The Voice Premiere Recap: I'm Already Addicted. Does That Make Me Crazy?

Let’s be real for a second: We needed NBC’s The Voice in our lives about as much as Christina Aguilera’s hair (wig?) needed another peroxide treatment. I mean, Tuesdays are supposed to be reserved for Dancing With the Stars results, Glee, The Good Wife, and (when possible) catching up on back episodes of 90210 or The Killing.

But the DVR is a harsh mistress. And the series premiere of The Voice was pretty terrific. Which means we’ll all just have to dig down deep in our couch cushions and find two more hours to sacrifice on the altar of appointment television. (Who needs sleep, anyway?) As the pool-racing scene of Mommie Dearest taught us, “Nobody ever said life was fair.”

Of course, we can’t talk about The Voice without at least drawing a few comparisons to American Idol, the ratings behemoth that has sat atop the competitive reality food chain for the last 10 years. It would be a little ridiculous to declare either show superior based on a mere two-hour airing of The Voice, but at the very least, NBC’s neophyte series makes good on the desire expressed by so many long-time Idol viewers to see audition rounds limited to people with actual talent — no deluded train-wrecks, “jokesters,” or emotionally damaged punching bags allowed. I can say without hesitation that I didn’t miss the sight of costume-sporting imbeciles seeking their 15 seconds of fame or (even worse) sobbing kids who’d had their dreams pumped up by a few rounds of producer auditions only to be gutted by barely concealed snickering from Randy Jackson.

The challenge I found with The Voice‘s opening installment, though, was wading through 15 auditions and trying to force my ears to pick up on the nuances between truly magical performances and ones that were merely solid — without a single nails-in-a-blender disaster to use as a point of comparison. If the playful, already invested judging panel — Cee-Lo Green, Blake Shelton, Christina Aguilera, and especially Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine — winds up with a total of 12 really good vocalists, that’s going to lead to one painful cut after the next as the series continues, without the kinds of “well, she was only cannon fodder” eliminations Idol fans have grown to expect via contestants like Ashthon Jones and Karen Rodriguez.

The Voice‘s central conceit — that its judges must turn their backs to auditioners, and decide based on singing ability alone whether to press a button and throw their hat in the ring as a potential mentor to said singer — may be the truest way to find the next great radio sensation. (It was clear most of the judges would’ve buzzed in for gorgeous Sonia Rao if they’d had a visual to match her decent but not particularly distinctive vocals.)

In the interest of not getting too attached too soon to any one singer — mentors will have to narrow their personal pool of eight students down to four in the not-too-distant future — let’s rank each of the judges’ three picks from last night in a Twitter-esque 140 characters or less:

Adam Levine’s Roster
1) Jeff Jenkins: Story of late mom moved this mama’s boy, but not as much as his astounding cover of usually blah “Bless the Broken Road.” #ICriedALittle

2) Rebecca Loebe: Best thing to happen to Toyota Camry in vehicle’s history. Her “Come As You Are” was ethereal & pitch-perfect. Heading to iTunes to buy now.

3) Javier Colon: With any other coach, he’d be #1. His “True Colors” “Time After Time” ranged from tender to intense, though he might want to dial back on vocal acrobatics?

Christina Aguilera’s Roster
1) Frenchie Davis: Nervous start to “I Kissed a Girl,” but shades of roaring LaBelle bubbled up as former Idol hit a groove. Plus, she’s Rated G…for Gawgeous!

2) Tarralyn Ramsey: Snappy dresser’s ‘Breathe’ was a little wobbly to start — and not quite a match for Mandisa’s Faith Hill cover on Idol‘s fifth season.

3) Beverly McClellan: Second of Xtina’s bald divas offered a raw Janis Joplin cover, but her sort-of operatic choices threw me a little. Personality > vocals?

Cee-Lo’s Roster
1)Tje Austin: Easy to imagine his “Just the Way You Are” on radio, but at certain moments he pushed voice to the edge of unpleasant. Very likable persona.

2) Kelsey Rey: “I have always been judged because of my looks” sounds absurd from a pretty girl’s mouth. Nice conversational flow on “American Boy” though.

3) Vicci Martinez: Added rock edge to “Rolling in the Deep,” but seemed to have trouble supporting her notes. Or maybe that’s my Haley Reinhart fandom showing?

Blake Shelton’s Roster
1) Xenia: Whoa. A talented TV teen who’s not obnoxiously precocious? “Break Even” was hauntingly pretty, but she’ll need coaching to amp up the drama.

2) Patrick Thomas: Nice phrasing in his Tim McGraw cover, but “I could never work a day job” comment played poorly. Xtina wanted him to remove hat, then pants!

