Last week, more Blind Auditions of The Voice were aired. Cee Lo, Christina Aguilera, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton reprised their roles as pseudo rivals, the sob stories for the contestants were plentiful and the choosing of contestants was rather…discriminatory. Unlike other singing competitions, The Voice praises itself for only caring about “the voice”; the most recent pre-recorded auditions only proved they too participate in discriminatory selection practices.
Jordan Pruitt is a former Disney star that had moderate success as a solo act. She delivered a mediocre rendition of Katy Perry’s “The One That Got Away,” a precocious number considering her circumstances. Oddly enough, Christina pushed her button for the pitchy singer and claimed to have been the contestant she has been waiting for her. I guess the amazing singers she didn’t push her button for were too intimidating for the yelling diva.
Diego Val charmed his way on Cee Lo’s team with a unique rendition of Neon Tree’s “Animal.” He effortlessly and impressively incorporated his Spanish roots in the song.
Dez Duron is a previously axed contestant who dug into his lower register during Hail & Oates’ “Sara Smile,” and convinced three of the four judges he belongs on their team. Beyond his “boy band charm,” Dez is actually a talented singer. I’m not sure if Christina can groom him into a star, though.
Terisa Griffin will forever be known as the 42-year-old unsigned diva that intimidated the presumptuous Christina. As we know, Adele covers can go incredibly well or horrendously awful; well, Terisa represents the former. Her soaring vocals impressed both Blake and Christina, but she wisely chose the country star as her mentor. Why would she succumb herself to someone who is obviously threatened by her larger-than-Christina (circa 2011) attitude?
Michelle Brooks ‘left a good job in the city to work for the man every night and day’; well, not really, but her powerful pipes could have convinced even the most skeptical man that she indeed followed in Tina Turner’s footsteps. Adam, who she chose as her mentor, and Cee Lo quickly recognized her talent; a daunted Aguilera was apprehensive about praising the singer.
Suzanna Choffel, an Austin music teacher, strummed her guitar and crooned Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide.” The performance was rather lovely, although it didn’t showcase her voice. Blake eventually pushed his button, and as expected, Suzanna joined his roster of country singers. Is it me, or does the bright-eyed singer bear a resemblance to last season’s runner-up, Juliet Simms?
Brandon Mahone, the 17-year-old with an old soul, was a standout amongst the other contestants. Mahone has full control over his Motown-esque voice, and he proves this with his smooth cover of The Temptations’ “I Wish It Would Rain.” Blake wasn’t that impressed (or he realizes he does not house the expertise to mentor Brandon), but Brandon’s highly supportive parents were un-bothered and proud to see their son join Team Levine.
Alexis Marceaux has an attractive personality and a nice voice. Cee Lo was the only one that enjoyed her take on Fleetwood Mac’s “Go Your Own Way,” and understandably so. Character can only get you so far, and I doubt her quirky individuality will be enough to win America over in future episodes.
In a one-minute montage, Sam James, Laura Vivas and Lelia Broussard covered John Lennon’s “Imagine,” Adam Lambert’s “Whataya Want from Me” and The Beatles’ “We Can Work It Out,” and found their way on Team Adam, Christina and Blake respectively.
The mentioned confined auditions were accompanied by Michaela Paige and Ryan Jirovec’s blind-and-you’ll-miss auditions. The former is a 16-year-old “dress-the-part” rocker that gave a poor rendition of Pink’s “Sober.” The latter covered Lonestar’s “Amazed,” and did fairly well. Both contestants joined Team Blake.
Cassadee Pope is the former front woman of renowned band, Hey Monday. Her band toured with Fall Out Boy, indicated by Pete Wentz’s shout-out to her prior to her audition. The pop-rocker captivated all four judges with her take on Ednaswap’s “Torn.” It was a cool cover, but I can tell her vibrato, amplified by her nerves, will only get more annoying (hi, Florence Welch) if she doesn’t learn to control it. She chose Blake as her mentor.
Charlie Rey, a smog technician, charmed his way from under the hood into the hearts of America and the judges. He wants to use The Voice as a platform to get away form the fumes that are deteriorating his voice. He effectively covered Michael Buble’s “Home,” although I was initially worried. He joined Team Blake, who also covered Buble’s tune.
Sylvia Yacoub, an Egyptian import, tried and failed–miserably–while singing Rihanna’s “Only Girl in the World.” Considering it’s one of the few songs the Bajan performer gets right live, Sylvia certainly had a standard to be judged against. Foolishly, Christina, Blake and Cee Lo pushed their buttons for her, and she felt so accomplished she punched the air when she ended the horrendous number. She joined Team Xtina.
Amanda Brown has toured the world with some of music’s biggest acts–Adele, Alicia Keys, Justin Timberlake and Jennifer Hudson–but only Cee Lo was impressed by her spunky rendition of Amy Winehouse and Mark Ronson’s “Valerie” (at the last minute I should add).
Sylvia, a mediocre at best singer, receives praises for that atrocity and Amanda, a singer that has toured with artists considerably more talented than everyone on the judging panel, is lowly praised? What the hell?
In the same episode, I.J. Quinn, who has a naturally feminine voice, and Yolanda Barber, a seasoned singer, were rejected for the pitch and age in their voices respectively. Of course the discrimination wasn’t blatantly announced, but it was easily recognizable. This irritated me beyond measure, particularly because they praised Sylvia “Mama I Want To Sing But Can’t” Yacoub.
Team Adam: Brian Keith, Joe Kirkland, Samuel Mouton, Loren Allred, Nicolle Nelson, Melanie Martinez, Brian Scartocci, Alessandra Guercio, Adanna Duru, Collin McLoughlin, Michelle Brooks-Thompson, Sam James, Brandon Mahone
Team Blake: Terry McDermott, Gracia Harrison, Casey Muessigmann, Julio Cesar Castillo, 2 Steel Girls, Liz Davis, Kelly Crapa, Suzanna Choffel, Michaela Page, Ryan Jirovec, Lelia Broussard, Terisa Griffin, Charlie Rey, Cassadee Pope
Team Cee Lo: Daniel Rosa, Trevin Hunte, Mackenzie Bourg, Domo, JR Aquino, Nicholas David, Avery Wilson, Todd Kessler, Ben Taub, Emily Earle, Benji, Mycle Wastman, Diego Val, Alexis Marceaux, Amanda Brown
Team Christina: De’Borah, Adriana Louise, Aquile, Nelly’s Echo, Lisa Scinta, MarissaAnn, Beat Frequency, Paulina, Joselyn Rivera, Dez Duron, Laura Vivas, Jordan Pruitt, Sylvia Yacoub
Watch Season 3, Episode 6&7