The Voice Recap: The X(tina) Factor

The Voice is different from the other 47 reality singing competitions on TV right now “because it puts vocal ability first,” host Carson Daly boasted during Sunday night’s post-Super Bowl season premiere.

Of course, The Voice also stands out for a few other reasons: it puts Carson in a Kia (instead of an ominous 18-wheeler, like X Factor‘s Steve Jones, or turning him into Ford’s plaything, a la Ryan Seacrest); it doesn’t believe in giving airtime to ham sandwiches with no discernable singing talent; and it isn’t afraid to expose seven-eighths of Christina Aguilera’s heaving bazooms without so much as a parental warning or a foghorn.

If you’re new to The Voice, its central conceit is that its four judges — Xtina, Cee Lo Green, Blake Shelton, and Adam Levine — must turn their backs to the stage as auditions begin, and decide based solely on singing ability whether or not to press a button, turn their chairs around, and offer to be a mentor to the vocalist in question. If more than one judge “turns around” during an audition, it’s up to the singer to decide who’ll be his or her mentor — after listening to Christina conjure up her Norma-Desmond-as-modern-pop-star persona, Adam give his best “used-car salesman” pitch (Xtina’s zinger, not mine), Cee Lo offer some sexually suggestive new-age hoo-ha, and Blake plainspokenly wonder if the contestant might be inclined to make a country record and meet his lovely wife, Miranda Lambert.

Much like Season 1, the judges’ bickering struck a note of playful camaraderie and resulted in a far less toxic atmosphere than The X Factor‘s carefully scripted awfulness. The sole exceptions to the rule were those awkward moments where Xtina overplayed her rivalry with Adam (“you’re trying to be Justin Timberlake!” she blathered) and you wished a producer would fire a tranquilizer dart into her neck, for her own good and the good of the home viewing audience.

The talent pool for Night One, meanwhile, showcased big pipes across a range of genres.

Here’s my quick take on the five singers who advanced to the upcoming “Battle Rounds.”

* RaeLynn, 17, lives on a Texas farm that, quite honestly, looks like a Hollywood set of a Texas farm. (Is someone in the producers’ room a fan of Capricorn One?) RaeLynn’s “Hell on Heels” starts out pleasantly Dolly-esque, but her tone gets more rounded and meatier a few lines in, even if she hits a couple of flat notes along the way. The kid gives off a slight whiff of preciousness, and her overzealous stage mom makes me a little nervous, but those negatives are balanced out by RaeLynn’s ability to play her own guitar. Adam, Blake, and Xtina turn around for her, but was there ever a question that she’d choose Mr. Shelton?

* Jesse Campbell leads with his tale of woe: He moved to California to become a singing sensation, but ended up losing his wife and his house and (apparently) his ability to keep intimate details of his life to himself). Adam, Xtina, and Cee Lo all turn around after about 10 seconds of “A Song for You,” and while Jesse undoubtedly hits his notes, I find his tone ever so slightly shrill. Also, it’s possible the guy is a highly functioning automaton. When Blake jokes that before he eventually hit his own buzzer, he was “the only dumbass” not vying for Jesse’s attention, the contestant in question never breaks his “I’m so humbled” facade. And not laughing at Blake’s jokes is weird, right? Jesse makes a comment about wanting to fight for his right to sing, then chooses Team Xtina, which provides the perfect segue into her anthemic hit/my go-to treadmill jam “Fighter.”

* Juliet Simms only gets three of the four judges to turn their chairs around, but in my book, she’s the best in show for Season 2, Episode 1 (even though she chews gum while getting judges’ critiques — blech!). Yeah, her rocker-girl styling — nose ring, denim vest, arm tattoos — is a bit too obvious, but her guttural rendition of the Beatles’ “Oh Darling” is truly ugly-beautiful — especially when Juliet drops to her knees and pleads like a wounded animal on the bridge. Adam can’t help but sing along like a goofy fanboy, and Cee Lo pays Juliet a zesty/ridiculous compliment: “I heard the story of my life in that song.” That’s enough to make Juliet join forces with the man who wrote “Forget You”; he’d better not abandon her in the Battle Rounds. (Side note: The show should’ve played Vicci Martinez’s “The Dog Days Are Over,” not the original, heading out of Juliet’s audition and into commercial break, no?)

