The Voice Recap: They've Been Really Tryin', Baby [Updated]

terisa griffinThings got a little rough and tumble on Monday night’s installment of The Voice. Blake Shelton asked a sassy singer to punch him in the face, Christina Aguilera lamented the lack of “spank” in a contestant’s delivery, and Cee Lo Green tried to incite the female members of the audience to riot.

But as the old saying goes, all’s fair in love and reality-singing competitions. Which is precisely why the show’s official country mentor took one on the chin to entice a veteran soul diva to rebuke Xtina and join his team. And I, for one, can’t wait to see how that unlikely partnership works out.

Anyhow, without further ado, let’s get down to the business of ranking the eight latest singers headed to the Battle Rounds — and then assess them again alongside the other successful auditioners from the previous five nights of Blind Auditions.

8) Dez Duron’s “Sara Smiles” (Team Xtina) | Once upon a time, a super-hot guy auditioned for Season 2 of The Voice, but the coaches, unable to see his dreamy eyes, Yale football-player torso, and world-class pompadour, failed to turn their chairs around. One season later, he came back with essentially the same decent (if not particularly memorable) singing voice — and an American Eagle ad campaign under his belt — and got three judges to turn around. And just like that, I started wondering if Blake, Cee Lo, and Xtina have “spotters” in the audience who flash secret hand signals to let them know if a model-pretty type is at the mic. Yeah, I’m as cynical as a reporter covering the race for the White House, but I still don’t think Dez lives up to the show’s constantly repeated catchphrase, “This! Is! The! Voice!”

7) Jordan Pruitt’s “The One That Got Away” (Team Xtina) | I’ve got to give Jordan props for not leaking a sex tape or “accidentally” Tweeting photos of her nether-regions to make the transition from former Disney Records artist to grown-up pop diva, but I found her tone on this Katy Perry cover bordered on strident whenever she had to reach for a note. On the plus side, though, she’s got plenty of time between now and the Battle Rounds to shop for something more flattering than her black bodysuit with black- and gold-sequined jacket from the Joan Collins collection, yes?

6) Diego Val’s “Animal” (Team Cee Lo) | I’m not a huge fan of Neon Trees’ ubiquitous original, but I can’t fault this Peruvian dude with carefully calculated facial stubble for wanting to sing the “what are you waiting for?” chorus to the judges as they all failed (except for Cee Lo) to turn their chairs around. Diego’s growly voice is solid, but his pronunciation of “heart” as “art” was distracting enough to make me understand why Blake, Xtina, and Adam failed to turn around.

5) Alexis Marceaux’s “Go Your Own Way” (Team Cee Lo) | I listened back to Alexis’ audition twice, and still can’t understand why she only got one judge to take a gamble on a voice Cee Lo so aptly described as “fluid, but solid.” Better still, Alexis seemed to make meaningful every word of the lyrics she was delivering. If Cee Lo doesn’t force her to cover LMFAO or Slayer or some other oddball choice in the Battle Rounds, the retro-chic gal with a resemblance to Maggie Gyllenhaal could be a genuine dark horse. (And yes, the video footage of her ruined home in the wake of Hurricane Katrina made me get a little misty.)

4) Michelle Brooks-Thompson’s “Proud Mary” (Team Adam) | “Proud Mary” seemed like a tragically karaoke-bar pick for this working mom and wife of a former NFL hopeful, but her glory-note transition into the uptempo chorus and that final fantastic run showed she might’ve deserved to have Adam, Xtina, and Cee Lo fight harder for her than they actually did.

3) Brandon Mahone’s “I Wish It Would Rain” (Team Adam) | This 17-year-old with borderline unsettling maturity brought near-perfect pitch and intelligent phrasing to a classic Temptations track, and proved wise enough not to overcook the vibrato. It won’t hurt his chances that his mother’s crazy/effusive responses to his performances are so entertaining, viewers might gravitate to Brandon just to keep Mama Mahone on their TV screens.

2) Suzanna Choffel’s “Landslide” (Team Blake) | There were certain segments of Suzanna’s Fleetwood Mac cover that were delicate as hummingbird wings, and yet the Courtney Thorne-Smith lookalike also flexed plenty of power and control, too. Blake sees her having enough potential and uniqueness to go all the way to the finale, and I can’t say I disagree.

