While most people were excited about the Super Bowl, I was more looking forward to the return of The Voice, the singing competition I might abandon American Idol for after the latter’s lackluster season last year and uninspired start so far this year.
My DVR started recording late so I missed the first singer to audition, whom Blake Shelton apparently snapped up. Here are some thoughts about the rest of them:
Chris Mann not only surprised with his booming, operatic voice, he moved me with what he said about not wanting to shrink his voice down to make it fit the norm anymore. It takes guts to go on a show like this and sing opera, and it was gratifying to see the judges embrace him (except Blake, who said, “I know I’m country, but I couldn’t understand one word he was sayin’!”). Wish Mann had gone with Cee Lo, though, because he’s a savvy producer who could probably do more for Mann’s career than Christina Aguilera.
- Juliet Simms, who performed a gravelly, achy version of The Beatles’ “Oh! Darling” had Adam Levine on his feet singing along with her. I think his rock ‘n’ roll style would have been good for her, but she went with Cee Lo. Why was everyone avoiding Adam when he coached last year’s winner, Javier Colon?
- While fighting for Simms to join her team, Aguilera annoyed the funk out of me when she kept talking over Adam while he was making his pitch. She repeatedly called the Maroon 5 singer a used car salesman and, though she later said she was kidding, was completely charmless about it. She also needs to stop abusing the word “honestly.” Everything was “honestly” this and “honestly” that. Couldn’t she convince the singers and viewers of the sincerity of her comments without having to say that all the time?
Jesse Campbell has an incredible voice, and I’m glad all the judges fought over him, but I kept thinking he looked like Cuba Gooding Jr. Anyone else think that? And when his wife got tired of his not being able to provide for his family as a musician, why did she leave the kid with him so that the girl had to sleep in the car with her father? That’s cold.
- Former Mousketeer Tony Lucca was fantastic in his rendition of “Trouble.” The first two notes out of his mouth and I was already yelling at the TV, “Push the button! Turn your damn chairs around!” The guy was also adorable, looking like he was having the time of his life playing his guitar and singing his heart out. And he chose Adam! Finally! Aguilera was his co-star on The Mickey Mouse Club but didn’t seem to recognize him at all until after he left the stage. I suspect someone prompted her from off camera, because she went from no recognition to a rather shocked look instead of having a slow dawning realization. She then went backstage to meet his wife and son, telling them Britney Spears used to have a crush on Lucca when they were all working together. The look on his wife’s face at the revelation was…interesting.
- Daniel Rosa, the only wannabe whose entire audition was shown despite his not making it onto a team, was the most painful to watch. His voice actually had a nice soulful tone but he had obvious pitch problems. He performed Neon Trees’ “Animal,” which included the refrain “What are you waiting for?” which poor Rosa kept singing to the backs of the coaches’ chairs, as if begging them to turn around.
Rosa’s audition showed that even those deemed not good enough weren’t train wrecks like they are on Idol. He was also treated with respect by the coaches and producers, not humiliated on national TV. We’ll see whether that holds true as the season progresses, but tonight’s show was a good start, and it’ll have two more hours tomorrow to discover more incredible voices.
Did you watch? Who did you like? Did you think all the singers picked the right coaches for themselves?
Check out Chris Mann’s audition video below: