Reality Rocks

‘The Voice’ Blind Auditions, Episode 5: Decisions, Decisions

With the teams already nearly half-full on "The Voice" this season, for this Tuesday's  round of Blind Auditions, the coaches supposedly got a little picky. At least that's how Carson Daly explained it, and he is a wise man, I guess. However, that didn't mean that the coaches always chose so wisely. Some of their odd decisions were actually enough to make my head spin along with their hydraulic red chairs.

So let's get right to it. Here's how Tuesday's motley crop of Blind Auditioners fared:

Trevanne Howell - With her young-single-mom backstory and gutsy move to cover the almighty Whitney Houston's "I Have Nothing," this diva seemed like a shoo-in to me. But it turned out that her song choice's title was prophetic, as she ended up with nothing--as in, no coaches turned their chairs for her. Considering that just the night before, Christina had hit her button for the totally trainwrecky duo Beat Frequency, I thought at least she'd spin for Trevanne. "What does it take, if not that [good audition]? The coaches don't always get it right," gasped Carson, suddenly seeming like the voice of reason (as opposed to his usual voice of monotone) on "The Voice." I'm not saying Trevanne was perfect, but she clearly had some pipes, and it was really surprising to me that no coach wanted to give her a chance.
MEMBER OF: Team No One

Collin McLoughlin - Against his crestfallen parents' wishes, Collin dropped out of NYU grad school, where he was studying the music business, to pursue his singing career. Apparently NYU's music-biz classes didn't teach Collin that no one who goes on "The Voice" sells records (stay in school, kids), because he auditioned for this show with the lofty goal of proving to his folks that he'd made the right decision. "If nobody turns for me, then maybe my parents were right," he said, WAY too dramatically. Well, I don't know if Collin's parents were right, but his performance of "Wild World" wasn't amazing or anything, so perhaps they had reason to be skeptical. However, Mama and Papa McLoughlin, watching from backstage, instantly turned into their son's most vocal cheerleaders, whooping up a storm--and when Cee Lo, Blake, and Adam all turned around for Collin, Mrs. McLoughlin immediately declared, "I was wrong! I admit it!" Either NBC edited this audition really heavily, or this was THE quickest parental turnaround in parenting history. It was all just a little too trite. After Collin decided to go with Adam and left the stage to celebrate with his suddenly supportive family, he shouted just as gun-jumpingly, "I don't have to go back to school!" Apparently NYU's music industry classes also didn't teach Collin that getting past one preliminary round of "The Voice" is not exactly a guarantee of success.
MEMBER OF: Team Adam

Joselyn Rivera - This 17-year-old's backstory, about how her childhood neurological deficiencies were magically cured after her doctor prescribed her four hours a day of Barbie karaoke (or something like that), was heart-warming. Who doesn't like the idea that music can heal? So I was rooting for Joselyn, but I was ultimately underwhelmed by her audition. The girl had a pleasant voice, but tackling Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger" was an ill-advised strategy, since very few people can sing Kelly as well as Kelly. (Just ask either of Kelly's old "Duets" contestants.) Christina and Blake both wanted Joselyn, though, and she went with Team Xtina, which was probably the better choice. After all, Christina is not just a former teen singer, but she's also quite Barbie-esque--so she's probably the right coach to give young Joselyn some guidance.
MEMBER OF: Team Xtina

Benji - Yep, just "Benji." No last name. Like the dog. But I'm not going to dog this guy, because he was my favorite contestant of the night. His cover of Bob Dylan's "Knockin' On Heaven's Door" had soul, it had swag, and it kind of reminded me if Damien Rice was fronting the Black Crowes--a little bluesy, a little singer-songwritery, and a lot of awesome. And that scream at the end? Whoa. It had me hoping that this ex-racecar driver has some secret metal past, because it was almost Judas Priestly. "A scream like that should be heard by the entire world," proclaimed Adam. Cee Lo wanted Benji as well, but Adam scored this one. And I think it was a pretty big score for Team Adam indeed.
MEMBER OF: Team Adam

