The Voice Recap: Second Chance Sweepstakes

One of my biggest fears in life is running out of food when I’m hosting a party. In the past, this overarching concern has spiraled out of control, resulting in industrial-sized batches of homemade salsa, entire refrigerator shelves devoted to housing containers of potato salad, and and grumbles from my husband about having to eat turkey burgers for a fortnight’s worth of breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. But as I like to argue, at least you’ll never see one of our guests scrape the bottom of the bowl.

Unfortunately, the creators of NBC’s The Voice don’t share my particular neuroses. Tuesday night’s episode — the conclusion of the show’s “Blind Audition” rounds — found the show running out of vocalists while judges Adam Levine, Christina Aguilera, and Blake Shelton had yet to fill their respective eight-singer teams. And that meant a group of previously rejected contestants got to return for a second chance at making the cut.

On paper, that shouldn’t have been too much of a problem: The do-over auditions stayed true to the show’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. (If no one presses the buzzer, the audition ends with all the judges turning around and offering explanations for their decisions.) My problem was this: If Christina, Blake, and Adam recognized a particular voice on its second go-around — and I’d guess they probably did — then they already had a face with which to pair it. Plus, from the corners of their eyes, they could see the reaction of fellow judge Cee Lo Green, who — with his team of eight already selected — got to face forward for the second-chance sweepstakes.

I can’t say this little glitch in the integrity of the show’s premise was an unforgivable one, but it certainly seemed unnecessary. Next time around, here’s hoping NBC stocks The Voice‘s proverbial fridge. Who’s with me?

Okay, with my griping out of the way, it’s time to rank each of the judges’ five picks from last night in rapid-fire style. (With half of the 32 singers about to get guillotined in the battle rounds, it’s too early to get overly attached). I can’t help but feel the talent pool from last week’s episode was perhaps a bit deeper, but there were nonetheless a few legit contenders who emerged in episode two. Let’s review:

Team Christina
1) Lily Elise: Xtina regretted passing ob her the first time, but added the husky voiced diva after her do-over audition to “If I Ain’t Got You.” That lower register had me pulling an Aguilera (aka throwing both hands in the air and shouting “woo-hoo!”).

2) Justin Grennan: Only heard a few seconds of the window installer’s “Drops of Jupter,” but it sounded kinda great, no? Lone dude on Team Xtina: Will that help or hurt him?

3) Raquel Castro: Youngest singer in the competition (she’s 16) sounded rock solid — till Xtina turned her chair around and the kid’s vocal runs crumbled like chips at the bottom of the bag. The fact that her mentor complimented her hair and overall look more than her rendition of “Bleeding Love” could be problematic?

4) Cherie Oakley: Wrote Reba’s “Turn on the Radio” (covered on Idol this season by Lauren Alaina), but not sure she had the proper breath support for her Miranda Lambert cover. Adam was right: Vocals could use more refinement.

5) Julia Eason: Wasn’t loving the tone of the 18-year-old soccer player’s voice on Duffy’s “Mercy.” Anyone else feel like Xtina’s lineup has a little too much quaver, and not quite enough power?

Team Adam
1) Tim Mahoney: Displayed a lot of soul on “Bring It on Home to Me”; maybe feeling like the show was his last chance at success helped propel the 38-year-old’s performance? Adam inexplicably thought he was “a chick,” and looked disappointed when he turned around. “I need a woman for my team, and sadly you have a penis.” This set up Blake for the segue of the night: “I’m not as interested in talking to you about your genetalia…”

2) Casey Weston: Second-chancer’s acoustic “Stupid Boy” started a little wobbly, but she’s got a distinctive sound that could help separate her from the pack in the early rounds.

3) Angela Wolff: Shocked no one picked her after a subtle, tender “The House That Made Me.” Even more shocked that her far less convincing “Rolling in the Deep” got this self-described “Georgia peach with an edge” onto Team Adam. Poor man’s version of last week’s show-stopper Rebecca Loebe?

4) Devon Barley: Son of dietitian and chiropractor put his med-school dreams on hold to deliver a too-languid take on “I’m Yours.” Managed to get Cee Lo and Adam to turn their chairs, so either they heard something I didn’t, or they needed cannon fodder for the battle rounds.

5) Casey Desmond: Only heard a few seconds of the pink-haired glamster’s “Born This Way,” but wasn’t struck that her instrument was anything particularly distinctive.