* Chris Mann enters the arena in a jaunty gray suit with a plaid tie and a seafoam pocket square. I’m going to admit that I’ve never before heard his audition ditty, “Because We Believe,” and that I think I’d be okay if I never heard it again. But that’s not to say that in spite of a trace of nervousness that percolates through his vocal, Chris doesn’t have a big monster truck of a voice that he should be able to drive right through the battle rounds. Chris is so overcome with emotion that he needs a beat before he can say his own name, but when he shares that he’s spent much of his career trying to shrink his voice to fit the restrictions of the modern music biz, you know that “bigger! louder! melisma-ier!” Xtina is the only coach for him.

* Mr. Daly (who I’m definitely going to misidentify as Carson Kressley before the season is over, because my typing fingers really wish that Mr. Kressley was hosting) excitedly tells us our final contestant, Tony Lucca, used to be on the Mickey Mouse Club. But who cares, really, when he used to be on the gone-too-soon-but-never-forgotten Malibu Shores? Tony’s rendition of “Trouble” is pitch-perfect, and I like the way his vocal occasionally disappears to a whisper, even though he should probably relegate his drab brown vest and patchwork cap to the same storage unit where he keeps his Mickey Mouse ears. Adam, Xtina, and Blake turn their chairs around, and then Adam hits Cee Lo’s button, too. The double whammy makes Tony pick the Maroon 5 frontman, though it doesn’t hurt that his old Disney castmate, Xtina, fails to recognize him, even after he’s give his name. (Waah waah waaaaahhh.)

This opportunity for a touching live reunion thrwarted — and a producer most likely having slipped a note to Xtina (“Grrrl, you know that guy!) — our crazy-lady judge heads backstage declaring she’s realized Tony is her “old Mouseketeer buddy.” After meeting his wife and child, she reveals that Britney Spears had “the biggest crush” on Tony. Awkward! Now quick, somebody get Keri Russell in the audience for the Battle Rounds!

What did you think of The Voice‘s Season 2 premiere? Sound off 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!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. JenZ says:

    and this is why I read TVLine. Not only do you nail the summary of the new contestants…but you had me at Malibu Shores! I thought I was the only one who remembered that show!

    • Evan says:

      If you’re a real MMC fan you definitely know Malibu Shores!
      The fact that he properly name checked Keri Russell to be in the audience was great! Course her showing up would be brilliant but then they’d have to actually explain to everyone they were dating during and for a while after MMC.

      • Dom says:

        I rarely watch the reality tv poor Slezak is forced to endure to give us these fabulous recaps. But I did watch The Voice last night, and he nailed it. I would love to see the awkwardness ensue with Keri’s appearance in the audience. And yes, all real MMC fans know Malibu Shores and have been wondering for years where Tony Lucca disappeared to while his castmates have been enjoying fame and success.

        • leslie says:

          Real MMC fans know that Tony Lucca has been playing small clubs (and opening for N’Sync) for years! I’ve seen him a handful of times on LA over the years and own several of his albums. He’s amazing!

          • Bridget says:

            Yes! Malibu Shores! I have that whole series on tape. :-) I do hope fellow mouseketeers come to support Tony. He’s always been one of my favs! Check out Tony’s CDs, he’s amazing!

    • charlie says:

      Yes, great summary! But I expected you would say something about the Voice and american idol going head to head this season. Should be interesting to see which show gets the most viewers and the most buzz. Also should be interesting to see if the combination of the show and SMASH leads to bigger viewership.

    • EveL says:

      Emerald Cove! That’s a true MMC fan! I don’t usually read this stuff either, but love it.

  2. cody says:

    his name was CHRIS MANN!!!!! not mason! the guy was incredible!!!!!

