The Voice Recap: Back(story) to the Future!

James Irwin The Voice - Season 5I’m not a TV producer — I just criticize them on the Internet. But putting my patented brand of bitchery aside for a second, I’ll admit it’s got to be tough to strike the right balance of good singing, emotional backstory and judges’ chatter during the audition rounds of a reality competition series.

That said, Episode 4 of The Voice‘s fifth season was one of those recipes that goes sideways from the first step: Maybe somebody didn’t leave the cake out in the rain, but the finished product sure was tear-streaked and a little bit soggy.

Not that there wasn’t talent, mind you. The episode’s final singer was pretty sublime, a couple of potential country contenders emerged, and a Season 4 reject came back strong.

But I’d honestly pay $10 apiece to revoke cheesy Carson Daly introductions like, “Up next, an artist who’s ready to make a change” or “Now, a Midwestern artist with a heart of gold.” Also, just because you endured a horrific accident or had a sick relative does not mean you should be labeled “inspirational.” It just means you’re human.

I know, I know, it’s official: I’m the worst. I just feel like if three or four vocalists per episode are going to have their Blinds compressed into seconds-long clip roundups, maybe Mark Burnett & Co. could try to trim just a little fat in other spots, y’know?

Anyhow, before this recap turns into a rant, let’s cut to my ranking (from least- to most-promising) of the eight latest folks to advance to the Season 5 Battle Rounds:

8. Sam Cerniglia, “It’s a Beautiful Day” (Team Blake) | Cute guy, but without the visual, I can’t fathom why Blake turned for a vocal performance that rippled with nervousness. Oh, wait, I do, and I can sum it up in four words: Battle Rounds Cannon Fodder.

7. Will Champlin, “Not Over You” (Team Adam) | His dad was in Chicago (the band, not the city). He dresses like a less neon-obsessed Blaine Warbler. But while his vocal was mostly on point, I have a really hard time getting behind a guy who’d choose a song like Gavin De Graw’s “Not Over You” — which puts the “nah” in naptime.

6. Stephanie Anne Johnson, “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree’ (Team Xtina) | I loved this cruise-ship singer’s energy almost as much as her blues-singing grandma’s exclamation of “Wondah-ful!” to describe Stephanie’s Voice experience. That said, I expected more risks and less coloring inside the lines from a gal who’s ripped through 1,000 performances on her acoustic guitar in the last three years.

5. R. Anthony, “Hall of Fame” (Team Cee Lo) | R’s wife takes home the runner-up spot behind Stephanie’s grandma as most energetically awesome family member. But while dude definitely has a firm grasp of pitch and a chipotle-smokey tone, I felt like he could’ve cut the runs back by half. Also, it can’t be a good sign for R’s star wattage that I spent half of his audition grimly trying to remember the name of that dude who won Kelly Clarkson’s Duets show in Summer 2012. (For the record, it was J. Rome.) (Love, M. Slezak.)

4. Olivia Henken, “Two Black Cadillacs” (Team Xtina) | On the plus side, Olivia may have actually sung this even more spotlessly than La Underwood. On the negative side, for a girl who complained about being compared to other blonde female country singers, she didn’t do a whole lot to differentiate her cover from the original, did she? Also, I’m not sure Xtina’s comparison to Barbie is gonna help this long-time veteran of the pageant-competition circuit. But there’s no denying her vocal. And this! is! the! voice! after all.

3. Justin Chain, “She’s Country” (Team Blake) | Like Olivia, Justin didn’t exactly shake up the formula of Jason Aldean’s original — OMG, I just remembered RaeLynn’s cray-cray rendition from Season 2! — but he hit every damn note square in the jaw, like a prizefighter looking for a quick TKO. I’m a little uncertain about his sculptural facial-hair situaysh, but I’m kinda looking for dude to keep the party rockin’ as the season progresses. Yeah, he’s pretty hot, too.

2. James Irwin, “Losing My Religion” (Team Adam) | Adam was spot-on that James started stronger than he finished, but I sensed some of his loss of focus was indeed related to the four-chair turn happening before his disbelieving eyes. Dude showed a lot of creativity turning REM’s classic into more of a rhythmic rock track, and took some risks with the melody that paid off like Facebook stock. The fact that he chose the one coach who seriously critiqued him makes me hopeful James is serious about improving his craft, too.