Team Cee Lo
1) Nakia: Bearded, burly, unimonikered dude was appropriately gruff and didn’t seem to miss a single note of “Forget You,” even if he was coloring strictly within the lines of the original. Love how NBC doesn’t make a big dramatic backstory out of contestants being gay.

2) Curtis Grimes: I sort of liked the lazily quiet vibe the country dude brought to “Hillbilly Bone,” and sort of loved that he’s wound up with soul man Cee Lo as a mentor. Will this be chocolate and peanut butter, or Cap’n Crunch and jalapeño?

3) Niki Dawson: Adam had to punch Cee Lo’s button to get his fellow judge to say yes, but the 0.8 seconds of her voice did manage to make a positive impression.

4) Emily Valentine: Tattooed beauty with Vargas Girl vibe made it to Hollywood Week on Idol a few seasons back as Emily Wynn-Hughes. Gave a passionate rendition of “Sober,” but hit a few rough patches; later admitted to her mother she had a case of “nervous” voice.

5) Tori and Taylor Thompson: Sister act that previously had success on Fox’s 2003 Idol spinoff, American Juniors (a show I flat-out refused to watch). More memorable for their tales of raising a pig to take every summer to the county fair than for a cutesy rendition of “Stuck Like Glue” that Xtina said could’ve fit into a great bubblegum commercial.

Team Blake
1) Dia Frampton (pictured): Children’s author with a faint resemblance to Jessica Alba showed off a lush, distinctive tone on “Bubbly,” and performed it with restraint and great phrasing. Loved her admission she usually feels like she’s going to die the first five seconds of every performance.

2) Jared Blake: His second-chance pick of “Not Ready to Make Nice” was a far better fit than last week’s “Good Girls Go Bad.” Father of six has a meaty voice with an appealing growl, but a terrible soul patch that almost negates it.

3) Tyler Robinson: I agreed with Cee Lo that the 20-year-old who dressed from the Dalton Academy collection and copped a few of Darren Criss’s Glee moves was more solid than stellar on “Hey Soul Sister.” Way to come out to your dad on national TV, though!

4) Serabee: Hmmm. Not sure how I feel about a preacher’s daughter singing “Son of a Preacher Man.” But from the tiny snippet of her audition, I sorta liked her pronunciation of “ever” as “eyyy-vuh.” Weird, I know, but this is my brain on reality TV.

5) Sara Oromchi: “Imagine” singer was described by Carson Daly as “bashful,” and apparently the producers respected her need for privacy with a blink-and-miss-it tryout clip.

Anyway, that’s my take on this week’s contestants. What did you think of The Voice? Did the second-chance round bother you? What did you make of Adam’s put down of a certain competing series  (“The people that we’re not turning our chairs around for could win American Idol: We’re looking for that extra thing, that unbelievable, mind-blowing, spectacular thing”)? And how about poor Sonia Rao, rejected twice on her decent voice, then facing the judges’ ultimate disappointment in themselves after turning around and witnessing her undeniable hotness? Sound off below in the comments, and for all my reality 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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  1. Jean says:

    If they stocked the fridge too well, though, contestants who performed near the end would be at a greater disadvantage because teams were filling up. You’d have to allow the producers to rank them from best to worst, it seems… but that too seems unfair to me. Not that it’s fair for the judges to be able to associate a face with a voice that they recognize either, but I think this is preferable. At least the first impression was made by the voice, right?

    • Capita says:

      The solution would be that if nobody chooses the contestant nobody turns. The singer gets no feedback: tough. But the coaches still don’t know what the singer looks like the second time around.

      • Snsetblaze says:

        Extremely good idea. Or, the feedback could be given with the chair still facing away (into a microphone) so that if there was a second round, the judges would not be able to associate a voice with a face. Also, even the judge who has a full team should still turn around.

    • b says:

      You could also go in a slightly more Idol-y direction by not setting hard limits on how many get chosen in the first round, and add another round of cuts to get it down to show size. It seems like the only fair way to do this kind of thing, really, if you’re going to accept them on a first-come-first-served basis rather than choosing after everyone’s had a turn.

  2. Em says:

    I agree that this week’s episode wasn’t as strong, but I still like the panel’s vibe in general.

    (Also Adam, didn’t you tour with a certain someone from Idol this summer? That’s an interesting statement.)

    • Wheezer says:

      I agree that last week showcased better talent. Also, does anyone else find it weird that the show moves to a 10 pm time slot next week? Do you think it is to avoid the results show of Dancing with the Stars? Or maybe trying to cater to an older demographic? Not really one for conspiracy theories, but was really surprised when they announced the move last night.

