'The Voice' Season 6, episode 5: The final week of blind auditions begins and the coaches are growing picky
First up is Kat Perkins, a former country singer-turned-rocker whose band opened for Bon Jovi before she divorced her drummer husband. After disbanding, she became a nanny, but is ready to go back to what she knows she was born to do. She takes the stage with Fleetwood Mac's "Gold Dust Woman" and she really sounds incredible. It's a bit startling that no one jumps to turn for her, but finally Adam and Shakira make their move, followed by Usher after that massive bridge. In the end, however, she goes with Adam because of how determined he was to score the "rocker chick."
Up next is former soccer star Gabi Ramirez, who takes the stage with Ed Sheeran's "The A Team." He says he's hoping the coaches will be able to teach him how to control his voice, which seems like something you'd hope to have mastered already when coming to "The Voice," but maybe that's just me. He doesn't get a chair to turn because the performance is lacking in dynamics, something that all four coaches mention.
Coming to the stage next is Paula Deanda, a former pop star who once opened for Rihanna and appeared on TRL. After being dropped, she's spent the past five years making music on her own, but she's hoping the show will be a rebirth of her career. She sounds really wonderful on Ariana Grande's "The Way," thrilling the coaches with her high notes. Blake and Shakira turn quickly, but Adam and Usher never do. Adam says there were some moments that weren't that great, which is why he didn't turn. Shakira promises she'll have her 100 percent improved within just a few weeks, while Blake praises her ability to attack. Adam supports Shakira as her coach, barely letting Blake speak. In the end, though, she picks Blake, which is a surprise. Didn't Paula say she came to the show because of Shakira? That's some tricky editing there.
Up next is Jake Barker, who has never performed in front of people until now (except all those preliminary auditions to get here, of course). He takes the stage with Bruno Mars' "When I Was Your Man" and doesn't appear to have even an inch of stage fright. He plays around with his falsetto, doing runs at the end of nearly every line. It's impressive, but it's an overused crutch. It stops being special when it's employed every 15 seconds. Anyway, Usher turns, followed by Adam and Shakira. Adam's the only coach willing to admit he doesn't need to hit those trills every other line, while the others tell him he shouldn't really change anything. In the end, Jake goes with Usher. Hopefully Usher help him rein it in.
Montage time! A bunch of artists went to a bunch of coaches, but the show didn't care enough to let us them meet them, so should we care enough to talk about them? Not yet, nope.
Up next is Luke Cooper a former drug addict who got clean after becoming a dad. A nurse at a local hospital, he's looking to get back into the music world he walked away from when he made the decision to get clean. He hits the stage with a performance of Imagine Dragon's "Radioactive." Immediately, the way he pronounces the words rubs me the wrong way. There's nothing inherently wrong with his voice, but he hits on vowels in a way that sounds so unnatural. In the end, none of the coaches fall for him either. Blake points out that Luke sang too much in his nasal register, while Adam says he felt the style of the performance took over.
Next up is Ria Eaton who's faced quite a financial struggle, along with her family, after her dad lost his job. She hits the stage with Anna Kendrick's "Cups (When I'm Gone)" and it's one of those performances where it seems like no one is ever going to turn. In fact, it very nearly is -- until Blake and Shakira turn just before the music ends. Blake mentions that it seemed she got better when she thought it wasn't happening for her, while Adam and Usher steal the show by championing Shakira from the sidelines. In the end, the cheerleading is all for naught and Ria teams with Blake. Is there anyone out there who wants Shakira for a coach?
Up next is former political science student Cierra Mickens, who is at a crossroads between pursuing music and attending law school. Judging by her performance of Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy," it looks like law school will have to wait. She's pretty stunning on the track, and a whole lot of fun, too. She manages to score chair turns from Blake, Shakira and, at the very last minute, Usher. Shakira goes for the jugular and, while Blake is throwing a fit on Usher's last-second button push, she jumps on stage and makes an emotional connection with Cierra right away. The other two try their hardest to sway Cierra their way, but in the end, it doesn't matter: She's Team Shakira.
Next up is Tyler Montgomery, who turned to music to deal with the tragic death of his father in a house fire. He takes the stage with Stevie Wonder's "I Wish," displaying his high-pitched rasp. It's a pleasant performance, but it never really builds to much and that's likely why none of the coaches ever turn. Well, that and the fact that they never thought he could've been a dude.
Duo time! It's time for Alaska & Madi from Tulsa, Oklahoma -- so, sign them up for Team Blake right now. They've even won the same award as him. If he happens to turn for them, no one else really stands a chance. They perform The Civil Wars' "Barton Hollow" and bring some really stunning harmonies to the stage. Adam turns pretty quickly, followed by Blake. The look on Levine's face says it all -- he knows this is a losing battle. And then he learns where they're from. Of course, they pick Blake. There was never any doubt.
Up next is Ddendyl (Yeah, you read that right) who grew up in an area where cows outnumbered people about 100 to one. She's completely adorable, currently living in D.C. working as a lounge singer. Looking to show off her wide range, she hits the stage with "Stand By Me." Sounding like raspier Norah Jones, she gets a turn right away from Shakira. No one else turns for her, which is silly, but at least Shakira didn't have to fight anyone for her, considering her track record.
Closing out the night is Josh Kaufman, a working musician father of two who tutors on the side to make ends meet. He's hitting the stage with George Michael's "One More Try" because of what it represents for his career and his family. We already know it'll be a great performance thanks to the show's incessant teases, but Josh truly goes above and beyond what the producers led us to expect. This man is a genuine talent and the performance is just stunning. All four coaches turn because how could they not? Usher and Adam latch on to Josh's mention of wanting to be a soul artist, while Shakira admits she'll be devastated if he doesn't choose her. In the end, however, he goes with Adam. Looks like turning around first worked out this time around.
With only one spot left on each coach's team, tomorrow's final night of blind auditions ought to be an interesting fight. Which artist shone brightest tonight? And who was let go to early? Sound off in the comments below!