The Voice Recap: We Don't Really Want to See You Put a Ring on It

There’s a reason I wiped the most recent season of The Bachelorette from my DVR after only two episodes: I don’t actually enjoy watching real people get engaged on television. (Fictional characters? Get down on bended knee and keep doing your thing!)

This might explain the recurring waves of nameless dread I felt during Monday’s installment of The Voice, as host Carson Daly repeatedly teased how “coming up after the break” (after the break) (after the break that’s after the break) (because apparently we’re all going to change the channel to DWTS if there’s anything left uncertain) we’d see a televised proposal to melt hearts and influence voting patterns.

Ultimately, the end-of-episode romantic interlude turned out to be tolerably sweet — a spoonful of crème brûlée as opposed to three packets of undiluted Splenda — but I’d rather have had those three extra minutes devoted to one of the trio of vocalists who got the dreaded “montage treatment” on their way to the Season 9 Battle Rounds.

I know, I know, The Voice has a 2015 Emmy award for Outstanding Competition Series and all I’ve got is a penchant for grousing “What about the actual singing?!” But let’s have a show of hands here: Are you more or less inclined to vote for the night’s other loverboy, Chris Crump, after learning he and his bride left their wedding reception to attend a local Season 9 casting call?

You’re not going to make me say out loud which way I’m leaning, are you? Before you answer that, allow me to count down Monday’s nine Battle Rounds-bound vocalists from least- to most-promising:

9. Amanda Ayala, “Mississippi Queen” (Team Adam) | By the time I brush my teeth, memories of this not-entirely-enthusiastic teenager’s very average performance will have been wiped from my brain like… wait, what was I writing about?

8. Jubal and Amanda, “Seven Bridges Road” (Team Pharrell) | I hope their televised engagement is the start of a beautiful marriage, but their intermittent pitch issues and shouty choruses have me less optimistic about their happily-ever-after as it pertains to NBC’s singing competition.

7. Madi Davis, “It’s Too Late” (Team Pharrell) | Teenage hippie chick’s audition showcased an intriguing tone, but her affected pronunciations and lack of emotional heft make me think it was a year or two too early for her to try to make a go of a singing career.

6. Chris Crump, “Thinking Out Loud” (Team Blake) | Chris’ enunciation in the opening verse rendered almost unintelligible the aw-shucks lyrics of Ed Sheeran’s love ballad, but he showcased a clear and pleasing clarity when his voice opened up on the chorus. If Blake takes a shine to him in the Battles and Knockouts, his babyfaced southern-guy charm could prove a major vote magnet.

5. Lyndsey Elm, “Lips Are Movin'” (Tean Gwen) | It’s hard not to applaud an artist who’s willing to eschew karaoke and cook up her own take on a ubiquitous radio jam. Still, I heard some less-than-solid breath control on the “Na-na-nas,” and if I’m being brutally honest, I thought Lyndsey’s slowed-down, stripped-down arrangement drained all the sass and sting of Meghan Trainor’s original.

4. Morgan Frazier, “I Want You to Want Me” (Team Blake) | As much as I wanted the story about Morgan’s parents let her move to Nashville alone at age 16 to be played as a cautionary tale, I quickly got over my outrage and succumbed to the sweet lilt and delicate crumble in Morgan’s unaffected instrument. She knows how to breathe new life into a lyric, and her ability to land a punch line (“I’ve been watching [Blake] since he had a mullet!”) will further aid her cause.

3. Tyler Dickerson, “Hard to Handle” (Team Blake) | My heart broke a little for Tyler’s tale of losing the major-label deal he’d landed as a teenager — then suffering further after a horrific car accident. But I’m not sure why the judges tried to pretend that Tyler’s wasn’t the 37th permutation on this series of events that The Voice has coughed up over the last eight seasons. Nevertheless, his straight-up-the-middle cover of the Black Crowes’ cover proved he’s got charisma, vocal dexterity and a tone as clean and clear as a bottle of Evian.

2. Jeffery Austin, “Lay Me Down” (Team Gwen) | I wasn’t expecting much from Jeffrey, considering it had been six years since he’d performed on any sort of serious stage — and his highlight reel mostly consisted of his roles in high-school plays. But just as you can’t judge Adam Levine’s net worth by his collection of hideous bowling shirts, Jeffery’s pursuit of a public-relations job doesn’t mean the guy isn’t in possession of a buttery beauty in his upper register, a husky addictiveness in his lower tones and a patience approach to a lyric that brings every subtle emotion to vivid life. As Gwen huffed, her fellow coaches missed the boat in failing to press their buttons; now, here’s hoping their bad choices won’t result in a downgraded opinion of Jeffery’s talents come Battle Rounds.

