Monday night was the final evening for The Voice‘s blind auditions and it was crunch time for judges Cee Lo Green and Blake Shelton to find their last contestants to fill their team. Not only was it a race to find the best of the best, it was also the night of a returning contestant from last season. I will be dishing and reviewing the top contestants that stood out and some of those interesting moments of last night’s show.
Let me start with returning contestant from last year, Matt Cermanski, who performed for the coaches with the song “Teenage Dream” by Katy Perry. During that performance, Matt was given some sound feedback to take to heart to give him the chance to return. I saw a great improvement with his voice, and enjoyed his performance of “Have a Little Faith in Me” by John Hiatt.
This time, he accompanied his performance with his guitar. Unlike the performance of last year, Matt didn’t have any hesitation or waver in his vocals, not even when he went into falsetto. Adam immediately slammed his hand on the button to turn his chair, which was followed up by Blake and Cee Lo. In pure Blake fashion, he did his traditional finger pointing in his direction, while Adam pretty much informed his competitive co-coaches that Matt was going to choose him. He, of course was correct; getting young Cermanski to join his team.
I really liked Tamara Chaumiece, from Wharton Texas. Having a strong background in gospel music, I loved how she did Beyoncé’s “1+1”. Tamara gave the song a rich sound and didn’t make it a copycat of Beyoncé’s style. The only thing that I was fairly disappointed in was that she didn’t go with Christina Aguilera. She and Christina would have been a great fit to work with together; therefore, it will be of interest to see how Cee Lo does music selection wise with her.
Brandon Chase, the twenty year old from Arlington, Texas tugged at my heart-strings a bit. His voice was so pure when he took to the stage and I really loved his version of Hunter Hayes’ “Wanted”. His backstory, for me, was what made me fully enjoy watching his performance. Brandon shared with host Carson Daly, and then with the coaches that as a baby, he stopped breathing several times, being told he didn’t have much chance of surviving. For him, this is his chance to follow a dream that may not have ever come for him. Blake and Cee Lo both competed hard to get him on one of their teams, and let’s be honest here, Brandon is pure country and going over to Team Blake was the right choice for him to make.
Going with the one name introduction, wedding band singer, Grey aka Greylyn Paluszynski from Jacksonville, Florida had me worried the minute I saw that she was going to sing Kelly Clarkson’s “Catch My Breath”. I’m always nervous when a hopeful female artist starts to sing from the song book of Clarkson songs. Either they do similarities of the song note for note, or they over-do the song. Grey fortunately didn’t do either of that. Yes, she was a bit nervous at the beginning of the song, but as the rest of the coaches pointed out, once the small amount of nerves faded away, she took off with the song. She is one I hope to see a little bit longer than the Battle Rounds coming next week, but that will depends the song choice her coach Adam has for her and who he puts her up against.
I’ve said it previously in a review that I am not a huge country music fan, but loved hearing the voice of Brian Pounds, the twenty-four year old from Austin, Texas. Taking on Darius Rucker’s, “Wagon Wheel”, to me he wasn’t just doing a blind audition, but also singing for the pure fun of it. I think that is what made the song so enjoyable. It was so clear that Blake wanted that full on sound that he had, and even went as far as saying that Brian was a genuine country singer who wants to make country music, therefore, needed to be on his team. After a few minutes of the teasing from the rest of the coaches at Blake, Brian made his decision to go with Blake.
When I talk about ‘the misses’, I don’t mean artists that were over-looked by the coaches, but rather, some that just missed the mark in getting the chairs to turn and earn a spot on a team. There were three that stood out to me; Diego Roman Navaira, Dominic Scott Kay, and Deanna Johnson. I think with a bit more work, they could have the potential to return and show the coaches how much growth they have vocally.
Diego Roman Navaira, whose father is a Tijuana musician, went for 80’s rock vibe by taking on the classic Billy Idol song “Rebel Yell”. I just thought he was all over the place and had a hard time finding his place in the song. In some places in the song, it seemed as if he was trying to sound a bit like Idol, but then in other places in the song, he was trying to make the song his own. It didn’t work in his favor, especially with it being the last night of blind auditions and the fact that the coaches are extra critical in order to find their perfect fit.
The second singer that seemed to have lost his way was seventeen year old Dominic Scott Kay, the young actor, whose father was the drummer for the Commodores. He chose the song “Easy” by, well, the Commodores. The song was too big for him to sing; and without a true understanding of the song, it loses its story as to what the song is about. If Dominic would have chosen a more current song, perhaps he would have received a chair turn.
The last person that had a little bit of a struggle in the blind audition was Deanna Johnson, also seventeen, from Hazelhurst, Georgia. She took on the Grace Potter and the Nocturnals song, “Stars”, which is another huge song to attempt. It seemed hard for her to know when to hit those high notes when she needed to. Some of those bumps she has when she sings can easily be worked on with more vocal training and practice for her to have another chance on the show.
Now that the blind auditions have closed out, it’s now time for the battles to begin. Tomorrow’s show will be a two-hour recap of what happened the past five episodes so far, but next week the coaches will meet up with their teams to pair them up to battle it out for a spot in the Top 6 to perform in the live competition. During the start of the battle rounds, the coaches of course will have a helping hand from some pretty cool mentors.
The legendary Cher will be working with Blake, while Adam will get One Republic front man, Ryan Tedder. Christina will have UK import, singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran on her side to help, while Cee Lo will get musical artist Miguel. Mentors aren’t the only thing to tune in for, however, because once again, the word STEAL will come in to play and from the looks of the previews for next week, some of these artists that many not have made the cut in the battle rounds could be scooped up to try again.
Stay tuned to watch the two hour recap show of each teams blind auditions, which will airs tonight at 8PM/EST.