'The Voice' S3, Week 1: Inside Look
TheInsider.com is beyond thrilled to announce that The Voice Season 2 stand-out, Jamar Rogers, will be live-blogging season three this year! So check back every Monday to get Jamar's take on the week's best, worst and weirdest Voice moments!
"I'd love to get to know you better, see what your turn-ons are." - Christina Aguilera
Hello, Voice enthusiasts!
This week saw a plethora of talent, tears and Christina Aguilera's "side-eye." (I mean, really? There were NO stylists on hand to fix her cleavage?)
This can only mean one thing: The Voice is back for its third season and it's bigger than ever!
The teams have been expanded from 12 to 16 contestants, a brand new Knock Out round has been introduced and coaches are able to "steal" a contestant after he/she has been eliminated. Brace yourself for some riveting television. (After all, The Voice was the only music competition reality show to be nominated for an Emmy this year.)
The Blind Audition Round started airing last Monday and continued through Wednesday. We met a country wrestler, a yodeler, a Nigerian refugee and a girl that said she can sing "like Mariah, Whitney, Christina, and Celine" (she can't, for the record.)
Week 1 Faves:
This 25 year old androgynous soul singer from Chicago was one of my favorites of the week. Singing Train's Hey, Soul Sister, the former church singer added a touch of gospel and soul to the famous rock song. Her stage presence reminded me of season 1's Beverly McClellan and I knew instantly the coaches were going to love her. Cee Lo Green and Christina were the ones that turned their chairs around and De'borah decided to go "with the voice within" by choosing Christina.
I admire her comfort in her own skin and applaud her courage to come out on television. Since, I, too, spoke about personal issues, I know how nerve racking it can be to wait to see how folks respond. De'borah, you’re responding quite well. Keep up the good work!
2. Bryan Keith
When I found out this 22 year old was from the Bronx, I immediately was a fan. (I moved to LA from the Bronx). But, once I heard his raspy voice on Bruno Mars' It Will Rain, I became an uber-fan. I love a good raspy tone, and Bryan is definitely the master of his. He had complete control as he reached into his upper register and the result was a four chair turn around. In the end, he chose Adam Levine. I have really high hopes for this guy with the stellar tone. Bryan, let's show everybody that beautiful things come from the Bronx.
3. Julio Castillo
Who couldn't help but feel the good vibes when this 22-year-old Chicago native sang the Ritchie Valens' classic, La Bamba? It was the first time a contestant had sang a song completely in Spanish on The Voice and his gamble paid off. Blake Shelton turned his chair around almost immediately and Cee Lo turned his as Julio hit the money maker note at the end. This kid had so much heart and vocal control, I was instantly blown away. (I don't know what took Cee Lo so long to hit his button). Julio then went on to sing a Mariachi classic, El Rey, and you could literally feel his voice on your skin. He went with Blake and I'm curious to see what Blake has up his sleeve for this shining star.
4. Samuel Mouton
A white boy singing reggae? Whaaaa? This kid's tonal inflections were ridiculous (In a good way). How on earth did this 19-year-old from Colorado learn to perfect the art of Caribbean music? By listening to lots of Bob Marley, of course. His cover of Redemption Song honestly gave me chills and obviously had an effect on Adam, Cee Lo and Christina, who all turned their chairs around. He quickly chose Adam whom I think will be a good pairing. On a side note, I was pleasantly surprised to see Samuel wearing the same New York hat backwards that I wore when I sang It's My Life. That hat is lucky, man, I tell you.
5. Lisa Scinta
The Voice didn't show much of her audition, but in the small snippet that they did show, I heard a really cool element in Lisa's voice. So I did a bit of independent research. This 25-year-old gymnast has over 22 million views on her YouTube page. She sang Katy Perry's Teenage Dream but made it completely her own. She made the high energy pop anthem mellower by stripping it down acoustically. Trust me, her iTunes version of the song is well worth the purchase. She's on Team Christina.
Week 1 Not So Fave:
When I discovered she was from the Bronx, I really wanted to root her on, I really did. But then she opened her mouth. She was definitely ... something else. There was something about this girl I did not love. Where do I start? Maybe it was her calling herself the Chinese Lady Gaga (huh?), or her mention of her face on "billboards everywhere" (I've done a lot of traveling this summer and have not seen her face anywhere), or perhaps it was her comparing her dancing to "Michael and Janet" and her singing to "Mariah, Whitney, Christina, Celine." I'm pretty certain it was her breaking into a spontaneous hype man style chant, "When I say Do, you say Mo!" All of these little train wrecks amounted to a large scale disaster. Yet, she still made it on Cee Lo's team. Am I the only one baffled by this?
Week 1 Notable Mention:
1. Anita Antoinette
This Berkley College of Music graduate is from Jamaica, but has been living in New York. I instantly fell in love with her face and disposition. But obviously nerves got in the way of her rendition of Bob Marley's No Woman, No Cry. Her voice shook throughout the entire song and her pitch fell flat. After none of the coaches turned around, Anita humbly accepted the criticisms they offered her. She, then, broke out into a cappella version of the song. This version had heart, pain and wisdom. I instantly wanted a re-do for this girl. Keep your eyes open for her; I have no doubt she's going to do great things.
My Crazy Week
Just a year ago, I was walking dogs in New York to make a living and now, because of The Voice, I get to go to these super cool parties and lend my voice to things that matter like AIDS Awareness.
Since The Voice is nominated for its first Emmy, I've had the pleasure of taking part in some awesome Emmy events. I attended a Doris Bergman Pre-Emmy Style Lounge in the company of Emmy nominated Jason Ritter of Parenthood and Glee's Dot-Marie Jones.
I also got to attend the Audi and Derek Lam Pre Emmy Pre Party in style since Ted Baker was generous enough to dapper me up.
I also worked on some pretty rad music that I can't wait for you guys to hear.
Check out my free single download on Amazon.com called Far Way Off and check me out tonight, Monday, September 17, on TV-Dinner.com giving real time opinions and perspective of tonight's episode of The Voice.
I'd love to hear from you! Did you agree with any of my faves? Disagree? Any notable mentions I left out? Tweet me @Jsquidward.