The Voice Season 3 Premiere Recap: You Make a Grown Man Cry [Updated]

The Voice‘s Season 3 premiere began and ended with almost unbearable suspense.

The show-opening performance of the Rolling Stones’ “Start Me Up” by coaches Blake Shelton, Cee Lo Green, Adam Levine, and Christina Aguilera found the latter two vocalists side-by-side and sharing a microphone atop a rapidly rising platform. Would one of the (former?) bitter rivals snap, and push the other to a disfiguring free-fall?

And the evening’s final contestant, Queens native Trevin Hunte, was encouraged by the judges to give up the name of the eighth-grade teacher who tried to quash his singing aspirations and told him he’d never amount to anything. Would Trevin expose the errant educator on an early September Monday that’s already been a public-relations challenge for the nation’s teaching professionals?

Thankfully, neither Adam or Xtina (wearing a studded bustier and a “skirt” made from vertical-blinds pullcords) will be forced to cover their popular respective abdominal muscles or heaving bazooms with a pesky body cast. Nor will Trevin’s one-time teacher be named Most Likely to Make the Son of a Garbage-Truck Driver Give Up on His Big American Dream when her school’s 2013 yearbook comes out.

But enough about so much drama that doesn’t really have anything to do with who will eventually assume Jermaine Paul’s spot at the top of Voice mountain. Instead, let me rank the auditioners of a very promising Episode 1 who advanced to the Battle Rounds, or in other words the initial eight of the 64 (yep, you read that right) singers who’ll be members of each mentor’s eight-member Season 3 roster.

8) Joe Kirkland’s “Gives You Hell” (Team Adam) | Made about as much impact on me as a slice of dry toast delivered alongside a delicious omelette and a side of hash browns.

7) Daniel Rosa’s “Somebody That I Used to Know” (Team Cee Lo) | I’m not certain I was entirely enamored of his slurry, breathy delivery, but this Season 2 reject definitely hit a higher percentage of notes than on his maiden Voice voyage. I guess that’s saying…something?

6) Devyn Deloera’s “Ain’t No Other Man” (Team Xtina) | Self-proclaimed “small-town girl” (in a “big city blouse” with exposed abs and cleavage) veered off pitch and got a tad gaspy at a couple of junctures, but she may not have to tackle a more challenging ditty all season.

5) Trevin Hunte’s “Listen” (Team Cee Lo) | Teenager who almost looks mature enough to be a teenager’s dad has an undeniably enormous voice, but despite a standing ovation from Blake, Xtina, and his mentor, Trevin’s choice of Big Diva Ballad and occasional wobbly note makes me think he’ll need serious vocal coaching if he’s going to make it far in the competition. (Side note: Did the name Trevin put anyone on a one-way memory train back to 1993 and Tevin Campbell’s “Can We Talk“?)

4) Terry McDermott’s “Baba O’Riley” (Team Blake) | Wonderful voice that’s as clear as a mountain spring, but his shaggy ’80s hairdo should be promptly deported back to Scotland. (Sidenote: Did the name of Terry’s former band Driveblind make anyone else think of Charlie’s band Drive Shaft on Lost? And should Blake make Terry sing “You All Everybody” if he advances to the Live Shows?)

3) Gracia Harrison’s “I Want to Be a Cowboy’s Sweetheart” (Team Blake) | She’s like Season 2’s RaeLynn, only without the Baby Jane Hudson vibe and far greater vocal control. (Plus, she yodels!)

2) Bryan Keith’s “It Will Rain” (Team Adam) | Tattooed dude whose dad is a vocalist with Spanish Harlem Orchestra has a chipotle-smoked voice and a keen ability to finesse the emotion in a song. He may have decided against using his father’s music-biz connections, but the parental unit’s propensity to burst into tears of pure pride won’t hurt him any with The Voice voters. (Yeah, okay, the response from Bryan’s family got me choked up.)

1) De’Borah’s “Hey Soul Sister” (Team Xtina) | Chick with close-cropped hair, an absolutely infectious personality, and clothes by Urkel Outfitters made me dig a Train song of which I’ve never been particularly fond. Watching De’Borah’s preacher parents embrace their lesbian daughter — and having her quote Xtina’s inspirational ballad “The Voice Within” — may have brought real tears to my eyes, as well. (One episode in, at least three close calls with the Kleenex box. Sheesh.)

And now that we’ve counted down the best, I think it’s time to give props to the episode’s worst moment: Let’s hear it for “Social Media Correspondent” Christina Millian’s enduring inability to find her humanity on camera. Way to take the “wit” out of Twitter, sister.

Who were your favorites from The Voice‘s Season 3 premiere? Were there any moments that made you cringe? Hit the comments with your thoughts!

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. David says:

    I’d actually make Trevin my number one. Xtina has two good singers, but she doesn’t have a final four type singer like the others.

  2. Titina says:

    I think Bryan Keith was the awesome. IMO the best. The country girl was great too.

  3. BTM says:

    Not sure why you hate that woman so much.

    I find her to be most thoughtful when selecting teammates and providing guidance. It’s not all billing and cooing, but her job is to be thoughtful. Those things she said to Tony were absolutely true. He was skating by on generic performances until she told him to get it in gear. He would never have bothered improving otherwise, and he did improve.

  4. Leo says:

    De’Borah was amazing! She sang it with passion and soul, amazing girl. Team Xtina has a strong chance with her.

