The Voice Recap: Show Me the Funny! [Updated]

the-voice-recap-season-6-blind-auditions-cary-laineHere’s the thing about The Voice: Even in an episode where the musical talent doesn’t send you directly to iTunes in a flurry of “must download this immédiatement” enthusiasm, there’s still an undeniable magic beneath the surface.

Granted, it may not be musical magic, but Season 6 of NBC’s reality singing competition — with its ridiculously appealing panel of Shakira, Usher, Blake Shelton and Adam Levine — also happens to pack in more laughs per minute than 90 percent* of network sitcoms that have aired in the last 12 months. (*Statistical information courtesy of Slezak, Slezak & Slezak.)

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Seriously, tonight’s one-hour installment (much like Monday’s two-hour premiere) had me regularly roaring with laughter: We had an absurdly uproarious conversation between Blake and Adam based on the latter coach’s comment about “blowing rainbows” up a contestant’s butt. We had Shakira raging against a dig from Usher by shouting “My hips don’t lie — and the rest of me doesn’t lie, either!” We had Blake threatening to adopt a teenage contestant and channeling his inner Dean Martin. And best of all we had contestant Cary Laine’s adorable son declaring that Pinedale, Wyoming is “a tiny town that needs more products and stores.”

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People like to argue that The Voice is trying to eat American Idol‘s lunch, but in reality, it’s raiding the cafeteria trays of The Millers, Dads and Super Fun Night.

But enough about comedy! Let’s talk about the battle to inherit Tessanne Chin‘s title (while we wonder about when the heck Tessanne Chin is gonna release a killer single). And in that vein, let’s rank tonight’s successful auditioners — and review ’em — in order of least- to most-promising.

5. Madilyn Paige: David Guetta (featuring Sia)’s “Titanium” (Team Usher) | There was something chilly and unformed about 16-year-old Madilyn’s vocal tone — like a microwave burrito that’s been only halfway heated-through. I couldn’t grasp what about this kid had Usher and Shakira fighting so passionately, but I’ll be surprised if Madilyn doesn’t ultimately end her journey as Battle Rounds cannon fodder.

4. Noah Lis: Billy Paul’s “Me and Mrs. Jones” (Team Blake) | Noah seems like a nice enough fella, but if I’m being brutally honest, my attention started to drift the second he began discussing his late grandfather — too soon, kiddo! — and nothing about his shaky, swagger-free performance drew me back in. “Do you know anybody else in the entertainment business who gives less of a crap than me?” asked Blake — trying to prove his devil-my-care crooner credibility. But out of context and applied to Noah’s audition, it’s a quote that pretty much sums up my feelings, too.

3. Delvin Choice: Donny Hathaway’s “A Song for You” (Team Adam) | Devin definitely upped his game over his Season 5 tryout, but I couldn’t help but feel like a lot of his runs were overbaked — like he was a kid on a bicycle waving his arms and saying “Look, Ma! No hands!” rather than a connected artist driving home the message of his love song. Of course, it’s entirely possible I was just put off by dude’s aggressively rolled jeans. The Battle Rounds should solve that mystery, if nothing else.

2. Deja Hall: Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors” (Team Shakira)| I loved watching Usher put his ears to work — and not hitting the button — in several instances where Deja came in just under the note at the ends of phrases. But nevertheless, there was a sweet quality to her delivery of the ’80s classic that made her entirely believable. And like Shakira said, there’s something about Deja that’s visually compelling; she commands the stage with a quiet confidence that could blossom into full-fledged star power with the right kind of mentoring.

1. Cary Laine: The Band Perry’s “Better Dig Two” (Team Adam) | I’m still kinda shocked Cary went with Adam (though maybe she’s a fan of Blake’s previous early country evictees Shelbie Z and Liz Davis). And while there were a couple of gaspy interludes in the midst of the vocally tricky “Better Dig Two,” I was taken with Cary’s ability to connect to the song emotionally, to make me believe she was a woman who’d literally die without her man. Not only that, but her ease in playing along with the judges — even pulling an Usher “Leg Raise” Pose while sitting in Adam’s chair — indicates a contestant who’ll thrive under pressure.

