10 Best & Worst Moments From ‘The Voice’ Blind Auditions Week 1 (Guest Blog)

A Season 2 semifinalist, I blog about the NBC competition for TheWrap

Our favorite singing competition “The Voice” is back with a new season (and their most watched premiere since 2012!). Now it's been a couple of months, and I'm a little rusty, so buckle up – it may be a bumpy ride. Let's talk my favorite moments from this week's episodes (in no particular order).

1. It's gonna get bloody
Christina Grimmie's “Wrecking Ball” was the first audition to air, a fantastic performance that started the season off on a strong note. She was utterly fearless, hitting unexpected heights and making the song her own. Her four chair turns also re-introduced us to how hard the coaches will fight for a great contestant. Coach Adam Levine described it best – “It's gonna get bloody.” It did, and Adam drew the most blood, securing Christina to his team.

2. Best high kick
Biff Gore's authentic take on “A Change is Gonna Come” showcased his classic gospel chops and won him four chair turns. His response was an impulsive high kick that delighted me and everyone watching the show. Despite some intense coach bickering that involved Coach Shakira calling Coach Usher out for spending too much time on his abs, Biff decided “Team Abs” (I mean Team Usher) was the right choice.

Also read: Ratings: ‘The Voice,’ ‘Blacklist’ Returns Deliver Strong Monday for NBC

3. Favorite performance
Maybe it's the fact that I've been listening to The Civil Wars non-stop. Maybe it's because I'm planning my own Acoustic/Americana EP. Whatever the reason, Dawn and Hawkes's “I've Just Seen A Face” struck a chord with me. I'm not always a fan of duos, but their voices blend beautifully, and it was truly refreshing to see someone get up on “The Voice” stage and sing in a natural, unaffected way – no bells and whistles (or whistle tones!), no melodramatic wailing and no wall-to-wall runs. It was simple and gorgeous and my favorite performance of the week. I was happy to see them join Team Adam. Now let's hope they don't break up, because that would be awkward.

Watch their performance again above.

4. The comeback kids
This week belonged to the comeback kids, returning contestants who were unable to make a team Season 5 but came back bigger and better this season. Delvin Choice came armed with some sassy flood pants and a better song choice, securing a spot on Team Adam with a tastefully done rendition of “A Song For You.” Then Jake Worthington won most improved – doing a beautiful version of “Don't Close Your Eyes” that blew his last audition out of the water and won him a spot on Team Blake. These second chance stories provided some of the most heartwarming moments of the week.

5. Most charming salesmanship
Our coaches all have different sales tactics. Adam makes passionate speeches. Shakira tries to personally connect, and Blake slides by on being Blake Shelton. Usher's approach manages to be intense, laid-back and charming at the same time. Sometimes this works exceedingly well as it did after Bria Kelly's gritty, all out performance of “Steamroller Blues.” All the coaches wanted her, but Usher circled her, brandishing his Grammy and giving an inspirational monologue about hard work and determination. It was like watching a jaguar circle its prey. How could Bria resist? Of course, she chose Team Usher.

See video: 5 Things to Expect on ‘The Voice’ Premere: Plus, Watch the Coaches Sing Each Other's Hits

6. Blowing rainbows where?
Noah Lis's “Me and Mrs. Jones” was serviceable but seemed like an ill-fitting song choice for the budding crooner. However, he did generate one of the most quotable lines of the night when Adam said he wouldn't “blow rainbows up his butt” in an effort to win him over. Adam then backpedaled, but it was too late. Blake not only blew some rainbows but also name checked Noah's idol Michael Buble, securing him to his team.

7. Oh, hey mustache man
Although he didn't win any chair turns, Keith Shuskie won best mustache with his barbershop quartet inspired grooming. I dare anyone else to top that facial hair this season!

8. The Bieber Card
The minute I saw Usher push his button for 16 year old Madilyn Paige's sweet, pared down version of “Titanium,” I KNEW he would play the Bieber card. This tried and true method involves subtly (or not so subtly) invoking Usher's association with the troubled and very famous teen Justin Bieber. Blake and Shakira fought hard, but once the Bieber card is pulled, there's no turning back. Usher handily won one of the best female singers of the week.

Also read: Insider: CeeLo Green Quit ‘The Voice’ to Avoid Being Fired (Exclusive)

9. Celebrity Hoarders: Blake Shelton edition
“The Voice” contestants are skewing younger and more marketable by the minute, and last night's Deja Hall was no exception to that rule. It was no surprise to see three chairs turn for her lovely rendition of “True Colors.” Blake creepily offered to adopt her, so naturally she ran in the other direction and joined Team Shakira (smart girl!). Listen, Blake – you can only hoard so many teenage girls in your quest to win the show.

10. Won't you come sit in my big red leather chair?
Forget inviting a girl up to see your “swatches” – apparently the new seduction technique is to offer them your big red leather chair. That's all it took to get Cary Laine, a feisty mom from Wyoming, on Team Adam. Her fiery performance of “Better Dog Too” had all four coaches scrambling to get her on their team, but Adam's offer of a comfortable chair sealed the deal.

Don't forget to check out my new album “In & Out of the Dark,” which is available on iTunes NOW. For more updates, follow me on Twitter at @katrinapmusic and visit my website, www.katrinaparker.com.

“The Voice” airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8/7c on NBC.

  • lulu

    It was an awesome show last night. Adam scoring the country music singer was the best.