  3. LynnH says:

    Wasn’t the ‘opera’ singer named Chris Mann? I enjoyed him the most. Was only half warching the show, but he got my attention! Love Christina but she really needs to dial back the snarkiness or else her ‘kidding’ is going to wear thin real fast.

    • Aiden says:

      Christina’s always been bad at subtlety. She needs to tone it down a bit.. But I do love her artist, Chris Mann! I recognize him as a Warbler and to be totally honest, that story about him having to shrink his voice down but not needing to for the show totally worked. You could tell he’s honest and eager to do his personal style of music. Opera singer should make for interesting performances!
      One more thing, Tony Lucca probably already has my vote over most of the contestants. Even solely for his involvement in FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS. Come on, how could I turn down the dude who sang Bright Eyes’ “Devil Town” for the show’s best moments?

  4. Jessie says:

    Michael, I just knew Juliet was going to be your favorite because of her “rocker” vibe, but I just didn’t get her. Her performance was OK, but she doesn’t have the talent of Allison Iraheta or the authenticity of Amanda Overmyer.

  5. jessica b. says:

    Did anyone noticed Jamar Rogers from AI 8 on the promo por tonight’s episode? I’m so excited to see him again!

  6. Bethany says:

    I really enjoy this show, but Christina is the worst. Her banter schtick is not cute, it is annoying. It is glaringly obvious that all the boys get along and cannot stand her. She needs to go!

    • Annie says:

      Christina is awesome. She will stay.

    • Joy says:

      Yeah, she was beyond obnoxious last night. Here’s hoping somebody can persuade her to cool it before she turns into the Randy Jackson of this judging panel. (Hint to Xtina: Unlike Randy Jackson, you can own a room *without* the pathetic “Hey, everybody pay attention to me!” schtick — so relax and enjoy already!)

  7. Rick says:

    I thought Jesse and Tony were the best of the night, although both had slightly off-putting personalities (Jesse with his sob story and Tony with his slight air of entitlement because he knew Xtina from MMC). I was surprised Juliet didn’t choose to be on Adam’s team, as he definitely seems to be more her style musically. Raelynn was kind of forgettable, and unless the show is trying for a Lauren Alaina, she probably won’t go far. Chris Mann was talented but probably not pop-relevant enough to last.

    • Brenda says:

      Rick, Tony doesn’t act entitled at all. You need to realize that the show needed a hook and the fact that Jesse had such a hardship story, they didn’t want to repeat the same thing. Tony, at one time, also lived in his car. He’s worked very hard for the last 15 years (since his first album), without the cushion of acting income coming in as well. He travels around the country constantly touring and also helps raise money through selling merchandise for his wife’s hometown of Joplin, MO since last year’s tornado tragedy.

      • Rick says:

        Hey Brenda- I definitely get that these shows edit people to show the story they want to tell, and that’s the only reason I got that sense about him. Of the people we saw last night, he’s my favorite by far regardless.

  8. Sara says:

    The patchwork cap is classic Tony Lucca. Anyone who liked him on the Voice should look up his song “Pretty Things” on YouTube. Amazing.
    I do wish he hadn’t shaved his beard and he’s also missing his other signature item- his hipster glasses. Go #TeamAdam

  9. Strepsi says:

    THE VOICE has a truly amazing concept — but it squanders the concept in the OPENING SHOW!
    I think the show would reeeally have to put its money where its mouth is if the Judges had to complete their teams BEFORE turning their chairs around.
    They would have to hit their button, bid, choose, and narrow the team members down ALL sight unseen: then they would turn around and see their entire team for the FIRST time. Only then would it be about pure vocal ability.

    • Mike says:

      No offense, but that would make for some really bad television. lol (cue comments for how reality TV does that anyway! :-))

    • dee says:

      It doesn’t matter how the blind auditions are handled, because the “battle rounds” give the judges the chance to get rid of any contestant for any reason. All you have to do is pit someone you decide you don’t like (for whatever reason–looks, voice, attitude) against your best performer, and voila. Gone.
      To their credit it didn’t look like much of that went on during season 1’s battle rounds, but it would be easy enough to accomplish.

  10. Jason says:

    Love X-Factor and have been a long time watcher of Idol, but I enjoyed The Voice way more than both of them.

