The Voice Recap: Sins of the Fodder

jaime lonoThey can’t all be winners. That old adage applies to the dozens of vocalists who’ve already appeared on The Voice‘s second season, but it’s also a fitting way to describe Monday night’s ho-hum episode.

Of the 14 contestants we saw advancing to the Battle Rounds, only two or three sounded like legitimate contenders to assume Javier Colon’s throne. But perhaps even more distressing, after four audition episodes, the show’s editors have settled into a predictable rhythm that makes it all too easy to divert some of your attention to folding laundry or sorting mail or cursing yourself for steadfastly refusing to stock the freezer with gelato earlier in the day: Christina interrupts her fellow coaches while failing to be as sassy/funny as she sounds in her own head. Cee Lo drops a double entendre and a lascivious smile on a hot lady contestant. Adam gets accused of being a huckster. Blake says something homespun and witty. The contestant Carson “surprises” in his Kia makes it through to the next round. And so it goes…

Now don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying The Voice isn’t entertaining. It’s just that the show needs to work on its poker face, occasionally zig-a-zig-ah when we’re expecting a zag, make us wait a few minutes between Blake predicting somebody will make all four judges turn around and showing somebody making all four judges turn around.

In any event, let’s get on to the business of discussing the singers who advanced to the Battle Rounds. In the interest of not getting too attached too soon to any one artist — coaches will have to narrow their personal pools of 12 vocalists down to six in the not-too-distant future — let’s rank last night’s 10 successful auditioners from least to most promising, and review their work in a Twitter-esque 140 characters or less. (We’ll skip Ashley De La Rosa, Jordan Rager, Karla Davis and the unfortunately named ALyX, since none of them got enough screen time to form an educated opinion, even if I liked Karla’s snippet best).

10) Jonathas (Team Xtina) | Xtina essentially admitted she turned because she saw the ladies in the audience a-bumpin’ and a-grindin’. Dude did The Tebow backstage!

9) Monique Benabou (Team Xtina) | Without the help of my notes, I can’t remember anything about her except that she probably shouldn’t have attempted a Kelly Clarkson tune.

8 ) Anthony Evans (Team Xtina) | Cee Lo was right that his quavery vocals sounded close to crying, but how is that a positive? Completes cannon fodder triple for Team Xtina?

7) Tony Vincent (Team Cee Lo) | No doubt he’s got explosive vocal power, but I’d have liked more originality and less Freddie Mercury mimicry from the seasoned Broadway vet.

6) Justin Hopkins (Team Cee Lo) | What counted more: Solid impersonation of David Gray’s “Babylon” or having played guitar in Carson Daly’s house band. (How blind is blind?)

5) Nicolle Galyon (Team Adam) | Adam alone in detecting moments of brilliance bubbling up from under layers of nerves. Country pianist could be a potential dark horse this season.

4) Naia Kete (Team Blake) | Drew Barrymore with Dreads displayed a sweet quavery tone – and finished powerfully – on “The Lazy Song.” Blake’s got a definite type, yes?

3) Charlotte Sometimes (Team Blake) | There’s a hint of old-time screwball comedy in her delivery, but it’s more organic than affected. Never hurts when all four judges turn.

2) Mathai (Team Adam) | Baby-voiced intro, full-growling chorus, and deft rapid-fire bridge on “Rumour Has It.” J’adore her, and I don’t even know her last name.

1) Jamie Lono (Team Cee Lo) | I’d rage against Xtina and Blake for failing to turn their chairs, but I need to head to iTunes to download his sublime Johnny Cash cover (embedded below). (Side note: That’s my first Voice download of the season.)

What did you think of this week’s installment of The Voice? Who were your favorites? Any downloads for you from the episode, or the season? Sound off in the comments!

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. Paco says:

    Jamie Lono was SOOOOOOOOOOO adorable, omg. with that said… we need Dez Duron back for wild card rounds or something.

    • asherlev1 says:

      Lmao Dez was so cute. I’m just not so sure he would get picked even then, unless the judges recognized his voice, which I don’t think is too likely.

  2. Justin says:

    My first download from the season was Seven Nation Army by Jamar Rodgers- loved it. Sounded better than the white stripes.

  3. asherlev1 says:

    JAMIEEEE. I was freaking out when he started singing, especially since he was just casually making sandwiches and wearing a hippie t-shirt before all that. My top 3 are in your top 4. Mathai – I like her singing a lot but I’m not sure how much I’m into her personally? You know, you want to root for someone whose singing and whose personality you like. But she was excellent.
    Loool Blake has a type. One of the things I love about him is how fast he hits that button when he hears a voice he likes.

  4. Titina says:

    LOVED Jamie… Just bought the I-Tunes download too.
    Amazing. Really hope this kid wins or is close enough. Cee Lo better dman coach him well.

