The Blind Auditions Premiere, Part 2
It's only the second night of Season 6, but already the feathers are starting to fly. As the hopefuls turn out for their blind auditions, it's clear this season's field will have a diverse mix of personal stories, singing ability and stage charisma. Here are six things you need to know about tonight's Episode 2:
The first night saw teenagers galore as Bria Kelly, Jake Worthington and Christina Grimmie all made impressions. Tonight two more tiny youngsters with big voices have the coaches in a frenzy. First, 16-year-old Madilyn Paige takes David Guetta's pop rocker "Titanium" and makes it a slow, beautiful piano ballad; the normally patient Usher is singing along and turning his chair around 30 seconds into Madilyn's performance. He is joined by Shakira, and both try to give Madilyn the hard sell. Shakira comments that she has been a professional singer since she was a teenager. Usher counters by saying he has worked with a teenager. Playing the Bieber card! Madilyn chooses Usher, upsetting Shakira so much she mimes stabbing herself in the stomach like a disgraced samurai. Then another 16-year-old, Deja Hall of Texas, takes the stage to sing a song almost twice as old as she is: Cyndi Lauper's "True Colors." Shakira gets so excited she actually misses her button the first time she tries to push it. By the time she's through the ballad, Deja gets three coaches to turn their chairs and a standing ovation from Blake, who offers to adopt Deja if that's what it will take to get her on his team. Already having a family waiting for her backstage, Deja turns down the generous offer and picks Shakira, who finally has the young female singer she has been seeking.
More redemption for past contestants!
On the first night, Season 5 contestant Jake Worthington made a return trip to The Voice stage and got three chairs to turn around. Tonight, it's Delvin Choice's turn. Last time around, the singing Starbucks barista chose a song that involved a dance routine, which the coaches thought distracted from his ability to sing. This season, he chooses Donny Hathaway's signature ballad "A Song for You" and gets a four-chair turn. Remembering that Delvin works at Starbucks, Blake tells him, "You won't be doing that anymore." All the coaches have an angle. Shakira holds up her hand and swears she will take him to the top. Blake compliments his awesome hair. Adam, citing the advice he gave the singer after his Season 5 audition to find a better song, says, "You could say I started coaching you last season." Delvin chooses Adam.
Great hair or great moustache, you still have to sing.
Keith Shuskie, a married father from Buffalo, takes the stage wearing a moustache that would make Salvador Dali jealous, but his take on Keane's "Somewhere Only We Know" fails to turn any chairs. The coaches all like his voice but think perhaps the song is wrong for him. Usher makes Keith promise to come back and sing something else, and Shakira makes him promise to keep growing his moustache. Keith departs the stage with a smile on his face.
Blake loves crooners.
Noah Lis, a singer from Massachusetts, takes the stage in honor of his grandfather, who was the young man's biggest musical influence before he recently passed away. Noah may be only 22, but as his mother says, he is an "old soul" who wants to bring back the jazz and pop standards of a bygone era. He sings the soul classic "Me and Mrs. Jones" beautifully, but Blake and Adam, engaging in some gamesmanship with each other, do not turn their chairs until the very last second. Blake explains he loves those old crooners like Dean Martin because to be like Dean you have to not give a crap, and nobody in the entertainment industry gives less of a crap than Blake Shelton. "That's good, you should have a coach that doesn't give a crap about you," Adam says. Noah picks Blake anyway.
Everyone loves a country girl.
Country singer Cary Laine gets 15 seconds into The Band Perry's "Better Dig Two" when Adam turns his chair. He's quickly followed by Blake and Shakira and, eventually, the always more deliberate Usher. Four-chair turn! A conversation about how comfortable Cary can be performing in a pair of red leather boots leads to Adam giving her a chance to sit in his big red leather chair, where she makes herself at home, propping her leg up a la Usher. Eventually, Shakira and Usher have her try out their chairs as well. The only one who doesn't get up is Blake, but he's a country boy; maybe he doesn't need to. The other coaches try to convince her to break the mold, think outside the box. Cary is agonizingly torn. The moment of decision arrives. Backstage, Cary's young son predicts to host Carson Daly that she will pick Blake. As the coaches stare intently at her, Cary chooses Adam. Her son is shocked. Adam is relieved and a little happy to have swiped a country artist from Blake. To show there are no hard feelings, the coaches gather for a group hug. But back in their chairs and awaiting the next contestant, the claws come back out. "Poor kid," Blake says sadly of Cary as Adam gloats. "Poor kid." And with that, the first week of the blind auditions is behind us.