Coaches Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton roll up to week two of blind auditions in their pricey automobiles. Curiously, they’re all wearing the same outfits they’ve been wearing since day one of blind auditions. Hmmmm. Either the wardrobe budget has been inexplicably cut, or we’re watching a not-so-clever attempt to show the passage of time. We’re on to you, The Voice.
The one thrill of this little arrivals charade is a welcome addition to Cee Lo’s bring-your-pet-to-work schtick: Purrfect The Cat returns by riding in the backseat of the Rolls with Lady Bird. It’s a sad state of affairs when a bird and a cat can get along better than the two human coaches, Adam and Blake, but perhaps they’ll take a cue from the featured animals and be civil to each other tonight…
…Or Blake will roll up with his ACM Best Male Vocalist Of The Year award to immediately provoke eye rolls and aggressive banter from all of his coaching peers. Guess we’ll find out soon!
Melanie Martinez, 17, Baldwin, NY
In a brave move, Melanie performs an acoustic version of Britney Spears‘ “Toxic” for the coaches. Perhaps she’s not aware of the little Britney/Christina, The X Factor/The Voice feud, but girl — too soon! Even playing both the guitar and the tambourine (the latter with her foot — very KT Tunstall!) isn’t enough to get Christina to turn around. But lucky for her, everyone else does. Melanie wants someone who will let her express her originality, yet she chooses Adam over Cee Lo. To each her own.
We can pass by most everyone who didn’t make it because, ya know, they didn’t make it, but Cupid, of “The Cupid Shuffle” fame, is worth a moment to review. In his attempt to break out of his one-hit wonder status, he performed — you guessed it — “The Cupid Shuffle”…and it wasn’t even a bar mitzvah. Unfortunately for Cupid, this mind-boggling decision killed any shot he had to become a two-hit wonder via The Voice.
Brian Scartocci, 26, Austin, TX
Single father Brian Scartocci has two adorable children who have confidence that all of the coaches will turn around. Win or lose, this guy has it pretty good already. Brian performs “Isn’t She Lovely” by Stevie Wonder, and while the rendition sounds pretty straightforward to us, Adam, hears something truly special. He not-so-subtly hints at the fact that if Brian goes with him, he might get to meet Stevie Wonder one day (a cheap ploy, but don’t worry, Blake will top it later), so Brian chooses Adam over Blake and Cee Lo.
Beat Frequency, Vancouver, WA
From the photo montage of husband/wife duo Beat Frequency, it’s clear that Bleach Blond Natasha and Sunglasses Indoors Sean have evolved from the couple next door to Ed Hardy Ad since meeting each other. Although their rendition of Katy Perry and Kanye West’s “E.T” has us staying put in our imaginary spinning chairs, Christina turns around early. And then it gets worse. We smell immediate regret on her part, which is possibly just Sean’s Drakkar Noir, but either way — Beat Frequency advances.
Liz Davis, 25, Madison, MS
Liz Davis describes herself as a country girl and sings Gretchen Wilson’s “Here for the Party.” Anyone other than Blake spinning around feels futile, but both Christina and Adam turn for a little competition. Although it’s clear to anyone with even a scrap of common sense that he doesn’t need to try that hard, this is the moment Blake chooses to pull out his ACM award to seal the deal in the most nauseating way possible. He even let her touch it — briefly — thereby outdoing Adam’s Stevie Wonder name dropping for most annoying move of the night.
JR Aquino, 24, Anchorage, AK
Internet sensation J.R. Aquino has over 48 million hits on his YouTube videos, but is looking to make moves out of the not-so-happening Alaskan music scene. He belts out Bruno Mars’ “Just The Way You Are,” and gets Christina and Adam to spin early. Cee Lo also dramatically turns at the last moment. Although the other coaches praise his singing, Cee Lo keeps it real and points out flaws. This kid has a good head on his shoulders, and chooses Cee Lo because of the constructive criticism.
Nicholas David, 31, Egan, MN
Not too long ago, Nicholas Davis’ life was on a downward spiral. He sang in an outlaw country band, where he partied too much and weighed 300 pounds. Thanks to his fiancé (and two kids), he’s turned his life around by losing the weight and staying in at night. The long beard, however, remains. His soulful rendition of “Stand By Me” gets just Cee Lo to turn around, but honestly, he’s way too good for just a one-chair turn. Nicholas joins Team Cee Lo, and Lady Bird squawks her approval.
Alessandra Guercio, 17, Brooklyn NY
Allesandra attends LaGuardia High School for the Performing arts — yes, of Fame fame — and we get a little Rachel Berry/Glee club vibe from her in the perma-smile and backstage affirmations. She’s got the pipes to back it up, and her sweet version of “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus gets Cee Lo and Adam to spin. Alessandra picks Adam. We suspect this was immediately followed by producers assigning one assistant the sole responsibility of reminding Adam — daily — that Alessandra is not yet 18.
Before we get to the last and best, a gaggle of teenage girls whose performances didn’t make it to TV made it through blind auditions. You’ll see 15-year old Adanna Duru on Adam’s team, 15-year old Kelly Crapa on Blake’s team, and 16-year-old Paulina on Christina’s team in the next round.
Avery Wilson, 16 , Camden CT
Until recently, Avery Wilson didn’t view himself as a singer. Wow. It is a day-um good thing his dad overheard him singing and recognized his gift. Perhaps it’s too soon to say it, but 16-year-old Avery Wilson has our votes — for the entire season — after his performance of David Guetta’s “Without You.” Avery demonstrates the strongest vocal range of any contestant yet, and causes immediate goose bumps. All four coaches turn around. Generally a man of few words, Cee Lo had a lot of praise to give, telling Avery “You deserve to be a star.” Well said, Cee Lo, and with Avery on your team this year, you might even win it.
Stay tuned for more blind auditions and heated judge banter Tuesday night on The Voice. If we’re lucky, Cee Lo might bring another animal, and Adam might answer Blake’s ACM challenge by bringing his three Grammys to the table. At the very least, we’ll keep our fingers crossed for a wardrobe change with the coaches.