  11. raftrap says:

    That felt fresh, that’s the only word I can think of, I fell asleep last night watching it, but then I watched the whole thing this morning, it was a great start for the second season, and I’m grateful it was just 1 hour, these type of auditions may be cool, but 1 hour is enough, too bad they’re going for the complete 2 hour extravaganza tonight.

  12. Pat says:

    Where’s Idology Slezak!?!?!?

  13. Anon says:

    Now I know there are at least 3 of us who remember Malibu Shores!

  14. Jeff says:

    I’m SO excited Juliet made it on the show! She’s one of my favorite vocalists! If you’ve never listened to her band, Automatic LoveLetter, do yourself a favor!
    There are so many singers that I love auditioning this year, I’m excited because I’m already invested in people…haha

  15. Jodi says:

    Malibu Shores! Loved that show!!

  16. Titina says:

    What a GREAT show! So much better than Idol and X factor and by far!
    So excited! I was so entertained! The judging panel is the best. They have genuine chemistry and is all very good natures unlike the other two.
    LOVEd Tony Lucca and Chris Mann. Who cares if this people have experience, I´ve never heard about them before and I agree with Adam Levine who says that in music business you sometimes need 2nd, 3rd and 4th chances. It´s tough to get break!
    Looking forward to this season so much!

    • Jenny says:

      I thought I would be bothered by the whole idea that contestants on this show can have prior experience. But it does make it nice when you think about the music scene today. Many of the people who got through this first show are the type that haven’t been recognized for their talent because they don’t fit a certain image.

    • tarc says:

      The vocalist chose last night were really good. But jeeze is Carson Daly bad. It’s just painful, and he looks like a Howdy Doody doll now. Weird.

    • Joy says:

      I’d be with you on the “So much better than Idol and X Factor” except that I remember feeling just as enthusiastic after last year’s auditions, and then just hating the battle rounds…and after that, it never quite gelled for me again. So Idol totally wins for me once we get to live rounds, but it’s nice to have The Voice’s auditions to tide me over in the meantime!

      • Sara says:

        It’s exactly the same for me! I love the Voice auditions, hate the live shows and with Idol it’s the other way around.

      • Dallas says:

        Agree that The Voice has the better audition-round “hook” but loses lustre from there. It will be interesting to follow/compare ratings with Idol.

  17. Jenny says:

    This the first time watching The Voice and like the idea about it. Like that it isn’t about the image and is about the singing. Also like that even the “bad” singers aren’t horrible and used as a joke. Maybe that is just something on this first episode they didn’t include. But the bad auditions of AI got old seasons ago.
    I have been hearing about Tony Lucca from friends of mine for years. They guy can sing and write some good songs. He just isn’t this flashy guy that would fit into any mold that most music has been about the last couple of years. Good to see him get some attention and got with a good mentor for his style.
    Although the whole Christina “recognizing” him seemed so fake. Either she really didn’t recognize him and a producer whispered it in her ear. Or she knew ahead of time he was going to be on and was told to act like she didn’t recognize him to create that moment. Christina was so fake in it.

    • dee says:

      No, there are no bad singers on The Voice. Performers are invited to try out based on youtube performances, word-of-mouth, scouting, etc.

    • Claire says:

      It looked to me like she didn’t recognize him while he was singing, but then just as he was walking out he slipped her a hand sign that looked something like the American Sign Language sign for the number 3. Apparently that had some meaning between former mouseketeers or whatever, because it looked like that was what made her realize who he was.

  18. Tim says:

    Slezak. Slezak. Slezak….And you call yourself an Idoloony!
    Of course you have heard “Because We Believe” before. Andrea Bocelli along with Svengali David Foster performed it on American Idol. In that version, he sang it in Italian and English. It was the year with Taylor Hicks and Kathryn McPhee.
    Here is a link.
    Hint: Bocelli’s version is much better than Chris Mann’s.