And with that, let me turn things over to you. What did you think of Night 2 of The Voice‘s Season 6? 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! And for all my reality TV-related news, interviews and recaps, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

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. Kaba says:

    Personally I think Madilyn is wrongly placed.
    I actually did not like Cary at all.
    I’d have it:

    Going by your order

    • Angie_Overrated says:

      Agreed. I thought it was crystal clear Delvin was way above the others, but I guess that’s why they call them “preferences” as opposed to “truths”

      • Kaba says:

        Yeah…I don’t have the slightest clue how Slezak preferred Cary over Delvin.
        Deja has a cute radio ready voice, but in his own words “in order of least- to most-promising” I see nothing promising about Cary over Delvin. I see Cary as Team Adam cannon fodder frankly.
        What a moronic coach choice.

        • Angie_Overrated says:

          I liked last night’s lesbian country chick a lot better than the cute girl from Wyoming from tonight. Maybe I’m crazy, but girl tonight did nothing for me and lesbian country chick I was kind of into.

          • Kaba says:

            Pretty much on the same page with you. Something came across as desperate watching her sing. Or maybe it was more than she didn’t bring remotely close the amount of edge that song required of her.

          • HTGR says:

            Oh no!!! We AGREE! I think maybe I liked the country singer from MA (of all places) in part because she didn’t sing in a regular country style and sounded half like Shakira. And I think I liked her better because even ignore country or not or country styled or not I just thought she was better. Cary just didn’t do much for me regardless of it being country or not. Although seeing all the #1 rankings and 4 chairs and the vicious battle for her and the pimp spot I guess I’m alone (or with you- unleash the four horsemen of the apocalypse).

    • Miesque says:

      I agree. In fact, I think Cary Laine will live to regret her choice of Adam Levine as her coach. Hope she enjoys the rest of her life living in Pinedale, Wyoming, or Montana or wherever nowhere is.

      • Lauren says:

        She has a unique voice and obviously the coaches thought the same thing if ALL of them turned for her…..and on a side note Wyoming is not nowhere. We are in the Midwest, are the fourth largest state, and have one of the best economies in the country! Pretty sure we have the lowest welfare and unemployment rate too!
        From another Wyomingite

      • Sara says:

        Obviously Wyoming must be the ONLYA state that teaches geography…

    • Louise says:

      Do we really care who you liked or not, Cary was a knock out. All of her fans loved her. Who are you, anyway????

  2. Quinn Carson says:

    Cary and Delvin weren’t bad, but tonight was sort of dissapointing (talent wise). Usher’s bound to hang on to Bria now as everyone else on Team Usher isn’t great.

    • Kaba says:

      We’ve only seen 4 of 12 so far on his team :/
      There are 8 more people left to see for Usher’s team.

      • Quinn Carson says:

        Indeed, but Usher seems like a talented coach anyway, I expect all the artists to improve no matter what happens. (fingers crossed)

        • Kaba says:

          The way I see it, Usher doesn’t need a lot to make the best out of what he has.
          Michelle flew well under the radar for all of the season until the live shows, and then she was great.
          Managed to give Josiah good songs and he did well at one point, he just flopped with one song and that was his only chance.
          Vedo…no lol.
          But yeah I think he can make the best out of singers like Madilyn and TJ

  3. McKenzie says:

    The Voice is so enjoyable. I’ve never watched past the blind auditions, and last year definitely wasn’t this magical. I laughed all the way through Monday and today’s auditions. The chemistry among the judges is fantastic. All four of them are hilarious!

    • Miesque says:

      The chemistry is definitely between Shakira, Usher, Blake and Adam and not with Xtina or Ceelo.

    • MayMay says:

      I swear I’m not a butt joke person but that bit after Adam said he wanted to put the words about blowing rainbows into the contestants butt back in his mouth, when Blake said “after they’ve been in his butt? what’s wrong with you? That’s disgusting.” – I never laughed so hard at anything I’ve seen on any singing competition show. That joke/reaction was just… transcendent.

