Things 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.”
OVERALL SEASON 3 STANDINGS*
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!Follow @MichaelSlezakTV