So I hope everyone watched episode two of The Voice. Did you? Can you even remember it? What was it, like, five days ago now? I’m sorry. I was supposed to have this recap with you all sooner – but I hadn’t even seen it until yesterday. There is a very sympathetic and heartbreaking story behind this – whereby the MySky app on my iPhone didn’t work properly or something. Please, hold your tears. But look - what matters, is that I’ve seen it now. So let’s imagine it’s Monday or whatever, we’re sipping on our Monday coffees, taking a break from organizing the busy week ahead (this Monday thing is very important to me, OK?)– let’s put on our recap caps and take a look back at this beast of an episode.
Once again, we had a Blind Audition round – featuring the show’s now infamous (everyone else immediately thinks “infamy” when they think “The Voice on TV2” right?) swivel thrones – where our celebrity judge/coaches pick contestants on their The Voice alone - after which, they flatter-battle it out to convince the singers to join their “team”. What being in a team entails will supposedly become apparent in future weeks. All we know is that there is a boxing ring involved. Basically, the concept is flawless. So flawless that now I just can’t help but get excited about the inevitable New Zealand version. That would no doubt be a surefire hit. I’ve even figured each of the coaches’ local equivalent.
Blake Shelton – James Reid from the Feelers
Christina Aguilera – Gin Wigmore
Cee-Lo Green – Dei Hamo
Adam Levine – James Reid from the Feelers
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
So Episode Two finds our hosts back in their chairs, in the exact same clothes as last week. Giving me the unsurprising impression they shot the entire audition section in one day. They have two hours to pick five people each to progress, bringing the total number of finalists to thirty six. That is so many people. Can’t you just pick everyone? I am never going to remember all these guys.
Nope? Ok. First up is Cherie Oakley - a 29 year old spoiled crybaby.
Basically, Cherie Oakley is miserable because for the entirety of her successful career as a back-up singer to Carrie Underwood, and co-writer of a number #1 Billboard song –she has never truly been recognized as a famous megastar. That is very petulant of you, Cherie! I’ll forgive you though, everybody gotta have a dream. Luckily you have experience and industry savvy and won’t royally screw this up by singing a love song originally performed by Blake Shelton’s wife.
I’m joking, she definitely sang a song by Blake Shelton’s wife. And it was terrible. Don’t try and impress someone by singing their wife’s song! They will probably like their wife’s version better! Now, I’m not Mr. Know-Everything-About-Having-A-Wife, but I am imagining that if I did have a wife, I would like her songs very much. Even if they were very average songs I had never heard of until watching The Voice.
I agree, Blake Shelton. Luckily for Cherie Oakley, she does not sing a song by Christina Aguilera’s wife, so she manages to sneak into that team. I hope you’ll be more canny in the future, Cheri. Would you try and impress Jay-Z by singing 'Halo'?Would you try and impress Chris Martin by singing 'Cruisin’ feat. Huey Lewis'?I think not.
Next up is Devon Barley. He is a charming, geeky young med student who sings 'I’m Yours' by Jason Mraz.
He has a surprisingly mature voice for a young dork-geek and cruises through into Adam Levine’s team. I am hoping there is a makeover round or something in the future. They are definitely going to Jason Mraz-hat him up, hard. After he progresses he is like “I guess the med school dream is on hold!”. Slow down, Devon! You are into the second of, like, forty rounds of a hugely convoluted show no one understands. I’d at least keep up with your readings.
We then meet Joshua Hand, who is super-camp and has a super-fun way of helping us remember his last name.
Thanks Josh! If only he could help himself remember how to be good at singing Lady Gaga’s 'Paparazzi'. He is really awful at that. For a while I thought he was trying to sing Billie Meyers’ 'Kiss the Rain'. But a non-English version of 'Kiss the Rain' that changes the melody and is backed by Semisonic. It’s not until the chorus that I recognize it at all. Needless to say, our judges aren’t impressed and stay firmly in Inspector-Gadget-villain-mode until he’s done.
The show’s youngest competitor is 16-year-old Raquel Castro. They don’t tell us much about her back story, but there is very inspiring piano music while she is introduced so I am going to assume she is from a broken home or at least just very poor.
She does a very good 'Bleeding Love' and walks right into Team Xtina. On the show she is all “Wow, I can’t believe I get to work with her!” But come on Raquel, you are sixteen, you haven’t even heard of Christina Aguilera! However I am very glad she chooses Christina considering Blake Shelton opens his feedback with “well you’re an itty bitty thing ain’tya?”. What is she, a piglet?
At the first ad break, Carson Daly curveballs us completely by throwing at us like six more people and just saying who chose who. You mean you don’t have to show us every second of every audition? Why didn’t we know this from the start? Why wasn’t the whole blind audition phase just a quick recap? There are only so many hours in the week, The Voice!