3) Elenowen: Gorgeous married duo may have been slightly more pleasing to the eye than the ear, but “Falling Slowly” shows they have good musical taste.

What did you think of The Voice’s premiere? Which contestants were your favorites? Did you enjoy the judges as much as me? How cool is Adam Levine, and how good is his taste in singers? Was Xtina’s “may the best woman win” comment a subtle nod to RuPaul’s Drag Race and her gay fans? And do you have room in your heart for both The Voice and Idol? Sound off below, and for all my reality TV recaps, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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214 Comments
  1. Meredith says:

    Javier Colon actually sang Time after Time, but other than that enjoyed your review as always. Gonna reserve judgement on whether I love this show or just enjoy it for a few more weeks…

    • darclyte says:

      I respect and love to read Michael’s article, but apparently math isn’t one of his strong points. Four judges who will ultimately have 4 singers each to face the live votes = 16, not 12.

      I’m sorry but Vicci’s take on Adele > Haley’s by a mile. Also, I had stated that when Casey performed Smells Like Teen Spirit that I wished he had done a bluesy version of Come As You Are or In Bloom so it was great to hear Rebecca essentially do what Casey SHOULD have done and do it MUCH better than he’s been in some time. Just with those 2 performances it shows that this series could give Idol a run for its money, and that Idol doesn’t necessarily get all the best “unknown” singers.

      Adam and Cee Lo are 2 of my favorite singers, but the surprise for me was Blake. He seems like a really interesting dude. I’ve not been much of a fan of Christina ever since she got those implants. It seemed like the nice gal with the powerful voice “went Hollywood” and she hasn’t been quite the same since.

      I didn’t have much on Tuesdays besides watching anything on my DVR that I hadn’t got to, so this will fit in nicely. I just hope that as it progresses that it doesn’t lose something.

      • The Wheeze says:

        ITA with you on Vicci’s take of Adele. My first thought was “Now that is how you sing an Adele song”. I do agree with Slezak that vocally not 100%, BUT the passion and feeling she emoted, totally made up for any vocal strains.

      • Tim says:

        I am relatively confident he was referring to the fact that after last night’s episode there were 12 singers selected…because he then lists the twelve singers.

        • darclyte says:

          That’s entirely valid. The way he phrased it seem to suggest more about the ultimate outcome than just last night, but he noted on Twitter that he hasn’t been getting any sleep because of too much tv so he might have been referring to just last night and not the “end game.”

          • J. says:

            You are right, darclyte, he said “if the panel.. winds up with 12…”
            He slipped, I guess.

    • Sam says:

      Watching ‘Idol’ a day after ‘Voice’ aired, IDOL felt soo tired and used.
      Otherwise spot on with the review.

  2. vanity says:

    good show. Still think Xenia should have picked Cee-Lo. He could have really brought the soul and attitude out of her, ramped her up as a performer. Blake seems too low key. She doesn’t need a safe daddy figure, she needs like an older brother who can ramp her up. Oh well, we’ll see what happens. I need more R&B

    • Kim says:

      Blake low key? Daddy figure? Bwhaha, go check out his Twitter. He’s anything but.

      • Mike M says:

        Yeah, I got a little chuckle about Blake being called low key. No offense meant to the original poster. Blake can be about as blunt and off the wall as anybody you’ve ever heard. Plus, he’s engaged to Miranda Lambert, country mucic’s resident “wild child.” Blake, in fact, would be a perfect judge for American Idol. If you wanted the truth, you’d get it.

    • Jim Smith says:

      Cee Lo was a better choice. I agree that he could have developed that soulful raspy voice. She has a unique urban pop sound. I don’t think her twang is country at all. She could easily crossover into jazz and blues too. She can win it all, but I hope Blake does her justice and doesn’t push the country thing on her.

  3. John says:

    I found myself really liking it, especially looking at the moments that triggered the judges’ decisions. Javier Colon was amazing, and I’d say overall Adam has the strongest team, hands down.

    • Ken says:

      I though HER voice was amazing and his was average.

    • Snsetblaze says:

      I have to admit loving watching the judges faces – knowing they were paying attention – unlike on Idol at times.

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        Here here! Wasn’t that fun? You could tell they were really listening and I could almost predict when Christina was going to press that button!

        • Sabrina says:

          My daughter kept yelling “she is button happy”. It was fun watching the competition between the judges and at this point not between the contestants.

    • Genie says:

      I agree

    • Mike M says:

      I just hope they don’t get silly playing up the rivaly between the judges. I thought they walked right up to that line Tuesday but never really crossed it. The music was good and is bound to get better. It would be beyond hokey if they start trying to convince us of some fierce rivaly between the individual judges.

