The Voice Recap: These Girls Are on Fiy-ahh!

The Voice JuhiDial 9-1-1! A scorcing-hot firefighter in a tight black henley and white cowboy hat somehow failed to make a single coach’s chair turn on tonight’s episode of The Voice — the reality juggernaut that airs on the same network that brings us Chicago Fire, for cryin’ out loud!

OK, so maybe the guy’s upper register was wobblier than a newborn foal in a windstorm. And yeah, the dude himself admitted he hadn’t exactly rocked the mic. It’s a good thing, then, that Episode 3 of the show’s fifth season was packed with enough female talent to erase any lingering cries of “but those biceps!” or “there is no God!” after the unceremonious rejection of Zach Hinson (a man whose Google Image Search results are disappointingly slim).

RELATED | Dancing With the Stars Week 3 Results: Did The Right Couple Go Home?

But I digress…

Let’s talk about those ladies! A 16-year-old overachiever whose brain was divided between aerospace engineering and music. A 15-year-old with a monster set of pipes and a vocal instructor whose mane would leave your average male lion skulking into the brush with feelings of inadequacy. A Colorado hotel administrator who’s got me worried she picked the wrong team. Any one of ’em could be a legit contender for the Season 5 crown, and along with the other six Battle Rounds-bound contenders from tonight’s episode, made for a decidedly sweet night of music.

With that in mind, let’s cut to my ranking (from least- to most-promising) of the night’s successful auditioners:

9. Justin Blake, “Sure Be Cool If You Did” (Team Adam) | Far and away the weakest vocalist to advance to the Battle Rounds in this episode (if not the entire season), a fact made sadder by Justin’s wispy moustache, plus this dubious sound bite: “I need this to happen today because I have a little girl on the way.” Oh, buddy, supporting a newborn baby shouldn’t be an “If we build it, the income will come” kind of situation!

8. Lina Gaudenzi, “Landslide” (Team Xtina) | Former teen model has a ’70s A.M. radio vibe to her voice, but if you’re gonna cover Fleetwood Mac’s classic, you’d better at least have me scanning the room to scope out the closest box of Kleenex. And alas, Lina’s decent but ultimately surface-level interpretation never came close to activating the waterworks.

7. Ray Boudreaux, “Use Me” (Team Blake) | Cute single dad (who mows lawns to pay the bills) was described by Adam as looking like Blake but sounding like Cee Lo. And while there may be some kernel of truth in the statement, the sad fact is that this is one of those auditions I won’t remember five days from now, let alone by the end of the season.

6. Briana Cuoco, “You and I” (Team Xtina) | It was hard to root against Briana — for the sole fact that her adorable big sis Kaley (of The Big Bang Theory fame) was cheering her on with the enthusiasm of Sheldon Cooper being a finalist for the Nobel Prize in physics. Nevertheless, while Kaley’s current personal assistant hit some big notes toward the end, her obvious nerves threw off her pitch for the song’s opening half and prevented her from ever truly catching the song’s groove. Haley Reinhart she ain’t.

5. Preston Pohl, “Electric Feel” (Team Adam) | I loved the Bob Seger-y grit in the voice of this former member of Christian rock band StorySide:B — and the way he used it on the kind of funky electronic jam you normally wouldn’t hear on a reality singing competition. That final falsetto run showcased a possible Achilles Heel, and I’d be more optimistic if he’d gone with Cee Lo, but it’ll still be interesting to see what Preston does next.

4. George Horga, Jr., “Treasure” (Team Cee Lo) | Potential Season 5 heartthrob showcased fine phrasing and near perfect pitch on his Bruno Mars cover — while working the stage like a seasoned pro. Not sure why he only turned one chair, but don’t underestimate him for Adam, Xtina and Blake’s mistakes. Plus, I’d bet his hair could beat Justin Bieber’s in a coiff-wrestling match.