Unfortunately, the remorse is brief and we are back. This time with Tim Mahoney - an affable guy with a stupid hat who seems like he deserves a big break.
He sings 'Bring it On Home To Me', which, judging by the way pretty much every audition on this show goes, I assume is going to be some Country Music Awards megahit no one has heard of – however it turns out I am just ignorant and it is a lovely Sam Cooke song that he sings very well indeed. Adam Levine tells him that when he swivelled, he was expecting him to be a girl – and that it was such a big shock to see him – which is definitely not what he thought and I think the producers made Adam Levine say to justify the expensive chairs. The flashness of the chairs is definitely not relative to the overall level of purpose they serve. Maybe next season they might downgrade to The Voice branded blindfolds. Or you know, just shut their eyes.
As we near the end of two episodes of auditions, I start to feel a little short changed in the weirdo department. Wasn’t that what was going to separate this from the other shows? Give me morbidly obese, or someone with an extra limb or something! There are enough fairly attractive 20 somethings who do a solid renditions of 'Mercy' on television as it is. So far all we really have in the ‘alternative’ camp is a few bald lesbians. Which is hardly super-exciting in the TV weirdo department. I mean, you want bald lesbians in real life? Give me a little notice, and I’ll find you some bald lesbians by two in afternoon. Unfortunately, the closest we get is this well presented gay Mormon.
Not that his presence isn’t at all welcome. He seems a good sort, and essentially comes out to his father on television. Bravo, Gay Mormon (I didn’t write your name down, I’m sorry, I promise I’ll learn it next time!) Also, he has cool clothes and looks like he ought to sing something from Music from The O.C. Mix 1. He ends up performing 'Hey Soul Sister', which I guess is close enough.
I also really liked Nakia, who looks like a cross between Joaquin-Phoenix-pretending-to-be-crazy-Joaquin-Phoenix and the double rainbow guy. Nakia is one of many contestants who go on and on about how much they want to win The Voice, and what an honour being on The Voice is. What? You don’t even know what The Voice is yet. At this stage, aren’t you just at a TV audition that you saw on Craigslist? Anyway, Nakia plays the risky card of singing 'Forget You', as originally performed by Cee-Lo’s record label. It pays off though; he has an impressive, gravelly voice. I look forward to hearing more from him in future rounds. If there is even singing in future rounds. Who knows.
For our final two songs of the blind auditions, we get a pair of country “favourites”. 25 year old Curtis Grimes hits all the right semi-racist notes of a horrible, horrible Blake Shelton song elegantly titled 'Hillbilly Bone'. I’m not even going to make a joke about that.
Secondly, the pig-farming Thompson sisters (who loooooove bacon, but not from their pigs) sing a perfectly adequate version of some song called 'Stuck Like Glue'. Which I am disappointed to find has nothing to do with the Sean Paul song. In fact there has just been surprisingly little Sean Paul on the whole so far. Someone’sat least gotta bust out 'We Be Burnin’ somewhere down the track. In all seriousness, though, The Voice, what’s with all the country music? I am sure I am not alone in feeling this way. Maybe TVNZ can organize for the New Zealand broadcast to just dub those bits over with selections from Bob Marley’s Legend for local audiences. Because this is alien to us, right? Or am I just listening to the wrong stations? Where do you get to get up to speed with average modern country music in this fine nation of ours? That was my first non-rhetorical question of this recap, btw. Like, seriously, tell me. In the comments.
Well, that’s it for another week. Join me next week where…. WAIT NO IT’S NOT FINSIHED. In a dick move, not all of the judges manage to fill their teams from the people provided. So they stage this thing where Christina Aguilera supposedly decides on the spot that they will give the eight people that didn’t get swivel responses a second chance. And everyone else is like “great idea, Christina”. No Christina. Terrible idea. We can’t go giving second chances. That means we haven’t seen the last of…
This guy! Remember last week how we all unanimously hated him so much? (I like to imagine everyone reading this agrees with me on every single point). Well now he is back! Please judges, don’t pick him!
For his second attempt, this Chris Daughtry/Porky Pig/Voldemort lookalike goes for a more conservative approach and tackles 'Not Ready to Make Nice' by the Dixie Chicks. Blake Sheldon swivels and acts way too stoked.
Dammit. I thought we had gotten rid of you! I know my hatred for this man is unwarranted and shallow, but I am involved now! Every show needs its villain, and I have decided that in the case of The Voice Season One, this recovered alcoholic, god-fearing father of six is it.
So there we have it. Our final Thirty six. Thirty six The Voices, but only ONE will be THE The Voice.Who will it be? We can only wait and see. Or look it up on Wikipedia. But please don’t. I promise I won’t if you don’t. I’m getting really good at not spoiling things for myself. If I held off for all of Junior Masterchef Australia, I can do it here to.