      • mary says:

        It’s doing well for NBC and has become a good lead in to the affiliates. There are probably other reasons as well, but that’s the one that comes to my mind.

    • tamara says:

      who from Idol did he tour with?
      cause as far as I know Maroon 5 toured with Sara Bareilles, and she’s not from Idol.

  3. Joy says:

    The problem with overstocking here would be the heartbreak of having great contestants queued up who never even got a shot. (Imagine if it had been Frenchie waiting in the wings, only to hear that the last slot had just been filled…I might have had to start throwing things at my poor defenseless TV set, and that’s no good for anyone.) I see the potential problems with this approach, but for me the “Will it work?” test was Sonia Rao…and since they didn’t manage to identify her, I’m concluding it’s all good.

    I thought I heard a blues-rock edge in Nakia’s vocal on “Forget You.” Intriguing stuff. I’m selfishly glad there’s a little apparent cannon fodder in some of these lineups, too, so I can worry less that the ones I really loved will go home in the next round of cuts!

    • Linderella49 says:

      I actually thought the “running out of candidates” was a complication the producers loved, especially after Xtina admitted she was having a little regret at not picking a first nite contestant. It would have been horrible to have the best singers not even get a chance to perform because there were no slots left. I didn’t mind the redos at all. I think both nights had some throwaway selections which will make weening the pack down to four per team a little easier to take.

  4. pl says:

    The talent was much better the first time around.

  5. Skitty says:

    I really feel that the producers loaded up the premier episode with the most talented singers. None of this week’s singers inspired me to head to itunes whereas last week I bought three downloads. The whole second chance thing was an opportunity for the coaches to load up on cannon fodder.
    In general I agree with Adam regarding the superiority of The Voice contestants over the Idolettes. My opinion though is based primarily on last week’s singers. I’ll be tuning in next week for the elimination rounds.

    • Snsetblaze says:

      I have to agree – though there were a few I liked this week. I liked the two older guys (the one who was rejected last week and had a second chance), Tim Mahoney and Dia (who I have albums from as part of Meg & Dia. While I have not heard Casey Desmond, I have seen her album and I have her on a compilation cd that I haven’t listened to yet.

  6. Karen says:

    Maybe they should have a few second chancers (wild cards), but they should stock the fridge more and not have us run out of viable talent.

    I feel like several choices during this second round were more of the cannon fodder variety, but the coaches do have to get rid of half their people, so that’s kinda expected.

  7. Dominique says:

    Does no one remember that Raquel Castro was the little girl in Jersey Girl?

    • Wheezer says:

      I think she needs to stick to acting. Well, hopefully a better acting job than that stink bomb of a movie. I could not believe when Xtina pushed her button.

    • Eli says:

      OMG! I knew she looked familiar. Thank you so much Dominique for solving this riddle for me.

    • ReMMeZ says:

      The Voice can’t be compared to shows like Idol – The talents on The Voice, may have had minor succes but haven’t been where they want to see themselves.
      It’s not about úndiscovered talent’.. But about showing talent that is new or have been around for a while.
      I really don’t see a problem with that. It gives us more to enjoy.

  8. Tim says:

    Anyone know what happened to Lukas Rossi?

    • Wheezer says:

      I read on a different blog that he auditioned, but did not get picked to go to the blind audition rounds.

  9. rodg12 says:

    I don’t think the second chance round was bad at all. It’s a slipper slope either way, but I prefer them bringing people back rather than not having people sing at all.

    Also, I can see how this happens for the judges. They save a couple spots so that they have openings at the end, but if nobody blows them away…what are they supposed to do? Especially when they know that someone they previously turned down was actually better.

  10. Jeff says:

    I was so shocked to see Dia Frampton on the show last night…I absolutely love her music (her and her sister perform as Meg & Dia…have I believe 3 albums out…have toured on Warped Tour)

  11. David F says:

    I loved the fact that Adam said what I’ve been thinking since last week regarding the caliber of contestants on the voice compared to that of those on AI. The Voice contestants can sing circles around those on AI.
    I didn’t mind at all how the second chance round was conducted. There’s really no fair way to do it since it was likely that the judges would recognize the voice of the singer which seemed to be the case since none looked too surprised when they turned their chairs around.
    The one thing I didn’t like that I didn’t notice them doing on the first episode was the very brief clips of some of the contestants. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m glad they didn’t drag out this part to three weeks but I would like to have heard a bit more from all those that made it.