  4. Angie_Overrated says:

    Hmm. Wasn’t feeling the love tonight. I’d say the order from best to worst was Delvin then everyone else. It was a milquetoast and wholly forgettable group of battle round fodder tonight. Delvin has no chance of winning, but damn does he have a voice on him.

    • Kylee says:

      “Except for the ones who are not happy with Idol’s final 13. Take a look at the ratings, kiddo. Advertising slots keep getting cheaper, ratings fall every week, and American Idol will post its first loss in 13 seasons of being on the air. Seems like there are a lot of people who don’t agree with you.”

      Who cares about the ratings? Did you know that The Voice premiered the SAME rating as Idol this season? Awkward. And Idol was against the Olympics, which caused them to lose viewers.

      And we haven’t even SEEN the ratings yet based on the top 13 show, so that argument is invalid. Nobody knew who the top 13 would be last week in regards to last weeks ratings.

      • Kaba says:

        Did you really…REALLY just pick up the conversation in last nights recap and drag it here? Let it go, goodness.
        Even I leave the bad blood I establish with others in the comments in previous recaps.

      • Angie_Overrated says:

        Ugh. Ok. If I say I agree with you, will it get you to stop talking? If so, then I agree with everything you say.

    • Coryrox78 says:

      Nice use of milquetoast!

    • TheFactsR says:

      Were you watching the same show as many others who enjoyed the show? I think not! Who enjoys dullness as American Idol. No one. It is entertainment at its best for a reality show.

      • Angie_Overrated says:

        Yeah, I guess we were watching the same show. You happened to love it, and I happened to be bored to the point where I finished an expert level sudoku. Looking through the comments tonight, it seems like a lot of people agreed with both of us. And FYI: even on an offnight this was better than Idol this year. Tremendous disappointment on the Idol front.

        But it’s still no Hannibal. Can’t wait til Thursday. Oh lord, The Americans premiere is tomorrow, isn’t it? May god bless the end of Sochi and let the good tv begin again.

        • Kylee says:

          Oh please, it was nowhere near better than idol on a great night this year. Why don’t you give them a chance? And why don’t you get over your bitter hatred of Idol? This wasn’t as good as a lot of the audition episodes this year. But then again, I am arguing with someone who thought Season 12 was great.

      • Kylee says:

        Dullness as American Idol? Oh please. Idol is very entertaining if its a good cast. GEEZ. The Voice is boring once the lives hit.

        • Guest says:

          If Kylee had to choose between curing cancer, or telling people how great American Idol is, what do you think she’d go with?

    • Nit Picker Jr says:

      This. (I actually abhor this exact use of the term “this”, but … couldn’t be arsed to extrapolate)

  5. TheFactsR says:

    These recaps are also better and better. Correct observations. The judges are putting on a show to top reality shows and comedy hours. I am enjoying.

  6. MAB says:

    Was not really excited about the talent tonight nobody really stood out for me but really enjoyed watching the judges banter. The auditions are really where this show shines.

    • Danny says:

      @Mab- my sentiments exactly. I posted below almost the same as yours having not seen your post. You also had some comments from yesterday that I thought was spot on. You’re thoughts about comparing the 2 shows auditions, Candice/Janelle Arthur were spot on. If I’m not mistaken, you’re also the one who questioned whether these auditions were really blind or not. I’ve wondered that myself.

      • MAB says:

        Thank you but I was not the one who questioned whether the auditions were blind or not.

      • Name This Tune says:

        I don’t think it matters if the auditions are blind. The Voice has taken the position that they will choose the best talent they can find before they start filming. So we are never in a debate about why they chose one singer over another. Then the judges turn their chairs and who cares if it’s 2 judges or 4 judges. The singer gets to choose who they feel comfortable with. It’s win-win for everyone.

  7. John Anthony says:

    I agree totally with you regarding the comedy side of The Voice. NBC has a huge hit on their hands with these four judges. Can they keep them all coming back? I’m one of sixteen brothers and sisters and a huge family. I’d say about 80% of them watch The Voice and all of them really like these four judges. They mesh in personality, heads and shoulders, above all the other panels on TV today. They have to get better in the talent phase! I do not see a star in the early stages thus far. Hopefully the staff found someone out there who can make us sit up and take notice. Great entertainment thus far in the opening few hours!!!

