During premiere week of Emmy-winning The Voice, the competition was intense. It makes one question if the second week would be twice as hard on the coaches to win over great talent to their team. Unlike last week, where the talent was so fierce, four chairs turned several times, this Monday night’s episode showed just how hard it was for those auditioning to get those chairs spinning. Monday’s show proved that just because an artist has the voice and knows how to sing the song of their choosing, does not necessarily means a coach is going to hit their button to vie for them. Artist Lina Gaudenski , who sang Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide”, quickly won over Christina Aguilera (any young female artist who hits the high notes or does her trademark runs in songs seem to instantly get her attention), while three time winner, Blake Shelton waited until Lina hit the final note to turn his chair. Both coaches obviously saw something special in Lina’s vocals, where-as Adam Levine and Cee Lo Green clearly wanted something more.
Last night’s show was a tough one; not just for the artists auditioning but the coaches. Even though it is week two of the blind auditions, it is technically crunch time for the coaches to get strong artists on their team, therefore seeing the many people that were passed up was clearly understandable. As Cee-Lo pointed out to Malford Milligan, who sang R&B legend Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” his rendition sounded too much like the classic version rather than a unique version that the coaches were hoping to hear.
There was a little “Ha Ha” moment between Blake and Adam when Justin Blake took the stage singing one of Blake’s songs, “Sure Be Cool if You Did”. Shelton knew off the bat that Justin was going to sing his song the minute the song started to play. Adam was the first to hit the button and remained the only one with his chair turned for Justin. During Adam’s talk on why he liked the song, Blake stunned him, by telling Justin that it was gutsy to do one of his songs. What I do like about the blind auditions is that even when joking around together, it does not take all focus away from the artist that is up on stage.
The youngest artist, since last year’s winner, Danielle Bradbury, was Timyra-Joi Beatty. At fifteen years old, she took the challenge of stepping on the stage to sing Alicia Keys “Girl on Fire”. I was on the fence about her performance. First off, that’s a powerful song within itself to sing, and second, after hearing her sing it, I was not overly impressed. Yes, she is a good singer, but I just thought the song itself sounded exactly as if Alicia Keys were singing. There was nothing different at all in the arrangement; and perhaps nothing could have been changed up with that song for her. Christina was wowed by her, and a part of me keeps wondering if she’s choosing her artists based on the fact that they have somewhat similar singing styles as she does.
Am I the only one that thinks Blake purposely hits his button shortly after another coach does? Whether it’s strategy or not, Blake is making it very clear early in the season that he wants that fourth win. When Monika Leigh, who sang B.B. King’s “The Thrill is Gone” stood before Adam, Cee Lo and Blake, who all turned their chairs, Blake made it very clear that she should go with him as a coach. In pure Shelton fashion, the country singer whipped out all three of his competition trophies to woo her; and it worked.
On last Tuesday’s show, we had former eighties actress E.G. Daily trying out in the blind auditions, and last night, was another celebrity moment, but of a different kind. Briana Cuoco, sister and personal assistant to “The Big Bang Theory” actress Kaley Cuoco, stepped to the stage to sing “You and I” by Lady Gaga. Kaley, during their chat with Carson Daly, said she urged Briana to go on the show in order to make her dreams of music come true. I didn’t know who was more nervous, Briana, after having both Christina and Cee Lo turn their chairs, or her sister, who was backstage in tears that her sister’s dream was coming true. She’s going to be the one that many will be waiting to see during the Battle Round coming in the next couple of weeks.
Closing out the night was that of Preston Pohl, the twenty-six year old from Hallettsville, Texas. I really liked his performance of “Electric Feel” by MGMT. He, from what I could see, brought the house down in more ways than one; not just with the audience, but with his being the last audition that would help whatever coach close out the night. His performance was soulful and seductive all at the same time and just felt right to end the evening. With both Cee-Lo and Adam hungry to have him on one of their teams, I could see Preston weighing his options on who to go with. Not having picked a majority of the artists in the evening’s show, you could see Adam really wanting the young Texan on his team, even going as far as to stress how he would do anything to Preston pick him. Preston made Adam’s night by going to Team Adam; having the Maroon 5 front-man once again closing out the night of blind’s with a strong vocalist.
Stay tuned for Tuesday night’s The Voice at 8/7C to see more blind auditions.