The Voice Recap: Everybody Have Fun Tonight!

Audra McLaughlin the voice recapJust when I start to think an episode of The Voice is getting as predictable as your average Bachelor nonsense — kiss, kiss, kiss, “right reasons,” cry, kiss, rose, elimination, repeat — producer Mark Burnett goes and throws us a curve ball.

Tonight’s installment of NBC’s singing competition focused largely on The Refined Tastes of Adam Levine (not a sequel to The Talented Mr. Ripley), punctuated by the fact that nearly 50 minutes into the one-hour telecast, People’s Sexiest Man Alive had not turned his chair. Not even once. (Yeah, it’s doubtful that tonight’s auditions were shot in the same sequence they aired, but let’s suspend our disbelief for the purposes of this recap, yes?)

As Carson Daly offered up the last of his many, many, many, many pre-commercial previews (outweighed only by his endless post-commercial recaps), he warned us that the episode’s final contestant would, in fact, be “the show-stopping performance that Adam’s been waiting for” (with a bonus tease of Usher and Shakira hitting their buttons, and Blake lobbying his heart out).

So, yep, we were getting a four-chair turn. (Why must the show always spoil it for us!) And, yep, it was pretty certain she’d wind up on Team Adam.

And yet… turns out she didn’t! (Wait! What?) While Adam certainly lobbied long and enthusiastically for Audra McLaughlin’s affections, girlfriend followed her love of Bonnie Raitt… right to Miranda Lambert’s love of Bonnie Raitt… and then to Blake Shelton’s love of Miranda Lambert. Or something like that.

Color me surprised, bemused and impressed. All in favor of more misdirects and surprises on The Voice, raise your hands!

And on that note, let’s get to ranking — and reviewing, in a Twitter-esque 140 characters or less — tonight’s five Battle Rounds-bound contestants (shown in more than snippets) from least-to-most promising. (And I’ll just argue that there was more talent tonight in one hour than there was Monday in two!)

5. Megan Rüger, “Just Like a Pill” (Team Blake) | Megan’s vocal on the opening third of the performance sounded tight and nasal and not altogether pleasant. In her defense, though, she got better as she went along, she slayed a few of those big notes at the end, and her love of ’80s rock — and her choice of Blake over Usher based on his love of Wang Chung — makes me want to hear more.

4. Morgan Wallen, “Collide” (Team Usher) | Knoxville-based landscaper showcased a slightly peculiar but quite appealing combo of rasp and vibrato. Usher will need to help the kid discover some sort of inner charisma, but a serious growth arc is not out of the question.

3. Stevie Jo, “There Goes My Baby” (Team Usher) | Tackled a difficult Usher jam with tons of falsetto — and hit every note clean on the nose. Possible dark horse — if he upgrades his outfits from “afternoon trip to the mall.”

2. Audra McLauglin, “Angel from Montgomery” | Her tone — which spans the spectrum from bunny ears to sandpaper — was pretty captivating, and she’s got the kind of power that shakes the rafters without going off pitch. Add to that a tasteful, blues-tinged song choice, and it’s easy to see why she got a four-chair turn.

1. Emily B., “Wicked Game” (Team Shakira) | Successful session singer brought a haunting beauty and some unexpected twists and turns to Chris Isaak’s classic ballad. Is it crazy to say her voice contained shades of Cher and Martha Davis? Well, that’s what I heard, anyhow. Only concern was she held the mic too close to her lips during the opening lines. But sheesh, now I’m nitpicking. Time to wrap this recap up!

With that, let me turn things over to you.

What did you think of Night 4 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. Rissa says:

    I loved Emily’s performance, but all I wanted to do afterwards was watch Ross and Rachel get it on in the planetarium. Thanks, Chris Isaak.

  2. Ryan says:

    Pretty much everyone tonight has a ton of potential. I wasn’t sure how to take Morgan’s backstory, which made it sound like he was super-passionate about baseball but then fell back on music when he was injured. Which is perfectly fine-it doesn’t make him less of a legitimate artist on this show-but it seemed like a lot of backstory time was spent on showing us that music wasn’t his first choice. I thought Morgan was the weakest of the five, but he gets bonus points because his voice was very unique. The other four were awesome.