  19. Melissa says:

    Loved Tony! I had the hugest crush on him back when he was on MMC and Malibu Shores. I was all giddy when I saw him last night, even though he wasn’t quite the pretty boy he used to be. But his voice…ahh, his voice. Amazing!!!

  20. Jodie says:

    I too loved Malibu Shores. I have been a fan of Tony’s from the Mickey Mouse Club days. I am glad that he is not on Christina’s team. Jesse was also very good. I felt really bad for the 20 year old because he wasn’t really that bad. He seemed like a really good guy. This season is starting out really well and can’t wait to see the rest of the talent.

  21. Alex says:

    Oh man, that line about Jesse Campbell being an automaton really got me laughing.
    However, you made the error of calling Adam, Xtina, CeeLo and Blake judges, when we’re reminded over and over that they’re “coaches”.
    Perhaps because this was a pre-taped round, but Carson Daly was at least 15% less bland than last season.

  22. Name That Tune says:

    This show just reminds me how stale Idol has become. Loved the banter between the judges, loved the singing, loved the whole thing.

  23. darcy's evil twin says:

    Mr. Slezak, I think I just watch these shows because I enjoy your recaps so much! I wasn’t able to hear Chris Mann or Tony Lucca sing because the Super Bowl was longer than the network scheduling allotment and ran into the DVR time slot for “The Voice”.
    Of the three contestants I watched I probably like RaeLynn the best. don’t ask me why, though.
    Rocker Chick was good but, as someone pointed out, nowhere near as good as Allison Iraheta. She also looks like half the girls in my junior high school yearbook (except for the tattoos).
    Jesse Campbell was also good but I agree with Mr. Slezak’s comment about the shrill tone. And while the “sob stories” are sometimes annoying they are also part of what makes this a great country.

  24. Annie says:

    I wasn’t crazy about any of the contestants, but it was an enjoyable hour of television.

  25. Alli says:

    Great recap, Michael! I fell under the pressure of the massive promotion and I watched a full episode of The Voice for the first time. The mentors are soooo much better than any other reality show pannel I can think of, and that’s not just limited to singing competitions. They all seem happy to be there and like they enjoy eachother’s company. Also, with the possible exception of Christina who is enjoyably out of touch with reality, they seem to realize that they aren’t the Justices on the Supreme Court. I’m looking forward to the next show!

  26. darcy's evil twin says:

    Just caught Tony Lucca’s performance on the internet – I enjoyed him immensely and I detest the song “Trouble”. he brought a more pleasant, upbeat energy to the song.
    Alli – you get a “made me laugh” for your Justices on the Supreme Court comment. :-)

  27. Teresa says:

    How could anyone forget Tony Lucca? And I’m so happy you mentioned Malibu Shores. I loved that show. I love how the show tried to played it off that she remembered. Anyone out there actually think it was genuine and no one whispered in her ear?

    • Evan says:

      Oh definitely not, but Christina had to make sure while the cameras were there to get that dig in on Britney with the whole “She used to have such a crush on you” line.
      Which would not surprise me if it was also a shot at Keri Russell.

  28. Danielle Notaro says:

    The blues chick- the ungravelly part of her voice is really mediocre.
    Tony Luca- a not so great Ray Lamontagne
    It seems pretty obvious the singer each judge is going to pick. To the point I am wondering if it isn’t already pre-picked.

  29. Elvin says:

    Did anyone else get the impression that Adam was getting the shaft a bit by the producers? Last season I felt like he was by far the most likeable and useful of the judges (okay, so Blake was pretty great too), but this season the producers seem to be emphasizing that he’s cocky about last season’s win, while airing tons of footage of Christina being kind of obnoxious to him. Think they’re trying to play down Adam so people don’t vote for his contestants so that the other judges have a shot?
    Definitely just a conspiracy theory, as I never really saw producer manipulation last season, but I guess we’ll see if it continues over the next few episodes.

  30. John says:

    The Internet told me last night that Tony Lucca is responsible for the beautiful cover of “Devil Town” that became Friday Night Lights’ most iconic song.
    So…yeah. Count this TV nerd in on that bandwagon.

