Last night’s episode of The Voice concluded the blind auditions. At the end of the show, Carson Daly announced that the battle rounds will begin next week, so tonight’s show (if there is a show tonight; I haven’t checked the listings to see if there is one) should be a recap of how each coach’s team was formed. Maybe if we’re lucky, we can see some of the chosen artists who were only featured in montages. Four more artists who made the cut were featured in a montage (more on them in a moment). Three other artists who did not make the cut were also featured in a montage (sadly, I didn’t catch all their names, and as is NBC’s penchant, there is no video). I will not rant about the dreaded montage this time. But don’t be surprised if I do rant at some further point before the live shows begin.
Two contestants did perform that didn’t make it through: Johnny Hayes’ performance of Chris Stapleton’s “Traveller” and Nicholas Ray’s take on “I’ve Got The Music In Me” by several artists, notably Thelma Houston and Kiki Dee. Hayes sounded just a bit off throughout his performance to me, and Ray chose the wrong song to perform. Ray was asked to sing a different song and offered a version of Mary Wells’ “My Guy” that was clearly better than his audition. Perhaps he can return next season and with the right song, he’ll pick up a coach.
Quickly, for the four artists who made it through but were only seen in montage: Tarra Layne chose Blake Shelton after singing “Black Velvet” by Alannah Myles; Charity Bowden chose Miley Cyrus after singing “Girl Crush” by Little Big Town; JSoul (yes his actual moniker) chose Adam Levine after singing “Stay With Me” by Sam Smith; and Belle Jewel chose Alicia Keys after singing “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” by Simple Minds. There’s video, but don’t expect to hear much of either performance.
As for the remaining artists (in order of appearance):
Shannon and Whitney (a sister duo with no last names, apparently) sing Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide,” based on the Dixie Chicks version. Beautiful harmonies. I know it’s not the first time duos have been on the show, but I don’t know if it’s fair to have two singers compete as a single act when most of the other competitors are solo. All four coaches turned for them, but in the end they chose Alicia to be their coach. I wonder who she will match them up against in the battle rounds.
Johnny Rez was next, singing “Iris” by the Goo Goo Dolls. It seemed as if he sung for an eternity, but at the very end, he did get Adam and Blake to turn. I thought he was just ok, nothing special. I admit, that might be due to the fact that I was a bit distracted while he sang. Perhaps he will do better in the next round. Or he’ll be bounced. He chose Adam as his coach, so maybe Levine can bring something out of him.
Maye Thomas performed “Roses” by the Chainsmokers. She sounded pretty good, but some of the folks I talk with on Facebook were less than impressed. One even said she sounded too much like the song. I want to hear more from her though, perhaps with a different type of song. Adam and Miley turned for her, but Adam gave up his pursuit of the artist, and she ended up with Cyrus as her coach.
Courtney Harrell sang “Let It Go” by James Bay. I thought she was the best of the night. That’s saying a lot, because she hadn’t sung in public in over fifteen years before her performance on the show. She nailed her performance though; there were a couple runs that were amazing. She becomes another one to watch, in my opinion. Amazingly, only Blake and Alicia turn. She chose Blake as her coach.
Kylie Rothfield sang One Republic’s “Wherever I Go” with a slowed-down arrangement. Not only was it slowed and stripped down, it was somewhat sleepier than the original. I think the subdued and different arrangement threw the coaches off. At the very end, she got Blake and Alicia to turn. Rothfield chose Keys as her coach, making her the first coach to find her twelve artists to fill her team.
Natasha Bure, daughter of one-time Full House cast member Candace Cameron Bure and former hockey player Valeri Bure, sang “Can’t Help Falling In Love” by Elvis Presley. I’d have liked to have heard a little more of it, even though her performance was pretty. I think if she’d kept it simpler it would have been a bit better; there was a little too much going on with some unnecessary runs. Adam was the only coach to turn for her, but that’s enough to get her through to the battle rounds.
Blaine Long performed “Have A Little Faith In Me” by John Hiatt. I was worried that he wouldn’t get a chair turn, but yet all three of the remaining coaches did turn for him.His performance was solid and soulful; I’ll be interested to see how he does going forward. He chose Blake as his coach, bringing Shelton’s team to its full complement of twelve artists.
Ponciano Seoane was next to perform, and he chose to sing “Home” by Phillip Phillips. Can you sing a song from someone who was on American Idol? Is that allowed? I kid; I’m sure there are no restrictions, other than songs with explicit lyrics I would guess. He didn’t wow me at all, and he fell apart after Adam and Miley turned. I can’t imagine it’s easy standing up there waiting for a coach to turn and being able to focus when one or more of them finally approve of what you are doing. That said, this artist might not be anything more than battle round fodder. But as I say often, I’ve been wrong before.He chose Levine as his coach, giving Adam a full roster of twelve artists.
The last artist to perform, and obviously the last artist to be chosen for Miley’s team was Josette Diaz. Diaz sang “Lose Yourself” by Justin Bieber. It was just ok; but with the show about to end and Cyrus needing one more artist, you don’t have to be a genius to do the math and figure out how it was going to go. Diaz may be another singer whose journey ends with the battle rounds, but maybe Miley can coach her up.
As the battle rounds begin, each team will have guest mentors to help them out: Alicia Keys will have Charlie Puth as a guest mentor, while Blake Shelton’s pick is Bette Midler. Adam Levine will have Sammy Hagar to lend assistance, while Miley Cyrus will work with Joan Jett to shepherd her team. I’d say that is an interesting group of mentors to work with a group of artists that to this point, doesn’t have a runaway favorite like last season.
Look for another post with a listing of all forty-eight artists still in the competition, broken down by coach and where you can find their auditions in my posts.
photo from Creative Commons via Eva Rinaldi (available for reuse).