I wish it would have come a week later as I was literally home no earlier than 9 PM every night this past week. The GREAT thing about Blind Auditions is there are no worries about “spoilers” on who goes home, etc. Everyone is a complete stranger and it is a decent mix of music if we’re lucky.
They haven’t mentioned it by name, but the return of American Idol is palpable on the set. They are absolutely going after AI. The biggest punch is getting their original, most successful winner as a coach. The references to the fact that “Kelly is just like these contestants as she was on a competition show” are plentiful. Much more than they did with Jennifer Hudson. In the weeks leading up to it, there were a few funny digs from The Voice twitter account person including a “We can’t wait for a ‘Moment Like This’” reference which cracked me up. (Even I, a non AI watcher, know that was Kelly’s premiere song as the winner. Didn’t she even sing it on the night she won?)
They also updated the set, with brand new chairs and a little different lighting system when they turn around, etc. I do like the chrome on the chairs, and the accent lights. I also noticed the speakers on the chairs were moved. I could be imagining things, but Blake doesn’t seem to lean to the left as much during the auditions (before he turns around).
Voice watchers, what do we think about the new button? Let me explain. They’ve added a twist this year. Each chair has 3 more buttons with the names of the 3 other coaches. Each coach has ONE opportunity to block another coach from being selected by an artist. Blake used his against Adam right off the bat on a kid named Britton singing Trouble. He was good, but I was surprised he didn’t save it. What was funny is that the kid picked Alicia!! Then, Alicia used it against Blake on this AMAZING country singer (more on him later). The artist ended up picking Kelly. Now, I’m concerned with this. Sure Survivor has added twists to the game in the past, and survived (no pun intended) but this COULD be a shark jump! I am also a bit concerned that this is so coach oriented on what has been ultimately a show so focused on nurturing new talent, the competitive coach smack talk notwithstanding.
As for the new coach, I’m now more reserved than when I first started. WHY. DOES. KELLY. TALK. SO. MUCH. They thought Miley was a talker! Holy shit! However, Kelly is CLEARLY comfortable in her role right from the get go, and I like that. It took me half of Season 12 for me to warm up to Alicia as a coach. I love her now, and she is stepping up her “pick me as your coach” pitch. Kelly is fun in that she doesn’t take shit from people and comes up with great one liners. As a fellow nerd, I do love that she is loving the new chair because she feels like she’s part of the Enterprise. Sci fi nerds unite! Even though her accomplishments on American Idol and in terms of music kick Jennifer Hudson’s hiney, Kelly feels MUCH more down to earth and open. I’m still giving Jennifer a pass. I’ve watched multiple clips of J-Huds time on The Voice UK, and I strongly feel that she was hurting from the awful divorce and I admire that she at least rose to the level she did as a coach last season.
ARTISTS THAT STOOD OUT THIS WEEK
I admit, I was easily distracted this week. I’m focused on the Oscars. (I’ve seen all the Best Pics plus I, Tonya and all the Shorts). But there are a few that I’m going to keep my eye on. When I look at them and consider what they sang and what they sounded like, they are kind of on opposite ends of the spectrum. I’m not talking about genre, but purely sweet voices vs. that gravely rock voice style. We’ve heard purity recently, but I’m not sure if we’ve heard that gravely rocker voice ala Stevie Nicks recently. We have some potential this season though!
I thought I was looking for a gruff voiced rocker genre type until I heard Justin. Justin’s voice is deep and beautiful with just the perfect amount of vibrato. He has an interesting background story. He’s from a small town in Texas, knew he liked boys but kept it quiet while still being brave enough to be the first male cheerleader in a football obsessed town. The coaches did NOT learn of this story, He got a 4 chair turn, and the topic of his being gay didn’t come up. I do wonder if he wasn’t cheated by the new block I couldn’t read his body language enough to know whether or not he would have chosen Blake if he had been allowed to be. With him, I question the fairness of the block. The show isn’t supposed to be about the coaches, it is supposed to be about the artists. He’s still going to get some solid country coaching with Kelly though.
Davison is apparently another “fish out of the water” from a small town. Davison didn’t talk about any closets, but I’m guessing that he wasn’t like the popular kids and I love him. Once again a pure voice when I was thinking about needing some rocker vibe this season. He sang “To Love Somebody” and surprisingly Blake knew that this was first sung by the Bee Gees when Adam thought it was Michael Bolton! Blake is absolutely right that he’s vintage, and Kelly said he sounded like vinyl. His is a voice that is needed these days – we need a reminder of those classic vinyl voices that were and are so beautiful. He had Adam and Blake both turn for him, and I think it was a smart choice to go with Adam.
Molly’s girlfriend looks like she could be her sister. But HALLELUJAH! I’m finally getting a rocker chick in the Stevie Nicks style! I’ve been waiting for you, Molly! Oh but wait… only Kelly and Blake turned, and they are both identifying her as “country”. I didn’t recognize the song at all (but loved it). Blake didn’t know who the songwriter was, but Kelly did. Molly rightfully picked Kelly. Kelly may be successful in country, but it is well known that she just loves music. I might be annoyed by her over talking, but the woman freaking has a huge musical “catalogue” of knowledge in her head. Kelly has the potential of dancing along the fence between genres like Kelly can do (and others like Dolly Parton and Miley Cyrus). Keep an eye on Molly! I am flabbergasted she didn’t get a 4 chair turn!
Oh. my. Goodness. I was getting a little tired and contemplating just writing the damn blog before finishing watching all the auditions. So glad I didn’t. He may have been playing John Mayer, but he had some old school soulful rocking in his performance both in his voice and his guitar. Freaking amazing. I also ADORED his comfortability on the stage and his ability to banter and joke when the coaches were pitching themselves. A 4 chair turn, he picked Blake, but I honestly think this is an artist who can do no wrong no matter who he picked. He’s a true musician.
I have to say that the promotion of the show was and is amusing. In a Today show crossover (remember that Exec Producer and host Carson Daly is also a regular on the Today show), they had Hoda and Kathie Lee audition. Hoda definitely shouldn’t quit her day job, and I think Kelly turned around because she was the first to recognize Kathie Lee’s lovely but distinctive voice.
Next week looks great, and I won’t be distracted by the Oscars!