As we head toward the finish of blind auditions, Tuesday proved to be a big day for The Voice. Against stiff competition, The Voice had less overall viewers than ABC's Dancing With The Stars (11.93 to 14.58), but won the coveted 18-49 demographic - and an expected renewal for seasons four and five from NBC. (This isn't really news given that the announcement of coach changes referenced both seasons four and five. But it's nice to hear formally.) So what's the show going to do on such a busy night? Continue filling out the teams, of course!
With very few spots left - two on Team Adam, three on Teams Christina and Cee Lo, and four on Team Blake - we're again into that phase where the coaches are at their most critical, and the standard for the artists is raised even higher as a result.
No pressure for Sylvia Yacoub, who's singing for both herself and her mother, who wasn't able to pursue her own musical aspirations in their native Egypt. Sylvia sings "Only Girl In The World," which you know from Season 1 when Raquel Castro and Julia Eason took it on in battles, and gets three chairs to turn: Christina, Blake and Cee Lo. What follows is the most lackluster battle between coaches in the history of this show. Christina makes the most vague pitch ever ("I'm a singer, you're a singer," is her opening salvo). Adam shushes the crowd expecting Cee Lo to make a huge argument of his own, but is left dumbfounded when all Cee Lo says is "I want you to be on my team." Laughter ensues. After that, Sylvia goes for Team Christina.
The next singer up is I.J. Quinn, who admits that he sounds like a girl (bringing back memories of Tim Mahoney from season one). Carson thinks I.J.'s version of "Virtual Insanity" is right up Adam's alley, but neither Adam nor any of the other coaches turn for the kid. Adam pauses before he speaks, perhaps remembering what he said to Tim, before he admits that once again, he thought the guy behind the mic was a woman. "I was born with a high voice, I sing with a high voice, I feel you," he consoles I.J. before the young man heads off, leaving Blake and Cee Lo to also say they thought he was a girl.
Now it's time for another "Carson sneaks up on somebody" surprise, as he visits Charlie Rey (no relation to Season 1's Kelsey Rey) to hand him his invite. Charlie goes with the Michael Buble track "Home," which makes Blake smile a little because he also covered it to great success - and Blake likes what he hears enough to push his button. Adam decides he wants to jump in as well, making Blake stand up and curse in his direction while Adam just waves genially at him. Blake jokes that he's glad Charlie didn't decide to cover his version of the song, and wants a hug, while Adam quips that it's obvious he's a better coach. Blake gets his hug as Charlie joins Team Blake.
Amanda Brown loves both gospel and Radiohead, and has sung backup for Adele. She brings us her take on "Valerie," and just as it looks like she might be out of luck, Cee Lo hits his button for her and so she defaults to Team Cee Lo. Everyone agrees that her last ten seconds were her best, and that if she had started as well as she finished, there might have been a bigger fight for her. It doesn't really matter, though, because she's in the competition.
Following Amanda is 55-year-old Yolanda Barber, who marvels at the fact that she's in the same competition with people young enough to be her children. But we all know age doesn't matter on The Voice; it's about talent. Yolanda performs Brenda Russell's "Get Here," and while it's not quite as good as the original, it's still pretty good. "You guys figure out why you guys are dumb and I'll figure out why I am," Adam suggests to the panel, who all seem to concur that she's a victim of the aforementioned "we're being extra choosy because we're down to our last spots" problem. It particularly breaks Adam and Christina's hearts that they have to watch her go, but Yolanda is at peace, saying "Everything has its time."
Our last artist is Cassadee Pope, who formed a band, toured with Fall Out Boy, and is now ready to go solo. As seems to be the case whenever a known singer is mentioned in connection with a hopeful on this show, we have a little video message from Pete Wentz to Cassadee before she takes the stage. She goes on to sing Natalie Imbruglia's "Torn," and gets Adam, Christina and Blake to turn near-simultaneously, in that order. Cee Lo decides to join the party a few moments later, giving Cassadee her pick of coaches.
Cee Lo compliments her legs before anyone can even say anything about her performance. Adam and Christina bicker over who was first (for the record, playback shows that it was Adam). Blake finally gets his moment to say that he believes with 200% of his heart that Cassadee is a superstar. Despite his faulty math, Cassadee joins Team Blake, and it's so not a coincidence that Fall Out Boy's "Sugar, We're Going Down" starts playing as she meets her new coach.
If you're thinking that means there are still some open spots, you're right: we have one more night for everyone to find two more singers. It's night eight of blind auditions on Monday.
Next week: once the rosters are full, the teams go to battle, and "The Steal" is in effect.. You don't want to miss it! Who's your early favorite team to win it all?
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.