  31. Jodi says:

    Christina needs to tone it down. Her banter with Adam was awkward and annoying and I yelled at the tv to tell her to shut up almost as much as I yelled to the Patriots an hour beforehand.
    I was waiting for Adam to put her in her place for being the biggest obvious attention whore, but I guess we have the rest of the season to wait.

  32. Deb says:

    Christina needs to do more than tone it down. At times I was shouting for her to “shut up” as she talked over everyone. Its a really unattractive habit that hints at more than a little ego. Make your case to be their mentor and move on girlie.

  33. kevin says:

    Favorite moment was Tony Lucca back when he was part of The Mickey Mouse Club with Britney Spears and of course Christina Aguilera. What a shock that he chose Adam instead of Christina but I was totally in awe when she found out about Tony ’cause she was realize something about him and for a minute there, she was thinking “Tony Lucca. That name rings a bell”. So amazing on her part.

  34. Rebecca says:

    Tony Lucca forever and always. He is amazing. So glad he picked Adam. Great pairing.

  35. marie says:

    The Voice audition shows are so much fun to watch. I mostly enjoy Idol’s audition shows, as well (especially the first two or so this season where there was a real emplasis on the talented contestants), but The Voice could teach X Factor (shudder!!!) a thing or two about how to broadcast enjoyable, relaxed, fun audition episodes in front of a live audience WITHOUT excessive noise / screaming / flashing lights / general overproduction!
    I pretty much enjoyed all the contestants who were chosen for teams so far (except for Chris Mann – I grew up listening to opera and his voice is not all that great, although not outright bad), and I really like this team of coaches who, as others have remarked here, really seem like they’re enjoying themselves. Good show!

    • Bassbaritone says:

      Interesting you seem to be the only one that caught Chris Mann. I can tell you that I have been prodded by my friends to audition but I can’t stand the thought of open auditions and as a Opera singer that has sung on the big stage no one would know what to do with my voice; especially, if they heard a real dramatic Bass-baritone. As a Verdi and Wagner specialist what I heard in Chris Mann was a light lyric Baritone or Baritone Martin. At 29, he is still young which could account for somethings but not everything I heard.
      It is sad that no one really understands singing; especially, the level of artistry required to sing Opera.
      All of the lack of musicianship and artistry was clearly displayed last year after the initial auditions were over. Not one piece of sheet music was displayed! And, as coaches, they didn’t utter one actual word that people who have study voice use on a daily basis. What we have in this should is a better version of American Idol with a more honest premise and approach – nothing more.

      • kateshomesick says:

        I know what you are talking about. I am currently studying opera/classical singing at a university in Germany. Chris Mann might have good material but there is little classical technique. My guess is that he is imitating certain clasically trained singers rather than taking classes with a professor or a top notch vocal teacher. I particularly disliked the things he did with his jaw and his lips. He opened up to early, the vowels were each formed differently- no consistency at all. I guess he almost didn’t use his diaphragm at all, everything sounded very throaty, no legato, no “Stimmsitz” (no place or focus in the nose area)…I could go on for hours. His intonation was questionable, his italian was very weak too and the wiggling around was kind of campy-probably a pressure relief because his voice wasn’t connected with his body well enough…I didn’t get it…his voice is ok I guess. So obviously he could still learn a lot but I think he is going the Josh Groban route and that is NOT a “proper” classically trained singer either! Neither is Paul Potts or Bocelli…:-)

  36. Kevin C. says:

    Everything that’s wrong with “The Voice” in a nutshell.
    As far as I can tell, they referred to Adam Levine as “The Winner” of last season close to a dozen times, but never once mentioned the actual singer who won last year.
    I stopped watching last year when it became so much about the judges that the singers were an afterthought. Looks like this year’s more of the same.

    • marie says:

      Now that you mention it, it is strange that they didn’t even mention Javier’s name. There could be some legal / contractual reason for that, I suppose.

      • Isaac says:

        Or could it be ’cause no one’s heard him since he won? Did his album ever even come out? And that’s the real problem with these competition shows, so few contestants ever keep the momentum of interest past the season’s programming.

