This season’s blind auditions on NBC’s “The Voice” continue to be such a refreshing change to the alternative of the deadly dull “American Idol” tryouts. There’s just no way the shows compare any longer, as “The Voice” has managed to attract more original talent for their competition rounds seen each week of Season 6. On March 10, 2014, viewers had the chance to hear and see some original young talents, who have their own singing styles to showcase favorite old songs in a new way and make them their own.
The second sure-fire way to keep people from changing channels is the friendly banter and funny barbs being tossed around by the judges each week, as they attempt to draw their prospects to their team.
If there’s one factor to “The Voice” that makes you know you want to come back each week, it’s Carson Daly. The often understated, almost overlooked host is the reason this show works. Standing backstage with the family members of contestants, Carson really adds a lot to helping the parents and family friends know that they “have a friend at the show,” while their loved one is fighting on stage for a spot that might just make all their dreams come true. It’s not always a happy ending for the hopeful singers, but they always walk away with some constructive criticism, solid advice and encouragement to keep on singing and “come back next year,” when it’s warranted.
As the backstory package revealed Josh Kaufman, as husband and father, music is so much in his soul that he couldn’t abandon it without giving it “One More Try,” the George Michael song. Just a hunch, but look for Josh Kaufman to have that same “It factor” that Will Champlin had in Season 5. Champlin stood on his own merit, not that of his famous father, and he showed that he would not let music go and in such a very short time, Champlin has a large national following, he’s doing what he loves and he’s providing for his family while making music.
“The Voice” is a gateway to joy for so many, viewers and contestants alike. Josh Kaufman has every reason to expect similar fan response. When music drives you every day, you just have to follow the dream for as far as it takes you.
A new and original talent, Cierra Mickens, did “Crazy,” and showed such range on her voice that the judges were blown away. Usher is showing a new team strategy this year, and it’s risky, but effective sometimes. He sits there listening intently but reveals no opinion using his best poker face. Then seconds before the end of the 90-second audition, he hits his button and turns to see a contestant glad to see he gave them his approval. You can see how she can go all the way to the finals, just to hear her power and range.
Oppositely, if there’s something Adam likes, he waits about 5 seconds and hits the button, and wears his heart on his sleeve to get his contestants to pick him. Shakira is the most sincere, encouraging talent who really puts thought into her comments and means every bit of what she says.
Paula DeAnda sang “The Way,” and she could just as easily be a model as a singer, but she caught the judges’ attention for her singing. She’ll be there long after the first round of competition begins.
Contestants from Oklahoma, Alaska Holloway and Madison Metcalf, who perform as female duo, Alaska and Madi, sang “Barton Hollow” and Adam Levine turned his chair around before fellow Okie, Blake Shelton did.
It is engaging to listen to Levine and Shelton trash talk each other, but tonight Shelton had the decided advantage in having made the decision to move to Nashville based on his participation in the same Oklahoma talent contest as Alaska and Madi had. Adam looked truly pained and he said, “oh no, no, no, why did you have to be from Oklahoma? But you’re in Los Angeles now, and that’s where I’m from,” he offered. It didn’t work, though.
Ria Eaton sang “Cups (When I’m Gone),” and the judges were slow to turn around but eventually Shakira and Blake turned their chairs. While Blake was describing his reaction to her song, Usher and Adam sat on the sidelines, chatting and commenting, causing Blake to say, “What is this, Sports Center?” You can’t make up the fun and make it seem real. The program is so well balanced by the presence of judges Adam Levine, Shakira, Usher, and Blake Shelton. No trauma, just a little fun drama, as you wait to find out which judge the contestant will choose.
If you like what you heard tonight, you can download the individual auditions on the show’s web site. Stay tuned for more fun on Season 6 of “The Voice.” It’s time well spent.