The fifth night of the blind auditions (how many nights are there anyway?) featured six performers, all but one of whom will go on to the next round. For Paul Adrian, the end of the road came at the end of his rendition of Ray Charles’ “I Got A Woman.” Whether it was the song choice, his performance, or both, it failed to sway any of the coaches to turn for him. I’m betting that most of the audience thought the song was Kanye West’s “Gold Digger” for a brief moment.
As for the fortunate five that made it through (in order of appearance):
Johnny Gates led off the show with a version of Rod Stewart’s “Maggie May.” Gates’ time in a rock band showed as he gave a strong rendition of the song. I often wonder when artists cover Rod Stewart on the show if people don’t subconsciously compare the performance to Stewart. If that was the case in this performance, it didn’t matter to Gwen Stefani, Blake Shelton or Alicia Keys, all of whom turned around for Gates. The singer chose Stefani as his coach.
Next up was Malik Devage, who took a chance with Miguel’s “Sure Thing.” Two singers, and two good songs. Devage was nervous, almost derailing his performance. But he held it together long enough and well enough to get Adam Levine to turn around for him. Devage has talent, but will he be able to hold it together to move through the rounds? He will have Levine to help guide him through, so he’ll have a chance.
Lauryn Judd took the stage and performed an subdued, acoustic version of the Cyndi Lauper classic “Girls Just Want To Have Fun.” Once again, a young singer starts off nervously, but gets better as the song goes on. The arrangement certainly allowed Judd to showcase her voice; whereas if the original arrangement was used, I think it would have been harder to hear how good she could be. Just as they did for Gates, Keys, Stefani and Shelton turned around. In the end, Judd went with Keys as her coach.
Perhaps one of the best performances of the night belonged to sixteen year old Caroline Sky, who performed “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” by Carole King. I could have sworn the Shirelles did it first, but I know King has a writing credit on the song (along with Gerry Goffin). Anyway, the show announced it as a Carole King song. For sixteen, there was no trace of nerves, and she gave a controlled performance. Stefani and Shelton turned around for her, and the youngster picked Stefani as her coach.
Closing the show was 40 years young singer Josh Hoyer, singing “Oh Girl” by the Chi-Lites. I wondered if the R&B classic would be too far out of a choice, but he gave a soulful, passionate performance. His voice sounds like someone who would have lived the lyrics. I thought at least one of the coaches should have turned early on, but eventually the lovebirds Shelton and Stefani did turn. In a reversal of Caroline Sky’s choice, Hoyer picked Shelton to be his coach.
The blind auditions continue next week. Through five shows there hasn’t been a single montage yet. That figures to change soon.
(photo from Creative Commons via Eva Rinaldi—available for reuse).