The Voice Recap: Bad-News Bearers [Updated]

adriana louiseI’m pretty sure we didn’t see the eventual champion of The Voice‘s third season on Night 2 of the Blind Auditions, but with a 5-to-1 success-to-failure ratio and no awkward interludes with social-media correspondent Christina Millian, it was easy to feel like some kind of larger victory had been won.

The judges’ jaunty banter helped buoy the hour. We had Christina’s plea to pretty pop singer Adriana Louise that the two were made for each other, and Blake teasing it was “the fifth time she’s said that today.” We had Blake complimenting geeky cutie Mackenzie Bourg that he loved the Harry Potter in him. And there was Mr. Shelton again, shouting “jackass!” at Cee Lo when the latter mentor turned his chair around to compete for Mariachi singer Julio Cesar Castillo.

Actually, maybe I should just credit Blake’s jaunty banter for helping to buoy the hour.

Not as compelling? The way the producers seemed to demand that all five singers who advanced to the Battle Rounds answer the question “What’s the worst thing that ever happened to you?” before they’d promise ’em any airtime. At the end of the day, I care far less about whose jaw was wired shut, who tore their meniscus, and whose dad has epilepsy than who can actually sing with charisma and solid pitch. It can’t be just me, can it?

In any event, let’s get to the business of ranking the Night 2 blind auditions, and then placing the five singers headed to the battle rounds in the context of the overall season.

5) Casey Muessigman’s “Sweet Home Alabama” (Team Blake) | A perfectly acceptable — but far from scintillating — rendition of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s southern-rock anthem, but I can’t shake the feeling Blake chose him merely as Battle Rounds cannon fodder, especially given the former wrestler’s unironic self-booty-slapping.

4) Julio Cesar Castillo’s “La Bamba” (Team Blake) | Julio seemed like a nice kid with a nice singing voice, but honestly, I’m not sure I’d have looked up from my flautas if he’d broken out this number during a restaurant shift with his Mariachi band.

3) Aquile’s “Your Song” (Team Xtina) | The opening half of “Your Song” was decidedly Elton’s Song, given how few liberties Aquile took with it. That said, he’s got a really smooth tone and the kind of good looks that had Xtina uncomfortably asking for a “private concert.” Here’s hoping the “Dirrty” coaches him where it counts.

2) Mackenzie Bourg’s “Pumped Up Kicks” (Team Cee Lo) | Cee Lo may have been the only judge to turn around for the Potter-meets-Bieber teen who survived a scary bout of viral myocarditis, but I liked the little catch in his voice and his low-key stage presence. He’s like Pip 2.0, without the bowties and annoying affectations.

1) Adriana Louise’s “Domino” (Team Xtina) | I could’ve lived without the pre-performance “my family endured a horrific robbery/kidnapping attempt at age 9” backstory — honestly, what did it have to do with the price of beans in Boston? — but Adriana brought a confidence and sass to the stage that more than made up for her overreliance on mid-phrase “Whooos!”

13) Casey Muessigman’s “Sweet Home Alabama” (Team Blake)
12) Joe Kirkland’s “Gives You Hell” (Team Adam)
11) Daniel Rosa’s “Somebody That I Used to Know” (Team Cee Lo)
10) Julio Caesar Castillo’s “La Bamba” (Team Blake)
9) Devyn Deloera’s “Ain’t No Other Man” (Team Xtina)
8) Aquile’s “Your Song (Team Xtina)
7) Mackenzie Bourg’s “Pumped Up Kicks” (Team Cee Lo)
6) Trevin Hunte’s “Listen” (Team Cee Lo)
5) Adriana Louise’s “Domino” (Team Xtina)
4) Terry McDermott’s “Baba O’Riley” (Team Blake)
3) Gracia Harrison’s “I Want to Be a Cowboy’s Sweetheart” (Team Blake)
2) Bryan Keith’s “It Will Rain” (Team Adam)
1) De’Borah’s “Hey Soul Sister” (Team Xtina)

Who were your favorites from The Voice‘s second episode of Season 3? 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. Aba says:

    This season kinda sucks.

  2. mia says:

    Just watching the judges bicker and joke made tonight’s episode worthwhile. Adam’s impressions of Blake and the cursing out they all do to each other.

  3. Toia says:

    I found myself pausing the show to catch up on my YouTube subscriptions tonight. Last might I did my linguistics homework. Something tells me tomorrow might will serve as back ground noise while I catch up on reading The Sorrows of Young Werther. At least I’m not falling behind in my course work. Thanks NBC!

    Also can someone fix Xtina’s boobs. Who would trust their career to someone who doesn’t understand the importance of good undergarments or in her case supportwear.

    • dan says:

      I missed the “true” season premiere on Monday, but caught up with Tuesday’s episode. Lots of talking b/t the judges and very little signing. But my wife sat down next to me, took one look at Xtina and said “what is with her boobs? does she want them to fall out like that?” Then Xtina was flirting with the young guy (Aquille?) which was kind of disturbing. I still like Adam and Blake, but CeeLo and Xtina are starting to become television characters as opposed to competition judges. Not sure I’ll be sticking around this season (I prefer it being an “event” show that only comes on during the Spring season).

  4. Ian says:

    They definitely front-loaded the talent to the first episode. Nobody in this episode was in danger of displacing my top 3 from the premiere, or even being 4 and 5 really. The coaches’ interactions made it worthwhile though.

    • Tiff says:

      Word. All the good people were in the first episode, although I did like MacKenzie Bourg. I was shocked that no one else grabbed him.