  4. Will says:

    Elenowen was OBNOXIOUS. Hated every second they were on screen.

    • Skitty says:

      Totally agree about Elenowen, gack! Far too precious for me.

    • susela says:

      And their harmony went wildly off at the end. Gack.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      Enjoyed the program a lot and the talent was quite good, but I was eating dinner and nearly choked on a hot wing when Blake Shelton hit the button on Elenowen! WTH was he thinking? The husband particularly had a less than pleasing voice and needs to keep his day job – wait, does he have one? He needs to get a regular job and get out of the inlaws’ basement. What did the woman see in that guy?

      I preferred Haley Reinhart’s “Rolling With the Deep” but the singer on “The Voice” put something of a Pat Benatar spin on the song and it was pretty good.

      And I wasn’t crazy about the kid that sang “God Bless the Broken Road” but clearly I’m in the minority.

    • Selbs says:

      With you on that one. Only singer(s) I did not like. Blake has his job cut out for him with this duo. Show is truly about TALENT and none of what poses for it on Idol ever since the audition phase ended. Sat through a 2 hour show and didn’t check the clock once! I guess time really does fly when you’re having fun.

    • Cari says:

      Yeah, you gotta figure Blake only pushed the button because they were a duo. If there had been more groups, I don’t think they ever would have made it. It’s okay though. They can be the “cannon fodder.”

  5. thelstrikeman says:

    I really liked the premiere. The judges were good and some of the contestants had truly amazing voices. I think Adam’s group is the best so far (loved Jeff Jenkins’ performance). I’ll be sure to watch the second episode next week!

  6. Karen says:

    Slezak, you’re right on the mark again. I’m liking this show and, amazingly, Adam Levine. I was all ready to start hating him, but then I liked his enthusiasm for the game and he showed great taste in musical talent. Loved how he talked back to Xtina! I immediately said he’s got the superstar team. Dig the chick who sang Come as You Are the most right now. I didn’t think anyone else could sing that but Kurt Cobain. I was wrong.

    • Snsetblaze says:

      Laura Love does a great version of that song acapella. But Rebecca’s was fabulous too. She sort of reminded me of Tori Amos.

  7. Darin Bunch says:

    Hey Michael, I’m like you. Didn’t want to like “The Voice” but tuned in for the final 90 post-Glee minutes nonetheless and loved it, even Christina, although the three male judges are what make the show truly interesting, in my opinion.

  8. Kathy says:

    I forgive Michael for messing up “True Colors” and “Time After Time.” I do it all the time.

    I’m liking what I see thus far. Hope Blake can work with Xenia. She is a good voice in the making, and I do see a country vibe in her.

    Regarding Sonia…sorry that she didn’t get picked. Maybe it’s the look rather than the voice. However, she reminds me of one of the most robbed (to me) Idol Hollywood round contestant, the drop-dead gorgeous older sister, Shyamali Malakar. Almost a dead ringer…voice and looks.

  9. Jack says:

    Glad i wasn’t the only one heading for itunes for Rebecca Loebe.. I liked this show and I didnt think I would..

    • B.Rich says:

      Rebecca Loebe was amazing. Adam got the best three singers so far. I would not want to join his team at this point, making his top 4 will be near impossible.

  10. s-k-s says:

    Loved it! Also want to give a shout-out to NBC for allowing contestants to be openly gay, without making a big deal out of it – just calmly treating it just like they treated the straight contestants with their spouses/significant others.

    • CKF82 says:

      I second this!!

    • Delon says:

      Completely agree. That was in such a stark contrast to AI’s horrifyingly ’50s gender politics. I was blown away. I cannot cheer NBC loud enough for that.

      • Laurel says:

        I Absolutely Agree !
        I hope the show is a success just for that.
        Finally people can be who they are without the drama.
        Year after year on Idol gay contestants have had to be in the closet or come in 2nd.

    • emma says:

      Yeah, it was great that they dumped the “show, but don’t speak aloud” policy that AI has.

    • Sabrina says:

      AI had Nigel Lithgoe, he is horribly homophobic in his critiques of the dancers. Pretty sure the AI “don’t ask don’t tell” policy comes from him. It has really hurt some of the contestants over the years.

    • unicornwasp says:

      i totally agree as well! a mature and refreshing alternative to phobey old american idol.

    • Floridajeff says:

      Isn’t this a Mark Burnett production? He seems very open with his shows regarding gays being allowed to be themselves and not making too big a deal about it (The Apprentice, Survivor, etc.) LOVE this aspect of the show. Thanks NBC!!