  5. Lyndsey says:

    Pretty good night!! The guys (sans Xtina) were in rare & hilarious form tonight!

    While I understand why he refused to name names, I really wish that kid had exposed his teacher. Speaking as a teacher, that was one of the most appalling things I’ve ever heard, and I’ve heard quite a few horror stories. She should be exposed and fired! Students live up or down to our expectations and the fact that this child has excelled despite her.

  6. Annie says:

    The young lady who sang No Woman No Cry was better than some of the people who they put through.

  7. pylgrym says:

    Yeah, Urkel sings

  8. Toia says:

    Worst by far is how Miss “dip it low” Millian is still with us, how they can not listen to ‘the voice’ of America who for my eye has voted no on that Christina.

    I did notice that xtina and Adam where not as mean to eachother as last season but it’s early days still.

    By far De’borah was a highlight. She had me smiling ear to ear and tearing up at the same time. Her parents are as much an inspiration as she is. And I still have her voice in my head. I hope she goes far.

    Your twitter comment about the country girl had me laughing but really she is on a whole other level than poor RayLynn. That girl has chops and I don’t even like country music. If the voice wants to do country hell if any reality show wants a to convince me on country music they need to bring what that girl did and I it wasn’t the yodeling that sold me. She can sing and she commanded that stage.

    I didn’t quite get the instant reaction to the guy who sang that song that Gives You Hell. It sounded. Very samey to me but that doesn’t mean the kid sounded.

    I also found the girl who sang the xtina song to be all over the place. That’s really not a great song choice if you don’t have it on point. It doesn’t give you time to breath and that made her performance suffer cuz to my (untrained ear) she was behind through most of the song.

    All round a solid first show.

  9. Paula says:

    I thought De’Borah, Daniel, and Gracia were the best of the night, and Bryan was pretty good as well. De’Borah was just all-around aweseome–voice, look, personality, back-story.

    Daniel, to me, sounded a bit like Jose Feliciano, except I wish he wouldn’t pronounce his lyrics so weirdly, as if he’s chewing the words. I don’t know what that’s about, but it’s annoying. There were a couple of girls last season who did that as well–the Walk Like an Egyptian girl and the dark-haired Heart-Shaped Box girl.

    Gracia was pretty amazing. I think she actually is what Blake thought RaeLynn was last season, a real retro country singer. I don’t like country, but she’s very good.

  10. Saulo says:

    Day 1 of The Voice and they already gave the pimp slot to a black singer. Guess what? The third winner will be a black male vocalist. Because THE ONLY BLACK MALE VOCALIST who can’t win The Voice goes by the name of Cee Lo Green.
    And Yes, Christina’s team already has her BALD FEMALE. The only difference for this season (besides The Steal) is that De’Borah’s has some hair.

  11. Roxanne says:

    Bryan took the night at our house. Listened to him twice on DVR. I’d say Trevin was a close second .

  12. John says:

    Didn’t really care for De’Borah, but I also hate the song she sang. Bryan and Gracia took the night for me of those who made it through.

  13. rochelle says:

    I get the feeling that Blake and Adam pick their teams with who in mind while ceelo and christina try to find unique voices. That’s why Blake or Adam will win. Christina is too out of touch with today’s music scene and ceelo’s wonderful strangeness doesn’t seem to translate well to his team members.

  14. Rain says:

    Bryan was my #1 of the evening. Followed closely but Terry, Trevin & Joe. Didn’t like Daniel at all, but I also have never hated a song as much as I hate that Goyte song! The country girl was far and away better than Raelynn. De’Borah didn’t impress me at all. I love her story and that she’s confident and has awesome parents but the performance just didn’t do it for me. Devyn was forgettable and while it def. took guts to sing a Xtina song, she’s no Xtina. I know the whole idea of the show is that they don’t get to see the people before picking so once they turn around they can’t change their mind but they should have some kind of loophole to allow a girl as talented as the No Woman, No Cry girl to be on the show. She was better than most of the people that went through and I’m sad we won’t get to see her throughout the season.

    • Snsetblaze says:

      If it were the first season, she would have had a second shot because they did not have enough contestants that pleased the judge. I thought she was ok during the time she sang with the music but 20 times better when she did it acapella.

  15. AnaB says:

    Joe at 8?! You cannot be serious???
    If there’s someone in this first batch of contestants who actually had some sort of experience with the music business, it’s this guy… he held his band together, he recorded, he toured, he got dropped… and now he wants in again! That’s commitment right there!
    He might be Fueled By Ramen type of singer, but he’s got a pretty great tone! He can be a dark horse in this thing… mark my words!

  16. Slezak, I totally thought of Drive Shaft immediately upon Terry’s announcement of his band’s name! Great minds think alike, at least in that circumstance. I disagree with you about Joe Kirkland. I think he’s really got something.

  17. Julie says:

    I thought De-Borah, Bryan and Trevin were easily the best of the night. Gracia was really good, too, although I don’t need to hear anymore yodelling, thanks anyway. The others were all pretty meh.

  18. They haven’t ditched Milian?
    Oh good grief.
    Pretty sure her segments could be used as a form of torture in a Criminal Minds ep.

  19. Jules says:

    Bryan was by far the best singer of the night. Very real authentic sound.

  20. Sanie says:

    Bryan is the best so far i Think he is going to win this season please no more soul winner se have enough in this country