1. Ashley Dubose, “Diamonds” (Team Adam) | At the risk of starting Ashley’s paragraph the same way I began James’s, Adam was spot on that her voice cut through the air like a razor, her crisp diction and immaculate phrasing proving an absolute upgrade from Rihanna’s bleating original. It also helps that Ashley — despite making a living as a computer analyst, rather than a working singer — already has a video-ready sense of style, solid stage presence and a not-so-sobby story about working her tail off to pay the bills, raise her daughter and keep her music dreams alive. Not a hint of Gokeyism in the entire package — respeck!

And with that, let me turn things over to you. What did you think of The Voice tonight? 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. bs’d
    The Kinder, gentler singing show. :)

    • Matrix says:

      What does “bs’d” mean?

      • mamamitzvah says:

        It is Aramaic for “With the Help of Heaven”. It is a reminder that G-d “hears and sees” everything so we should be careful about how we express ourselves. :)

    • Jasper egert says:

      The voice so far this year has been disappointing- not the talent but the production and editing.
      The judges banter and antics has gotten very stale.
      And why on night 4 of the auditions are the judges wearing the same clothes as nights 1 2 and 3 and I suspect next week will be the same.
      This is not a cheap show to produce judges should be changing their clothes!!!

      • Kaba says:

        I’m fairly certain the judges did most, if not all, of their team choosing in one whole day. Dusk till dawn.

      • mE says:

        I think it’s because of the editing. Like for example if they don’t get 4 chair turns in audition 3 they can put in one from other audition.

  2. Pat says:

    I’m honestly not feeling this season whatsoever. There’s maybe a handful of singers I’d like to hear a second time. No one I’m even remotely a fan of. With the amount of talent Season 4 had and how mediocre of a season it was, this one is reaching Trainwreck City, USA quite quickly.

    • Tyler says:

      I agree this week’s performers overall haven’t been that impressive, but last week was another story. It makes no sense why the Voice won’t spread the talent out evenly over the nights–especially since it’s pre-taped and edited. It’s getting tiresome that the last performer always picks Adam. Can’t the film editors have another coach picked?!

    • courtney says:

      i’m glad it’s not just me. i just feel like there’s been almost no one that stands out or that i’d openly root for, or be upset if they got cut. i even feel like the judges don’t seem as into it. blake keeps saying the exact same things, and adam just seems tired. the only saving grace, amazingly enough, is christina aguilera. as much as i’ve disliked her in the past, her new attitude is like a breath of fresh air in this disappointing season.

  3. Davey says:

    Justin Chain was so boring and predictable, I can’t believe he is ranked 3rd.

  4. Dan (Haleyloonie) says:

    Will be this be the first season where I don’t have an official favorite and judge people in their consistency and performance level and I am not blinded to the mistakes of those I like? I doubt it -_-

  5. alexmalleymusic says:

    I have to say, I checked out Amber’s (she got stuck in the cut auditions) full iTunes performance… She’s honestly my favourite of the night. Wish she got more then 5 seconds

  6. Lana says:

    I am a loyal Voice fan but I’m getting tired of the antics between the judges and the overdramatization on some contestants. And some things seem obviously staged. I’m not quitting anytime soon but I am yawning a lot more while watching.

    • sara says:

      I agree completely. The producers are slowly ruining this show. Why can’t they just let the contestants sing?? The viewers aren’t as gullible as they think we are.

  7. Jason says:

    I DVR the Voice and in addition to the commercials, I fast forward through all the pre song fluff straight to the singing and coaches commentary. It makes for a really fast (and enjoyable) viewing experience.

  8. David says:

    I worked with Ashley DuBose in St Paul. Although we didn’t have a ton of interaction, she was a very nice person. She is also very talented!

  9. Vicki says:

    Yawn..I’ll wait for American Idol

  10. Sarah says:

    We were watching The Voice Monday night, and we all kept saying “Ugh no more sob stories!” I care very much about each human being, BUT I watch the show to see a shiny red chair magically spin around for a talented singer!!! I’m simple like that.