  11. Glamouse says:

    Really like the show. Novel idea: judge a singing competition by listening instead of looking. My favorite so far was Rebecca Loebe. I too bought her song on iTunes.

  12. dctoronto says:

    Could possibly have watched it if it were not for that douche “I have sex with four different women a night” Cee-lo.

    • Tarc says:

      *snickers* I doubt that he really said that, because: 1) look at him, 2) men his age aren’t up for four times a night, and 3) well, look at him.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      Four women a night?

      Why did he feel the need to write “Forget You?”, LOL.

      Forget you…and you…and you…and OH, I almost forgot to forget YOU, too! ;-)

    • Michelle R. says:

      I have a different issue — in his teens, by his own acknowledgement, he abused animals. I love his voice and he has a winning personality, and I accept it was a long time ago, but that’s not an easy thing for me to forgive.

      • DiMi says:

        He did not have to share this information about his youth. And remember, he did this when he was a kid, not an adult. This is not a Michael Vick situation. He made it clear that his behavior was completely unacceptable. He wasn’t bragging about it or saying it was okay. He was explaining that he was out of control and needed to change. Kids who do awful things in their youth usually do so because they are traumatized. There is rarely an exception to this psychological rule. People who do not address disturbing childhood issues are the ones who continue to behave in a disturbing manner as adults. His decision to expose and critique himself are signs that he has changed. I love animals, too, but I do not judge children by the same standards as adults because kids – especially boys – do not complete brain development until adulthood, especially those parts of their brains that are related to impulse control, which is why so many boys engage in disturbing behavior.

        If you really cared about vulnerable beings (like children as well as animals) you would be concerned about changing the conditions that make some kids behave horribly instead of just focusing on being self-righteous and judgmental. People like you who judge kids for bad behavior for the rest of their lives are part of the problem. You run around acting self-righteous and superior but you don’t do anything to change things for the better. You clearly care more about your ego than you do about animals. Try to go a little deeper.

  13. Delon says:

    I was thoroughly entertained. Can’t say that about AI anymore. It turned into an infuriating frustration fest. This was fresh. I liked how the contestants get to choose who they want to work with. The rivalry between the judges was fun to watch. I literally knew nothing about Blake Shelton until last night and i liked the guy a lot. I am most definitely hooked. I’ll be watching.
    I think The Voice exposed AI as a really really stupid show. Once The X Factor debuts the nails in the coffin will be complete.

    • Suncatcher says:

      I think Nigel Lythgoe had best start looking over his shoulder. The Voice is definitely gonna take away from his viewers and X Factor is just over the horizon. If Nigel would just FIX THE DAMN VOTING “SYSTEM”, he might just keep Idol alive. I wonder if he sees Idol slowly dying like the rest of us do…

      • kellybelly says:

        Well, after Pia’s ouster on Idol…Niguel did say they’d look at changing the voting system.
        Then a few days after that, he seriously said that the voting procedures would be changed to be more like SYTYCD (So You Think You Can Dance), but it wouldn’t be changed until next season.

    • Cornelle says:

      Could not agree more. The perfect antidote to AI fatigue. Maybe this will make AI up its game next year. I thought the “chair turning thing” would be gimmicky but so far, so good. And the real wrencher is taht the coaches have to winnow down their own team members.

      • kellybelly says:

        AB.SO.LUTELY. I was suffering from Idol fatigue. You gotta hand it Mark Burnett….he does know how to put on a show. I really liked this show. Fresh. Glad that there was no age limit, and we got to see some really unique and talented people. No train wrecks or costumes. What a freaking relief!

    • Garfy says:

      Couldn’t agree more!!

  14. susela says:

    In reality, this will turn into the judges pushing whoever has “the total package,” as they say on Idol. Time after time, the judges reacted to someone’s looks once they turned around—pleased when the person was attractive, carefully holding a neutral face when the person was large or bald (I’m looking at you, Christina!). It will be interesting to see which four each judge chooses for the general competition. Loved Xenia and Javier in particular, but overall, Cee-lo and Adam have the strongest teams so far.

    • donie says:

      I thought about that and whether the “package”/good-looking contestants will be the only ones left when the live shows start. Still, I appreciated the neutral faces. Far better than when Simon used to openly mock people for their looks.

  15. Leslie says:

    I liked it—yes I have room in my heart for TheVoice. I’ve gotta save some room for the X Factor as well. I was also very happy to miss the crazy auditions—Idol wastes so much time showing us those weirdos. i didn’t care for Frenchie or Tarralyn—Frenchie sounded out of breath and Tarralyn rushed through the song. Elenowen was good, but the guy seemed to have a hard time staying in tune—wifey was good, though, better than him. Javier was my fav, what a great voice and he dotes on his girls, that’s awesome! Xenia knocked my socks off but she’s got the personality of a doorknob. Poor kid.

