The Voice Recap: Idol Castoffs Are... Adam Levine's Workshop?

Midas-Whale-The-VoiceHave I ever mentioned that Shakira’s “She Wolf” is in my iTunes “Top 25 Most Played” list? (Okay, maybe it’s even in my Top 10. But don’t judge me unless you’ve heard it full blast while doing the “ah-ooooh!” at the top of your lungs during a road trip.)

I’m even prouder of my Shakira obsession after another delightful showing on Episode 2 of The Voice‘s Season 4 Blind Auditions. But wait — we interrup this recap with breaking news from Idoloonie HQ!

Yes indeed, that was Jon Peter Lewis — Top 10 finalist on Season 3 of American Idol — who got all four Voice coaches to turn around tonight when his folk duo Midas Whale hit the stage with a jaunty rendition of “Folsom Prison Blues.” We’ve now reached that stage of Reality Singing Competition Evolution where one show’s voting evictees become another show’s possible front-runners. (Kendra Chantelle, Mishavonna Henson and Ricky Braddy, take note!)

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JPL was part of a very strong one-hour audition episode where all five Battle Rounds-bound singers appear to have at least some chance of making it far into the competition. So while I could complain about how I wish The Voice spent a little less time doing the “HGTV Edit” — aka recapping what went down just prior to and just following every commercial break — I’ll instead skip directly to a rundown of the aforementioned quintet. I’ve ranked ’em in order from least- to most-promising, and tried my best to keep my reviews down to a Twitter-esque 140 characters or less (key word being “tried“). Here we go…

5) Josiah Hawley: Maroon 5’s “Sunday Morning” (Team Usher) | The shot of this male model changing his shirt (aka flashing his insane abs) was as ridiculous as it was heartbreaking (at least for this carbohydrate lover), but his tone and phrasing were pretty — even if his falsetto and scat section weren’t entirely on point. But hey, Usher’s done more with less. (Yes, that was a Bieber dig. No, apparently I don’t value my life.)

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4) Tawnya Reynolds: Ed Bruce’s “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys” (Team Shakira) | I’m not sure Tawnya’s got the most distinctive tone I’ve ever heard, but she hit every note harder than Laila Ali in a championship bout. Also respect that she hasn’t given up after 12 years of low-paid gigging in Nashville. Go on, girl!

3) Midas Whale (a duo featuring American Idol Season 3 finalist Jon Peter Lewis): Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues” (Team Adam) | With acoustic guitar and accordion in hand, this duo put together a rousing, high-energy cover of a soulful country classic that sounded like it could’ve come from the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack. And that’s a damn good soundtrack. Their outsized sense of humor — “country hasn’t reached [Idaho] yet!” LOL — won’t hurt ’em with voters, either.

2) Cáthia: “No Me Doy Por Vencido” (Team Shakira) | There were wobbles on two or three of the big notes, but when Cáthia broke down in tears at the end of her performance, I kinda sorta had to give her a pass. Like Blake, I had didn’t understand one word of the Bronx beauty’s ditty, but as she so saucily retorted, “It’s OK! Music is universal!” There’s no denying her charisma or passion — kinda like her mentor, si?

1) Sarah Simmons: Joan Osborne’s “One of Us” (Team Adam) | Oh em gee, this chica has a sublime upper register, and an equally intriguing rasp when she starts full-out belting. I felt like she was a little behind the beat on the opening verse, but that might’ve actually been deliberate. It’s understandable why she got all four chairs to turn. Hopefully Adam doesn’t underplay her like he did with Amanda Brown last year.

Okay, your turn. What did you think of the second episode of The Voice Season 4? Who was your favorite? Who got a spot on a coach’s team that left you scratching your head? Who got unfairly snubbed? Take our poll below, then expand on your thoughts in the comments! And for all my reality TV recaps, interviews, news and exclusives, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!