    • Sly says:

      No you’re not simple, you are absolutely correct. If, and I stress if, we need to hear the backstories, wait until later. Let us hear the voice the way the judges (supposedly) hear them.

  11. dj says:

    I agree, too much with the sob stories tonight. I think this was the worst episode so far this season. I hate it when they show ridiculously brief clips of some of the contestants that actually made it and then go on and on about the backstory of someone who doesn’t even make it. It doesn’t make sense. I think Ceelo is losing out because he’s too passive and doesn’t show enough passion.

    • Ty says:

      unfortunately, ceelo is losing out because many prefer other coaches.

      the girls prefer adams since he’s hotter
      the ambitious Rachel Berry types prefer Blake because he has won so often
      The rest are torn between ceelo and christina. I don’t like that the best singers usually choose blake or adam, but there it is. A good female is like 90% team adam from the start. Those painted on jeans he wears are too strong.

      You women know where you would go, cute white dude wins most of the time.

      • HTGR says:

        I thought Ashely was gonna swap over and go for CeeLo. It is true, he has supported his finalists really well and done stuff with them. That was a pretty powerful pitch from him. Adam has ended up with some shocking let goes too.

  12. Kaba says:

    Wow I mean, it’s great to watch this season take off as “The Adam Show”
    Seriously, the only 4 chair I can recall that hasn’t gone to Adam was Matt Shuler. All these previews so far have been for Adam and it’s not that fun anymore honestly

  13. Angie_Overrated says:

    I’m usually in reasonably close agreement with Slezak, but can’t agree with the high ranking of James Irwin. He started out decently but fizzled badly. Favorite of the night was Stephanie Ann Johnson. She doesn’t have the look to make it far with the vote unfortunately, but that was the most exciting voice I heard tonight. Am I the only one who didn’t love the woman who sang Diamond? Ugh. This season is all over the place, and unfortunately with more bad than good. I’m missing the days of Juliette Simms, Frenchie Davis, and Amanda Brown.

    • dan says:

      Stephanie Ann was adorable. I really liked her.

    • ronnie says:

      Cannot believe James got a four chair turn around. He was the weakest of the night. He was as bad as Kayley Cucou’s sister and neither of them are talented enough to go past the battle rounds.

      • Angie_Overrated says:

        Unfortunately I agree with you. The two you mentioned were underwhelming. But then again, there are some huge stars who are even less talented and own $40 million mansions. So who knows?! (J-Lo and Madonna, I’m looking at you!)

        • HTGR says:

          Madonna had a huge talent at keeping ahead of the game and coming out with the right catch and type of pop each year though, nobody has ever pulled that off better (well other than Michael Jackson during his peak years; anyway no other female certainly has ever pulled that off better). She didn’t have the most amazing vocals, but her voice wasn’t bad either and she wasn’t one of the must have auto-tune, can’t sign anything live types.

      • Tyler says:

        I agree too. I thought James Irwin ruined the REM song. I don’t mind interpretations as long as they’re just as good or better than the originals. i found neither with James’ interpretation. if I heard it on the radio–there’s no way I would buy it. It just didn’t grab me. And I didn’t like the way he sang it either. That song is about heartache and jealousy. He exemplified neither emotion. I will never understand why these contestants don’t choose unknown REM songs instead of turning a popular song like Losing My Religion into an obscure song. REM wrote incredible songs. IMO they’re right up there with the Beatles. Life’s Rich Pageant and Fables of the Reconstruction have a ton of excellent unknown songs, such as I Believe, Flowers of Guatemala, What If We Give It Away, Maps And Legends, Life And How To Live It, Green Grow The Rushes, Good Advices.

      • James started alright but the performance fell apart when it went into that hard rock part but the judges had all turned around by that point. Then they all sat there stone faced and really did not fight for him like they usually do for a 4-chair turner. Adam outright criticized him and James still picked. I would not be surprised at all if Adam throws James under the bus in the Battle Rounds maybe even pitting him against one of his stronger males like Preston or James.

