'The Voice' recap: The blind auditions continue amid a flurry of bum notes
First up is Ryan Whyte Maloney, a trash collector and father of two from Las Vegas whose ex-wife took his kids and moved them to Florida, which is one of the sadder stories I've heard in a while. He takes the stage with Journey's "Lights" and he sounds really great. He gets a four-chair turn, easily.
"We're a match made in Heaven and I think we should be together," Shakira tells him. Ryan's response: "I'm gonna keep that in my memory forever." In the end, though, he makes his choice with his kids in mind: "I have two kids and my son would tell me to pick Team Blake." There you have it. This ought to be a good team-up.
Up next is Deshawn Washington, who hails from Natchitoches, Louisiana, which isn't a town I think I'll ever be able to pronounce. He's looking for "The Voice" to give him the opportunity that he and his family haven't been afforded in their hometown. He takes the stage with "Twistin' the Night Away," and right off the bat, none of the coaches seem to be too into it. He has a pleasant voice, but there isn't anything too remarkable about the performance.
Eventually, Shakira finds herself dancing along, which is enough for her to press her button. It never gets there for any of the others, though Adam seems to come close. After the performance is over, the three dudes oversell how much they wish they'd hit their button, but, like, they didn't -- so I guess they didn't love it that much. Anyway, slot this one on Team Shakira.
Auditioning next is nanny Sam Behymer, whose family isn't super supportive over her desire to pursue music as a career. Hoping the show could be the thing she needs to bring them around, as well as kick start her career, she takes the stage with Lorde's "Royals." It's an interesting audition. 95 percent of it sounds great, but it's riddled with instances where she pronounces lyrics incredibly strange and hits bum notes. It's almost too quirky for it's own good. But there's something there, waiting to be shaped by a coach who understand what to do with it.
Adam turns almost immediately, followed a little later by Usher. The other two don't go for it. Adam admits there's some stuff to work on, but praises her for being a fresh air and not really sounding like anyone else. Usher says that he knows how to encourage individuality, reminding everyone how far he took Season 4's Michelle Chamuel. In the end, Sam teams with Adam.
After a montage of people who didn't make it (and didn't really seem to deserve to, to be honest), Brendan Ryan readies to take the stage. An improv comic as well as a musician, whose improvised song about his chair made me cringe a little, he takes the stage with what he promises will be a new take on Beyonce's "Love On Top." As someone who prays to the altar of Queen Bey, and worships this song in particular, Brendan's interpretation of it really didn't do anything for me. It didn't do anything for the coaches, either. No one turns. Phew. I'm not sure I could've handled another improvised song about furniture this season.
Next up are the Brothers Walker, Clinton and Cody, who once opened for Johnny Cash when they were only six years old. They take the stage with "Keep Me In Mind," but not before admitting they feel like Blake will be a perfect fit for them. They harmonize quite nicely, but it doesn't seem as if anyone is going to turn around for them -- until Usher hits his button with his foot at the very last second. Blake admits he doesn't think they're a country music duo, especially, which is why he didn't turn around. Honestly, it'll be fun to see what Usher can do with this talent. He'll probably push them further than Blake ever would've.
Up next is Clarissa Serna from Corpus Christi, Texas. Hoping for Usher as a coach, she takes the stage with The Cranberries' "Zombie." It's a terrific audition -- maybe my favorite of the night so far. She handles the song with all of the vocal quirk that it requires, while opening up on the bridge in a way that proves this is more than just mimicry.
Right off the bat, Shakira and Adam are eating it up, turning really quickly. Shakira spend almost the entire song standing in her chair, performing along with Clarissa. Suffice to say, she likes it a lot. In the end, all four coaches turn and each put up quite a fight, but Clarissa connects with Shakira's excitement and says she has to team up with her "Latina soul sister." This could be a great coach-artist pairing.
Next, a montage of artists whose auditions apparently weren't worthy enough to air in full, even though they made a team. Too bad we only caught a glimpse of that last one, Tanner James, though. He sounded great.
Taking the stage next is postman with twins on the way, Robert Lee. Tackling The Band's "The Weight," Robert really sounds great, especially at the end, but no coach ever turns for him. The notes each coach offer are pretty fair, especially Blake's comments about the nasal quality to the vocal. Anyone else wish we'd have seen a little bit more of the three in that montage who made it to the next round than this whole audition of someone who didn't make it? Yeah, me too.
Melissa Jiminez is up next. Before we get into her audition, can I just say that I don't understand what was going on with her hair on her forehead? Because I didn't. Okay, now that that's out of the way, let's get into the music. For her audition, Melissa sings Alicia Keys' "If I Ain't Got You." It sounds like it's somehow been slowed down, and feels a little boring, but she does sound lovely. Shakira perks up when Melissa begins singing in Spanish, leading her and Usher to turn around at the last second. Though the connection seems really strong between the two women, Melissa surprises and teams with Usher. Huh. Didn't see that one coming.
Next up is Patrick Thompson, with a pretty great performance of "Can't You See" by The Marshall Tucker Band. He just handles the song with a real ease. For a while, it looks like no one is going to turn for him, until both Adam and Blake do at almost the last second. The two mainstay coaches duke it out for the gritty singer, but Adam wins out -- much to Blake's chagrin.
Boy, is it montage night or what? After another group of castoffs, it's time for 17-year-old old soul Allison Bray, hitting the stage with "Where The Boys Are." She absolutely slays that soaring opening note. However, nothing else really lives up to that opening and she's not able to get a coach to turn for her. The coaches ask her to come back after putting in a little more work on her pitch.
Closing out the night is 44-year-old Sisaundra Lewis, who was Celine Dion's vocal director for five tours and wore the most insane, gigantic earrings I've ever seen a human wear. After a brief, but sweet video message from Celine, Sisaundra takes the stage with "Ain't No Way." Right away, she proves just how powerful her voice is. One by one, the coaches begin turning: Shakira, followed by Adam, followed by Blake. Usher, always the lone holdout, waits for the very last moment -- her final wail -- to enter the fray.
The coaches each put up a fierce battle for Sisaundra -- well, except for Usher, who basically says it wasn't that great, but he couldn't not turn. Shakira gets in a good dig at Adam, saying, "You know he has a Chinese tattoo on his arm right here that says 'Wrong coach for you.'" In the end, Sisaundra makes a stunning choice and goes with Team Blake. Not sure I saw that one coming, but it should make for an interesting pairing.
Which audition was your favorite tonight? And is it just me or was there a strangely large number of failed auditions in the mix? Sound off in the comments below.