    • seattlejohn says:

      agree about some singers only getting partial clips…seems they could have cut down on the intro clips to accomodate all the auditions…that would have been more consistant with THE VOICE concept with more singing, less focus on backstories; this makes me concerned what will happen when the show loses an hour…will we get just snippets of performers and performances or full segments to showcase everyone?

    • Snsetblaze says:

      Yes, the caliber of singers is better … many of them already work as professionals and have albums out. The Voice has not seemed to want to hide that fact like Idol does (i.e. remember the season stocked with professionals — like Michael Johns and Carly Smithson.)

  12. L says:

    Couldn’t believe they didn’t pick Sonia Roa twice! She was better than the other two “second chance” girls.

    • Wheezer says:

      Eck! I do not agree. I think she sounded better during her first audition, and even then I understood why noone pushed their button. But, I wonder if all the blind audition’s were done in one day and edited into 2 shows or if she would of done better if she performed with the people shown last night. Because I can’t help, but agree that she was better than a few of the contestants (like Raquel Castro, Tori and Taylor Thompson,or Devon Barley)

      • seattlejohn says:

        since all the callbacks wore the same clothes as their auditions it would seem to have been one long shoot

      • Sue says:

        I agree – she was better than all three of those contestants but she was not as good as the other two second chance girls. However, if she was on Idol, she would have gotten through both for her looks and for diversity reasons.

  13. Joshtinpowers says:

    I’m a little bothered that several of these contestants were already “celebrities” before the show.

    Dia Frampton is one-half of a rock band known as Meg & Dia. I have 2 of their albums, and their most recent album was for a major label.

    Raquel Castro I recognized as the girl who played “Gertie” in the movie “Jersey Girl”, and apparently she has done several other feature films.

    That’s not to mention the other contestants who have either been on other reality shows (Frenchie Davis, Lukas Rossi) or released major-label albums & charted singles (Terralyn Ramsey, Javier Colon).

    I’m not saying the show isn’t enjoyable, but when I immediately recognize these people and realize that they’ve already acheived a certain degree of success & fame, it makes it hard for me to get fully invested. With “American Idol,” I at least feel like I have some ownership in the contestants, and get to (mostly) watch them start from scratch.

    • CandaceTX says:

      Yes, I do think that is something that they should address in the next season, because several of these people have already had their ‘bite at the apple’. Still enjoying this show tho.

    • Jane says:

      Well, American Idol certainly has a history of Plants, which is what I call contestants you describe. Check out Michael Johns, Carly Smithsion, and Joanna Pacitti for examples. The way the music business works these days, you can be the most talented singer/ songwriter out there but without the proper exposure, your career isn’t going anywhere. I can see why these people want to go on idol or the Voice. Mass exposure even if it’s only for a few seconds. Talented bands and singers get dropped from their labels all the time.

    • mandypanda says:

      Serabee also has a single out called Driving Me Stupid. I must’ve gotten it from free iTunes song of the week or something…

    • Joy says:

      I thought they had said something in the premiere to indicate that a lot of these contestants were already working musicians. They certainly haven’t made any secret of it in their PR materials, at least. I can understand preferring to watch contestants come out of nowhere, but I actually really like this approach. There are so many great musicians out there who are working hard in the industry but really haven’t had a chance to break through… I think they’re both the best prepared for an opportunity like this, and often the most deserving in terms of already having proved their genuine passion for what they do and their willingness to invest time and energy in trying to make it.

      • tnsmoke says:

        Also, the coaches all have very viable, active careers and don’t need their time wasted on listening to a bunch of off-key wannabe’s. Great singers often get recording contracts but the label doesn’t know how to promote them or refuses to let them record their choise of songs on their first cd. They get dropped if they don’t sell a million records out the gate. The coaches were all new artists once and know how the record labels work and have probably all had bad experiences themselves.

      • marie says:

        I agree with Joy. This is a different premise than Idol, and I find it refreshing to hear only reasonable voices. For me, it’s not significant whether a contestant is totally unknown or has been in the music scene for a while, all I’m interested in is, can they sing well? I LOVE not having to cringe through trainerecks and delusional unfortunates – I don’t miss the cruelty factor in the auditions AT ALL. I really like it that the focus of this show has the producers seemingly screening ONLY for talent.I haven’t watched this episode yet, but I want to ASAP. So far, I’m definitely on board with The Voice.

    • Jason S. says:

      It’s a matter of opinion. Do you want a show with compeletely amateurs competing or a show with artists and singers? Personally I prefer seeing people that have been trying to make it in the business for years and struggling. People that have payed their dues and are still not superstars. The results will be better. I recognized Dia from Meg and Dia as well. I don’t think The Voice is making the claim that these people are complete unknowns or amateurs.