3. Timyra-Joi, “Girl on Fire” (Team Xtina) | I might be willing to root for Timyra just for another chance at seeing her mentor Leigh’s 27 lbs. of hair in action. But let’s be honest: The latter chica clearly knows a thing or two about vocals — seeing how Timyra demonstrated gale-force power without falling into the teen-contestant trap of muddying up the melody with too many runs. Is it too early to describe Timyra by saying, “This! Girl! Is! On Fiy-ahhhhh…”? (Probably.)

2. Monika Leigh, “The Thrill Is Gone” (Team Blake) | I thought Monika was being set up for an early exit when she revealed she’d given up her dreams of music for a few years to take a steady paycheck at a Colorado hotel. (Come on…the general theme of this show for four seasons has been “give up your home, your organs and your personal happiness, but never your music!) But then Monika opened her mouth and out came this languid, dreamy tone that dissipated into a sexy whisper on her lower register, and I thought, “If one of these chumps doesn’t hit his button…” Thankfully, all three male judges came to their senses, though I wish Monika had made her choice based on genre and vibe (Cee Lo) instead of simple flattery (i.e. Blake’s “I want to build my team around this girl”).

1. Juhi, “Mercy” (Team Cee Lo) | It’s possible I’m already a huge Juhi fan because she’s perhaps the first 16-year-old in reality competition history who publicly admitted she wasn’t 100 percent certain about her career path. “Should I really be doing this?” asked the kid who’s also mulling aerospace engineering as a possible alternative to rocking the mic. That said, Juhi’s “Mercy” was sensational — flirty without being cutesy (I loved the little squeak at the ends of certain lines) and rhythmically on point. Better still, Juhi’s claim that she wants to be like a combination of Amy Winehouse and Kurt Cobain hints at further, darker risks to come. And couldn’t The Voice always use further, darker risks? If Blake Shelton’s planning on songs like “Grandpa (Tell Me ‘Bout the Good Old Days)” this season, then please answer with a resounding “YES!”

And with that, let me turn things over to you. What did you think of Episode 3 of The Voice‘s fifth season? Who were your favorite wannabes? Did you disagree with any of the coaches’ or contestants’ decisions? Take our poll below, then expand on your thoughts in the comments!

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. Dan (Haleyloonie) says:

    First of all, I officially love Kaley Cuoco!
    Second, as an overachieving high school student myself, I perfectly related to her. And she was awesome!

  2. Keith says:

    I was hoping that Milford Milligan would make it.He was in a band called Storyville with the late Stevie Ray Vaughan’s band Double Trouble.They had two good blues rock albums in the late ’90s

    • Sue says:

      I wish Malford had sung “Bluest Eyes” and hope he responds to Blake’s “I hope you make a record so I can buy it” by sending him copies of the Storyville CDs. Those judges missed a great singer. I hope he tries again.

  3. sara says:

    Briana Cuoco was HORRIBLE. That was clearly a set up, and painful to watch.

    • Scarlett says:

      I had the same impression. The extreme emotion demonstrated by her sister and parents made me feel that there must be something more going on with her. The vocals were not great. Very surprised that chairs turned.

      • Hanna says:

        Ya, I was pretty surprised anyone turned their chairs, it wasn’t good. I think she’s being played for the gimmick of being Big Bang girl’s sister.

    • CMG says:

      I agree 100%. There’s no way that any of those judges should have turned around for her if they weren’t cued to do so. Briana is talented, but it doesn’t sound like music is among those talents.

    • Sly says:

      She wasn’t good at all. Very strange that thy turned.

      • MC says:

        I think they had no choice in the matter.

        • lynn says:

          I’m hoping she’s just nervous. That high note she hit actually showed promise, so I wasn’t surprised Christina turned.

          • Lumplestilskin says:

            I think Christina turned when Briana hit that one impressive high note… that’s what always seems to get Christina.

            Personally, I think it’s obvious that the fix is NOT in with this show, otherwise someone would have turned around for the albino singer. His story was so heartbreaking I was certain someone would turn. And he was GOOD! So, no…I don’t think the show tips them off. That’s against the law, anyway.