    • Joy says:

      Great point. I’ve been really hoping they’d take the opportunity this season to give last year’s finalists a much-needed PR boost — throw their names around and play some clips, schedule some results-show performances to spotlight their new music, maybe bring Javier back as a guest mentor… If nothing else, trumpeting the contestants who did well last year and emphasizing that the show is serious about promoting them might help convince the audience that success on the show means something — without a competition element we can take seriously, you’ve got all the drama of a run-of-the-mill variety show. Won’t stop me from watching, but I don’t see being inspired to obsess about it week-to-week like I always wind up doing with Idol…

  37. Davey says:

    Tony Lucca’s music has also appeared on Friday Night Lights. He’s been playing music for a while now and is a talented singer-songwriter. Let’s see if he makes it through the next few weeks.

  38. kateshomesick says:

    So, Michael …on a scale of 1-10 how excited are you that obviously (judging from the promo) today Jamar Rogers (aka. Danny Gokeys best friend) will get a new shot at…”superstardom”^^ or whatever they call it. I always thought that his voice was the more distinct out of the two of them. Vocally as well a musically I liked him more than …the “vocal masterclass”. He ended up the fall guy on idol to further Gokeys storyline…

  39. syb says:

    I do wish XTina would shut the he ck up.
    I liked Tony, but it was way too too much a Ray LaMontagne impersonation for me. How about a little originality in song choice, arrangement, something? If you sound like Ray LaMontagne, then don’t sing his songs–that’s my reality rule.
    Juliette was good, but yeah a little too cartoon rocker, ala Beverly from last season.
    I thought Jesse was very good, but holy sob story Batman, save a little for the finale.

  40. em says:

    Great recap. I loved Juliet the most, but I enjoyed most of the contestants. I could find myself backing Jesse, Chris and Tony down the road. I only had a problem with RaeLynn, who I thought had a very underwhelming cover. It’s extremely hard to tackle Miranda in my book, and although she had the attitude, she didn’t quite have the voice. But in general, the show was fast-paced and entertaining. I love the fact that there are no terrible auditions, and even bad ones are still pleasant enough that I don’t have to change the channel. If I could, I’d mix Idol’s live rounds with The Voice’s audition and battle rounds. And instead of the fake sparring and animosity among the judges on XF, I’d take fun, playful competitiveness among the four on The Voice.

  41. Joseph says:

    I was liked the auditions last year and happy to say loved it last night also.
    Really smart of the producers to lead off the 1st night with some very solid singers since that is why I listen to THE VOICE !
    Looking forward to tonight and will probably watch aspects of the CBS & FOX lineup later in the week that are missed.

  42. GeorgiaPat says:

    Aside from Christina’s silliness, The Voice is refreshing. I enjoy the performances, and it’s not so scripted, so negative, so predictable. Last season, I particularly enjoyed the group numbers and the judges’ performances. It’s just a really nice change from AI. However, I really wish it were a summer show. Too much competition for my TV viewing.

  43. karenb says:

    So agree with you on Tony Lucca’s outfit!!

  44. aravis says:

    The Voice sure is a lot more entertaining than Idol. Will watch both shows and see how they go.
    I’ve heard better opera singers than Chris Mann. I wonder how he’ll do in the battle rounds…

  45. Volcfom says:

    I’m super excited for Tony Lucca. My bf can’t play the guitar without breaking into “Death of Me”. Look it up, it is awesome.

  46. AT says:

    Interesting recap! Well anyway, definitely by far my favorite contestant was Tony Lucca. I actually had to tune in live just because I was so excited to see him on TV again. I loved him on the MMC, Malibu Shores (glad I’m not the only one who remembers that show!), I love all of his music that he’s released, etc…As for Christina, based on what I read in an interview from him, he said that as he was walking away he personally nodded to her which is what prompted the recognition. So I think she was faking and recognized him the whole time (I mean, come on he was the “hot” one on the MMC who all the girls had crushes on) or it just took a few minutes for the recognition to sink in. Well anyway, he’s original and like Adam said, “an artist.” Just wait till more people hear some of his original stuff.