    • anonymous says:

      I actually think that makes it even more compelling. It goes to show that just because you get signed, it doesn’t mean you’ll be successful. I think it takes a certain amount of humility to try out for a singing show and compete when some people will recognize you from previous work. It’s like being demoted. Being a fan of Javier’s for a few years now, it broke my heart to hear him talk about struggling financially and this being his last chance. I have his self-titled album that was out a few years ago and was always disappointed that more people didn’t know who he was. Now they do!! I am so happy that this show is giving artists like him a second chance and showing us new, undiscovered talent as well.

      • Jason S says:

        Good point about the humility. One think that is sometimes offputting on Idol is when the contestants egos grow quickly without having accomplished anything yet. I think the contestants having failed previously will give them some humility. A lot of my favorite Idol contestants had previous experience (Carly Smithson, David Cook, Daughtry)

    • AJ says:

      Many many of these people are “semi-famous.” Javier Colon, Nakia, Frenchie, and a couple of others. But it’s more of a local level of fame. Some people here know the children’s author girl but I have not heard of her. I have heard of Nakia because I live in Texas. Apparently everyone that went to college with Javier knew he would be famous someday and he has achieved a certain level of fame so far. Some are not known at all. People may not know but for the premeire season of this show the “auditions” were even more blatantly canned than the AI ones. They had people with “appointments” for auditions versus people that stood in line for a chance. Most of the appointments already had agents and other representation. Is it fair? I don’t see why not. The premise of the show is finding an outstanding voice and Idol is about something completely different. And none of these people are famous on a level even close to that of many past AI winners let alone more talented singers. It’s not like they have an unfair advantage.

  14. Jane says:

    I’m enjoying the Voice so far. I think it’s a shame Sonia Rao didn’t make it through to the next round. I thought her voice was better than some of the ones that did. I totally recognized Emily Valentine from American Idol. I don’t think her audition was as good this time.

  15. Jimmy says:

    Overall, I was disappointed with the 2nd episode. At first, I was thinking that 2nd chances were a good idea… but if this series lasts, I hope they don’t do that again. Were they short of good singers who wanted to audition? I don’t think so. It sort of goes against the premise of the series. They’re supposed to find the best voices according to these judges/coaches. Not according to the show’s producers. So, I feel like the producers let us down, let down the honesty of the competition and limited it unnecessarily.

    And as for people waiting in the wings for their chance and not getting it… this is Hollywood. “Sorry folks, role is filled. Try back next time.” If they want it, they will try (as evidenced by some singers on this show who previously competed on other shows).

    And next week’s elimination boxing ring thing looks lame. How can you seriously listen to 2 performances at the same time? What about this is a good idea? What makes that a serious singer choosing moment? It’s side-show stuff. It pulls down the grand idea of this series.

    Now looking toward X-Factor. See how they can do…

    • Eli says:


      For once I wish you people would watch first and complain after. Take it from someone who has seen a full season of The Voice, the Battle Round isn’t as bad as it sounds (is it the weakest of the 3 rounds? Yes. But its still far preferably to certain rounds in AIs Hollywood Week – such as group round).

  16. jef says:

    Not too many amateurs as usual. And second-rate professionals at that. Deja-vu all over again.

  17. CandaceTX says:

    “or Cap’n Crunch and jalapeño?”

    hate to contradict the metaphor that you had going, but… there is a place here in Dallas called “La Hacienda Ranch” and their Fried Jalapenos are breaded with Capn Crunch and Frosted Flakes — and the are FAB.U.LUHZ.

    …but I do get where you were trying to go with that one, dude.

  18. darcy's evil twin says:

    I didn’t mind the “do-overs” so much, in fact I was thrilled that the bald dad with six kids got a second shot – and was picked.
    They may have been able to put a face with a voice but they STILL didn’t pick that really attractive girl the second time around – and the guys were upset that no one chose her.

    • tnsmoke says:

      The guy with the 6 kids kind of creeps me out with his song choices considering he says he doesn’t want his little girls to end up with some loser like he was. Good Girls Gone Bad?? Great song Dad.

    • ChristineOH says:

      I thought Good Girls Gone Bad was a ridiculous song choice for him on several levels, and felt that was a big reason he wasn’t picked. His second audition was much better, and I was happy to see him get selected.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      Funny – I had FAR more heartburn with him singing a Dixie Chicks song! Hopefully he won’t do THAT again. But I personally liked his voice.