          • Tyler says:

            I didn’t think he was that good. Actually, I didn’t think any of them were really that good. I could see why no one got a 4-chair turnaround. I think tonight’s episode was the weakest so far. Juhl was OK. But that was about it. I wouldn’t put any of them in the same league with Tessanne, James and Holly.

          • Lumplestilskin says:

            Tyler, it would seem that America (and I) clearly disagree with you. Preston Pohl sits at #29 on the iTunes chart this morning. That’s higher than anyone else has charted this season.

          • The Guest says:

            There’s no fix in. Every season there are singers we question why they got passed, and singers we question why they got picked. When Christina turned around, it made sense for her based on the notes that Cuoco hit. However, I don’t suspect she’ll get very far on the show. It’s like the country guy Adam picked last season and the one he picked this episode — have to set up someone to lose so his favorites advance. Adam’s the most obvious coach who does that. Maybe Christina is playing that game too.

          • Tyler says:

            @ Guest: I agree with you regarding Adam setting up less stellar contestants against his favorites. That’s precisely why I think the coaches should NOT be allowed to pair up their contestants. It’s not fair for the less stellar contestants. I think it should all be done by a random draw. And if Adam finds his two favorites against each other–then maybe he’ll think twice about getting less stellar contestants who can’t compete against his favorites.

        • pfoggy says:

          I know people love a good conspiracy theory, but in this case, The Big Bang Theory is on CBS. The last thing NBC wants to do is help out competitor’s show, let alone the even more tenuous connection of helping out the nobody sister of an actress on a competitor’s show.

    • Francine says:

      Thank you! I thought she was sweet but her performance was not good. Overall none of the contestants really blew me away.

    • tina says:

      Glad I’m not the only one who thought this! Had it not been for her sister, she would have been told to work harder and come back next year. But every team needs cannon fodder.

  4. lynn says:

    I really liked Juhi.
    I’ll be rooting for Penny’s sister. I think she has potential. She is also very likeable.
    But the 15 year old. WOW. She had a few things off..but her tone and abilities are out of this world.

    • sara says:

      you know this is supposed to be a singing competition, right? And that Penny is a character n a TV show (aka, not real).

      reality check time.

      • lynn says:

        I’m aware. I didn’t say I’ll vote for her. I think her voice actually shows a little promise, if she learns how to control it. (And who knows, it may have just been nerves.)

        And yes, I’m aware “Penny” is a tv character. It was a joke. LIghten up. It’s a singing competition. Reality check time.

  5. Tennessee says:

    The X-Factor?? Thought I was watching The Voice :)

  6. EVPandHC says:

    Briana being high on this poll is dumbfounding. She was pitchy and had bad phrasing. Horrible audition overall.

    This night really didn’t excite me at all. At best, the auditions were okay. At worst…… I don’t wanna think about it.

    • Sara says:

      I totally agree! This episode had a lot of “meh” performers go through.

    • Bob says:

      Potential, my friend.

      • Hanna says:

        Famous sister, my friend.

        • huh says:

          So what if her sister is famous? It’s not like the sister started appearing in a recurring role as a club singer on the BBT! Her sister has been famous and well-connected for the last six years and that certainly hasn’t been a factor so far in this girl’s career. (Not to mention how does having the sister of someone on a rival network’s hit show help NBC — it’s not like the Big Bang Theory is on NBC or that people are going to tune in just to see somebody’s sister.)

          • Hanna says:

            I have no idea what you just said or what your point is. My point is that she was placing surprisingly high on the poll even though her performance was bad because people were voting for Penny’s sister.

  7. dj says:

    I loved the last guy with “Electric Eel.” Loved his voice, immediately bought the single on iTunes. I don’t think Ceelo tries very hard to get people. I guess that’s not his thing, but he is missing out on some good people because he’s not begging or bragging enough.

    • Lumplestilskin says:

      Clearly Preston Pohl was the best of the night. I can’t believe Slezak missed that. How could you possibly rate him as only the 5th best of this episode?? And have you seen his sales in iTunes? He’s the only one charting in the top 200. I think Slezak doesn’t ‘get’ alternative music.