    • Katrina Parker

      Haaa, agreed! His sheer glee at stealing a country singer away from Blake was infectious. :)

  • David Perkins

    Entirely rust-free! Welcome back.

    Certainly, it's going to be a very competitive Season 6. It's also shaping up to be one of the best sitcoms on TV. (The coaches were especially hilarious on Tuesday.) The talent is very strong, and oh so very young. Here are some interesting stats to date:

    So far, nearly one-third of the chair-turners are teenage girls. There are three country singers, but only one of them is on Team Blake. Of the 13 artists placed on teams so far, five are already charting on iTunes (including 3 of the aforementioned teens). Who's most popular so far? The iTunes downloads say it's the Dawn & Hawkes duet, followed (in order) by Christina Grimmie, Bria Kelly, Blake's country guy Jake Worthington, and Madilyn Paige. I like all five of them. I can't wait to find out who's coming next week.

    • Katrina Parker

      I'm happy to hear Dawn & Hawkes are charting! Christina and Bria also make sense as they had some of the biggest buzz this week, What I'm pleasantly surprised to hear about is Jake charting?! That is pretty awesome. I'm rooting that kid! :)

      • David Perkins

        Yeah, Jake made the big all-genre Top 200 chart, topping out at #141. The duet went to #1 on the Rock Chart (they're still there!), and to #22 on the Top 200 chart. The teen girls on Top 200 Chart: Christina (#69), Bria (#119) and Madilyn (#171).

  • wat

    I can't wait for the contestants’ personalities to be shown more so I can develop a favorite because so far none have grabbed me with just their singing like Tessanne Chin did with her blind audition. Not saying any of these contestants aren't talented (they most definitely are) but they haven't done it for me yet. I feel no connection.

    • Katrina Parker

      I hear you on Tessanne. Luckily there's a few more nights of blinds so you may still find a favorite (and a lot of people's true voices emerge in later rounds – so there's still time). :)

      • wat

        Agreed! Pity I have to wait another week to scout “favorite” candidates again lol

        • David Perkins

          Let's not forget that much of the internet buzz following the first week of blind auditions in S5 wasn't about Tessanne Chin. It was about Holly Henry, who didn't survive the Knockout Rounds. There's a ton of talent yet to come, and no reason whatsoever at this time to make comparisons to last season. Jeez.

          • wat

            But I didn't make a comparison… I said none of them have hooked me so far like Tessanne's audition. I didn't say “Tessanne is better than everyone this season.”

          • David Perkins

            You wrote: ‘so far none have grabbed me with just their singing like Tessanne Chin did with her blind audition.’ If that isn't a comparison to last season, please make a comparison to last season so that I can tell the difference.

          • wat

            I only said no one grabbed me yet. No need to over-complicate it.

          • David Perkins

            Exactly. Perhaps someone will grab you so that you can move on from last season.

          • wat

            Exactly. I was saying I can't wait to finally connect and have a favorite again. I'm not stuck on last season. That's why I'm watching Season 6 lol

          • David Perkins

            Let's hope you'll find a favorite (again).

          • wat

            I'm sure I will. I think the ones I like the most so far are Delvin Choice and Bria Kelly. Actually, I like Biff too. Mostly for his personality but I also appreciate that vintage soulful sound.

          • David Perkins

            Bria — a former finalist on America's Got Talent — has a good shot at moving on, and it's great that Delvin is back — much improved than he was in S5. I don't often download from iTunes, but I really liked Christina Grimmie's version of ‘Wrecking Ball’ (more than Miley's original — which I don't own) and I really liked the soft Madilyn Paige version of ‘Titanium.’ (Again, my only download of that wonderful song.) So, I've already downloaded TWO songs from Season 6 – a new record for me. Previously, my only recent download was ‘Dirty Girls’ by Katrina Parker, whomever she is. Sadly, based on iTunes downloads to date, the current S6 favorite among downloaders is the Dawn & Hawkes duet. There's nothing wrong with them, but yikes.

          • wat

            Guessing voters love the cutesy duet angle lol

  • Diane

    LOL. I was dying when Adam escorted Cary Laine to his chair. Funniest moment this week! Great list.

    • Katrina Parker

      You weren't alone! The coaches are highly entertaining so far this season! I'm loving it.

      • David Perkins

        There's a certain spontaneity to the humor that is spectacular. Watching Adam's friendly mocking of Shakira's accent while they fought over Delvin was delightful. Adam's comment that Bria could turn her (future) Grammy into shoes like Usher's. And so on. Sure, the editors had something to do with it, but these four coaches are wonderful together. Maybe Cee Lo's replacement is sitting in a red chair right now.

  • Jeanne Clarke

    I also loved the duo – and I hope Adam doesn't mess with the purity of their voices together. So far the only duo who made it on the Voice was The Swon Brothers. They seem to be doing quite well these days. I loved the country singer Adam won over, too! With the teens, it's difficult not to hear the “youth” in their voices – although some do have exceptionally good voices.

  • David Perkins

    Having downloaded two of the songs from week one, and previewed all of the others, I have a HUGE favorite at this (very early) moment. Madilyn Paige's rendition of Titanium (in the downloadable studio version) is an absolute delight. (Of course, I'm a sucker for a strong female voice and BIG PIANO. But, that's just me.) Christina Grimmie's studio version of Wrecking Ball (my other download) is also very, very good. I really hope the relatively inexperienced Madilyn gets through the Battle and Knockout rounds. But, I had the same hopes for Holly Henry in S5, so I have real concerns. I invite you to check it out.