The Voice Recap: Don't Cha Wish Your Judges Were Cruelty-Free?

domo the voiceAn interesting juxtaposition occurred on the Wednesday-night editions of rival singing competitions The Voice and The X Factor, as both shows handed rejection slips to former boy-band members seeking to capture some of their faded glory.

On NBC’s shiny, happy talent show, magnificently coiffed Chris Trousdale — who was once a member of Dream Street alongside “Leavin” singer Jesse McCartney — offered up a decent rendition of the Wanted’s “Glad You Came” that began to wear thin the more he put his bright red sneakers to work on his “fly” dance moves. And yet while none of the four mentors turned their chairs around and asked Trousdale to join their teams, there was no pleasure taken in the process. Adam Levine, in fact, encouraged the contestant to put a “hyper focus” on his singing for the immediate future, safe in the belief that the dude’s performance skills wouldn’t disappear in the interim. And when Blake Shelton threatened to bust a move, Trousdale got to play along. “Who wants to see Blake dance?” the contestant asked, revving up the audience. “Come on now!” In this brief moment of camaraderie, there remained — if not an actual air of victory — at least a little bit of hope and good humor.

Over on Fox, though, one-time boy bander Vincent Thomas’ failure was played for every last ounce of humiliation — and then some. Thomas’ attempt to use his prior stage experiences to give unsolicited advice to skater-boy trio Emblem3 was edited in a way that put him in the role of math-club geek trying to score a seat at the high-school cafeteria alongside the prom king and the football quarterback. Quick, somebody pants the kid and stuff him in the locker for good measure! Sure, Thomas’ performance of “Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word” wound up at the corner of Blah and Middling, but the fact that the cameras had clearly followed him for the sole purpose of letting Simon Cowell point out how he felt as if there was a “30-year difference between the prior guy” and the Emblem3 dudes — that former boy-banders are gross, but three dudes getting sunburnt in the parking lot before “casually” taking the stage are awesome — seemed unneccessarily cruel.

In neither instance were the judges blowing smoke, but only one show felt it necessary to burn somebody to the ground.

On that note, let’s get to ranking the successful auditions from Night 3 of The Voice’s blind auditions:

N/A) Lisa Scinta, MarissaAnn, Loren Allred — We only got the briefest snippets of this trio of female vocalists, but Lisa — with a Ricki Lee Jones lilt — seemed the most promising.

5) Samuel Mouton’s “Redemption Song” (Team Adam) — Just because a white dude with a backwards baseball cap was the one singing Bob Marley didn’t mean it was more than good karaoke.

4) 2Steel Girls’ “Before He Cheats” (Team Blake) — I liked the idea of a mother-daughter duo, and certainly these chicks had good stage presence and tight harmonies. But the riffing at the end got a little, er, trainwrecky? Nevertheless, Blake’s sales pitch — “I wanna be the guy who protects your mother-daughter relationship in a davage, angry world of entertainment.” — was the best of the night.

3) Nelly’s Echo’s “Ain’t No Sunshine” (Team Xtina) — Story about fleeing Nigeria as a kid and pursuing the American dream was an appealing one, as was the gravel in his tone and the infusion of reggae percussion he brought to the composition. Still, if he doesn’t learn to avoid hitting so many flat notes once he reaches the battle rounds, I’m not sure we’ll be seeing him and his brother do their backstage victory dance again.

2) DOMO’s “Don’t Cha” (Team Cee Lo) — Okay, yeah, the material on the thigh of her right leg magically disappeared, and her excitable rundown of her dance-career résumé — a Lucille Roberts spot! a Nair commercial! something to do with Missy Elliott! — was ridiculous. But admit it, it was also wonderfully ridiculous. The vocal on “Don’t Cha” was more B- than A+, but she had me at “D to the O to the M to the O,” and sealed my fandom forever by engaging in a post-critique call-and-response with the audience. “When I say ‘Dah,’ you say ‘Mo’!” All together now: “DAH!” “MO!” “DAH!” “MO!”

1) Nicole Nelson’s “Hallelujah” (Team Adam) — This Vermont hippie chick took a song that’s been overdone like greenbeans on boil for a half an hour, and made it seem fresh and moving. Her tone is magnificent, and her evocativeness unmatched over three nights of Voice auditions. Her only drawback thus far, in fact, was her ability to activate the audience SwayBots. (Shudder.)  I’d like to second Xtina’s emotion: “Thank you for waking me up and exciting me!”

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

Who were your favorites from The Voice‘s second episode of Season 3? Were there any moments that made you cringe? And did anyone notice the absence of Christina Millian? 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. TeamAdam says:

    I actually have to agree with Adam and Christina’s opinions of DOMO. Both looked like they were ready for her to get off the stage ASAP. There’s cute-confidence and obnoxious-confidence, and DOMO was obnoxious. NBC had to cut three other vocalists performances so they could air an extra 3-5 minutes of DOMO bouncing around the stage like a kid off his Ritalin? No thank you.

