the voice recap johnny gates blind auditions

The Voice Recap: Law of Average

By the time we got to the end of Part 2 of Week 2 of The Voice’s Blind Auditions, we’d been treated to a raspy-voiced Rod Stewart wannabe, an impromptu Alicia Keys cover of “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” and a great deal of talk about Blake Shelton’s desire to live the girl dream that Gwen Stefani had. How were the actual performances, though? See below for my (randomly ordered) reviews and letter grades of the singers moving on to the Battle Rounds, then hit the comments with your own critiques.

Johnny Gates (Team Gwen), “Maggie May” — Grade: B | This 31-year-old’s cover of Rod (for whom his band once opened) was deffo better than average, and right in his sweet spot vocally. But what really elevated his performance was the energy that kept him bopping around the stage for the duration of the number. Made him not only someone you’d like to listen to but watch as well.

Lauryn Judd (Team Alicia), “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” — Grade: B+ | This bubbly 16-year-old — a real-life Sue Heck, no? — charmed with her folky take on Cyndi Lauper but wowed with her range (which was so great, it made her coach think for a moment that there were two singers on stage, not one).

the voice recap malik davage blind auditionsMalik Davage (Team Adam), “Sure Thing” — Grade: C | Though this 23-year-old was so devoted to his baby daughter that he broke down just thinking about her, his Miguel cover was at best competent. Even his coach, after a group hug with the handsome singer and Gwen Stefani, had to admit that his vocals needed work. Maybe if he could pour more of that emotion into his performance next time?

Caroline Sky (Team Gwen), “Will You Love Me Tomorrow?” — Grade: C+ | Not sure what Gwen heard in the shaky start to this elegant 16-year-old’s rendition of the Carole King classic to make her swivel her chair so quickly. Caroline didn’t really come alive until the chorus, and even then, she was only some of that, not, you know, all that.

Josh Hoyer (Team Blake), “Oh Girl” — Grade: B+ | This 40-year-old father of two from Lincoln, Neb., sang the Chi-Lites hit like a man on a mission, which he accomplished by turning both Blake Shelton’s and Gwen’s chairs. But, as good as his performance was, was it special? I didn’t think so. (Am I jaded after only two weeks?)

So, what did you think of Tuesday’s contenders? Rank them below in order from least- to most-impressive and, should the spirit move you, grade ’em as well.

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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21 Comments
  1. James says:

    So far this season is on the boring side of the scale.
    Also I understand that it is difficult for coaches to come up with a new pitch for every contestant, I truly feel for them. But Gwen’s pitch is really tiresome. Somehow she makes it to be about herself, every single time. If you think about it that’s also pretty admirable.
    I do miss Xtina and that makes me bitter towards Gwen.

    • danin says:

      Gwen has come from her heart&mind several times w/contestants. All of them, except Alicia have shtick & are repetitive from time to time. These guys are seeing a ton of people in one day. If you’ve noticed they have same clothes on as last week. It’s difficult to stay fresh.

      • James says:

        You are right. I am being harsh when I do not truly understand what’s happening behind the scenes.

      • Bob says:

        The judges wear the same clothes over several tapings so the performances can be shown out of sequence to 1) fit the time slots of the shows and 2) build some suspense for the clips that are shown over and over again.

      • Eurydice says:

        Alicia has a sales pitch, too – “your voice is so full of emotion, it’s from the heart, you have an old soul, Wow!!!!” But I don’t mind; I like all the coaches.

    • OhMy says:

      Yea, you know maybe if The Voice made some stars they would be getting better contestants.

      • OhMy says:

        In all seriousness, that was a bad episode from start to finish.

      • Smokey says:

        For those who follow Country Music, they do sometimes see Danielle Bradbery,(first album hit #19 on U.S. Billboard) Cassadee Pope – has also had a hit country album and evidently has made over a million dollars since the show– and Rae Lynn hit the top 100 some time after the show with her “God Made Girls” song — also see them guesting in on other artists music videos or doing duets with other known artists or as an add-on to a performance/venue of Country Music bookings/appearances here and there. Not major superstars at all, but got a nice big boost from their exposure on the show.

        • OhMy says:

          You are right, but . . .

          • Smokey says:

            I agree we haven’t seen a Kelly or Carrie or Adam or other Idol level success stories come out of “The Voice”. But Idol winners or their top 5 have also mostly disappeared the past few years. Now the market is a blend of hip-hop/rap/ alternative rock/super hot-pop with softcore video………. or Country.

          • Normandy says:

            You do understand the landscape of music has changed since the peak of American Idol, right? Plus The Voice doesn’t have the number of viewers Idol used to have. Yes, Universal Republic sucks at helping out the winners, but the days of Carrie and Kelly are over.

    • analythinker says:

      I don’t feel that way with Gwen. Maybe she does her shtick when it’s a young female contestant, but for the others, she sounded quite warm and sincere to me. I’m getting really tired with Blake, though. I’ve noticed his repeated vocabulary.

      However, I do agree that the talent pool this season is really really lacking… well… talent. But I’m still (rather) interested to see the growth of these contestants. Perhaps this time it would turn out to be refreshing compared to the usual “clear chosen-one(s)” in previous seasons.

      • Tig says:

        What i love about Gwen is she doesn’t name-drop as much as her fans wish she would to remind people who she is – she could have said Prince produced a track for her and put her on his album, for example. When Adam was talking about performing in front of a large group of people, how about when Gwen & No Doubt were the half-time performers at the Super Bowl? One of the contestants from last season posted that it seemed that the coaches this year were laughing a lot more and wished he could have met Gwen. The moment that touched me the most though was when Malik cried and Gwen offered her shoulder.

        top 5 –
        Johnny
        Lauren
        Josh
        Caroline
        Malik

  2. Russ says:

    The Voice App rankings
    Josh 80%
    Lauryn 65%
    Caroline 64%
    Johnny 62%
    Malik 59%

    • Smokey says:

      I think Caroline has a lot of potential to evolve on the show if she can survive the battleround and get some good, brave song choices, to expand her image as a singer…. As long as they’re not those over-done Diva songs and other over-done talent show standards stuff like true colors… …Josh did good but it’s a tough road for him to survive into the late rounds of the competition.

  3. Hayley says:

    I think Johnny was just super charming. I love the song Maggie May and he did it well. He’s got a lot of natural charisma and I hope it gets him far!

  4. Music in my Bones says:

    From tonight’s singers: Josh Hoyer, Johnny Gates and Caroline Sky. The music they chose appealed to me, and all three have great voices! Johnny’s stage presence was stellar!

    • The truth says:

      Unfortunately they don’t get to pick their songs. Spoiler alert! They are given songs to sing. Let me tell you, if Josh Hoyer could have sang a song he wanted to, you all would have been blown away!

    • Smokey says:

      Itunes genre ROCK #37 Believe (The Voice Performance)
      Artist: Taylor Alexander — #35 Maggie May (The Voice Performance)
      Artist: Johnny Gates —————-

      genre BLUES #8 Pride and Joy (The Voice Performance)
      Artist: Julien Martinez ——————

      genre COUNTRY #37 Believe (The Voice Performance)
      Artist: Taylor Alexander ——#100 Blue (The Voice Performance)
      Artist: Casi Joy—————————-

      genre R&B #41 Let’s Get It On (The Voice Performance)
      Artist: Kawan DeBose

      So who is making money on this? Wonder what the artist/singers cut is on the sales.

  5. GrumpyMittens says:

    The song choices are just painful – boring, bland, safe in the worst way possible. I’m still waiting for a heavy-hitter with huge voice and great control because right now I doubt I’ll still remember those people in the next round.