  16. Skitty says:

    I really enjoyed this first episode. The concept of deciding based solely on sound is interesting. I found the caliber of the singing to be superior to this year’s Idol contestant’s singing. Adam has the strongest team, I bought three itunes, one from each team member. I couldn’t remember the last Idol itunes I bought but when I looked, it was back in 2008.

  17. Suncatcher says:

    (SLEZAK! Ecstatic to see you recapping The Voice)!!!

    At last! Something to fill the void left when Pia Toscano and
    I left Idol!

    I found The Voice to be interesting; better singers than Idol; no “Pants On The Ground” moments; no judging AND NO TWEENIES VOTING!!

    I’ll check The Voice out again tonight. Only reason I peek in on Idol for a couple of minutes is to get my Steven Tyler fix for the week.

    • SpyKi says:

      You’re missing out on Reinhart!

    • Kate says:

      I feel like your post could’ve been written by me. I stopped watching AI after Pia was voted off but do occasionaly peak to get my Steven Tyler fix. So funny! And to whoever wrote that you’re missing out on Reinhart, I could not disagree more! I see the recaps on the news Thursday morning and I cannot stand that girl’s voice. I think she sucks big time!

    • Snsetblaze says:

      No Tweenies voting …yet. If one of the finalists is a mediocre but cute teen guy like Scotty on Idol or a boy band type … forget about it.

    • amadeline says:

      I second that. Your recaps are always wonderful.

      I loved the Voice, and I wasn’t sure I would. It was fresh and entertaining and the singers are miles above the AI bunch. I like AI’s Haley, but lets face it, it’ll be a miracle if any of the current crop on AI make a record that anyone will buy. Whoever wins will soon join the ranks of Ruben and Chris and all the others in the sale bin – sad but true – whereas several of the group we’ve heard so far on the Voice have great potential. The ‘coaches’ were great and I loved their interaction. Overall it was a really upbeat show, no train wrecks. Even the people who weren’t chosen were still pretty good singers. I can see me rooting for multiple people on this show, whereas I’ve given up rooting for anyone on this year’s Idol. I can’t wait for next week!

  18. Andie says:

    I think Adam has the best team, too, but for now I’m pretty sure Cee Lo’s team is my favorite. Jeff Jenkins just didn’t do anything for me – he didn’t have the country voice to sing that song, but maybe if he goes for another genre I’ll like him more.

    Slezak, any chance you’ll start a “Voice” website like Idoloonies, at least after Scotty is crowned the winner? (Sadly…) I would love to watch that!

    • Michelle R. says:

      No sadly about it — without exaggeration, Idoloonies is one of the highlights of my week. I’d LOVE to see a version for this show.

  19. Bobbi says:

    Was far more entertained than I had expected to be. It was terrific! Glad to see Frenchie again too. Will definitely be watching!

  20. SpyKi says:

    You really do have similar tastes and opinions to me, on this and Idol. Kudos on being awesome.

  21. Stephanie says:

    The Voice episode can be found on the NBC site right?

    Unforunately, due to weather, I mostly watched the metereologist, with badly dyed hair, talk about a storm that wasn’t even remotely close to where I’m at. So, I missed a good chunk of the show- but from what I saw, it looks like good ol’ fun. I enjoy each coach and love the natural chemistry they seem to have.
    I honestly had written this show off from the very first promo, but ya know what, for me for you dawg, it was hot!

    Goodbye AI?

    Maybe so.

    Looks like I’ll either be sticking with Voice of X-Factor- let’s see how that show premieres.

  22. Lois Benton says:

    This show succeeds where Idol has failed. Idol has become boring, for a few reasons, but using the same song list and singing the same songs over and over doesn’t help. Focusing on looks doesn’t help. IDol had a chance this season to fix some of its problems and then didn’t. So far, I LOVE The Voice. Much better than Idol. After the Pia elimination, I haven’t watched Idol anyway. I’m over it.

  23. Marie says:

    Michael, you’re not the only one addicted to the show already so I think you’re not crazy. :) I really liked it and couldn’t wait to read the reviews. Your former colleague at EW gave it such a bad review that I think he’s the one who’s crazy and an idiot at the same time.

  24. Marie says:

    I really didn’t think I would be into yet another singing competition, but The Voice was fantastic! The chemistry and comments from all four coaches really shows how bad the new idol judges are doing. They were amazing; Adam’s enthusiasm was especially awesome.
    Also agree completely with Michael I loved not having to sit through the horrible auditions to get to the good ones.