1) Terisa Griffin’s “Someone Like You” (Team Blake) | “I am going to let them have it,” promised this veteran R&B diva who used to work for Chicago soul singer Jerry Butler. And let them have it she did — vocally (with a scorching take on “Someone Like You”), stylistically (loved the shiny pink leopard blouse), and emotionally (the 42-year-old seemed genuinely moved when she realized she’d be advancing to the Battle Rounds). Perhaps most importantly, though, Terisa took a little extra time to grill Blake and Xtina about their intentions as coaches before she committed to one or the other. When Blake invited Terisa to “punch me in the face and get it over with,” she opted instead for a hug, and their brief impromptu duet on “Let’s Get It On” sealed the deal. Terisa’s hilarious display of divadom took Cee Lo on a trip down memory lane, as he described the contestant as reminding him of “my mama, my sister, my ex-wife” and “damn near everybody I’ve ever dated.”

38) Casey Muessigman’s “Sweet Home Alabama” (Team Blake)
37) Joe Kirkland’s “Gives You Hell” (Team Adam)
36) Daniel Rosa’s “Somebody That I Used to Know” (Team Cee Lo)
35) Julio Caesar Castillo’s “La Bamba” (Team Blake)
34) JR Aquino’s “Just the Way You Are” (Team Cee Lo)
33) Samuel Mouton’s “Redemption Song” (Team Adam)
32) 2Steel Girls’ “Before He Cheats” (Team Blake)
31) Devyn Deloera’s “Ain’t No Other Man” (Team Xtina)
30) Nelly’s Echo’s “Ain’t No Sunshine” (Team Xtina)
29) Joselyn Rivera’s “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” (Team Xtina)
28) Alessandra Guerico’s “The Climb” (Team Adam)
27) Dez Duron’s “Sara Smiles” (Team Xtina)
26) Beat Frequency’s “E.T.” (Team Xtina)
25) Jordan Pruitt’s “The One That Got Away” (Team Xtina)
24) Collin McLoughlin’s “Wild World” (Team Adam)
23) Aquile’s “Your Song (Team Xtina)
22) Diego Val’s “Animal” (Team Cee Lo)
21) Brian Scartocci’s “Isn’t She Lovely” (Team Adam)
20) Mackenzie Bourg’s “Pumped Up Kicks” (Team Cee Lo)
19) Trevin Hunte’s “Listen” (Team Cee Lo)
18) Avery Wilson’s “Without You” (Team Cee Lo)
17) Nicholas David’s “Stand By Me” (Team Cee Lo)
16) Benji’s “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” (Team Adam)
15) Liz Davis’ “Here for the Party” (Team Blake)
14) Alexis Marceaux’s “Go Your Own Way” (Team Cee Lo)
13) Michelle Brooks-Thompson’s “Proud Mary” (Team Adam)
12) Brandon Mahone’s “I Wish It Would Rain” (Team Adam)
11) Mycle Wastman’s “Let’s Stay Together” (Team Cee Lo)
10) Adriana Louise’s “Domino” (Team Xtina)
9) Terry McDermott’s “Baba O’Riley” (Team Blake)
8) DOMO’s “Don’t Cha” (Team Cee Lo)
7) Suzanna Choffel’s “Landslide” (Team Blake)
6) Terisa Griffin’s “Someone Like You” (Team Blake)
5) Gracia Harrison’s “I Want to Be a Cowboy’s Sweetheart” (Team Blake)
4) Melanie Martinez’s “Toxic” (Team Adam)
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)

*Does not include singers whose auditions were shown only as brief snippets

Who were your favorites from The Voice‘s sixth episode of Season 3? Were there any of the judges’ decisions that left you scratching your head? 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. Julie says:

    the voice sucks

    • Stacie says:

      It’s tough to watch the same thing every single time. At least on some other reality shows like American Idol or X Factor of even America’s Got Talent they go to different cities and change it up, this is just the same thing over and over. It’s getting very old, I know these blind auditions are supposed to be the most exciting part, but it’s been 3 weeks and I feel very over it. The pretending to hit their button, the coaches taunting the other coaches, the sob stories, the whole thing, it’s just boring at times. I hope we get to the next rounds soon.

