One way The Voice is different from most singing contests is that it’s not only about the singers who win, the judges (or coaches) win, too. Over five seasons two judges have dominated the competition: Blake Shelton’s got three Voice trophies. Adam Levine’s got two. Now Adam would dearly love to even things up with Blake, Blake would like to stay ahead, and Usher and Shakira would like to spoil things. The four judges picked up eleven singers this evening, counting three who were scarcely seen:
1. Kat Perkins, 33, has an up-and-down music-biz resume. She can yodel, and in her teens she sang and yodeled in a country show. Then she formed a rock band, Scarlett Haze, that opened for Bon Jovi. Now she works caring for children, but she wants to get back into rock. She sports tattoos and a tank top, and digs deep in the Fleetwood Mac catalog for “Gold Dust Woman.” Around her audition’s three-quarter mark, Adam jumps in, followed closely by Shakira. Usher thinks about it for a couple more lines, then he turns, too. After Adam notes Perkins is essentially a rock singer, not a country one, and that she sings like his favorite, Stevie Nicks, she picks Adam. She says she chose him because, “He was determined to get the rocker chick.”
2. Paula Deanda, another music-biz survivor, does an audition in both Spanish and English. She was signed to Clive Davis’ Arista when she was 16, toured with Rhianna, and made two albums–one hit and one flop. She says before her audition she’s a fan of Shakira. About halfway through her song, Blake turns, then Shakira. In the ensuing debate, Adam hollers about Blake, “Don’t look at his dimples!” and otherwise encourages the singer to pick Shakira. However, Deanda picks Blake. She’s from Texas, after all. Blake gloats Adam probably influenced the decision at Shakira’s expense.
3. This season bring us one more guy with high falsetto tones. Jake Barker, a 28-year-old bartender, has had some hit You Tube music videos but has never performed live. Usher turns at the halfway point, which for him is early. Adam gets in, too, then Shakira. She calls the guys “alpha dogs” and says, “You can be vulnerable with me.” Usher tops her with, “Do you want a mom or a mentor?” Barker picks Usher. That puts Usher down to his last slot.
Next we see brief clips of singers we’ll see more of in the next round. Usher chooses a woman named Tess. Adam adds two guys, Josh Morley and Austin Ellis. Blake is a natural match for Callie Tucker, the niece of seventies’ country star Tanya Tucker.
4. Rio Eaton is a tall girl from musical theater, and she does have a Broadway voice and style, although not as big and brassy as that description usually implies. She doesn’t get any response until the last note, when Blake and Shakira both manage last-eyeblink button pushes. Adam and Usher stand off to the side, egging on Shakira and badgering Blake. (He calls them, “Siskel and Ebert.”) After Blake praises Eason’s distinctive rasp and reminds her of his wins, however, she picks him. He gets to gloat again how Adam (and Usher) probably screwed up Shakira’s chances. Of his new team member’s talent, he says, “She just doesn’t sound like anyone else.”
5. Cierra Mickens, an African-American church singer from Alaska, is trying to choose between law school and singing. She has a belting voice, but a pretty one, and considerable range, a little like Tessanne Chin. Four white lines are in front of the judges’ chairs but the post-audition argument is basically between Shakira, Usher, and Blake. They’re all crazy for her, they all insist she can win. Shakira leaves her seat to have a private conversation on-stage, and Blake hollers about too many men on the field. (He’s already tried to tell Usher his time expired.) Whatever Shakira said, it must have worked, because Cierra picks her. Usher says afterwards he’d like to steal her if he gets a chance.
6. Cierra’s from Alaska but next is a girl named Alaska (like in that summer-camp ditty, “What’s Your Name, Little Girl?”). She’s part of a girl duo, Alaska and Maddie. They once won an Oklahoma talent competition–the same one Blake won when he was kid. They sing perfectly in sync, and Adam turns almost immediately. About halfway, Blake joins in. It’s an Adam vs. Blake showdown, and when the girls say they’re from Oklahoma, Adam lets out a primal scream. “We love you, Adam,” says one of the girls, “but we’re going with Blake.”
7. The next singer I had to look up her name on another site, and even then I’m not sure it’s right: Ddendyl (double D and one name only). She had opera training but now sings bluesy lounge music. She sings an appropriately bluesy ballad, “Stand by Me.” She attracts one judge: Shakira.
8. Josh Kaufman is a working musician who looks like a college professor (glasses, beard, hat). Like Cierra who was pondering law school, Josh says he’s thinking of becoming a college professor because he’s got to consider providing for his family. His audition song is George Michael’s “One More Try.” I think his whispery-sounding voice pales in comparison to George Michael. However, the guy gets a four-chair turn, even though three judges are down to their last slot. Adam turns right away, so does Blake. Shakira comes in when the showy big notes start. Usher, as usual, has to think it over a little longer before joining in. Kaufman picks Adam, who’s gushing about how he could win this. Personally, I think he’ll be out in the battle round.
As the episode ends, each coach has one slot left. We’ll see which four singers fill those slots tonight.
The Voice, Season 6: Blind Auditions, Night 5, 3/10/14
March 11th, 2014 · No Comments
Tags: The Voice