  25. AprilD says:

    I was kind of enamored with the show last night. I have never, ever liked the audition rounds of AI. I always thought showing people who couldn’t sing was tasteless. Anyway. I think the personalities on the panel all mesh very well making the show pretty entertaining. The singers were okay. I was excited to see Frenchie but wished she would have sang something different. I think I felt that way about several contestants. At anyrate, I’m excited to see more contestants, more of the panel & see just they plan to crown a winner.

    There was one other thing I wanted to add. I LIKE how the panel is so involved in the contestants’ journey on the show. I’m hoping that because they are more invested the panel will be able to give more honest critiques. I even think it would be awesome for the winning contestant’s panel member donate to a certain charity to keep them further invested.

  26. mom2boysia says:

    I gave up watching Idol several weeks ago. Between the talent getting voted off and the sorry excuses for judges, I just couldn’t stomach it anymore. I have been anticipating the premier of The Voices and was entertained above and beyond my expectations! I think the judges, no excuse me, “coaches” are a great variety of personalities. I am in agreeance with previous comments that so far, Adam has the stronger team.

  27. blingedup.susan says:

    I’ve been an Idol loonie for years. I don’t care what they do to that show; I’m an Idol loonie, and I’ll stay an Idol loonie.

    I don’t have the time to get invested in another singing competition show, so I just turned on The Voice to watch the first show only — just wanted to see how it worked.

    I loved it! Dammit! I really enjoyed the judges, the contestants, the premise. I told myself I’d only watch the first hour, and then before I knew it, the two hours were over.

    Whether it stays this good once the blind auditioning part is over and we move on to the mentoring phase is left to be seen. But I’ll be watching. Dammit.

    • Tanya says:

      This could have easily been my post because I feel the same exact way. I still watch Idol and I still love it. There are some things about the show that I wish they would change but overall, it’s still a fav. I didn’t want to like The Voice. I didn’t even watch it, I DVRd it to check out the first episode since they had hyped it up so much. And Dammit…now I’m hooked. I love the interaction between the coaches and I think the talent will be awesome. I think the hardest part of watching this show will be watching really good singers get eliminated. Unlike AI, I thought everyone on this show had good singing voices…some were just better than others.

  28. Kitty says:

    I loved it!

    Just FYI–Mandisa did sing a Faith Hill song during season 5, but it wasn’t “Breathe”, it was “Cry”.

  29. Tee says:

    While I’m not writing off Idol, I thought this show was great. At first it was a little unsettling – like watching Who Wants to Be a Millionnaire mixed with Idol…but in the end the voices were great, the judges were fun and the premise shows promise.

    Xtina, while hoary, had great comments. Adam Levine who is a do-it-all musician and who doesn’t get enough credit was so youthful and excited. Cee Lo was odd but his interaction with the other panelists was amusing. And Blake Shelton – yum. Never heard of him before, but he was great.

    All panelists seem to command respect as they respect the contestants.

    • Tree says:

      I like that all of the “coaches” are competitive. If I am not mistaken, a couple of years ago around Christmas NBC had a battle of the choirs, or something like that, and Blake was a mentor/coach for a choir then. To me, the coaches being competitive and wanting to beat each other will also make them work harder to help their singers do their best. Look forward to seeing more.

  30. Loved Javier. Of course, I also loved him when we was signed to Capitol Records and sang “Crazy” while opening for Anthony Hamilton. I was torn at first, but appreciate that a someone who stood on the periphery of stardom, like Javier, has a second chance with this show.

  31. evs says:

    Falling slowly does not pack quite a punch like few years back – now, it fails to show taste as much as idol viewership. All in all though, you and I agree. And Levine is ridiculously hot. Needed to be said

    • Tanya says:

      “And Levine is ridiculously hot. Needed to be said”

      I second that! Super hot.

      • Brian says:

        Oh yeah, I gotta third that. Smokin hot plus the most enthusiasm and best personality of the bunch. I think I’m going to be an addict too.

  32. scoble says:

    Mentors who actually have a vested interest in giving great advice and helping the contestants be the best that they can be.

    ^^^^ Are you reading this IDOL judges, THIS IS WHAT WE WANT!

    So far so good with The Voice. Not sure how the upcoming rounds are going to come across, but I will certainly be watching for now.

  33. Jenjene says:

    Loved the first installment of ‘The Voice’….but once each coach has selected his/her 8 candidates, it will be interesting to see how well they really do as coaches. I think that will be the true test of this show. Will they be like Jimmy I on Idol? or will they encourage the creativity/musicality of the contestants? Who knows, but I will be watching to see how part 2 goes in a few weeks.