    • MiniMe says:

      The Voice is really mostly ALL about the coaches/judges. The singers are just background music. It’s more like a comedy routine between the coaches, the antics, the funny one liners, etc. Every season it’s gets to be more and more focus the comedy routine between the coaches…

    • TheFactsR says:

      I am not sure if Shakira will change her contract, she said she only wanted to do the Spring seasons because of her new family ties, but then she could bring them along now, the baby is older now too. G. Pique is a pro soccer player too.

      I agree these 4 judges/coaches are the best personalities for The Voice.

  8. Sarah says:

    These four judges together are fantastic. I wouldn’t mind seeing the same configuration next season… I thought Cary sounded better in the iTunes version of her audition, she seemed out of breath in the televised version. Seems like she’ll need to work on breath control, but she could be good.

  9. Vince V. says:

    Tonight was okay talent wise. I don’t see the hype over Cary but I think she deinitely has charisma and with the right song choice, a solid vocal. She needs work on her control. Delvin can sing, but he has to prove versatile in the future. Noah has a slim to none chance of making it far, he’s a little bland personality wise. I think Madilyn could be a darhorse, I see her frowing tremendously and she is the closest thing to Caroline Penell and Melanie Martinez this season. Deja has a good look and voice, she just needs to prove herself through her song choices and take more risks vocally.

  10. It’s shaping up to be a very good season of comedy. Perhaps, they’ll also find new musical talent. It was hysterical when Adam adopted Shakira’s accent and joined her tirade. I really like these four coaches together. Maybe Shakira or Usher should become full time in Cee Lo’s chair, rather than bringing in some newbie. Tonight, I liked Madlyn and Deja most, followed by Delvin. Notably, in the first two days of blinds, about one-third of those moving on are teenagers. America loves those youngsters!

  11. dj says:

    I agree, the judges were funny, the vocal talent was so-so. There were 4-chair turns for people I thought would go home.

  12. Danny says:

    I like the judges, I like the Voice. Today wasn’t one of the better nights vocally though. Nothing really stood out for me. The Voice can make up for it- yea, to some it’s not what the show is about- with the judges banter. I thought Adam was pretty clever offering his chair like that. My take on tonight would be not the best singing, but still a pretty good tv show.

    I do wish they’d stop with the sob stories though. I’m sorry, but I don’t want to vote for someone because their grandpa died, because they’ve had to move so hub can get work, or just any other reason except they sing well enough to want me to listen to them. I’m not giving anyone a pity party.

    • TheFactsR says:

      The sob stories are depressing and there will be that to say why a certain artist is inspired. That is why I think the judges/coaches are so very important to lighten the mood a little.

      AND they do it with great abilities. Yes The Voice continue to lighted the depression. Thanks

    • Name That Tune says:

      You know, I’ve learned a few basic tricks for avoiding the sob stories, but in means watching online and not in real-time, which doesn’t bother me in the least. Every performance is available through YouTube, Hulu or Daily Motion (and Daily Motion has them available within minutes of airing on the East Coast) and they only show the performance and the coaches trying to sell themselves to the singers. You never see the fillers. It works for me just fine and I am caught up enough to vote when that opens up in my time zone.

      • Angie_Overrated says:

        But then you’ll never know whose mother had sepsis, whose grandfather died (REALLY?! Now we are including dead grandparents in sob stories?!) or whose transgendered dog has suffered extreme bullying within a heteronormative canine society. I for one require all this information before I cast my vote or download their music.

  13. bobsaccamanna says:

    It makes me crazy when people who should know better label “Song For You” Donny Hathaway’s song. It is NOT!!!! effing Donny Hathaway’s song, it is Leon Russell’s song and Donny Hathaway is covering it. Man that makes me nuts. Ok now that I am done ranting I agree with Slezak, even on a night when the talent wasn’t off the charts, the show keeps me entertained, the chemistry between this group of judges/mentors is “incredible.I didn’t think Cary Laine or Deja Hall were anywhere near as good as the judges made them out to be, last night was definitely better talent wise.

