After last night's much-hyped premiere, it's time to find more promising singers for Season 4 of The Voice. Who will earn a spot this time around?
The second round of blind auditions begins with another country singer, Tawnya Reynolds, who's been playing for more than a decade in Nashville but is in need of a breakthrough to further her career. Tawnya brings out "Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys," and both Adam and Shakira warm to her near instantly. Even if it's not quite as great as when Mother of the Bride covered the song on TBS's Wedding Band. Since she is a country artist, though, the camera is obligated to keep landing on Blake. Our resident country artist doesn't push his button, but he gets Usher to.
Usher: I mentor one of yours, you mentor one of mine?
Of the available coaches, Shakira calls herself the most country and Blake's successor, to which Adam retorts that he's in Blake's will. Shakira responds by whipping out an English-to-Country Dictionary. It works: despite Blake pulling out the Justin Bieber card for Usher, Tawnya joins Team Shakira.
Following Tawnya is Josiah Hawley, the son of a jazz pianist, who takes the risk of singing Maroon 5's "Sunday Morning" in front of Adam Levine. Sometimes singing a coach's song works (see: Devyn DeLoera), sometimes it doesn't. Adam is thrilled at the song choice, so perhaps just to spite him, Blake pushes his button for Josiah first. Even after Usher goes in, Adam's still deliberating whether or not he likes this version, and you really can't blame him, considering he knows this song better than anyone. Finally, Adam decides he's pleased, and turns his chair, giving Josiah three coaches to choose from.
Adam: So, you chose 'Sunday Morning,' which is my song. Anyone that loves and appreciates what we do, and comes out and does it for us, is bold.
Blake's pitch is to compliment Josiah's hair and try to imitate it. Usher, when he's done snickering at that, offers a much better argument, which persuades Josiah to sign up with Team Usher. Usher gets further props for making a Flock of Seagulls reference on Twitter. Adam is understandably disappointed. You can rewatch Josiah's audition at the end of this article.
The Idaho folk duo Midas Whale (say it out loud if you don't get it) arrives next in truly goofy fashion. If these guys don't make it as musicians, they've got a second career as comedians. Much to the surprise of everyone, including the pair themselves, their performance of Johnny Cash's "Folsom Prison Blues" draws all four coaches.
Blake advises them that picking anyone other than him might ruin the rest of their lives. Shakira breaks out her Spanish. Usher tries to break out his Spanish, then resorts to the most common argument on The Voice, the "I was the first person to turn" line. Adam keeps things brief, just saying that he thinks they're great. Midas Whale declares for Team Adam. It'll be interesting to see how Adam coaches a duo, as they'll be his first.
While there's lots of celebrating backstage, it's time for Abraham McDonald, who's already kind of won at life because he won a karaoke contest on Oprah. His version of Beyonce's "Best Thing I Never Had" marks the second time in two nights we've had a man singing a woman's song, but nobody's as shocked by Abraham as they were by Kris Thomas performing Whitney Houston. In fact, Abraham strikes out, with Usher calling it "a bit shaky," but he takes the rejection in stride.
Cathia is the next artist to take the stage, deciding to sing in her native Spanish (hey, we saw Julio Cesar Castillo make it work last season, and Chris Mann sang opera before that!). Usher turns his chair for her, followed by Shakira and then Blake. Wisely, Cathia joins Team Shakira.
The final artist of the night is Sarah Simmons, who performs Joan Osborne's "One of Us" and gets all four coaches to want her on their team. With Sarah signing onto Team Adam, Adam has so far snagged three four-chair-worthy artists, and Blake has the other one (the Morgan Twins).
At close of business, it’s Team Adam 3/12, Team Blake 3/12, Team Shakira 4/12, and Team Usher 3/12. For those of you who don't like math, that means our coaches are at least 25% of the way to completing their rosters in the first week of auditions. Is that a good sign or a bad one? Only time (and whatever talent comes next) will tell...see you next Tuesday!
For more on The Voice and its artists, you can visit BFTV’s dedicated The Voice blog, Big Red Chairs.