  34. Nael says:

    I’m kinda addicted to it already too. Some great talents on the show.
    I kept nodding while reading the recap, seem to have a similar taste.

    Also really liked that The Voice seemed less overproduced than Idol and that the coaches seemed genuine (really looked like they were interested in the performances and having fun) and were speaking their minds and not rehashing some producer written nonsense.
    Blake was hilarious and Adam has a really strong team in the making.

  35. Ken says:

    The show reminds me of ROCKSTAR from a few years ago. Just good singers. No dramatic long-winded heartstring-pulling backstories or producer pimping and manipulation. I liked just about all the singers last night. Even a 2 of the 3 that didn’t get picked. I also liked the short clips of some of next week’s singers.

  36. julie says:

    I disagree with Michael’s rankings of Adam’s team. Javier was the best, followed by Rebecca — not only of the three on Adam’s team, but of all the contestants.

  37. jeanrie says:

    I loved the Voice. Loved the judges, their interaction. Really loved the fast pace of the show. Granted, I haven’t watched any other voice show except Idol…but this show feels so refreshing to me after slogging through Idol, especially the last couple of weeks. It would have taken Idol about 4 episodes to churn out anywhere close to the kind of talent we saw last night. The judges were entertaining, the blind aspect of the competition is interesting and everyone seems about 100 times more competent than anyone on Idol right now.
    I’m think I’ve become a fair weather fan.

    • CandaceTX says:

      You are so right about the fast pace.

      Idol has become so bloated with filler, Ford and Coke commercials, forced contestant duets, and horrible ‘star’ performances, that it is truly painful to watch. It is as if Uncle Nigel assumes “what else are we gonna watch?”

      …and now we have our answer.

  38. Snsetblaze says:

    I wonder if more ex-Idol contestants will show up on this show. I’d love to see Rachel Zevita, Kendra Chantelle or Lauren Turner.

    • CandaceTX says:

      I wonder what (if any) are the restrictions on former AI contestants.
      I loved seeing Frenchie. And I loved her genuine reaction when CeeLo recognized her.

      Bring it: Colton Dixon, Kendra, Epperly, Alex Lambert, Anoop, Melinda, Didi, Lauren Turner, et al.

  39. Haley's Comet says:

    NOT QUITE ON BOARD YET…I’ve been a die hard iodol fan since season 2, and as you said Mr. Sleszak one can’t help but make comparsions between the voice and idol. Compared to idol the voice just seems a bit tooo producer controlled. It’s obvious that the stars had already picked their “I Want You’s” before-hand. We all know that idol manipulates a lot of what we see, but idol is good at behind the scenes manipulations and it’s not as obvious when I watch that the producers are manipulating certain components of the show.

    I also really really like idol’s on going story line of small town hopeful makes the big time. I like to see the joy on the young hopfuls and their families faces when they make it. The people on the voice have been in the business for a while and have been hand picked by the producers. How am i to become attached to these hand picked best of the best, and their story?

    • dp says:

      well, this is where the voice is superior to idol. I loved that we didn’t have to see any woe-is-me small town stories of people trying to break out. Idol’s problem is that people vote for these weepy stories and not the vocals. You don’t need to become attached to someone to buy their music, you just have to like the vocals/song.
      As for a backstory, you can totally tell a backstory through your music, the producers don’t have to physically show it.

    • dp says:

      plus, Idol takes teh backstory element too far, where in most cases, a person’s story is widely appealing while their voice falls flat. What’s wrong with seeing contestants who have been working at this for a while get their big break… rather than the hundreds on idol who decide to try out on a whim?

    • Alex says:

      This bull is why I LOVE the Voice – there is something so small minded in only wanting to see people w/no experience stumble into a singing competition, and know they were chosen based on ‘profile.’ (And it’s not even true – check out the number of Idols that had been playing serious clubs, had previous deals, etc.) The Voice producers respected me enough to skip offering up people to mock (THANKYOU) and went straight for quality. I am actually much more moved by the intensity and plight of talented people who’ve been trying to make it in a tough, tough business while supporting families, etc. THIS is genuine – not the manufactured ‘personas’ from Idol. I’m so on board. Those of you looking for Carrie Underwood in every contestant should just stay w/Idol and leave us to watch people who are actually relevant in today’s music (instead of has beens) work with clearly talented singers instead of carefully selected tween/soccer mom magnets.

  40. Emma says:

    Huh. I actually loved it. Okay, Carson Daly was useless, but he probably has more role in the future episodes. The chemistry between the judges/coaches was great. They weren’t there fighting over the screen time, but had a great rapport. Also the faces they made while trying to decide was hilarious. I would have never expected it, but I liked Adam and Blake the best.