1. Manny Cabo, “Here I Go Again” (Team Adam) | I’ll admit I’m a sucker for offbeat arrangements and unexpected melodic choices, but when taking on a beast as ominous as Whitesnake’s greatest hit, I’m OK if a guy like Manny merely strides on stage and slays with ferocious vocal power and an “I got this” confidence. There appears to be no limit to the strength or pitch of the 45-year-old photographer’s instrument, and the fact that he was undeterred by Blake’s relentless “don’t choose a judge with rolled-up jeans” shtick has me hopeful he’ll maintain his own vision in the coming weeks and months (provided Adam doesn’t make any ageist decisions and TKO him in the knockouts).

On that note, I turn the mic over to you. What did you think of Night 3 of The Voice Season 9? Vote for your favorites in 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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47 Comments
  1. Florence+TheMachineRules!!! #MariahSlays says:

    My favorites were lyndsay, tyler, and jeffery. I felt an extra something when they performed, especially lyndsay, she sung a song, completly changed it, and made it her own. Im still waiting on a powerful singer called Shelby Brown. Check out her reverbnation page, she is currently ranked #1 in her station. She can SANG!!! HIGHLY RECOMEND

  2. Angie_Overrated says:

    Yikes, another bad episode. This is shaping up to be worse than that season with Reagan James and Taylor John Williams. Seeing the guy from Texas who sang Ed Sheeran get a 4 chair turn tells us everything we need to know about this year’s talent level. And then the one legitimately good singer who sang the Sam Smith song got only Gwen to turn. Weak, but still better than the dreckitude known as Idol.

    • akillesheel says:

      Yeah, that the Sam Smith guy got one chair and the Carole King girl got 3 was baffling.

      • Paige says:

        It was NO contest. Jeffrey Austin was brilliant, and I don’t say that lightly as I’m a singer and voice teacher, and highly critical. His performance was flawless. This is THE VOICE and he had it. His pitch and phrasing were mind-blowing. The fact that only Gwen turned proved that these judges don’t know crap about real singing.

        • Temperance says:

          Agreed. And the Whitesnake guy have standard bar karaoke bar lame rock rendition #1200456 and got lots of attention for a zero chance of any airplay. Ugh.

      • Timmah says:

        Punishment for choosing one of those rambling, coma-inducing Sam Smith songs.

      • OhMy says:

        I was hoping no one would turn for the Sam Smith guy.

    • JM says:

      Right? I couldn’t believe only Gwen turned for Jeffrey. He was my fav of the night.

    • Mytake says:

      Adam, Pharrell and Blake have all won. No woman has ever won. Whether The Voice is trying to be politically correct by having a woman finally win, or they just want someone who hasn’t won, to win, it looks to me like they are setting Gwen up for the win this year.

    • analythinker says:

      Reagan who? Eh. Haven’t watched this episode yet but I saw that Jordan’s video has more than 7 million views already. So even though it seems like it could be the worst season yet, at least that’s a milestone, heh.

      • Angie_Overrated says:

        He’s really good, but given his looks, his best hope is a niche career like Susan Boyle. And even that I’d put at 100/1 odds.
        It’ll be interesting to see how voters respond to obviously gay contestants, some of whom are the best contestants this season. I personally don’t care one way or the other, but I will be very curious to see if the voting public cares.

        • analythinker says:

          Does this include Jordan? Because he has a girlfriend, although I can imagine people mistaking him as gay just because of his voice alone. I hope they only care about the voice, but if this was true, we would have had different past winners.

          I’ve watched Jeffery and he’s good, but to my ears, his choice of runs caused him to go behind the beat at times. I hope he’ll be smarter.

    • Timmah says:

      I’m just hoping we get the blind rounds over with quickly so we can see Jordan Smith again.

      • Angie_Overrated says:

        Jordan, Evan, and Jeffery (spelling?) are the three this season. All three are well above average, but it’s horrifying how many truly mediocre country singers there are this season and how they’re inevitably going to dominate the voting.

  3. Andres says:

    I really liked lyndsay and jeffery. I though they were really really good. The guy who sang thinking out loud was a total snooze fast and i am still wondering how 4 chairs were turned. Also that couple at the end no es bueno. Yay they got engaged, but they were bad.
    Honorable mentions to tyler and manny.
    Also is anyone else doing tat build a team thing on the voice app.