  5. marie says:

    Glad it wasn’t just me who thought last night’s show was rather dull. Also, seems to me they are edging a little too close to Idol in that there weren’t as many sob stories on Voice up to now, but they’re multiplying. Call me cranky (many do, actually), but I don’t really want to hear much about a potential contestant’s background until later in the competition, when he or she has established him or herself somewhat.
    So far, although I have heard some good singers, no one this season has hit me over the head and made me really take notice (or the trouble to remember their name), as I did when I first heard, oh, Adam Lambert. Speaking of Idol, I guess I’m also cranky because evidently there was an Idol aired last night, I completely missed it, and Fox doesn’t have Idol on demand!

    • TheBeach says:

      Two things, Marie:
      I guess there are more cranks out there than you because I feel exactly the same about the sob stories. I don’t want to hear all this background this early (if at all). Just give me the singing.
      And what’s this about an Idol on last night? That’s news to me and my dvr didn’t pick one up.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      “Cranky Person Number Three”. Reporting for duty. :-)

      I thought the same thing. The show was dull.
      That woman that sang Kelly Clarkson’s song was kind of bad, I hate sob stories (FFed through most of them), and Blake absolutely has a definite “type”. I CAN NOT STAND “The Lazy Song” and I didn’t like that quavery, breathy hippie chick that sang the song. She started singing, I looked at my husband, and I didn’t even have the words “Blake is going to hit the button” out of my mouth when he hit the button. The only thing I can say about the guy that covered “Folsom Prison Blues” is he DID “make it his own”. He sure doesn’t sound like Johnny Cash!
      And, like TheBeach I didn’t know there was an “Idol” on and my DVR didn’t pick it up, either.

      • marie says:

        SORRY D.E.T. and Beach, my mistake! I misunderstood something I read; there was no Idol on last night, thank goodness!
        Yes, that was a disappointing – and so far, uncharacteristic – Voice episode.

  6. Xandra says:

    I smile whenever you call someone fodder. Like Haley and then she ends up in the top 3.

  7. Jess says:

    YES sandwich guy AKA Jamie was also my favorite of the night! Awesome Johnny Cash cover! Absolutely LOVED it! I liked Mathai too.

    I’m rewatching the previous 3 auditions right now and trying to remember who I liked before… Pip, Jamar Rogers, Jordis, etc… pretty excited!

  8. Tahoe Mike says:

    The whole two hours was worth watching just for Cee Lo’s “I eat sandwiches” quip, that was priceless and I honestly did laugh out loud.
    Mathai’s mom killed me. How stereotypical can a person be?? That was just such a Bend It Like Beckham moment, I may just call her Jasminder from here on in. I did like her sound.

  9. Meg says:

    Must be a thing, because Tony Lucca used to sit in with Joe Firstman on bass for the house band on Last Call (not that I think TL got in because of that, I’ve been a loyal fan for many, many years).

  10. Love this show. says:

    Still love the show, even it is settling into it’s groove. Lots of shows have been on for years and still have the same format – CSI, Law and Order, House… Same thing every episode. I don’t see that as a drawback – I see it as knowing who you are and playing to your strengths.
    Love the sandwich dude, love Cee Lo and that darn cat, Blake = yummy, and Mathai = more please.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      “House” went from being a very good medical drama to a ridiculous soap opera. I agree with you on the other programs, though.

  11. Katy B. says:

    I totally agree with your #1 and #2, as well as what you said about the pattern of the show. I was actually folding laundry. And feeding my kids. And checking twitter… Plus what is up with them showing a whole back story on people who don’t make it, but then not even showing a whole performance of some of those who do??? Maybe its setting them up to get picked in the wildcard round at the end if they get to bring some back for a 2nd listen. ??

  12. Dom says:

    That episode was so very blah that I found myself only half watching. I did love Jamie but I think Mathai was my favorite of the night. I felt like Xtina was just handing out spots on her team to anyone. Maybe it’s a strategy to prep for battle rounds (?). The banter is getting a little stale at this point too. I would still rather watch The Voice than that other singing competition so they must be doing something right.

    • Cat says:

      I had the same thought about Xtina’s strategy. It’s a little mean, but at the end of the day, half of her team’s gotta go, so why not?

  13. Haley says:

    10. Monique Benabou
    9. Mathai
    8. Nicolle Galyon
    7. Justin Hopkins
    6. Anthony Evans
    5. Jonathas
    4. Charlotte Sometimes
    3. Tony Vincent
    2. Naia Kete
    1. Jamie Lono
    P.S. Jonathas should have performed topless.

  14. dee says:

    Not to nitpick, but . . . let me nitpick.
    Carson delivered the red envelope of opportunity to the blue-haired bowling alley waitress last week, and no one turned their chairs for her. Thank God, too, because I couldn’t watch a show that promised Perez Hilton drop-ins.

  15. Cat says:

    Jamie’s was my first Voice download of the season, too! Probably not a great sign that we’re this far into the auditions, and he’s one of a small handful of contestants I can recall. It’s just that the judges are so much more fun to watch than the contestants, and, unlike on Idol, that isn’t a bad thing.

