It’s the third week of the same coach clothing on “The Voice,” and now that all their pants can stand up and walk away on their own, someone decided it was time for them to complete their teams. All four coaches finished off what amounts to some unusual, eclectic mixes of contestants.
Starting with Matt Cermanski, who had previously tried out for “The Voice” with a rendition of “Teenage Dream” that Adam Levine reminded him was kind of bizarre. This time he goes for more of a singer-songwriter approach with “Have a Little Faith in Me,” a way better fit. Blake Shelton and Cee Lo Green are drawn to him, but Matt goes with Adam.
Later, Adam picked up Grey, a wedding singer who grew up singing country but shuns Blake even when he spins for her rendition of Kelly Clarkson’s “Catch My Breath.” She also overlooks Cee Lo (as many people tonight did) to go for Adam.
In tonight’s “Daddy Issues” segments, two guys with famous dads trying to step out of their shadows and make it for themselves in the biz do not get picked. Diego Roman’s dad is a big Tejano star who worked with Selena, but his “Rebel Yell” does not win over any judges. Later, Dominick Scott Kay says he doesn’t want to use his connex from his dad, who is the drummer for the Commodores, but doesn’t hesitate to mention his dad to the coaches after none of them turn around for his very nasal version of “Easy.” There were loads of other rejects featured tonight as the judges suddenly became picky over their last spots.
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Blake’s first of the night was Brandon Chase, a formerly sick baby who tried to make a go of it Nashville. His version of Hunter Hayes’ “Wanted” was a like a subliminal calling to Blake. Cee Lo pushed but never stood a chance.
Blake closed out his team with another country guy (who wrongly classified himself as folk/soul), Brian Pounds. His “Wagon Wheel” was like rollicking guitar banjo-y goodness ala last year’s Midas Whale. And after a little while, Blake took the bait. But then so did Cee Lo. Xtina and Adam try desperately to help Cee Lo snatch him, with a whole conference about whether or not experimentation is good and saves lives and makes music. But Brian goes for the old reliable, Blake Shelton.
Cee Lo had three spots to fill, and got off to a good start. First he picked up Tamara Chauniece, a gospel singer who had given up on music but then returned. Her “1+1” inspired Mr. Green and Christina Aguilera to turn around, but Cee Lo persuaded her by saying he could find his faith. Soon after, he also spun around (and only he) for Lupe Carroll, a flower delivery guy with a cellist wife, who sang “If I Were a Carpenter.”
But Cee Lo took his sweet time coming up with the final spot, even passing on some pretty good contenders. He finally wound up with Shawn Smith, a singing bartender from upstate New York, who lost partial hearing in an IED explosion in Iraq. He sang “Chicken Fried,” which didn’t appeal to Cee Lo right away, but then it suddenly became clear that the country singer he’d been trying to win all along, only to be snatched up by Blake, was finally all his, and he got him. After all, says Cee Lo, “I was country before country was cool.”
Christina only had one spot to fill, and her last contestant couldn’t be a better match for her. Michael Lynch is full-on Irish, but he loves Spanish, and studied music in Mexico City. He sings “Bailamos” and professes that he likes the Latin/English combo, a la Enrique Iglesias, or guess who? Why, Ms. Aguilera, of course. Blake and Cee Lo both make a pitch for him, but Christina’s got creds. “I’m half Irish,” she says. But Cee Lo has a pretty solid comeback. “I’m half amazing.” Michael still picks Xtina, and the two duet on the last few notes of “Bailamos” and it’s amazing.
As each team closed up, the coaches each insisted they had the best—of course—but also most versatile team. Everyone reminded us that they have a little rock, a little country, a little weirdness, and they’re all right. It’s a good mix. Can’t wait to see how they face off in the Battle Rounds next week! Till then, a two-hour recap episode tomorrow for those who haven’t been enjoying the last nine hours of fun along with us.
Also next week: mentors. And if you know anything about me, you know that means I am over the moon about Cher helping out Blake’s team. There’s not enough “Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves” done on these singing shows, if you ask me, and I can’t wait for whatever tips Cher pulls out of her leather and nylon negligee.