That was the surprising take-home message on tonight’s installment of The Voice — a two-hour meh-fest during which an unprecedented ratio (9 out of 20) singers failed to get a single button push from the merry band of Season 6 coaches. Unfortunately, said message applied to the entire episode, too, seeing how we only got to see extended footage of six artists bound for the Battle Rounds — and only one or two of ‘em exhibited even the slightest hint of championship potential.
With the talent not exactly brrringing it, the focus shifted to the various eccentricities and -isms of the panel. We had Shakira inexplicably referencing Hannibal (possible subliminal NBC synergy?) and Alexander the Great to sway a rock-pop chick onto her team. (I’ll admit it: I had no idea where or why that line of argument began, but so what? An artist who’s bequeathed us a line like, “I’m starting to feel just a little abused like a coffee machine in an office,” deserves the benefit of the doubt.)
And then there was Blake Shelton successfully wooing a pop-soul diva who used to work with Celine Dion — a twist that made a lot more sense on screen than it did in theory. There was Usher playing the Michelle Chamuel card — and losing! (Impossible!) And there was Adam, trying to defend one of his arm tattoos from a character assassination by Shaki — though I suspect he probably has at least some ink of completely unknown origin.
Anyway, enough chatter about The Artists Commonly Referred to by Carson Daly as Superstar Coaches. I’m gonna rank the eight Battle Rounds-bound contestants (shown in more than snippets) from least-to-most promising — with Twitter-esque reviews of 140 characters or less — and then as you to rank ‘em, too.
8. Brothers Walker: “Keep Me in Mind” (Team Usher) | Bearded twins made for good TV with their amusing banter and ease in front of the judges. Their actual vocal performance, though, has already escaped my mind like steam from a teapot — never to return again.
7. Sam Behymer: “Royals” (Team Adam) | This nanny’s lilting tone veered into unpleasant squeaks and squaks whenever she tried coloring outside Lorde’s lines. Also, did she get choked up talking about grad school as a Plan B? Come on!
6. Ryan Whyte Maloney: “Lights” (Team Blake) | To my ears, his upper register was almost as thin his unfortunate straight-line soul patch. Can a four-chair turn be Battle Rounds cannon fodder?
5. Deshawn Washington: “Twistin’ the Night Away” (Team Shakira) | Super old-fashioned song choice, but this Louisiana kid possessed pretty accurate pitch and a gruff, throwback singing style. Surprised no one turned except Shaki.
4. Patrick Thomson: “Can’t You See” (Team Adam) | I’m not quite sure I’d agree with Blake that Patrick sounds like he’s been “gargling broken glass” — that’s a better way to describe Britney Spears sans autotune — but his grit and growl do help make up for a slight charisma deficit.
3. Melissa Jiménez: “If I Ain’t Got You” (Team Usher) | I enjoyed the warmth of Melissa’s tone — and the guttiness of her pitch-perfect a cappella intro. Plus, the admission that her failed major-label deal “left some scars” won me over, too, truth be told.
2. Clarissa Serna: “Zombie” (Team Shakira) | As Adam noted, Clarissa didn’t copy what Dolores O’Riordan (or as Adam called her, “she”) does with “Zombie.” Even better, Clarissa’s got an appealing rawness and undeniable power that could be a great match with Shakira’s inner rocker.
1. Sisaundra Lewis: “Ain’t No Way” (Team Blake) | Yowza! You’d expect pretty big things from Celine Dion’s former musical director, but Sisaundra (pictured) displayed a ton of control and finesse on this classic Aretha anthem — without missing a single note, even on the insanely tricky bridge. And while Blake might seem like an odd fit, I couldn’t help but notice the duo really seemed to connect. Plus, wouldn’t he just love to win with another contestant completely outside his wheelhouse?
With that, let me turn things over to you.
What did you think of Night 3 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!