        • Girl in MD says:

          Yes I thought Preston should be #1 to rank him below that George guy is crazy! He was the best of the night and I could see him go far…all though all these girls getting picked has me worried like last season its going to be ballad after ballad each week during the live shows…

      • Holly is still in the Top 200 a week later too (she got a middling position last week too which shows you just how out of touch with America Michael is).

      • John says:

        I can’t decide if he bases the rankings on his bad taste or his very bad taste.

  8. Davey says:

    I thought this was one of the weakest initial rounds so far. No one was all that special. Adam has a lot of slots left so I sure hope he finds some stronger talent.

    I wanted to hear the Asian American woman sing! And why was she on Blake’s team?

  9. Jay says:

    You guys are crazy and that includes Michael -Preston Pohl killed it. Both his version and mgmt are charting top 60 right now in iTunes.That’s my favorite performance so far-everything else was pretty average.maybe it’s just cause its a great song that isnt overplayed but song choice, my friends, is 70% of the battle.

  10. danin says:

    Preston Pohl… Oh yes.

  11. Terry says:

    “a vocal instructor whose mane would leave your average male lion skulking into the brush with feelings of inadequacy” – oh Slezak, you crack me up!
    I agree with your top pick tonight… Juhi was my favorite.

    • dan says:

      Juhi was my least favorite of the night! I couldn’t get into her song and performance at all. I’m surprsied Slezak put her at #1 and that so many seemed to like her.

      • LOL says:

        Really? You thought she was worse than the cowboy with the bad haircut who knocked up his girlfriend? I’m still dumbfounded as to why Adam turned his chair. Oh right, they all need fodder for the battle rounds, I keep forgetting about that.

  12. Josh says:

    Preston, George, and Timyra!!

  13. HTGR says:

    I think you under rated Preston quite a bit..
    Probably Justin too, not saying he was the best of the night or anything at all, but I don’t really like country and yet I thought he did a pretty solid job so if he gets me to say that I don’t think he is the very last place singer. I also liked Lina the Landslide girl a lot more than you gave her credit for.
    Anyway whatever the order, another very promising night through and through. Yeah some rough bits here and there for many but in some cases it seemed to be a certain type of nerves and in all you still see enough promise to get excited over, some should prove thoroughly fine. Battles and cuts are gonna be real hear breakers this season.
    Juhi was good but I thought it was missing a touch a rawness.
    Pretty cute watching Kelly Cuoco go more nuts, as you say, than Sheldon were he to find a stable Calabi-Yau manifold compactification that exactly fit the standard model and then somehow proved it unique (this would be especially amazing since we all know it’s not even like that but a multiverse instead).

  14. Beiberleigh says:

    “Juhi’s claim that she wants to be like a combination of Amy Winehouse and Kurt Cobain hints at further, darker risks to come. ”

    – what a pretentious statement. Darker doesn’t always mean interesting. Oftentimes, in this show, darkness = pretentiousness. Case in point: Melanie Fwaking Martinez and her constant reference to herself as an “artist.”

    • David7118 says:

      I could be wrong but I seem to remember Melanie Martinez referring to herself as an artist in relation to her photography and not her music. She’s an uber-talented photographer with a great eye.

    • HTGR says:

      I have to say I really did not enjoy the whole miserable grunge era pushing aside the end of 80s upbeat, happy, color. Yeah because whining about how the world and everything in it is so hideous and miserable and going on about how we should just all jump off bridges and because hitting some random notes loudly and shrieking is sooooooo much deeper than rock or bubblegum pop. Wearing some dirty brown and green suddenly raises your IQ 50 points. Greasy, flat, who cares hair too, that has got to be worth at least 25 IQ points and make one twice as intellectually deep if not more. Everything sucks. BING BING +75 IQ points.
      Also ever notice how a movie can basically have nothing to it, it can be as shallow as anything, but if you put in a couple depressing scenes and a ton of violence then it’s suddenly sooooo deep. (not that films like that can’t also be deep, but plenty are not really all that deep and yet they get held up above light fair all the time for their depth even if they are no deeper at all).