      The comments about the first song choice reminds me of an interview with Reba McEntire from several years ago where she talked about having a discussion with her (then) young son about a music video where she blew up her cheating husband and his girlfriend on a boat, LOL.

  19. paisley says:

    Definitely not as good the second episode as it was the first. And not fair to the team members who got little or no air time, especially when live shows and voting starts. Second chance was okay b/c it allowed for Coaches to reconsider those they regretted passingon. Insulting Idol’s talent pool was silly, given the successes of Kelly,Carrie,Daughtry,etc. And many others who tried and failed and wound up on the voice…Frenchie & Emily to name two. I am not as impressed with the show as I was after episode one. But let’s see what happens next.

    • Joy says:

      Paisley, Frenchie didn’t fail on Idol…she made it all the way to the finals but then was disqualified because she’d done some topless photos several years earlier.

      • ATLgroove says:

        A LOT of people actually think Frenchie woulda taken out Ruben and Clay that season too. From what I recall of Frenchie’s versions of “I Am Telling You” and “Band of Gold,” I’d have to agree.

  20. tnsmoke says:

    I think that it says alot about the integrity and committment of the coaches that they wouldn’t be pressured into picking the lat of the crop just to fill up their teams. It makes sense to bring back the ones for a 2nd chance as for most of them they almost had someone hit the buzzer so you know they did impress the coaches. Next season the producers will have a bigger pool.

  21. Cleo says:

    I was seriously disappointed when they announced that Lukas Rossi was on the show then apparently cut him before the blind auditions. Mark Burnett owes fans an apology for a major marketing ploy for extra press. NBC and Mark had to have known that he would be a draw for a few extra viewers.

    I agree the second half of the blind auditions were not as strong as the first episode. Think a few shaky singers got through that shouldn’t have.

    Think next time even if the judge has all eight his/her chair should also be turned around so there are no “tells” to the judges on who is getting a second chance.

  22. Aiden says:

    I was really looking forward to how Michael would assess Dia Frampton–my favorite of the entire night. I’m actually still surprised she auditioned for The Voice because she’s already got quite a bit of success with her and her sister’s band, “Meg and Dia”. I’ve been a fan for a while, and I can say that her cover of ‘Bubbly’ didn’t give her enough justice. Here’s to hoping she goes far so her originals get some attention because it’s pretty damn good. Her stint on the show will hopefully show off that uniqueness and artistry I appreciate in that kind of singer. I’m excited to see what Blake does with her because she’s the real deal. Saw her in concert a couple of years back, that girl’s got a shot.

  23. donna says:

    The writer of this article is obviously rooting for team adam. Probably is a fan of adam. Just saying, it’s obvious.

  24. Kate says:

    How is it possible that you got through that entire recap without acknowledging the disaster that is Carson Daly? I admire you, because that was all I could think about. Seriously, never have I ever appreciated Ryan Seacrest so much as I do today, the morning after my first The Voice experience. You know it’s bad when you, as the host, are watching playback on the backstage monitors with a contestant’s family, and when you facetiously ask, “Oh no, am I making everything worse?”, they reply in unison with a resounding, “YES.”

  25. sara says:

    How lovely is Blake Shelton, really. I loved how he kept shouting at the other coaches to pick someone because he wanted to have them in the competition even if they weren’t a right fit for himself. I also loved how nobody really could measure up to his fiancée in his eyes (or ears)… d’awww.

    If it wasn’t for the coaches (whom I all like, especially in their interactions) I would have found this episode pretty dull though, I thought the talent was a lot stronger in the first episode. Maybe the second half of the auditions was devoted to the cannon fodder? Dunno.

    The thing with the recycled contestants didn’t bother me, I think that after hearing so many people sing throughout the day it got so difficult to keep them apart that it actually didn’t matter that some had been seen and heard before.

    • Snsetblaze says:

      I like Blake too – went to the library to check out one of his cds so I could listen before buying anything since I’m not a big commerical county music person. Blake should have picked some of those he wanted in the competition — he did say he was looking for more than country. He got mostly folkies/singer-songwriter and blues types … close enough I guess.

    • ChristineOH says:

      I like all of the judges, but I love, love, love Blake Shelton. He’s cute, funny, charming, talented… And, I loved how singing his wife-to-be’s songs was not a foot in the door, but a shoot yourself in the foot.