    However, I had a hard time to “learn” the contestants at this first introduction. I really remember only Jeff the chubby guy and the homeless girl that both ended up in Adam’s team. I’m thinking that I’m already Team Adam Levine, and that’s pretty good since this was the first episode!

  41. Haley's Comet says:

    NOT A FAN of THE VOICE YET…I’ve been a die hard iodol fan since season 2, and as you said Mr. Sleszak one can’t help but make comparsions between the voice and idol. Compared to idol the voice just seems a bit tooo producer controlled. It’s obvious that the stars had already picked their “I Want You’s” before-hand. We all know that idol manipulates a lot of what we see, but idol is good at behind the scenes manipulations and it’s not as obvious when I watch that the producers are manipulating certain components of the show.

    I also really really like idol’s on going story line of small town hopeful makes the big time. I like to see the joy on the young hopfuls and their families faces when they make it. The people on the voice have been in the business for a while and have been hand picked by the producers. How am i to become attached to these hand picked best of the best, and their story?

    • Mars says:

      LOL, I guess I’m exactly the opposite of you. I totally dislike all the background stories of blah blah boo-hoo sob sob sob… I think singing competitions should be their ability, period.

      Whether contestants/winners from these shows make it or not in the music industry will depend on their personality in addition to their voice, but until then, I hate having to listen to their sob stories over and over again when some singers just don’t measure up.

      Of course, I have no problem with people who have sad stories BUT also the talent, unfortunately, many Idol alums did not fall into that category.

  42. Malcolm says:

    I have place in my heart for ‘The Voice’, ‘American Idol’ and I’m pretty sure for ‘The X-Factor’ as well!
    It was a lovely start, though some singers didn’t come off as anything too special. Standouts to me were Rebecca Loebe and Javier Colon. Rebecca had a hauntingly pretty voice…hopefully she’ll play the hauntingly beautiful card better than Rachel Zevita did on Idol (still love her Eleanor Rigby cover, though!). Colon had a pretty and smooth voice, which I didn’t expect from him. Like Christina, I think he has more in his arsenal so I look forward to hearing more from him.

  43. mgl says:

    Like Haley’s Comet, I don’t really appreciate that these singers seem to already be in the singing business.

  44. Karen says:

    Oh, forgot to mention how I love the Blake-Adam bromance. Did you see each one would look for the other one to turn around when they did? Too cute!

  45. Dani in NC says:

    I never had room in my heart for American Idol, so there is plenty of space for The Voice. Like the reviewer, I appreciated not having to sit through the awkward auditions.

  46. dp says:

    oh forgot to mention, the opening performance by the four judges was terrific!! everything worked with that performance.

    • Tree says:

      I loved it as well! I hope they plan to do something like that at the start of every episode. It cracked me up to hear Crazy with a country twang when Blake sang his verse, and I can say that because I have one of the strongest country accents anywhere! :)

    • Renee says:

      I loved it too! Perfect (and surprising) move to kick of the show. Demonstrated two things — 1) four amazing and diverse musicians who were able to beautifull and joyfully (loved how much fun they were having) combine their voices; 2) Laid down the marker that these four people aren’t pop stars way past their prime or music producers we’ve never heard of – these are people who are current, successful and recognized talent.
      The chair thing works so much better than I expected. I love the way tthey glance at each other when someone’s good but maybe not great, bbut maybe… And I like that they were compassionate. They didn’t bag on anyone and you could tell they felt bad for the people no one tturned for. Very professional, but fun interaction.

      (I had feared this would have that X-factor thing of bringing in – well, Susan Boyles types. I don’t mind if someone looks unusual or not like a model, but I want someone who has what it takes to launch a current music career, not just show off what they do at local pub.)

      I LOVE IT.

  47. Bee says:

    LOVED Rebecca Loebe’s performance. She made that song very haunting and beautiful. I also liked her intelligence and grace. Very curious to see where Adam Levine takes her.

    I also liked that the coaches’ banter seemed authentic. Blake and Adam are really funny!

  48. V says:

    I love The Voice, mostly I love the interaction between the judges but the 1 thing that bothers me is…Carson Daly?! Really?

  49. Kathi says:

    How refreshing to just have fun!!! when watching a TV show. Instant hit in my house. We laughed out loud so many times. I hope every week is as enjoyable as last night. Favorites at the moment are Vicci Martinez, Patrick Thomas, Xenia.

  50. June says:

    I enjoyed the show and liked the interaction of the judges. Refreshing to see the judges all actually listening to the voices and the songs. I think it would be good if each judge could not see the person the other judges are “hitting the button” for though.

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