  15. Jack says:

    Wow, Slezak – you are *really* anti-Blake, aren’t you? He’s already said he had his “country army” last year and is looking to do something different this year. The cutesy, down-home country girl routine worked with Danielle last year – I can’t imagine him using that approach with any of the contestants he’s picked up thus far.

  16. Anna says:

    Preston is ranked way too low on here. I thought he and Monika were easily the best of the night (I missed Juhi’s audition, though). Kaley Cuoco’s sister was not very good — I don’t think she would have gotten through if not for the fact her sister is a star of one of the top rated tv shows in the US right now. And George being ranked 4th? I thought his vocal was really bad.

    Timrya-Joi was a finalist a couple of years ago in this Kidz Starz competition where the winner got a recording contract with RCA. One of the judges/mentors for that competition was Kris Allen, She didn’t win that — I think she finished 2nd or 3rd. She’s got a lot of potential, but I thought her audition was too much all on the same level, lacked nuance. Justin’s performance, meanwhile, was a combination of awkward and desperate.

    Hot firefighter dude was hot, but he wasn’t a good singer, so I’m glad no one turned around for him just because he was good looking (and the judges could figure that out by the reaction of the women in the audience — if they weren’t tipped off to the fact by the producers).

  17. Angie_Overrated says:

    Yeah, it wasn’t great. None of them blew me away. This is turning out to be a very ho-hum season. I think we need to get rid of X-factor and do The Voice just once per year to consolidate all the talent into one show annually and let the teeny boppers continue to reign over at Idol. Way too many crappy singers with minimal talent who are getting chair turns this season and last.

  18. the voice says:

    follow @thevoiceproblem ! :)

  19. LOL says:

    I think they should have picked the single dad’s little girl instead of the dad. She was so cute – “This is the Voiiiiiccceee”

  20. Rudy says:

    I loved Monika’s deep comment of, “Dreams are dreams, and that’s why they’re called dreams.” Refrigerators are refrigerators, and that’s why they’re called refrigerators.

  21. Mikko says:

    Nice show, but I was still impressed only by Monika. Previously been impressed by Johnny Gray, Donna, James, E.G and Tessone, and maybe also Caroline. By the way, it is such a joy to hear all different kind of songs and music, and not “same old songs”. I have listened earlier “Thrill Is Gone” performed by B.B. King, but it was most welcomed surprise to hear it in The Voice!

  22. Who was the young man that had that strong voice? He’s 16 yrs old and Blake almost hit the button but didn’t. No one did. I think they should of. Was it Jason…? It was on tonight, 10/01/13 Tuesday 9:00pm

  23. megs says:

    Juhi is SUPER cute. Love her “Mercy”, but all I kept thinking was that she looks a cross between Nasim Pedrad and Nicole Richie. Cute voice though!

    I didn’t think the Cuoco girl was that great- she totally nailed those high notes though. I was expecting that “up an octave” moment, and was holding my breath, nervous that it would be shaky, but she defeated whatever nerves she had in the beginning. I did wonder about the whole ” are the judges REALLY blind in these rounds?” thing that you guys brought up on Reality Check…..

    Really like Timyra, excited to hear more from her.
    Same goes for Preston- I’m such a sucker for those raspy voices

    And I cannot let a Haley Reinhart reference go un-celebrated. Woo! for Haley!

  24. matt says:

    You won’t need to remember T-Rays performance from the other night. He will have plenty more to come! He is one of the best musicians on here and his style is one of the most unique styles you will find. He is highly adaptable to all genres and will do great with Blake as his coach. And yes he miss lawns (to supplement income) because he raises his 3 year old, and still manages to find time to perform 3 nights a week. All of us back home are praying for him. He has worked hard and deserves respect and recognition, not facetious comments from critics who have a tendency to judge musicians by looks rather than their musical talent. Maybe you should write for a celebrity fashion magazine.

  25. bouionice says:

    Just two words…Miss Leigh! A combination of Divine, Amanda Lepore and just a smidge of Jocelyne Wildenstein…but she sure did a great job coaching Timyra-Joi!