Todd Kessler, Ben Taub & Emily Earle - Montage contestants rarely do well on this show, so I don't know how it bodes for Cee Lo's chances this season that an entire quickie medley was dedicated to these three contestants, all of whom eventually ended up on Team Cee Lo. Usually Cee Lo builds the strongest teams, in my opinion, but maybe not this time. Todd's "Maggie May" cover had nothing on "American Idol's" Paul McDonald, and Ben's "Feeling Good" was just another forgettable rendition of a totally overdone reality-show staple. Country girl Emily seemed the most promising of this trio, but the fact that she didn't end up with Blake, who has been very aggressively courting country singers this season, made me wonder. But maybe Cee Lo was just scooping up a few fodder contestants to make his Battle Rounds decisions a little easier. That guy's mind works in mysterious ways, you know.

Lorraine Ferro - I was rooting for this 52-year-old vocal coach, who was so excited to be on "The Voice" ("IT'S THE BEST SHOW ON TELEVISION!") and came to her audition with her huge and adorable family. But then she started singing Demi Lovato's "Skyscraper," and it was a bit of a mess. She had some good moments, but not nearly enough of them, and no chairs turned for her. Lorraine's boundless enthusiasm, however, made up for any lack of enthusiasm on the part of the coaches, and she manically rejoiced over her rejection as if she'd just been told by Carson that she'd won a record contract and a pony. By the end of all this, I was kind of glad Lorraine hadn't been picked. I think her shtick would have gotten annoying really, really fast. But hey, at least she had a good attitude, and she apparently had a ton of fun.
MEMBER OF: Team No One

Mycle Wastman - Other than the lame spelling of his first name (come on, it's really "Michael," right?), there was much to like about this fellow. Forget about his sob story--yes, of course it's awful that both of Mycle's parents died when he was very young, and that the grandfather who subsequently raised him died only a week and a half before Mycle's "Voice" audition. But a sob story is not enough to succeed on this show, and luckily, there was more to Mycle than all that. His neo-soul cover of "Let's Stay Together" was buttery-smooth, and just plain cool and interesting, and it was hard to believe that he started singing relatively late in life, since it seemed to come so naturally to him. Blake, Cee Lo, and Adam quickly became embroiled in a begging war for Mycle (why did Xtina not buzz in? whyyyyy does she have such bad taste?), but it was Cee Lo who really turned on the charm, raving, "I'm more excited about you than anyone else today!" That seemed to do the trick, and finally Cee Lo was back in the game, gaining a real contender for his team.
MEMBER OF: Team Cee Lo

So for those of you keeping track, Team Cee Lo now has Mycle Wastman, Todd Kessler, Ben Taub, Emily Earle, J.R. Aquino, Nicholas David, Avery Wilson, Domo, Mackenzie Bourg, Trevin Hunte, and Daniel Rosa.

Team Adam has Collin McLoughlin, Benji, Melanie Martinez, Alessandra Guercio, Adana Duru, Brian Scartocci, Samuel Moulton, Loren Allred, Nicolle Nelson, Bryan Keith, and Joe Kirkland.

Team Adam and Team Cee Lo are probably tied as the two strongest crews right now, but Team Xtina is arguably the weakest, consisting of Joselyn Rivera, Beat Frequency, Paulina, Nelly's Echo, Lisa Scinta, MarissaAnn, Aquile, Adriana Louise, De'Borah, and Devyn DeLoera.

And Team Blake has Liz Davis, Kelly Crapa, 2Steel Girls, Casey Muessigmann, Julio Cesar Castillo, Terry McDermott, and Gracia Harrison. Yes, that's right--Blake didn't recruit any new members on Tuesday, and he was feeling pretty "loser-y" about it.

Will Blake's losing streak continue? Will Christina continue to make bad choices? Will Adam and Cee Lo continue to make good ones? We'll see when "The Voice" returns for even more Blind Auditions next week.

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