  16. David says:

    The first season had a couple of ringers in it. This season has a few more. Tony Vincent, besides Broadway, was a Christian Music artist for a while. I have both of the albums he put out and they are excellent. He’s actually a lot better than what we heard last night.

  17. Bailey says:

    I’m a big Charlotte Sometimes fan already, and I loved seeing her last night! I can’t imagine why she picked that song because it was not in her range and didn’t suit her at all – but I’m glad she’s getting a chance to go forward, since she’s a really great singer. I mean, she’s no Christina, but for her niche, she’s great.

    • Harmony says:

      I loved seeing Charlotte Sometimes on The Voice the other night. I’ve been a fan of hers since 2008 so it was so cool to see her on tv. I agree that Apologize (live) doesn’t suit her but go listen to the preview on itunes, she totally changed up the arrangement and made it more hers. I’m wondering if The Voice contestants have a set list of songs to sing like the Idol contestants do. I also agree that in her niche she is great. I still have How I Could Just Kill A Man on my ipod and her latest ep is really lovely.

  18. TheBeach says:

    I was surprised Xtina turned around for Anthony Evans. I thought he was the weakest of all who sang last night…really shrill and that vibrato was way to much.

  19. Tim says:

    If that guy was the best, then I’m glad I didn’t waste my time watching this episode.

  20. syb says:

    Yep, yep & yep, all the way from predictable, to Blake’s got a type, to wow! Loved the Folsom Prison Blues cover.

  21. Matilda says:

    Jamie Lono is too cute, but more importantly, it really takes guts to sing a song so closely associated with an icon like Johnny Cash. I can’t wait to see what he does next.

  22. natalie says:

    Jamie Lono was super surprising. I kept looking over at my husband with shock on my face during Jamie’s performance…the dude’s got SERIOUS soul! I absolutely LOVED his song and I’m dying to download it…and I mean DYING to download it. This dude is my favorite contestant along with Tony Lucca.

  23. Tim says:

    Where’s the Bachelor recap?

    • Mikes Helper says:

      OK last night on the Bachelor, people kissed, women cried and yelled, and someone went home. Next wek on the bachleror the Guy gets close to some woman he will get engaged to but never marry.

  24. Ashley says:

    hey michael mathai’s last name is actually mathai her first name is sharon I only know that cause q100 in atlanta interviewed her this morning lol

  25. Marips says:

    Damn if that Jamie Lono is not a dead ringer for a young William Katt (remember “The Greatest American Hero”)? Seriously, I was distracted watching him because of it. Don’t know if William Katt has a son, but if so, he could not resemble him more than this kid.

  26. c. says:

    I feel like the judges turn around for any singer who has a slightly different voice. And it’s honestly really not that different of a sound if any of them were willing to explore outside their mainstream music bubble.
    With that said. I thought Mathai was pretty awful.

  27. Dave in Hollywood says:

    Wow, someone else noticed the William Katt resemblance too! I had to try and explain who he was to people in the room and even sang the song, but no one knew who he was. “The cute homecoming king in Carrie?” Nothing.

  28. Ashleigh says:

    You need to put the FRICKEN show on this page!!! like so people can watch it!!!
    Ps. GO TEAM BLAKE!!!

  29. Jim D says:

    Mathai is her last name…
    Sharon Mathai..
    And try check out her cover of Lazy on YouTube…
    Say hello to a rising star…

  30. Larry says:

    Thought it was kind of cool that a professional Broadway veteran only got one chair turned, yet the kid making sandwiches for a living and strumming his guitar on the weekends in the corner of his shop in front of 10 people got two chairs turned.

  31. Savanah says:

    Hey guyz just wana congratulate u on another awesome season of the voice.YOu guyz hv da best judges and I LOVE ADAM LEVINE …WISH I CUD MEET HIM SUM DAY..SINCE HE IS MY FAVOURITE SINGER WHO BELONGS 2 MY FAV. BAND MAROON 5.Goodluck 2 al the contestants and may the 1 with the best voice win ..

  32. justafan says:

    just to be accurate, not ALL contestants that carson gives an in person invite to make it to the battle rounds…though one could argue the midwestern girl,with too much “edge, who moved to the left coast to get heavily tatooed and wait tables in a bowling alley probably should have been chosen by someone

  33. Marcos says:

    I am from Brazil and I have the oportunity to watch this episode today. And I have to came here and say something about the second contestant of the night, Jonathas.
    The guy is a son of a b… he left my country (which I love so much), and said things about us that aren’t true. Yes, we have our problems like every other country in the world.
    But the way he said sound realy, realy bad. Like we can’t walk in the streets kind of way. So, I just wanna to show my disappointment about what he said. Remenber, he hasn’t being here in Brazil since he was 5 years old, so what does he know about my country?