    • Angie_Overrated says:

      Wow, glad to see I was not alone in loving Stephanie Ann Johnson. I think she might be my favorite so far in the competition, but I second guessed myself when I saw her lower ranking on Slezak’s list. There’s a certain “something” to her. Diggin’ it!

    • HTGR says:

      Yeah she was pretty good. Yeah I don’t really see how James ended up as high as #2 on the list.
      Speaking of the past, Juliette Simms, Vicci Martinez, Amanda Brown are the tops for me. Interestingly they all have a strong CeeLo connection (heck he was the only one to recognize Amanda during the blind auditions, even if she did end up on Adam’s team in the end).

  14. Mark M says:

    Dubose didn’t sound that great, I dont see the hype. Irwin was solid. Champlin is too low on the list, he was really good. Henken was hot so that’s all that really matter. The rest weren’t worth the turns.

    • For everyone who enjoyed Will’s songs, check out his Reverbnation page. And while his dad is great, his mom, Tamara, oz a hell of a singer/writer, too, so he gets it from both sides!

    • Dubose reminded me of a slightly better Erin Martin and that is never a good thing. I cannot see Adam taking both her and Tessanne to the Live Show, I bet Dubose gets the short end there.

      • Kaba says:

        Here’s the thing. You can’t easily assume that Adam will drop her just cause you’re not enjoying her.
        Adam tends to revel over his 4 chair contestants and much prefers to hold onto them sooner than any others.
        And it’s not like a judge wouldn’t steal her, assuming she continues to maintain the style she’s established for herself.
        So it’s not so much of a short end really :/ and I don’t see what Tessanne has to do with this.

        • I am not assuming that Adam will not take Ashley to the Live Rounds because I did not enjoy her (there are plenty of singers that I do not like that I thought would make the Live Show including quite a few this season because there is an overabundance of sub-par talent), I am assuming he will not take her because her and Tessanne are pretty much the same artist (which is why I mentioned her) and of the two personally I favor Tessanne more. It also seemed like Adam fought for Tessanne harder (wasn’t she the one Adam climbed his chair for?). I thought exactly the same thing last season went he had Judith and Sasha and it played out mostly like I thought with him dumping Sasha and keeping Judith. Sure the same thing can happen this season and Ashley can be stolen like Sasha, but I would not assume the new coach will take her to the Live Shows because the other three coaches do not seem to like the Steal as Adam is the only one to take a stolen contestant to the Live Shows of these four. But then again maybe Adam takes Blake’s strategy from last season, keeps them both and have four contestants from the same genre and hope they piggyback off each other in the Live Shows.

          And I do not know why you would say Adam prefers to hold onto his four chair contestants sooner than others. He is the most cutthroat of the coaches and willing to dump them in short order. He has only taken half of his 4-chairers to the Live Shows in the last two seasons. In fact over the last two seasons, he has taken as many of his 4-chairers to the Live Show as stolen artists: 3. So it may be better to be stolen by Adam than to chose him as your original coach.

          • Kaba says:

            Adam’s the most cut throat? You make it sound as though he’s some kind of coach with an egregious regiment.
            When was the steal introduced? Season 2? Since then Adam’s been the only one regarded for it, yes. That doesn’t mean “adam’s the only one who likes to do it” that’s such a limp assumption considering the moods of the judges aren’t necessarily the same each season. Look at Christina actually coming off as much more tactical and thoughtful in her approach to getting people on her team. I can with ease believe she’d utilize the steals to make her team as impressive as possible.
            And going on to what I said, Adam adores his 4 chairs and I can with ease see Tessanne and Ashley in the lives, not because their “style” matters. In fact I wouldn’t even claim Tessanne and Ashley have the same style it’s just they performed with popular pop songs.
            And to continue going on, there are what, how many people per team that go against one another? Be realistic, there is no guarantee that Adam will even have the slightest thought of choosing one over the other prior to the live rounds. And with the way his team seems to be laying out I can still easily see her in the lives because it’s always been a thing for Adam to pull weaker artists to his team in order to plunge them against the stronger ones so it doesn’t appear that he’s just giving out a free pass to the lives.
            It’s odd you’re immediately writing off two artists who I wouldn’t even consider. She doesn’t have that powerhouse vocal but she most certainly has a voice that can tell a story and pull you in off of sheer allure.