  4. Kim Moores says:

    I think that if tomorrow sucks just as hard that it’s safe to say I’ll be throwing in all the white towels for the season. I was incomprehensibly bored tonight. How many useless country singers have we gone through so far?

    • Florence+TheMachineRules!!! #MariahSlays says:

      i woudnt count tomrrow out, theres some singers that are really good like Powerhouse Shelby Brown and some others

      • Russ says:

        I doubt Shelby will be liked much by some of the more vocal posters here. I am looking forward to her.

        • Florence+TheMachineRules!!! :) #MariahSlays says:

          I recently checked her music out and she was not what I completly expected. She is more of a innovative artist who would just do stuff Acapella kinda like Tori kelly a bit. I I think on a technical note, she is probably the best female vocalist on the show this season

    • Angie_Overrated says:

      I was so bored that I was twirling pennies on the floor. At one point I started doing somersaults, much to the delight of my sharpei. To think last season we already had India’s NY State of Mind and Koryn’s Emile Sande cover… oh well.

    • Temperance says:

      Like most of the country, I couldn’t care less about the country artists. They’re not going to give the show the big star it really needs.

      • Timmah says:

        I’m not sure this show really needs a star. It’s done pretty well ratings-wise for 8 seasons without producing a single one. The coaches have become the stars of the show, for better or worse.

  5. antisocialbutterflie says:

    To answer your question, I always give at least an hour of lead time on my DVR, so I can fast forward through all the weepy last chance stories and just listen to the songs.

  6. JM says:

    I was impressed with the Lyndsey and Morgan who put their own spins on the songs they sung. As well as Manny and Tyler. But the best voice goes to Jeffrey. Why only one chair turned for him, I have no idea. But hey, Michael, this adds fuel to your theory that Gwen will win this season!

    • Angie_Overrated says:

      Jeffrey was easily the best singer. By several miles. Not that that seems to matter on this show, but it’s true nonetheless.

  7. Tara says:

    Manny has one heck of a soul that comes out with his voice. My fav for this season! Go get em Manny!

    • taters says:

      I agree completely. I’m looking forward to watching him. His voice is amazing.

    • I agree he is great! Look up his BEAUTIFUL (but risky!!!!!) pictures! He photographs some beautiful models! if you just google his name you can see them. He is a very talented photographer! Loved his performance and also loved Chris Crump!

  8. Nick Arlea says:

    I vote Manny Cabo all the way. He represents what’s missing in this mess of a music business today! Rock N Roll from the soul and character to boot. What you’ll get if he wins is a solid real Rock album. One thing most people know if its not from the heart. There’s no worries there with Manny Cabo behind the wheel! Keep it real and true. Cheers Nick

  9. CringeWorthy says:

    We’ve devised a drinking game in our house. Every time Gwen says “Did you know I was in a band at 17” we take a shot. We’re SOOOOOOOOO hammered……….

    • bobsaccamanna says:

      I had the over/under at 50 in my week one post. At this point I think the over looks good. Jesus Gwen, we get it, like every other single rocker in the universe, you were in a band at 17. Hell I was in a band at 17 but unfortunately we sucked.

  10. akillesheel says:

    Also, that Chris Crump guy seems to be a Grade-A douchenozzle so far.

  11. NotVirgin Mary says:

    Jeffrey was gorgeous, but that’s about it. No one is that special right now. I miss season 8. Can we do a re-do of last season except with Kimberly Nichole (rightfully) winning? That’d be great. I still feel robbed of the 5+ performances she should have had.

  12. Temperance says:

    I pretty much hated Manny, so I’m not getting the love. OTOH, I thought Jeffry Austin should’ve been the biggest four chair turn of the season.

  13. Kschoed says:

    I like Manny Cabo, but man does he have some interesting photos out there. I wonder if this makes NBC nervous.

  14. Timmah says:

    I guess posting is still broken. Tried several times to reply to a post with no success.

  15. Margarethe says:

    Manny Cabo. That is all.

  16. Elizabeth says:

    hahah quit hating on Chris. I know him and he is such a great guy and I’m sure has way more talent than all of you :) That’s a great song, but I know his talent and his capabilities. You really all should think twice just by judging him by one performance. As far as the “support your wife” comment, they are the cutest couple. Don’t diss a guy who cares about his wife and wants to support her. Maybe you should take some notes.

  17. HTGR says:

    Loved me some of that Whitesnake! I’ll go with that one for tonight. There were others though.