    • Lili An-noln says:

      And this is however the last week of The X Factor auditions. Next week is Bootcamp, than Judge’s House. I can’t memorize the name of the contestants here because there’s so many people. It’s like American Idol showing the auditions of everybody who went to Hollywood, it’s silly. They should show us only the highlights, some of the most brilliant ones and then during the battle rounds, do some flashbacks and surprise the audience with never seen before talents.

      Last year on Idol, we heard Jessica Sanchez for the first time only one week – I guess – before the revelation of the top contestants. And that was incredible. But greedy NBC is killing this show one episode of the time. One can say that The X Factor is overproduced but The Voice looks incredibly cheap, almost amateurish – as if all the money they had is on the pocket of the coaches.

      3 weeks from now we’ll have The X Factor’s live shows. The “blind” auditions will last forever. It’s just like Game of Thrones: you know the winter is coming, but… I’m pretty sure they’ll keep doing these “blind” auditions until one of the stupid chairs is broken. Probably Cee Lo’s. Or Xtina’s.

  2. Amanda says:

    Hmm. Remember Jordan from her Disney days. I didn’t watch so I’m not sure if that was mentioned, but her name immediately jumped out at me

  3. rwfblog says:

    I’m glad on The Voice they let us know when someone has been a pro. On the X-Factor, they pretend everyone is a new discovery even when they might have spent a year on Broadway. I don’t oppose having pro contestants, but let the audience know!

    • Snsetblaze says:

      Idol also has done what X Factor is doing. I like The Voice’s way better.

    • Ashley says:

      This. It annoys me on idol when I find out this ‘starving young talent’ was a child star or was already signed to a label or has some minor success as part of a band. So irritating to find the underdog you’re pulling for isn’t an underdog at all.

  4. mia says:

    Susanna’s version of Landslide was easily the highlight of the evening. It was so beautiful and intimate.
    And I’m glad Beverly ended up with Blake; Christina didn’t *really* seem to want her and I would hate to see her be battle-round fodder so easily, cause she’s sassy.

    • mia says:

      Doh. Meant Therisa, not Beverly.

    • Jo says:

      I definitely agree about Susanna! I think that might have been my favorite audition so far this season. Her tone was gorgeous and the performance was flawless!

      • Snsetblaze says:

        I loved her too. While I think she was Stevie Nicks esque, I disagree with Michael that she was indistinguishable. I heard a little Susanne Vega, Norah Jones, etc. in her. She’s one of my favorites.

  5. forwarddad says:

    I don’t know. Bit boring? Flipped back and forth to DWS. Feel like they are holding back performers. And why does Yale kid just randomly get s second shot?

  6. no says:

    Can someone explain why Jordan Pruitt is aloud to compete? I’m honestly don’t know the rules or requirements…

    • Dan says:

      The Voice doesn’t block you if you’ve had a career of some sort. Tony Luca was another former Disney star just like Jordan, I wonder if they’re getting them from over there.

    • FreeHaley says:

      So long as you aren’t making it with a major label currently or were never truly huge I think you are allowed on. Something like that. She might go pretty far on this.
      Very cute.

      • no says:

        I don’t really agree. It’s not really fair. She already has an established fan-base that will endlessly vote for her. It’s not the same for people that haven’t had the success she’s had.

        • FreeHaley says:

          Is her fan base that big? I don’t know anyone who has ever heard of her before. And contestants from other years had done stuff before too. If she had ever been really big, like everyone knew her name, and then crashed, OK, then she had too much success before. I don’t know. Wasn’t Dia part of some band or something that had albums out, etc. The Voice has always seemed to be pretty loose about it.

    • Ava says:

      I don’t like this aspect of the Voice. It’s bothered me since Blake Shelton started pimping Dia Frampton like he found her homeless on a street corner. She had been recording for some time prior to this show! I have her albums! I almost choked on my tea the first time I saw her walk out on stage! Don’t get wrong, I like that Dia was given a larger platform for her music but Blake acted like he discovered her! I just think that if they have musicians that have recorded previously they shouldn’t play it like these are undiscovered talents because it seems like a lie (it is a lie) and it makes the show less genuine.

      • Snsetblaze says:

        I’ve got to disagree. I also have Dia’s albums from Meg & Dia. For the most part, The Voice has been up front about its contestants having previous careers and as long as they are up front, I’m okay with that. (Dia herself was an exception though as they billed her as a children’s book author or something like that.) I remember one season of Idol where nearly half the top 40 were not “newly discovered” talent and some had even been on major record labels (the Carly Smithson season) but none of the sob stories shown mentioned that.

