Angeles, land of perpetually undiscovered talent, where we’re introduced to a nanny who’d rather be a singing star. Sam Behymer is performing Lorde’s “Royals,” and gets Adam to turn his chair for her early on. Usher thinks on it before deciding to challenge him. Sam is understandably pretty flustered by their attention, and it’s interesting to see Adam and Usher spar, because they’re the two who give the most specific feedback to the artists. Usher wins brownie points by mentioning Michelle Chamuel, as Sam is a fan of the Season 4 runner-up, but Sam stuns him in joining Team Adam.
We begin the second half of hour number one with our first montage of rejections this season. Once that’s passed, it’s time for Brendan Ryan, who’s making use of the in-holding room piano. Apparently he’s both a singer and an improv comedian, which is a pretty cool combination. He’s swinging for the fences with “Love On Top,” although you wouldn’t know it’s a Beyonce song from the way he’s arranged it. Sadly, nobody takes a chance on him, and he strikes out. Let’s pair him with Season 1’s Tim Mahoney and see what happens.
Out in Missouri, we meet Cody and Clint Walker, identical twins who make up the duo named (what else?) Brothers Walker. That makes them the second set of twins to appear on The Voice, after The Morgan Twins. And their version of “Keep Me In Mind” attracts Usher. Hey, Blake, why do you still look so surprised to hear a duo? You know they exist on this show! You even coached one to the finals in Season 4. Down the row, Adam needs some help with the concept of identical twins.
Adam: Wait a second. What the hell is going on here?
Cody: There’s two of us.
Adam: But you’re the same.
Clarissa Serna follows the twins, performing The Cranberries’ “Zombie,” which you’ve already heard because NBC leaked her audition last week. Adam likes what he’s hearing; so does Shakira. Blake probably doesn’t know this song, but he turns around anyway, and Usher once again waits until the last second to jump in. He’s so late Clarissa doesn’t even realize he’s turned for her. While Blake laughs at him for that, Adam rhapsodizes about Clarissa’s performance, and Shakira tries to differentiate between tactics and strategy. It’s a fine distinction. After all that noise, Clarissa punches her ticket to Team Shakira.
Now it’s time for that thing we still all vehemently hate: the montage of successful auditions. Lindsay Pagano goes to Team Shakira (not to be confused with Lindsey Pavao). Joshua Howard joins Team Adam. And Team Usher picks up Tanner James. Hopefully, we’ll get to meet these three obviously talented artists in the battle rounds.
Our next full audition is that of Robert Lee, who brings us “The Weight” by The Band. The fact that Robert doesn’t get anyone to turn only adds to the frustration of skipping over three auditions that did attract our coaches.
In New York, there’s Melissa Jimenez, who comes to the Voice stage after having worked with Wyclef Jean and losing a record deal. Melissa’s version of “If I Ain’t Got You” doesn’t necessarily compare to the previous takes that have been done on the show or by people that have been on the show (as we’re going to insist that Adam Levine still has the best cover), but we give her credit for confusing Shakira by deciding to do part of the song in Spanish.
Usher and Shakira have a meeting of the minds before they both turn for Melissa, who immediately starts fangirling all over Shakira so much it’s almost too much. Usher immediately senses that this is a losing battle, even though Blake tries to help him, and he name-drops original artist Alicia Keys. But out of nowhere, Melissa turns sides and picks him as her coach. Yet Blake still likes Shakira more. More importantly, here’s Season 5 winner Tessanne Chin in a commercial!
Patrick Thomson’s version of the Marshall Tucker Band song “Can’t You See” earns him Adam and Blake’s ears. Adam is not happy about this, since Blake is apparently in a last clap contest with himself.
Adam: God, even your claps are annoying.
Usher gives Blake a little payback for preferring Shakira, by endorsing Adam as Patrick’s coach. The “gargle with broken glass” phrase comes out again, too, and it still isn’t that effective or funny. Ultimately, Patrick decides to go with Team Adam, and that ought to be an interesting combination.
There’s another montage of rejected singers (possibly the first time we’ve ever had two such montages in the same episode?) before Allison Bray arrives with her take on Connie Francis’ “Where The Boys Are.” The song choice initially confounds our coaches, and Shakira considers pushing but doesn’t. Adam even wonders why she didn’t. Allison might not have made it on theshow, but we suggest she teams up with Team Blake’s Noah Lis and they have a throwback jam session.
Our final audition of the night seems like it’s perfect for television. Sisaundra Lewis may have taken fashion advice from Sera Hill. She also has a celebrity connection, having worked with music superstar Celine Dion as her vocal director, and Celine provides Carson with a video message to present to her former colleague. The commercial break before this already gave away that Sisaundra turns all four chairs with her take on “Ain’t No Way,” so the only suspense is who’s going to land her for their team. The answer is Blake, of course, since the show’s been harping on Blake’s string of bad luck all evening.
After three nights of auditions, it’s Team Adam 7, Team Blake 4, Team Shakira 6, and Team Usher 7. Blind auditions continue tomorrow at 8 PM ET/PT on NBC. For more on Season 6, you can check out our interview with Team Usher’s Bria Kelly as she talks going from America’s Got Talent to The Voice.