First things first: today is the anniversary of a national tragedy, and that's something we'll never forget. Yet as somber as the occasion is, we've got another hour's worth of The Voice blind auditions to get to, and darned if they don't provide at least a little bit of a morale boost. It's uplifting to see more hopeful artists get a shot at realizing their dreams.
Picking up where last night left off, each of our coaches is trying to fill 14 open spaces on their team, all four having selected two artists on Monday. The first artist of the night is Adriana Louise, who tells a harrowing story of how her family ran afoul of gang members when she was nine. Her rendition of Jessie J's "Domino" draws all four coaches' attention, making her the second artist in Season 3 to sweep the panel. Christina immediately stands up and starts pitching, before Cee Lo says the fact that both he and Adriana are wearing white makes them "look like we just got married," causing Adam (and probably America) to look at him strange. Adriana joins Team Christina.
Our next singer is Casey Muessigmann, who was a wrestler in college, so let's hope whoever coaches him doesn't pick a fight with him. Casey's song choice is the uber-classic "Sweet Home Alabama," so it's no surprise that Blake pushes his button, followed by Cee Lo. Adam gives Blake a semi-ringing endorsement: "Just go now." What he doesn't know (until that moment) is that Casey was waiting for Adam to turn around, which makes Adam curse on national TV for the umpteenth time. But really, there's no better fit for this guy than Team Blake, so it's great that's where he ends up.
Carson says that the singularly-named Aquile has used music "to overcome adversity," which seems weird to introduce him with since it's true of many artists who've been on The Voice. Anyway, his take on Elton John's "Your Song" draws the immediate interest of both Adam and Christina, and Cee Lo is a late entry. Adam wonders why Blake didn't push his button, but I figure it's probably just to avoid the battle that's about to happen, because the performance is fantastic. Adam tells Aquile that he can help him be "creative and impactful," while Christina flirts with him, and Cee Lo remains Zen about everything, so nothing's new there. I'm not entirely sure of his reasoning, but Aquile chooses Team Christina.
Who gets to follow that? LeAnn Rimes' tour production coordinator, Ryan Fogarty, so we get some footage of and a brief comment from LeAnn Rimes. It's shades of Jermaine Paul over again. Ryan's version of Chris Young's "Tomorrow" fails to draw any button pushes, however, so he's not quite taking after Jermaine. Cue night two's montage of artists who are similarly unlucky.
The next artist is not Nathan Parrett's missing brother, Harry Potter or Justin Bieber - it's MacKenzie Bourg, who has come through a medically induced coma to end up on the Voice stage. He chooses Foster the People's "Pumped Up Kicks," which I think I've heard one too many times by now. Nobody bites right away, but Cee Lo finally turns around for him, and MacKenzie defaults to Team Cee Lo.
Now, if you've read me before, you know I'm a fan of artists breaking the traditional singing-competition mold; it's why I had a soft spot for both Moses Stone and Chris Mann last time around. So, while I do not speak more than a few words of Spanish, I'm all for letting Julio Castillo come out and perform "La Bamba." Blake just has to see what the heck is happening, and slams on his button pretty quickly. Cee Lo decides to rain on his parade at the last minute and Blake calls him a "jackass" for doing so. Cee Lo retorts that Blake is good at "doing the same thing over and over again." This doesn't dissuade Julio, who joins Team Blake. Yet there's the big elephant in the room: given his admission that the majority of what he sings is in Spanish, will Julio be able to connect with enough of the Voice audience to have a real shot at this thing?
At the end of the night, Team Adam has 2 artists, Team Blake has 4, Team Cee Lo has 3 and Team Christina has 4. Adam is the only coach not to have picked up an artist in night two, which didn't quite have the "wow" factor of its predecessor. The voices from last night were generally much stronger, but who knows? We've seen artists come on strong once they get into the competition, get some coaching, and find their groove. That could be the case with some of these folks.
My gripe of the night actually carries over from last night, and is something many of you have brought up: that NBC is promoting auditions for Season 4 of The Voice as we've barely cracked Season 3. I understand why they're doing it, because they've got to ready a new talent pool to be ready for a spring 2013 premiere, but it leaves the bad feeling that the network is already "over" the season that's just started. That's something I might expect of other shows, but not this one. In general, I'd love it if NBC would dump its huge on-screen ads altogether. Let's just enjoy the moment, shall we? We'll finish premiere week - but not the blind auditions round - tomorrow at 8 PM ET/PT on NBC.
For more from Brittany Frederick on The Voice, visit Big Red Chairs and follow me on Twitter (@bigredchairs).
(c)2012 Brittany Frederick/Big Red Chairs. Appears at Starpulse with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted.