Hello again, Christina, Blake, Adam and Cee Lo! I know I changed my clothes since we last met, but you four, well, you are the exception of all exceptions. Also, since last night, I got amnesia, which is why that 15-minute recap of yesterday’s episode if “The Voice” was so helpful, thank you Carson Daly.
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So they're making a big to-do about the #VoiceReunited coaches all returning, but it's not all as it once was back when things began in 2011. Everything must change, and I'm not just talking about the top of Cee Lo's head. Christina Milian, Twitter-user, where is she? And I can't tell if Twitter is getting better or worse play overall this season. The Tweets are now in giant colored boxes across the middle-right of the screen, and yet the type is so small, I have absolutely no idea what they say. So either Christina Milian went off to "Dancing With the Stars" and brought her former job's typeface with her, or I'm just getting really old.
Another 11 contestants got some airtime tonight, with most of them landing on a team and earning a two-to-four-word moniker from Carson that will follow them until they are finally kicked off this show in a few months.
First up: "16-year-old R&B artist Jacquie Lee," who has been singing age-inappropriate music since Christmas 2008, with an ill-advised performance of "Santa Baby" that has been recorded and shared with us. Today she steps it up with "Back to Black," and saying "You love blow" in that innocent teenage way that gets her two chair spins. Christina, someone who also has sung music inappropriate for her age, and Blake, someone who likes to collect little girls inappropriate for his age, go for it. And luckily, for Jacquie's sake, she picks Xtina.
Blake lost his next option, "Samoan soul singer Barry Black," probably right when he started making puns at the expense of a Pacific territory. "I need some moa right now," he says, pointing to his Starbucks cup. Oy. Adam gets him, drawn to Barry by the fake trumpet noise he makes to start off "What You Won't Do For Love." "You're weird and wonderful," Adam tells him.
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Daddy Issues #1 of the night: Mike Unser, a child of divorce, who didn't like his stepdad. Wow, never seen that before. He grew to like him eventually, and then joined a Christian band at church. Though Mike squatted like Michelle Chamuel through "Dirty Little Secret," no coaches saw it. He didn't get a chair to spin. Best compliment though, from Cee Lo: "You look like a young Willem Dafoe."
Destinee Quinn, an Arizonan country singer, plays at a biker bar and worked with Alice Cooper. Blake passed up her rendition of "Cowboy Take Me Away," clearing the way for Christina to begin building her girly team after all.
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You'd think the most interesting thing about Cole Vosbury is his grandma, Nita Lynn, who toured with Johnny Cash and turned down advances from Elvis. "I did not care for him," she tells Carson. But then Cole comes out and accompanies himself on guitar for a soulful take on "The Jeffersons" theme song! "Anybody who would have the audacity to do that song, I need to be associated with," said Cee Lo, the only coach to push his button.
Blake whipped out the Miranda card to win over Holly Henry, a 19-year-old singer-songwriter who got four chairs to spin for her breathy, baby-voiced version of "The Scientist." I was too distracted by the fan incessantly blowing her white-blonde hair around to be too infuriated by her indie-girl-accent thing that gets way too much play on this show. "Being married to a signer-songwriter, it gives me insight to a young female who is trying to express themselves through music," Blake rationalizes to her, and when he gets her, he does the moonwalk.
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A few rejects get a couple of minutes, most especially Sammy C., a hairless 16-year-old rapper from California who chooses to hide his bald head in an oversized black hat that screams “Legit” in tall yellow letters.
Daddy Issues #2: 25-year-old Austin Jenckes, whose dad committed suicide when Austin was only 16. Dad taught Austin to play guitar, and also gave him the song he auditioned with, Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Simple Man." There was lots of rasp, Blake especially liked it and pointed his creepy finger at himself, snagging Austin away from Cee Lo.
My favorite auditioner of the night: E.G. Daily. I didn’t even have to start Googling her when Carson said her name, so much time have I spent in my life reading Wikipedia about all the minor characters in “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure.” She’s Dottie, of course! Also Tommy Pickles on “Rugrats.” And since Patty Mayonnaise is having such a fine time on “Orange Is the New Black,” it was only logical that Tommy, too, should break out. E.G. is 51, and tonight’s requisite old person as well, and it’s so nice to see those do well on this show. She sings “Breathe,” and Blake and Cee Lo fight for her. Blake seems to have no idea who she is, but Cee Lo, Christina and Adam all flip when they realize she’s Dottie/Tommy. “Where’s Large Marge?” Cee Lo asks. But fangeeking out was the wrong move. E.G. didn’t want her voiceover work to overshadow her singing career anymore, and so she picked Blake. Adam to Cee Lo: “You should have said, ‘I’m a loner, Dottie, a rebel.’” Can there be lots of that all season long please!?!?
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Jonny Gray, an air force vet saw some bad stuff at war and doesn't talk about it. Instead he sings that he's got soul but he's not a soldier in the Killers' "All These Things That I've Done," but Cee Lo calls him out on it. "You sing like a soldier," he tells him. "It's ironic" that he sang those lyrics, "because you seem to be both of them." Everyone's impressed that Cee Lo gets kind of poetic. He also compares Jonny to Stevie Nicks and Eddie Vedder. Though Jonny was determined to be on Adam's team, he chooses Cee Lo over Adam in the end, purely because of the Pearl Jam reference.
Finally, Tessanne Chin of Kingston, Jamaica, does Pink's "Try" and gets all four chairs. She sounds a lot like Sasha Allen singing that during her battle last season, all vibrato-ey and powerhouse. Adam's pitch to her gets her in her soft spot: he tells her he loves reggae, and asks her to say "bread and buttuh" twice because of her awesome accent. So he wins.
Stay tuned for next week’s show, likely featuring a 45-minute recap of these last four hours!
Team Blake: 4
Team Christina: 4
Team Cee Lo: 4
Team Adam: 4
Daddy issues: 5
Blake’s creepy finger pointing: 5
Blake’s mention of wife Miranda: 2
Cee Lo says something ridiculously poignant: 1