    • AlyB says:

      So glad to hear someone else say that because that’s exactly the impression I got. At one point he even said that after his baseball dreams were crushed that he considered music again and thought “Yeah, music. That’s something I could do.” The shame of it is that I kind of liked his voice but the performance fell flat. It was like he was just singing a grocery list and with about the amount of enthusiasm that would inspire. I hope Michael is right about the growth arc because he really does have an good, interesting voice. It was just kind of dull in the delivery and I couldn’t help but think the back story played into that. It’s fine if some life event closed a door and the person turned to music. I just expect the person to have at least a little passion for it.

  3. Timmah says:

    I love this judges’ panel. By far the best one of all the singing shows.

  4. Name That Tune says:

    Have to admit, I was a bit bored after Monday’s show, but this one hit the mark with perfection. Great singing, and a whole lot of fun from the coaches.

  5. Faye says:

    I liked Morgan a lot. His unusual voice got my attention immediately. Sure he is rough around the edges. The young man needs stage presence and confidence.. I think Usher will be a good coach for him.

  6. analythinker says:

    I’m not as mesmerized by Audra for some reasons, I think she’s equal with Holly Tucker in my book, audition-wise (Holly got 4-chairs turn too, right?). Although I love that she has raspiness. We’ll see as the season goes by.

    • Amie says:

      I love that song, but Bonnie Raitt (and John Prine, who wrote it and performs it himself, sometimes with Bonnie) are hard to touch. Audra did okay, and I give her extra points for singing a beautiful and not all-that-well-known song, but then I take them away for choosing Blake after his Miranda nonsense without even mentioning Bonnie Raitt or John Prine.

  7. Forwardad says:

    Music Boxx ???!!? Really? Fodder for Shakira?

  8. Audra has set the high mark so far. She should be tough to beat and rightly so.

  9. Emma says:

    My favorite was Emily B. and I was surprised when she picked Shakira, it seems like hardly anyone picks Shakira if they have a choice. Although I do recall her making some pretty bad song choices for her team last time she was on so maybe that’s why.

    • davey says:

      Shakira admitted she was pretty unfocused when she was a coach the last time because she was preoccupied with having a baby. I think she’s very into her role this time and we may see some good things from her this time around.

  10. Lauren says:

    I actually thought Stevie Jo and Morgan sounded better than all three of the girls (Megan was AWFUL!). Something about Morgan’s personality annoys me, though.

  11. Jay says:

    So was I the only one who thought Shakira accidentally pushed her button for Morgan? The look on her face was “oops my hand slipped”, and then she seemed to want to hand him right over to Usher. I actually didn’t like his voice at all and I found him boring, which shouldn’t have happened when you’re singing one of my favorite songs (Collide). I’d be surprised if he made it past the battle rounds.

  12. I love that on a show called “the Voice” Michael feels the need to disparage the sartorial aspects of some of the men. Of course, he does that in many similar ways on Idol also. Shame on you, young man.

  13. Viajero says:

    Much better than Monday night. I liked all 5 who got through, but if I had to rank them, then I guess I would go with:
    1. Emily
    2. Morgan
    3. Megan
    4. Audra
    5. Stevie Jo
    But really, they were all pretty good, so for me it came down as much to song choice as anything else.

  14. HTGR says:

    “many, many, many, many pre-commercial previews (outweighed only by his endless post-commercial recaps), ” + background stories = yeah ultra annoying + a bit annoying at times = glad I used DVR = I didn’t see any of it = all good.
    pretty good episode

  15. DJ says:

    There is only one reason to watch this show this season. In a word… Caleb. That is all.

  16. RedInDenver says:

    The contestants on The Voice are so far superior to the contestants on AI this season.

    So …. Is The Voice attracting better talent because of the show’s popularity; while the diminishing popularity of AI is making it more difficult to attract the best singers?

  17. John Anthony says:

    Audra will be around until the end. Her range is much better than most of the others. This season thus far each of the coaches have a possible winner for a change and there is still more to come. I do think the girls are going to beat out the gentlemen again. Maybe the remaining auditions will come up with a male singer who will make a run for the win besides Ushers male performers. Just watched American Idol and none of the final performers look like a future star. A lot of average singing Wednesday night.

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