      My favorites so far are Trevin (cannot BELIEVE Slezak put him so low), Gracia and MacKenzie, with a little bit of love for De’Borah (I think she has a lot of potential) and Joe (I swear I saw Adam’s eyes flash with dollar signs – the guy is perfect for radio pop).

  5. SagiScor says:

    hmm- I like it- I mean someone does need to tell Christina she should put the girls away a bit and dress well…different- she’s a beautiful girl but you can’t tell with the gallons of make up…. Adams impression of Blake- priceless. This is my favorite reality singing show- I like the concept- it’s fresh…

    • tripoli says:

      Agreed. I saw pics of her from a recent magazine shoot where she was styled a little more light and natural and she looked wonderful. Sure, show off the body parts you like and what not, but the heavy handed makeup is doing nothing for you. Plus, shut up and stop interrupting everyone else, every 5 seconds. So annoying.

  6. Silly Girl says:

    I’m really enjoying this season so far. The judges are doing much better with each other than last season and the contestants, for the most part, have been very good so far. This is by far our favorite singing reality show now, and depending on who gets signed on to judge Idol, that may be off our list this season.

  7. John says:

    Aquile and Mackenzie were my favorites last night. But I agree with the others that the judges’ banter is the most entertaining thing right now.

  8. Mary says:

    I turned it off, the judges just sounded repetitive to me, statements are the same to get the singer on their team. No way this is going to survive twice a year.

  9. Ally Oop says:

    I just watched The Voice for the first time last night. I previously had no intention of checking the show out but with the Idol rumours that Keith Urban was gonna be a judge I decided to watch an episode of The Voice Australia (in which Urban was a judge) to see how Urban would be as a judge. The Australian version is fantastic and after seeing it I decided to check out the American version tonight. I gotta say, I was rather disappointed. The judges don’t seem to work well together–no chemistry at all and I felt like I was watching a kareoke bar. And what the heck was Blake talking about when Julio was on stage about the jacket and stuff–I didn’t get it.

    • JenR says:

      Julio’s jacket was like the letterman jackets they give to high school kids for excelling in sports, so Blake used that as an excuse to point out that he won the competition last year. They hang banners or pennants in the gymnasium to commemorate the championship team.

  10. Marilyn says:

    I’m with you, Michael. I don’t care about the sob stories. I barely even care about the personalities. I want them to SING WELL and interestingly. Oh–and I don’t care about the judges too much either, except in terms of them giving useful feedback (which is why I prefer the judges in the dance shows0.

    • Tiff says:

      I think they have so much time this season that they don’t know how to fill it. So everyone gets a sob story. SO annoying. Cut the crap. These are good singers, EVERYONE’S been inspired by music, EVERYONE only got through stuff with music as their right-hand man. We get it. This show would be the most revolutionary one on TV if they just showed the auditions back to back.

  11. Mainegirl says:

    Agree–getting REALLY sick of the hard luck stories before each performance. That is not why I am watching. X Factor better not do that ad nauseum tonight!

  12. Sam says:

    Too many sob-stories. Seriously, everyone has a major one. I mean we’ve all been robbed or had diseases and deaths in the family. Am pretty much disappointed that The Voice decided to go down the sob-stories route. I don’t know but there’s some salt missing in this season of The Voice.
    Abit underwhelmed.

  13. Marilyn says:

    I LOVED The Sing-Off. It felt fresh, and Ben Folds was such an excellent judge. It was perfect at holiday time. I’m not sure if it died because it was overexposed or because it aired at the wrong time.

  14. Chris says:

    I thought the contestants televised on Monday were better than last nights. It’ll be interesting to see how tonight shapes up, but it’s hard for me to pick a front runner thus far. But I have noticed some of the picks are a strategy (or at least I hope they are) to throw back in the pool for another day to push others through. Other huh? moments are when one of them should have turned their chair around and didn’t but told them they sing great, weak in this area – so they need coaching? OK….. Anywho.

    As far as the back stories it doesn’t really bother me and ultimately doesn’t sway my vote. We all have one and I assume they are suppose to be about what inspired them to go after a dream in the music industry. Some clearly have a story and some are winging it. It’s part of the show just like it is for all the others.

    I thought last nights banter between Blake and Adam was funny – specifically when Adam was giving him a hard time about the banner dream scenario. It just struck my funny bone when Adam threw in “unicorn” when making fun.

  15. Derik says:

    I honestly don’t mind the background (read: sob) stories on The Voice anywhere near as much as I mind them on Idol precisely because (almost) every single person gets to share their story while on Idol picks and chooses their stories. There’s less of that “feel of being manipulated to vote for a favorite” when pretty much everyone who gets a yes gets a story. Though it must suck to be one of the “no one turned montage” folks knowing that *one* of you got the full sob story treatment.

  16. VCI says:

    I honestly really like Aquile, and didn’t care for the harry potter/justin bieber look-a-like
    and here’s how I rank all of them thus far.

    1. Trevin
    2. Bryan
    3. Deborah
    4. Aquile
    5. Gracia
    6. Adriana
    7. Julio
    8. Joe
    9. Terry
    10. Devyn
    11. Mackenzie
    12. Casey

    13. Danny

  17. Laura says:

    I have to come to defend Julio Castillo… just a little. I am aware this shows airs at usa but as a mexican i can tell you the guy can sing. I’ve heard so many mexican-americans trying to fake it with an awful pronunciation and a phrasing that is just completely wront. And Julio did a fantastic job! It may look like something simple but singing like that is not easy and doing it as good and polished as he did, is not a minor accomplishment.