          • C’mon, Adam is a guy who openly admitted in interviews he sabotaged his own team the first season to make it easier for Javier to make it to the finals and in the second season he was the one who came up with the idea of the Instant Elimination. Clearly no one plays the game more than Adam. So I do believe the cutthroat comment is completely warranted.
            The steal was not introduced until season three, but it is of my opinion, the other three coaches this season have never taken it serious and just used it as fodder for the Knockout Round. I hope the other three coaches take the Steal more seriously this season especially Christina consider she once again has the weakest team.
            I think I am the one who is being realistic, (assuming they are doing it like last season) Adam will have twelve contestant at the end of the Blind Auditions, eight will be gone (at least from his team) by the Live Shows, maybe more if he takes a steal or two. To be so confident that he will take both of those two to the Live Show does not seem all that realistic. You are even making it sound like he is going to take all four of his 4-chair turners to the Live Shows since he adores them so much.
            And you can tell yourself all you want at how different Tessanne and Ashley are, but the truth is they both sang pop RnB and Adam has never taken two like genre artists to the Live Show and until he does, I am going to go under the assumption he will not. It is possible he may do it for the first time this season, I will not be putting any money on it.
            Plus I have only written one contestant. Well, I only wrote off one in the comment above, I written off quite of few this season which I have not mentioned here yet.

  15. will says:

    Will Champlin was great and you definitely ranked him too low, Michael. For someone who loved the untrained but great sound of Michelle last season I cant believe you’d put him so low.

    • Kaba says:

      Did you miss the part where she graduated SUMMA CUM LAUDE for performing arts technology at the University of Michigan?

      • Angie_Overrated says:

        I’ll preface this by saying I loved Michelle, but you’re stretching the truth here. The Michigan degree she was received was BFA in Music Tech, Media Arts. I’m sure she took a few music theory courses, but that’s not a music degree heavy on vocal training that you might be thinking it is. It’d be like saying someone with an Art History degree is obviously a highly trained visual artist or a Lit major is obviously an amazing creative writer.

        • Kaba says:

          Quite frankly I’m well aware that the degree doesn’t really prove much, but considering the flexibility of college and the classes one it capable of taking in order to complete their degree I would find it inadvisable to claim that her voice was “untrained” or her sound was “untrained”.
          To what degree of training you’d need someone to undergo in order to be “trained” I wouldn’t constitute Michelle as an untrained vocalist or one with an untrained sound because that tends to entail they don’t always know what they want to do with their sound and don’t know the best direction for it. Also I’m not sure if you’re only considering formal or informal training.
          From the interviews I’ve read and watched, untrained seems to be the last thing to call her. The way she explains the things she does almost seems formulaic and very tactical as though she possibly plans out everything.

          • Angie_Overrated says:

            Her low notes were weak and barely audible, but for the most part I agree with you. I think for her chosen genre she’s reasonably trained enough. You don’t have to be an A+ vocalist to do well in pop-rock. And to the original poster’s point, I liked that guy too. They can both be good, guys!

          • Kaba says:

            Oh yeah her low notes are not the best.
            Her genre is most likely the culprit for that. Her main genre “reverb” is all about the effects of sounds so it’s not like she necessarily needs this dense lower range to generate the effects she needs since a lot of her work takes place in the mixing of the music

      • Steamed says:

        Not Untrained for sure. She won the “Michigan Idol” and she was in a band before coming to The Voice.

  16. kavyn says:

    Just do what I do and watch the performances on Youtube. I can’t stand watching The Sob when it airs live. It’s made me appreciate the performers a lot more.

    Not sure if I’ll tune in live for the battle rounds, but I definitely will for the knockouts.

  17. Johnny says:

    I loved Stephanie’s personality, but I agree that she could have done more with the melody. James Irwin was amazing at the start and grating by the end, so hopefully Adam hones in on his sweet spot tone-wise. R. Anthony and Justin Chain both also had great voices, but they are definitely examples of people who will benefit from a coach on this show. My two favorites of the night, easily, were Ashley and Sam. I was actually surprised that Sam didn’t get more chair turns, because I thought he sounded really awesome, and Ashley both looks and sounds like a superstar.

