A Season 2 semifinalist, I blog about the NBC competition for TheWrap
Season 6 of NBC's “The Voice” has been a whirlwind so far, culminating in this week's final blind auditions. There was a little heartbreak, a little joy and a lot of Shevine PDA, so let's talk about my highlights below.
1. Panda hugs for everyone!
This week's Blinds started off with yet another singing nanny (this one yodels)! Kat Perkins has a voice reminiscent of Pat Benatar or Ann Wilson of Heart. Her “Gold Dust Woman” started slowly but burned into a compelling performance that earned three chair turns. Naturally, the rocker chose coach Adam Levine and he reacted by picking her up off the ground while she clung to him panda style.
2. Burn, Usher. Burn.
“Best Burn” goes to coach Usher this week. After Jake Barker's lovely performance of “When I Was Your Man” yielded three chair turns (pretty falsetto alert!), Jake admitted he struggled with stage fright. Shakira responded to this reveal by saying he could be vulnerable and come to her for support. Usher retorted “Do you want a mom or a mentor?” Ooh, solid burn, Usher. How could Jake resist? This round went to “Team Burn” (Usher).
3. So many questions
Luke Cooper's “Radiactive” may not have inspired any chair turns, but his background package inspired many questions like do they live on a farm? Do they manhandle chickens daily? Was that a miniature horse his son was riding, and can it carry the weight of adult? I need to know. For a friend.
4. The peanut gallery
Ria Eaton's voice is fascinating – at times soulful and raspy and at times delightfully oddball. Her performance of “Cups (When I'm Gone)” started wobbly but improved as the song continued, earning eleventh hour button pushes from Shakira and coach Blake Shelton. Usher and Adam stepped to the sidelines to critique coach sales pitches – calling out Blake's compliments for sounding “canned,” clapping for Shakira's “You're like a pearl in an oyster” speech and wreaking general havoc (inadvertently sending Ria into the arms of Team Blake).
5.”Girl Talk” with Shakira
Cierra Mickens's commanding voice and performance of “Crazy” earned her three chair turns, but the other coaches didn't stand a chance once Shakira walked onstage to have some “girl talk.” After painting each other's nails and talking about their hopes and dreams, Cierra chose Team Shakira.
6. This Kiss, this kiss!
Shevine's PDA was out of control this week – from Blake sitting on Adam's lap after Cierra Mickens to Adam planting a surprise kiss on Blake's cheek after Paula Deanda's “The Way.” Get a room already! OK, don't, because I'm loving it.
7. Is this “The Voice” or “Law & Order”?
The most shocking moment this week occurred during Tyler Montgomery's background package. It started jauntily enough with pictures of him dressed as a mini-Elvis and quickly shifted into dark territory when he hauntingly recounted seeing his father's body after a deadly house fire…wait, what just happened? Did I drift into an episode of “Law and Order”? Of course, because viewers were rooting for Tyler, he got no chair turns after his version of “I Wish.” Thanks for expanding our hearts and then trampling all over them, “The Voice.”
8. Smartest song choice
Best song choice of the week goes to Alaska and Maddy's “Barton Hollow.” While their individual voices weren't always outstanding, the duo's harmonies were tight, the performance was strong and the song itself elevated it from good to great. Despite intense lobbying by two coaches (Adam and Blake), the girls went with Team Blake because Oklahoma Kids and a picture of Blake with a mullet!
9. Guilty of passion in the third degree
Do I see a NEW bromance blooming? Josh Kaufman's electric “One More Try” was my favorite performance this week, inspiring four chair turns. The father of two is eminently likeable, but more importantly his voice is wonderful – distinctive and lived in with a surprisingly strong falsetto. When Blake mocked Adam for being overly excited (jealous much??), Adam replied he was “guilty of passion in the third degree.” That passion won Josh to Adam's team.
Watch his audition again above.
10. Welcome to the gun show
While Kaleigh Glanton's voice is unique, what's more unique is the show's choice to feature both performance footage and a Crossfit workout in her background segment. While it was fun, this is mind-boggling considering the amount of montaging they've done so far. If I made a team and my audition was cut in favor of moments like this? I'd want to start lifting myself. That being said, her quirky “Have You Ever Seen the Rain” turned four chairs and generated some lively coach bickering. Despite Shakira's adorable offer to “quirk up” with her, she went with Team Blake. I hope “Dimples” is ready for the gun show!
11. The Donut King
Donut shop cashier Caleb Elder's ballsy, joyful performance of “Groove Me” demonstrated just how essential donuts are to cultivating great performance skills. His voice was surprisingly gritty and pliable, but his frenetic showmanship was what truly stole the show. It was even more charming when Adam turned around, shocking Caleb so much Adam had to wave him on to keep singing. This was the perfect way to wrap up this season's blind auditions (and a great final addition to Team Adam).
“The Voice” airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8/7c on NBC.