  7. Lois Benton says:

    Another amazing show; I don’t know how the judges will whittle their teams down, when all four teams have more than one superb–and I do mean SUPERB–singer. And, yet, Michael, you STILL have Nicole Nelson at number one. Get over it, or go into therapy. And I mean this in a loving way. Do you know her personally? Is she your BFF? Three stunning female performances tonight MUST have knocked her off that perch. No? Okay, now you’re just looking for attention.

  8. FreeHaley says:

    Suzanna Choffel was absolutely awesome. She actually looked a trace like last seasons winner. errrr second place finisher. sort of vocally like the mellow non-hard rocking version of Juliette too.

    How on earth can you have Avery Wilson so far down the list? That’s insane. He might actually be a dude worthy 100% of winning were he to win one of these shows.

    Also Suzanna, should be yet even higher up, she was awesome.

    Seems like they are having better talent overall in these rounds than last season.

  9. John Clayton says:

    Trevin Hunte is 19th? NINETEENTH? Dude… that’s not cool

  10. Dusty says:

    I think your actually penalizing Dez During for being good looking. Was he the best voice tonight? No. But he was better than most of the contestants tonight especially Jordan and Alexis (who honestly wasn’t very impressive at all). Now does it hurt that he’s the hottest reality singing contestant ever?… :)

    • Manola says:

      I completely agree with you. Dez sang really well. I’m at a loss when it comes to Jordan and Alexis, and so were 75% of the judges. If it had been so clear, they all would have turned their chair around

    • Rain says:

      Totally agree, I was stunned Slezak had him at number 8. He was great, but then again I really enjoyed him last season as well!

  11. Snow says:

    I was kind of surprised to see Lelia Broussard in a montage of people who made it through. I know that people with bigger prior careers had been on the show before (Dia), but it was just odd to see someone whose music I have listened to on the show. It was really strange, but I hope to see more of her

  12. Deb says:

    for the love of everything, Please Christina, Put on a SHIRT and some PANTS

  13. Trent says:

    IMO, The Voice’s talent pool has been really strong this year (WAY better than S2). LOVED Suzanna’s subtle yet powerful version of “Landslide,” but Michelle had me dancing around the living room to “Proud Mary” (so much so that I bought it on iTunes). Can Brandon really be only 17? With that flawless old-school voice? Between Brandon, Melanie Martinez and Trevin Hunte, I’m agog at the teenage talent on display this year. After a parade of teen stars on the radio who can’t sing live (Taylor Swift, Selena G., Miranda C., the Biebs, etc.) TV’s young roster is especially impressive.

    And if Twitter is any indication, the stunningly pretty (and talented) Dez Duron will definitely make it to the finals…

  14. Erika says:

    The blind auditions are starting to drag on for me. There are just too many contestants on each team. I can’t keep track! I need a reaping to happen. The background stories are getting a little ridiculous to. Eveyone’s had a neighbor’s daugther’s boyfriend that has been in some accident or survived a disease AND then of course this helped them find music. It is getting too much. I do love that Blake, Ceelo, and Xtina make me laugh.

    • kavyn says:

      The NFL story was just stupid. She spent a solid 2-3 minutes talking about her husband, and then brought it back to her saying “I think we’re a lot alike, I hope it doesn’t happen to me too.” They should really save the sob stuff for when they actually make it to final 16 or whatever it is because I don’t want to listen to 100’s of sob stories that are all so similar.

  15. Aria says:

    Move Terisa from the top of the list to somewhere in the middle, and you mostly got it right. Suzanna and Brandon were easily my favorites of the night.

  16. Paulette P. Jones says:

    Terisa Griffin has the total of African American history in her voice. Represent the diaspora.

  17. Joanne says:

    ain’t no sunshine by nellys echo


    that guy has mad talent

  18. Lyndsey says:

    I don’t get the lavish praise bestowed upon the kid who sang “Wish It Would Rain”. He was a cute kid and had a good voice but the coaches have lost their minds if they think he got anywhere close to the raw emotion of David Ruffin! That is one of my favorite songs and the passion that Ruffin poured into every note brings me to tears every time I hear it. His cover was nice but like the girl who sang Bob Marley, he completely lost the emotion behind it.

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  20. Bonquisha says:

    I really like Jordan.