  18. Lu says:

    Will Champlin is anything, but a “wannabe” as you put it. He is the real deal. A truely gifted artist, he is also one of the most genuine people I’ve ever known. As far as his song choice, it was great and he was able to make it funky just like him. He was able to take risks vocally within the framework of the song and YOU clearly have no idea how those audition songs are selected. He is this generation’s Stevie Wonder. Bruno Mars has nothing on him. Will Champlin is incredible and deserves all the success in the world.

  19. Trip says:

    Will was my favorite of the night by far. He had something about his voice that had that unexplainable “it” quality, very similar to Michelle Chamuel. He seems to have the background and the raw talent to make it. I can’t believe you ranked him so low just because you didn’t like his song choice. It’s called “The Voice,” not “Best Taste In Songs.” I like that he chose a song that had an emotional hook and let him ring out some notes–all doing it in a completely different key and resonance than the original. I was immediately interested that he sounded nothing like Gavin–who cares if it isn’t the most “exciting” song choice? I cry foul on this “critique.”

    • Kaba says:

      Heavens no.
      Maybe to you, but there is nothing in his voice that I’d compare to Michelle, and I was a Michelle fanatic all season. I still am a fanatic to be quite honest.
      He’s nothing close to her.

      • Trip says:

        *sigh* I didn’t say he sounded like Michelle. I said he had a unique quality to his voice–Michelle also had that something that is more of an emotional feeling than what could easily be labeled with adjectives like the more technical singers.

        • Kaba says:

          *sigh* Yes, you did.
          “He had something about his voice that had that unexplainable “it” quality, very similar to Michelle Chamuel” (not my words, yours) drawing similarities equates to some level of a comparison
          And my statement still stands, I thoroughly disagree.

          • Trip says:

            That’s cool. I just said it. It makes sense I have no idea what I meant and my explanation can’t be trusted. (The “it quality” is what is similar to Michelle–not vocal tone or quality. Which I explained already in my last message using different phrasing.)

            Saying Singer A has a raspy quality to their voice and Singer B has a raspy quality is saying the voices are comparable. Saying Singer A has a unique quality and Singer B has a unique quality is not. I love Michelle and voted repeatedly for her and was extremely upset when subpar Danielle beat her–I’ve heard Will sing only one song, remember, AND he did not sound anything like Michelle. Maybe I am reading you wrong, but it just seems like you’re determined to put Michelle on a pedestal and refuse to hear her name ever used to frame an opinion of another contestant.

          • Kaba says:

            Oh, okay. No worries. Pardon my stupidity. You’re right, Will does have a unique “it” quality similar to something Michelle had. Though it’s to no degree some level of comparison.

            Though, I will with ease shoot you down on that impending slippery slope statement that I’m determined to shoot any other contestant down when it comes to being close to Michelle considering we’re only talking about a single contestant of the new season.

  20. Jonny says:

    No doubt Ashley was good and Justin Chain had that song dead on, but what is up with the rest of the rankings? Both Will Champlin and Stephanie Johnson were WAY WAY better than James Irwin. He had a good look and took a risk with his song, but he was not that good. You might not have liked his song, but Will’s vocals were far superior to most of those we’ve heard thus far in the blinds. Normally I agree with you but tonight is not that night

  21. Troy says:

    Who says the contestants have their own choice of song’s?
    And the premise of a show called “The Voice” is that it isn’t supposed to take into account the Network wardrobe departments taste in clothing….only the music. I think you missed the boat. A couple judges have even made mention of how someone looks or appears.

    But you’re a TV critic.
    You do the critic part well but have missed the boat on the music side of things.

    I agree with the others including Blake Shelton- Will has the talent to win this

  22. Terry says:

    I’m with you, I don’t like the sob stories! Sob stories just make me roll my eyes, which makes me feel like a bad person, which makes me not enjoy the show! Just sing your dang song FFS!