  26. Blingedup.susan says:

    Seriously, one of MY biggest fears is running out of food at a party. Drives my husband crazy too. But to think about something being totally gone when people would like more? *shudders*
    My kids are liking this show (first half of each night anyway. ) They were disappointed to hear the new time slot, because they can’t stay up that late. I told them we could DVR it, but was met with, “It’s not the same. “

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      The DVR version is better. No commercials, and you can FF through anything you don’t like!

      • ChristineOH says:

        For adults, yes, but I usually watch later same night for shows like this. For kids, it is kind of a bummer to have to watch the next day.

        • darcy's evil twin says:

          Oh, I should know that. I have to suffer through endless Disney crap at my sister’s because there’s no way the kids can wait and watch it later (later – as in, when I’ve left the house!).

    • Joy says:

      I’m another who overstocks on party food…but the “running out” analogy can go either way here. Just think what terrible hosts the judges would feel like if they invited all those hungry auditioners to the party, then ran out of picks before everyone got to the food table! The second-chance contestants are like Michael’s partner (or mine), getting all the leftovers because you can’t just let them go to waste… :-)

  27. darcy's evil twin says:

    I’m not sure, after reading what I’ve read here, that it’s fair to compare the singers on “The Voice” to those on Idol. Although Idol has had its share of contestants with experience it sounds as though there are far more on “The Voice” that are semi-pros or pros.

    So…it’s probably best to appreciate each show for what it is and not compare the two, at least for me, anyway.

  28. dctoronto says:

    Michae,l, I can totally identify with worrying about guests not having enough to eat at a party. I too overstock. I don’t get the turkey burgers though.
    Based on what you have written about The Voice, I stomached my aversion for Cee-Lo and watched last night’s show. While I do love me some Adam Levine, overall it left me unimpressed. Some of the singers were good but I must say my husband and I were shaking our heads at some of the judges’ choices.
    Whether they can outsing the Idols is up to debate as we’ve only heard them sing one song (that they probably like/idnetify with) that they have rehearsed numerous times before performing. Remember how good Stefano/Lauren/Karen/were during auditions? Adam should have waited until these contestants have to sing something they are unfamiliar with before making his declaration.
    I enjoyed some of the critques and commentaries the judges gave once they saw the contestants and I would probably have continued to watch for a few more weeks if it were not for the fact that I felt an overall fakeness in the show that I have not experienced on other talent shows like Idol, SYTYCD or DWTS. In particullar the judges’ banter between each other seemed forced and fake, Carson seemed uncomfortable in his role (he should get some pointers from Cat Deeley on how to be an effective and empathetic host)and there seemed to be a forced enthusiasm from many of the contestants.

  29. Tootie says:

    I can’t believe Michael neglected to mention that guy Josh who butchered “Paparazzi” — I could NOT believe that parents would treat a 29 year-old guy like a 9 year-old tee ball player (“You were great! You did great!). Clearly, this guy is still living with his parents.

    • tnsmoke says:

      Yeah, don’t know if it’s sad or stupid to fawn over someone and tell them they did great when no one picked them.

  30. Robin Lemke says:

    I’m totally fine with the way they handled the 2nd chances. I think if they could really pick the voice out they’d have picked Sonia Rao on the 2nd chance. (And kinda wish someone had!)

  31. Georgia says:

    I really like the format so far. They’ve given us two things we’ve begged American Idol producers to do: (1) Don’t waste time on spoofs and sob stories, and (2) Allow the contestants to sing an entire song.

  32. Peter says:

    I think the way they had “solved” it in the Dutch edition of the Voice was smarter. There they had a coach overshooting draws with one and another undershooting the target team. Those coaches organised a three-way battle with either selecting one (the overshooter) or two contestants (the undershooter).

    Here you see how a three-way battle version of Christina Aguilera has been performed by Dutch The Voice of Holland contestants on YouTube.

    One of the points mentioned in passing by Cee-Lo Green was a remark of never having done a Country song.

    In the Dutch version of the voice contestants who reached the semi-final had to write and record an original song (no karaoke!) with their coaches (helped by their advisors/producers/songwriters). This song is then their throw at reaching the final.

    For the 4 finalists, the number of iTunes-downloads of these original songs in the run up week before the finale, were counted as “two votes”, while televotes were counted as one.

    There were quite a lot of original takes, not quite seen in the other shows, like out-of-competition performances of coaches with their teammembers.

    When the ratings for this show exploded during the battles and completely took over all other singing shows, the Dutch result shows brought televoting interstitials from performers like Take That, Bruno Mars, Cee Lo Green etc.

    In the Dutch finale all contestants both performed singular as well as bringing a duet with established stars like Duffy and Adele.

