Even though The Voice Season 3 just started, it feels like we’re old pros by now. Now in the second round of blind auditions, the teams are already nearly half full and the coaches are using everything they’ve got to sway vocalists to their side. From bringing along their Academy of Country Music Award to toting their newest spirit animal, Lady, the judges put it into overdrive, hoping to pack their team with a few more potential superstars tonight.
A quirky teen from New York, Melanie Martinez was the first to walk onto The Voice stage hoping to make it. A photographer with an eye for the unique, Melanie wanted to channel her considerable artistic talents and win over the judges. The last thing we expected from this young artist was the Britney Spears pop hit, “Toxic,” but that’s exactly what we got. The 17-year-old changed the Top 40 hit to a indie folk tune with the help of her acoustic guitar and tambourine, which she casually played with her feet.
Judges Adam Levine and Blake Shelton turned practically in sync, with CeeLo soon following. Touting the singer as a bit of “Bjork” and an original “star” at the same time, the judges battled it out, but Melanie ultimately went with someone who “let her express her creativity” and that was our dear Adam.
The next artist, Cupid, had the whole green room dancing along to his voice; a talent that had garnered him some fame a few years ago. Yes, the very same Cupid behind the viral hit “Cupid Shuffle,” which is still heard at weddings and middle school dances. The 32-year-old had a taste of stardom, but had been relegated to one hit wonder status ever since.
Singing, you guessed it, “Cupid Shuffle,” the singer got on stage, hoping for one last chance to make it, and maybe become a two or three hit wonder. Unfortunately, his shtick actually cost him his chance, because the cute diddy did nothing to showcase his talent, and Cupid was forced to the right, to the right, to the right off the stage with no offers and no team.
Hoping to have better luck was the next artist, Brian Scartocci. A single dad from Texas, Brian credited his two young children with being the reason he was there, and the reason why it took him so long to get there. Singing the Stevie Wonder ballad “Isn’t She Lovely,” this sweet father had a few tricks up his sleeve that got Adam, Blake, and Cee Lo Green to turn their chairs. Though Adam thought he “didn’t look the part,” he definitely “nailed it,” and his heart-melting dedication to his kids just made him even more adorable than ever. Though he said that he originally wanted to go with Cee Lo, after Adam cleverly name dropped Stevie Wonder, it was the Maroon 5 rocker who ended up snagging his second team member of the evening.
Beat Frequency (Natasha and Sean)
A few duos came and went with little luck, and then came married couple Natasha and Sean. Known as “Beat Frequency,” the Christian rockers who had their first date in the studio were hoping to break the duo dry spell and make it past the blind auditions.
Singing Katy Perry and Kanye West’s “E.T,” the two seemed to be a little nervous, but their unique sound got the usually tentative Christina Aguilera to turn her chair. She must have heard something the rest of the judges (and we) didn’t, but kudos to the pair who made it on the pop star’s team unchallenged.
Next up to bat was a baseball player from California who was ready to trade in the field for the stage.Tyler Lillestol came to the show with the Usher classic, “U Got It Bad,” and though the scrawny kid didn’t seem like he would be able to do the R&B slow jam justice, he actually managed to take it home. The coaches, however, didn’t agree, and thought the song didn’t properly showcase his talent, nicely telling him to pack it in and hit the showers.
Maybe he can be on Team Usher, spring 2013!
A southern belle with a bad streak, Liz Davis was the next one to step to the stage. Coming from the country capital of Nashville, Tennessee, Liz has tried her hand at singing before, but came to the show hoping to be the first country singer to win the whole thing. But first, the blind audition. Singing Gretchen Wilson’s “Here For The Party,” Liz had her game face (and hot pants) on, with a strong smoky voice that got Christina and Adam to turn, and finally at the last moment, Blake Shelton.
Though he was the last to turn, he had the biggest bargaining chip: his ACM award for Male Vocalist of the Year, which ended up being a pretty good selling point, easily getting the country gal to choose his team.
Though the next auditionee was from Alaska, he still managed to find fame on the mainland, through the magical power of YouTube. As one of the top 100 subscribed musicians in the world, JR Aquino came looking to translate his virtual fame for the real thing. Singing Bruno Mars’s “Just The Way You Are,” in a way that reminded the judges of well, Bruno Mars, Adam and Christina were quickly convinced of the dude’s talent and turned around with Cee Lo getting in right before the buzzer. And good thing too, because JR ended up choosing the “Crazy” singer to bring his talents to the main stage.
A towel girl at a country club in Toluca Lake, Agina got a personal invite from Carson Daly to come down and audition. Even after securing two different recording contracts and moving her family closer to Los Angeles for her chance, things didn’t work out for the young singer. Kicking things off with a powerful rendition of Gloria Estefan’s “Turn The Beat Around,” Agina gave a fun and energetic performance that somehow failed to sway the coaches. Even though Blake said that he was “embarrassed” for all of them for not realizing her talent sooner, it was back to the tennis courts for this hopeful.
As the night wore on, the judges got a little more picky, rejecting more than a few talented singers. But someone hoping to turn that around was Nicholas David.
The 31-year-old sweetheart and father of two came a long way to get to the Voice stage. Formerly a 300-pound binge drinker, Nicholas found love with his now fiance who gave him the strength he wanted to share with America.
Singing the classic “Stand By Me,” the adorably offbeat (but in tune) ginger singer had a soft buttery voice that got judge Cee Lo Green to turn his chair. Once the rest of the judges saw Nicholas, they were stunned by what greeted them, but it was Cee Lo who got the “unique voice and unique style”, after a note of assent from the lovely Lady on his shoulder.
Next was Alessandra Guercio, a high school student who’s had her brush with Fame, and was looking for more. Attending LaGuardia Arts High School (aka the Fame school), Alessandra looked far older than her 17 years with a voice to match. Singing Miley Cyrus’s power ballad, “The Climb,” she started out soft and subtle but made her way through the song with control, getting Adam and Cee Lo to turn their chairs in the process. Though their excitement was tamed upon finding out she was still a minor, the boys pulled it together and made their pleas, with Adam winning easily.
After that, the judges finally loosened up and got into it, taking on Adanna Duru, Kelly Crapa, and Paulina.
And last for tonight was a 16-year-old from Bristol, Conn. Growing up in a family of dancers, Avery always thought that he was meant to follow in their footsteps. But after some encouraging words from his father, he found that his real talent was his voice. Considering himself to be a mix of Usher, Chris Brown, and Stevie Wonder, the young superstar in training did all of those artists proud with his rendition of David Guetta’s “Without You.”
Possessing a natural talent and exciting stage presence that electrified the crowd, Avery almost effortlessly got all four judges to turn their chairs. The judges put it all on the line for this standout, calling him “beyond his years,” saying that he was “the golden child” that the struggling music industry needed. And after a little back and forth, Avery chose Cee Lo. From never having a singing lesson to getting mentored in superstardom by the incomparable Cee Lo — we guess that’s the power of The Voice.
Well that’s it for tonight, but come back tomorrow for the second night of this week’s blind auditions. What did you guys think of tonight’s performances?