    • OhMy says:

      Thank you!!!! I came here to post that.

      • bobsaccamanna says:

        When Usher asked Blake if he knew who’s song it was I thought for sure he was going to say Leon. When he didn’t my head started to rotate like Linda Blair in the Exorcist.

        • Audra says:

          I so agree about who sang this song! I was yelling “Leon Russell” and was so surprised that Usher didn’t get this one (still like him and the other judges).. But, darn’

          • Stormy says:

            I have the same reaction when someone calls Hallelujah a Jeff Buckley song. It’s Leonard Cohen’s song and I don’t even like Buckley’s version. K D Lange and Jon Bon Jovi both did it better.

        • lynn says:

          To be fair, Usher might have known who the original recording artist was. It was the contestant that answered it. He probably wasn’t going to tell the contestant he was wrong.

        • Guest says:

          I was thinking Blake was going to say Ray Charles.

    • Vera Charles says:

      You beat me to it! I couldn’t believe it when Usher attributed this song to Donny Hathaway like a big know-it-all. Really? Makes me crazy.

    • VoiceWatcher says:

      Thank you! I couldn’t believe that even Usher thought “A Song for You” was written by someone other than Leon Russell. I have never even heard of Donny Hathaway. How could none of those musicians know who wrote that song?! It really bothered me.

  14. JW says:

    Madilyn Paige’s performance was beautiful. That tender approach to such a potentially bombastic song was perfect.

  15. Outis says:

    One of the funniest parts of the night is that neither Delvin (understandable) nor Usher (not cool if you’re going to attmept to call someone out on it) know who actually wrote and recorded the original song that he sang. It’s not a Donny Hathaway (although he does a loverly cover) song but a Leon Russell song written and recorded in 1970. Hathaway, again, does a really nice version but it’s probably less known then the Andy Williams, Ray Charles, or certainly Willie Nelson versions. Even fellow coach, Christina Aguilera did a cover of the song with the great Herbie Hancock. I chuckled that Usher challenged Blake and neither could give the original artist his due. You couldn’t even name the Willie version, Blake??? Ha, ha, ha…..Amazing song.

  16. says:

    “A Song for You” is not Donny Hathaway’s. It was written by Leon Russell and when Usher asked “Do you know who sang it?” a better answer might have been who has NOT SUNG IT, from Andy Williams to Cher to Helen Reddy to Michael Buble to ANYONE YOU CAN THINK OF….well, go to wiki and see at least four dozen to start with. It’s a Leon Russell song. No question Hathaway killed it (as he did everything he sang) but I associate him more with Where is the Love? (the duet with Flack) and When Love has Grown (another duet) but chiefly with “For All we Know.” Tearjerker of the highest order, and what a voice! His daughter just won a Grammy, people.

    It’s annoying when the coaches are so ignorant (just my take) — and then Adam sounded just like Ricky Ricardo and no one pointed it out. I turned the TV off right afterward (Usher’s hair looks awful, so does Adam’s! Shakira’s is most extensions). And why do so many contestants come back? give new people a chance!

    • MiniMe says:

      It’s all a comedy show. The contestants are just background noise while the for STARS are doing their comedy routine. I thought that was ridiculous with that Ricky Ricardo… it’s as insulting if Shakira were an Asian and Adam would go in that Asian accent… ‘Ching chong, chop chop, ah so” The so called “coaches” lost all credibility with me. I turned the TV off as well.

  17. Sean says:

    Tonight was underwhelming. I already like the one hour shows less than the two hour shows, and this episode didn’t help. Delvin was good, but the rest was just OK, and that guy with the mustache was terrible. The judges were enjoyable as usual.

  18. analythinker says:

    Is it my ears or was Cary behind the beat almost through the whole performance and was shaky towards the end?

    Delvin wasn’t perfect either but he did good.

    • Laura says:

      Wasn’t just you, I thought Cary was a little pitchy and breathy. I’ve heard Better Dig Two live and Cary’s version couldn’t even compare to The Band Perry–I for one was pretty surprised that Blake turned around for her.