  23. Kaba says:

    I’m just waiting for that one person who makes this season worth staying around for.
    Last season that was Michelle for me.
    De’borah season 3
    Lindsey Pavao, Juliet Simms, and Jamar Rogers season 2
    Vicci Martinez season 1.

    Yerp, just waiting

  24. megs says:

    James was not good. Number 2 of the night, Slezak?…gonna respectfully disagree on that one.

    Not a huge night for great talent overall, but I did enjoy Will Champlin. Don’t get his #7 rank here….I thought he sounded great. Yeah, the song choice was questionable, which we all know can be deadly in a reality show singing competition, but his pitch was on point and he has a great tone. His cute boy hipster look doesn’t hurt either….

    • MC says:

      Champlin was good and almost certainly the best guy on the show tonight. I think he has an amazing connection to music through his family and loves what he’s doing. Will is talented enough to go far in this competition.

    • HTGR says:

      Yeah I’m surprised James was so high and Will so low.

  25. Tim says:

    I am starting to fast forward through the contestant “packages”. As soon as I here the words “TWO SISTERS! WITH TWO HORRIBLE DISEASES!” I skip ahead to the singing.

  26. Scarlett says:

    Will Champlin has an MJ connection as well… played piano on one of the songs on MICHAEL.

  27. After the last two episodes I wished the poll had a “none of the above” option. I have had a hard time picking one, let alone three favorites.

  28. Chris G. says:

    So far, the top 3 vote-getters are on Team Adam.

    • tess says:

      Team Adam FTW. What always surprises me is when anyone has the chance to be on Adam’s team and they don’t pick him! Hopefully this season he keeps the right contestants on his team for the live shows. I thought he really let some good ones get away last season.

      • Kaba says:

        Isn’t this becoming a trend?
        Adam has had 2 contenders in his live rounds since season 3 and they both fall off the face of the earth at the same time.
        Melanie and Amanda, double eliminated. Judith and Sarah, double eliminated.
        I have no faith in his ability to actually bring out the best in his artists.

        • Canadian Fan says:

          Agreed. Adam was so vocal in sabotaging Blake’s chances to win over any contestant, it was truly not classy and a bit annoying. I don’t like people to win by playing nasty. Adam got the strongest team for the live show last year but got none left for the finale. See if history repeats itself. I hope it does.

  29. AMayo1 says:

    I love the term Gokeyism

  30. Cat says:

    I could not believe that no one turned around for Malford Milligan, who is an awesome talent. Check him out on YouTube with his band Storyville.

  31. Leah says:

    I respectfully disagree with your rankings. James started out beautifully and then turned into a train wreck. It’s a shame, because he does seem to have a beautiful tone. I think it wasn’t so much the 4 chair turn that wrecked it, but more that he was trying to make it less subdued (Adam’s critique of his audition last year was that it was too subdued) and instead turned the song into a shouty mess. I would have ranked Stephanie way higher than him. I think she could have pushed her limits more, but she has range and an interesting tone. I also liked Will (yeah, that song is a little boring, but he did a LOT more with it than Gavin DeGraw does), Ashley, and surprisingly, Olivia. This season does seem less impressive than the last, but that might not be a bad thing. Last season there were so many singers than started out great, but kind of tanked during the live rounds.

  32. David says:

    I guess I’m in the minority here. I think that this is the best stable of talent I’ve seen on The Voice. Like all previous seasons, most of the best are on Adam’s team. Let’s hope he doesn’t fritter away their chances this time.

  33. Eric says:

    Whoa, James was not that good. He definitely started out strong, but I think the coaches regretted their four chair turn as he went on. I’m all for risk taking with the melody, but his was all sorts of wrong. I think they may institute a take back button for next year.

    • dj says:

      A take-back button would just be too mean. Imagine a chair turns around, and then the singer gets all excited, and then the “I want you” light goes off and the chair turns back around. I agree with you that the song went all kinds of wrong after the chairs turned around, though. That guy needs some serious work.

  34. person- person says:

    I don’t know why Will Champlin was put at nuber seven because of his song choice. :( He was really amazing in my opinion and had a great voice (unlike James, sadly)

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