  2. Lily says:

    Lisa Scinta has a youtube channel…. She does really good arrangement of songs and she has a lovely tone!

  3. LisaSp says:

    Michael I always love reading your recaps, and almost always agree with your assessments. But I have to say “hell to the no” to DOMO. I found her to be insufferable. And I would move Trevin Hunte up several spots–really liked him. Bryan Keith has been my fave so far.

    • Christopher says:

      Lisa, I co-sign this 100%. DOMO and her “I can dance like Janet and Michael, and I can sing like Whitney and Celine…In China I’m like Lady Gaga” commentary need to get off this show ASAP. Can’t wait till she’s put up against actual talented singers in the battle rounds and is humiliated.

      And I would also place Trevin Hunte up just below Nicole on the season’s rankings. Nicole was fabulous and moving and pitch-perfect — a joy to listen to. But Trevin had amazing tone, power and range — especially for an 18-year-old! This premiere week of The Voice has been fantastic, IMO.

  4. KND says:

    Domo reminded of the annoying girl from last season on Cee-lo’s team. I can tell I’m going to want her gone immediately. Domo’s only saving grace is she can actually sing slightly better.

    • Lorena says:

      I know!! i dont like either of them, and i think you are refering to Erin Martin, aparently Ceelo has something for this type of girls

  5. Yo' says:

    I just loved Nicole Nelson; she had a wonderful voice and presence, beyond just being someone you would really like to know. I flipped between shows last night, and she was the evening’s gold medalist. I am certainly glad Britney and Demi were not her critics; it is not that they would have been bad at it, it is that it would have been unjust
    to the talent performing.

    • Stormy says:

      ITA. Nicole Nelson has more than just a voice and a presence. She has a grace and class that can’t be faked. And she’s beautiful. So far, my faves are Nicole, Trevin and Nelly’s Echo.

  6. John says:

    I hate to see this, but I see potential for DOMO, but Nicole won the night by a mile. Sadly, her hairdo made her look more like Stacy Francis (who is probably 10 years older than Nicole).

  7. RARA says:

    Usually I can appreciate the differences in my opinions vs. Slezak’s, but not this time. I don’t really believe that in China, she’s like Lady Gaga.

  8. Tay says:

    I’m really surprised you put Joe Kirkland that low. Granted, “gives you hell” should’ve been an awful song choice, but he somehow managed to make a low range song into something ridiculously entertaining.

  9. AM to PM says:

    um christina millian was there

    • Kathy says:

      That is true. She was there to remind people to catch her on Facebook or at NBC The Voice as she interviewed contestants who made it on a team. And Domo was the most annoying person I saw so far this season. I love Nicole and Bryan, who are both on Team Adam! With the new thing about stealing another performer, I hope no one takes Domo once she is eliminated.

  10. Scout says:

    I found DOMO arrogant and tiresome. I don’t like that kind of nonsense from such an ordinary singer. She needs to go away – and I predict she will… The good news is that she is already famous in her head.

    • bass says:

      Agree 100%. Nicole Nelson sang after her, had at least one of the judges standing with the audience, and had no where NEAR the cockiness the Domo had. Truly talented people don’t need to convince other people that they are.

  11. Sara says:

    How come you have Domo above Nelly’s Echo??? Seriously. That guy was genuine, nice, and has a great voice. Domo had a decent voice, an arena-sized ego, and was almost intolerable.

  12. Lindsay says:

    It’s such a shame that Lisa’s full audition wasn’t shown!! She has a huge fanbase worldwide, all of which would have lived to see her shine on stage. Either way, we all look forward to her upcoming performances and we are thrilled to see her working her way to her dream! #teamscinta :)

  13. A says:

    Why do almost ALL the stories have to be so sad and depressing and about the WORST thing that has happened to them? I mean I’m not saying that its insignificant and of course stories of adversity are great to hear but can they once in a while show some happy stories like amusing anecdotes or talk about themselves like their personality and passions just to give us a sense of who they are and not just what awful thing happened to them.

    • T says:

      Would you rather sit through weeks of sh*t auditions a la “Idol” and “X-Factor”. I’ll take a sobby back story any day of the week if it means they’ll be some actual talent to go along with it.

  14. I loved Lisa Scinta. Even though she didn’t get her full air she has a BEAUTIFUL voice.

  15. =o.o= says:

    I know Sam Mouton! We went to high school together. never knew he sang until I watched the voice. :)

  16. Daniel Graham says:

    lisa scinta should win it all without a doubt…look her up on youtube people best by a mile