    I do not know whether American Idol or the expected X-Factor will bring in those kind of “twists”. It is a bit difficult to see Simon Cowell perform with contestants, but producing an original song could be doable.

    As far as I could see, the Voice is not “themed” per live show. Contestants on the Dutch show have had a voice in the song choice for each live show and were allowed to propose alternatives if they didn’t like it. For the Battle round the coach selects the song to be performed.

    The concept of the show is effectively geared toward a strong collaboration of coaches, producers and the record company (Universal for the USA). After The Voice of Holland not only the winner landed a recording contract but several signed with record labels and another one has contracted with the producer/songwriter team of his coach.

    As a final point. One of the coaches decided after the show to sing a duet with his finale contestant on his new CD. Released it as a single and they shot it in two weeks to the #1 position in the Dutch charts.

    It are these kind of ideas and prospects, executed with the musicians / coaches and their advisors / producers far more in the creative driving seat than in any other singing shows, that makes The Voice a clear shot to lure a lot of the semi-professional and “bubbling under” artists away for attempting to audition for the far more “themed” other singing shows like Idol, X-Factor etc.

    If this summer one of the contestants is also able to hit a #1 chart position due to work they record after this show with one of the coaches or their songwriter/producer team, NBC can be sure they will not have much difficulty to fill the roster of good candidates for next year’s edition.

    I think the above is effectively how this show “works”.

  33. Jason S says:

    I think the Voice is better then Idol this year in every category. Judges are more insightful and funnier. Carson Daly is less obnoxious then Seacrest. The talent on a whole is stronger and seems hipper at this point. The audition rounds are way less tedious without all the awful auditions. I do think having the singers both sing at the same time in a faceoff is kind of strange though. I guess it’s not that much different then the Idol group rounds. I feel they should each get to sing by themselves though. I also think NBC is making a huge mistake schuduling it at 10. It should be at 8 with the Biggest loser at 9.

  34. jader says:

    I think it’s better they gave a second chance to the ones were not selected. I would have sucked if there had been contestants who couldn’t even have the chance to sing because of the spots already taken. It would have been kind of unfair unless they had a lottery type of system where they had enough contestants and only the lucky ones could get the chance to perform before the slots are taken.

    Anyway, there are always complains and room for improvement anyways, they show is interesting and I am looking forward for the next round.

  35. bbsd says:

    Having checked out of the Scotty McCreery Show out of boredom a couple of weeks ago, I almost didn’t watch this show until I came across last Wednesday’s rerun while flying JetBlue. I am glad to have found a new and improved addiction– more interesting “coaches,” better singers and way more entertaining format. And I am particularly happy to see I still get to read recaps from you.

  36. dan says:

    I had no problem with the do-over contestants, I feel like it added some drama to the show. And, honestly, the judges didn’t seem to recognize Sonia Rao, because it seemed like they would have picked her.

    In any case, I’m finding the Voice far more interesting than Idol this season. I like that the judges seem to have a stronger interest in how the performers do, as opposed to the Idol crew who just sit there saying NOTHING of value to the contestants. You could see on Haley’s face that she was just over them altogether.

    I’m hoping that the Voice gets it’s own tab on, and that we start seeing “Voicaholics” alongside “Idoloonies.”

  37. anonymous says:

    GO DIA!
    So proud of her!
    She deserves this so much.

  38. Dave in Hollywood says:

    Does anyone know how the “death rounds” or whatever they are next week will work? I’m intrigued by it. On the BBC / Andrew Lloyd Webber shows, the bottom two always sang the same song with each other and ALW got to choose who would stay. I think it might be similar.

  39. Sandi says:

    I’m already frustrated with this show because I can’t decide whether to invest myself in it or not. I have the say that the talent they’ve come up with is impressive. Not all but many of the contestants are worth watching for. On the other hand, I can’t help but find the show’s premise idiotic and dishonest. It most definitely is not just about the “voice.” If it were, the audience and the judges would never get to see the contestants or at least not until the very end. We, the audience, have seen everyone so we judge on everything just like any other talent show. The judges clearly prefer the pretty faces which is obvious every time they turn their chairs to a good looking face and lament that they didn’t push their buzzers. And now every contestant has been seen by judges and audience alike. So how can the show make any claim at all to being purely a voice competition? Even if the prejudices of beauty were not in place for the original picking of contestants, they sure can show up now for eliminations. The dishonesty of the premise annoys me but the contestants are worth watching. I’m not sure if I want to commit or not.