    • Angie_Overrated says:

      Yeah, Cary was a mess. I didn’t understand the fanfare and enthusiastic reaction she got from the judges. Maybe it sounded a lot better live? Don’t know.

  19. Forwardad says:

    Enough with sob stories. It did idol in; will do the same for The Voice.

  20. A says:

    Honestly I watch for the humor of the coaches’ antics not the actual singing

  21. Ryan says:

    I really liked both Cary and Deja. Was completely surprised when Cary chose Adam, but I loved Amber Carrington and am hoping that Cary will turn out to be just as great.

  22. Lauren says:

    What in the world was that big uproar about that Cary woman about? That was nothing for them to get all worked up over. She was not even the best of the night.

  23. JB says:

    i want a reality show where Blake & Adam go on a road trip, Oprah & Gail style. They travel the country seeing their friends, fellow judges & mentors from the show. Imagine them with Cher in Vegas!! Adam hunting with Miranda…come on this would be epic!

  24. K. says:

    I really listen to a lot of country music and for me Cary wasn’t that great! I’ve heard way better…..

  25. waterbug says:

    Best quote of the night came from Cary Laine’s son to Carlson…” Is this for real??” As he watch his mom on stage.

    Brought a big smile to my face. The first thing I thought of was “…yes Virginia, there is a santa claus…”

  26. I love….. this show. I laugh more during this show than I do all week. I can’t wait for the next week to come on. The coaches are hilarious, lovable, laughable and dramatic. I am so….glad the Shakira and Usher are back and that Adam and Blake did not leave. They are all the best charismatic team. There is also a lot of great music ~ ‘Mrs. Jones” love it….
    The Voice can not be compared with ‘Idol’ because the focus is different. Please writers don’t screw this up.

  27. BrazenSongBird says:

    I thought Cary was interesting. She alternately had shades of Dolly and Reba. (Dolly’s vibrato and Reba’s attack and a mix of tone from each.) I liked her style. The rest, for me, were a snooze-fest, with the exception of Delvin who has the “comeback kid” storyline and a beautiful tone and facility. I’m just not sold on his musicianship. Monday night’s group was so much more “there”.

  28. Alienate says:

    How about a “None of the above’ as a voting choice? It was like that for me last nite.

    • Don Viajero says:

      I agree. This show was a big come down in talent compared to Monday night. None of the contestants impressed me much. I guess if we go by potential than the two teen girls showed some interesting parts of their voices among all the flat or sharp notes. But they both need a lot of work. For me, the weakest among all this mediocrity was Noah. He served up a whole bunch of blah. At least we saw several promising singers on Monday, so I still have hope for this season.

  29. Jodi says:

    The voice always has great talent. I personally Loved Cary Laine. She has amazing talent and she will have my vote!! I thought her so was absolutely adorable

  30. DavidSask says:

    I so have the feels for Usher this season!!! Anyone find the rainbow butts thing over the top gross? I anxiously await a season where Blake and esp. Adam take a break!

  31. RMD says:

    I must agree with Mr. Slezak. The pairing of Adam, Blake, Shakira and Usher is much better than grouping Adam and Blake with Ceelo and Christina. This group seems to have a much more natural banter and Shakira dishes it out to the men without the “Diva” attitude Christina seemed to carry. I, too, laughed several times Tuesday night, especially when Adam aped Shakira’s introduction of herself.

  32. Elizabeth says:

    My favorites so far are Christina Grimmie and Noah. I”m hoping there will be some other stronger singers as the blind auditions progress. I’m starting to agree with others who don’t care for the battle rounds and the lives. The Voice does tend to get more tedious once the blind auditions are over.

  33. HTGR says:

    Love all the coaches. Sometimes the banter gets a bit much, but it’s good. (Wasn’t liking that rainbow and butts thing though and that got taken way to far, trying to forget).
    Man what is it with Adam and his four chair wins haha, maybe not king of the world, but king of The Voice for sure. Gotta be the whole sexiest man thing drawing in all the girls like moths to a flame. It’s all good now, but the cuts on his team are always brutal and sometimes fickle. Poor Shakira has the worst time getting anyone to pick her. Is she still THAT unknown by all these singers in the U.S.?