Season 10 of The Voice started last night with the first night of blind auditions. If you haven’t seen the show, it’s where the prospective contestants sing for 90 seconds while the coaches have their backs turned to them. This season’s coaches are Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Christina Aguilera and Pharrell Williams. Aguilera is the only coach who hasn’t had a singer on their team win the show. Can she find an artist who can get her that elusive first win? Stay tuned.
Rather than give a complete recap, I will highlight some of the performances and give my impressions of the eleven artists who were on last night’s show. Of the eleven featured, nine made it through to the next round of the competition. Based on their performances last night, here is how I would rank them:
Possible winners: NBC basically gave the game away with these two. Alisan Porter and Mike Schiavo were the best two performers of the night. They were also the two blind auditions that were leaked this week. Coincidence? I don’t think so. The show generally will save the best performer overall for last, and Porter did not disappoint. Her take of Linda Ronstadt’s “Blue Bayou” was extremely good. I posted the leaked auditions in this post. But I’ll put the official ones here for convenience.
Intriguing possibilities: Mary Sarah gave a powerful performance of Connie Francis’ “Where The Boys Are,” and was the best of the next group of singers for me. Not far behind her were Nick Hagelin and Abby Celso, who were good also. Hagelin has a backstory that will melt your heart, but I cleaned my apartment so there was no dust to get in my eyes, so I shed no tears. All three have the potential to go far, with Mary Sarah an early candidate for the country vote that always shows up big on the show. Bonus points for Hagelin for singing Levine’s “Lost Stars” in his audition. Celso took on Tori Kelly’s “Should’ve Been Us” and held up pretty well.
They got through, but: Paxton Ingram, Caity Peters, Bryan Bautista and John Gilman round out the remaining artists who got chairs to turn. They were all good, but not great. Gilman sung Elvis Presley’s “Don’t Be Cruel,” which pretty much gave him his own lane on the show. I wonder if he’ll be able to branch out from his rockabilly roots as the show goes on though, because he will inevitably have to sing something outside his comfort zone. Bautista made his second appearance on the show, having been turned away last season during the blind auditions. His take on “The Hills” by the Weeknd was a little shaky at first, but he got better as he went along. He also had a great fake out when he picked his coach. Peters and Ingram were solid, but unspectacular on songs by Labrinth (“Jealous”) and Robyn (“Dancing On My Own”).
No chair turns, no chance: Unfortunately, two artists were unable to get any coach to turn their chair around for them. Maddie Poppe’s take on “Dog Days Are Over” by Florence + The Machine was a bit flat, and the song seemed way out of her league. Queen Sessi’s performance of “Show Me Love” by Robin S. had a great note at the beginning, but not much else on a song that really doesn’t showcase the voice. And if you’re going to be on a show called The Voice, shouldn’t you choose a better song than that one?
Overall, it was a good night. Some people have already penciled in Porter for the finals or even winning the whole thing, but there’s a long way to go yet. Follow me on twitter at @mindpinball to see tweets in real time while the show airs on the east coast. If you watched last night’s show, feel free to give your opinions on the artists in the comments.