Welcome to week two of The Voice, where we're still looking for more than 30 singers good enough to join the competition. Team Adam Levine needs 7 more artists, while Team Blake Shelton, Team Cee Lo Green and Team Christina Aguilera are all searching for 8 more performers.
As Blake arrives with his armful of championship trophies ("That's how many Grammys I have," Adam quips), first to the microphone tonight is 25-year-old soul singer Ray Boudreaux, performing "Use Me." Blake turns his chair almost right away, and isn't happy when Cee Lo decides to push his button as well, prompting Adam to threaten to do so just to further infuriate him. In the end, though, it's a two-coach race for the Louisiana native.
Adam: You look like Blake and you sound like Cee Lo.
Blake: He doesn't look like Blake. He's thin.
Adam: ...Like a more handsome Blake.
Ultimately, Blake's finger-pointing wins out over Cee Lo's name-dropping Bill Withers, as Ray decides to join Team Blake. Backstage, Carson says that he thought Ray would go with Cee Lo, which Ray admits he also thought, before he changed his mind in the heat of the moment. Ah, what might have been.
Following Ray is 23-year-old Lina Gaudenzi, who adds her name to The Voice's list of former models turned performers. She's singing Fleetwood Mac's "Landslide," the song that got Suzanna Choffel on the show in Season 3, and which Javier Colon performed with Stevie Nicks herself in the Season 1 finale. It works this time, too, as Christina turns her chair for Lina, while longtime Nicks fan Adam is singing along, but not making a move. At almost the last moment, Blake decides to challenge Christina.
Christina: I think he speaks kind of one language over there.
Blake: It's called winning.
Christina tries once again to play the "it's his fifth season, he must be fatigued" card, and gets an unexpected endorsement from Adam. From the look on his face, Blake knows he's beat, and he's not surprised at all when Lina joins Team Christina. After she leaves the stage, Adam walks over to Blake and tells him that the other coaches are aiming for him because "you need to lose." Christina chimes in that America needs change. Agree or disagree?
Oh, hey, here's Usher in a Mercedes-Benz commercial. Hope you're enjoying your time off, Usher, and we'll see you for Season 6 in spring 2014.
Back to the competition: here comes 16-year-old high school student Juhi, who's willing to put aside her academic progress if her performance of Duffy's "Mercy" can snag her a spot. She won't be going back to school, because Christina and Cee Lo both want her on their teams. Even though he's not involved in this battle, Adam still finds an opportunity to take a dig at Blake.
Cee Lo: Who do you listen to?
Juhi: Nirvana and Sublime.
Adam: That's awesome. Blake's never heard of either one of those bands.
Christina makes the same argument to Juhi that she does to every other female artist - that she'll understand them better because she's a woman. Cee Lo, on the other hand, hopes that Juhi being a fan of Gnarls Barkley will win her for his squad, and he's right, as she joins Team Cee Lo.
54-year-old Malford Milligan arrives, telling us that as a black albino man, he's legally blind and has had issues fitting in because of the way he looks. As Carson points out, this show is basically built for this guy. Malford's take on Al Green's hit "Let's Stay Together" has Adam singing along, which is not surprising because Maroon 5 has performed the song before. Christina interrupts Adam to tell him she's going to push her button, but he encourages her to wait a little bit longer, maybe listening for something he hasn't heard yet. That might have been a fatal mistake, because nobody turns around for Malford. Cee Lo explains this by pointing out that his performance was perhaps too similar to the legendary original. Blake sends Malford off with some strong words of encouragement.
Blake: Please go make a record so I can buy it.
This cues another montage of failed auditions and constructive criticism. After we've all been suitably bummed, things ramp back up with 20-year-old Justin Blake. He needs a chair to turn in hopes that it will help him support the baby he has on the way, and so he's taking a big risk, performing Blake's "Sure Be Cool If You Did." Blake recognizes the song almost right away and it makes him laugh. But it's Adam who pushes his button - and he's the only one who does, sending Justin to Team Adam uncontested.
Adam admits that when they hear country artists, everyone else immediately looks to Blake first "for approval," and then they make up their minds. He's surprised when he finds out that Blake sung the original version.
Adam: I didn't even know that was one of your songs!
Blake: In your defense, I don't think you even know one of my songs.
After an apology bro-hug, Adam then mauls the lyrics to "Honey Bee." We'll see how he does with another country artist on his team, as we've seen him coach a few last season (see: Warren Stone, Michael Austin), but not get any of them past the Knockouts.
At the halfway point, each of the coaches has added one artist to their roster. Next to sing is another teenage hopeful, 15-year-old Timyra-Joi, whose version of Alicia Keys' "Girl on Fire" draws the attention of three coaches: Christina, and then at almost the last moment, Blake and Cee Lo. Adam again throws his weight behind Christina, who comes out the victor. Blake still wants to know why everyone else is turning on him.
28-year-old Monika Leigh performs "The Thrill Is Gone," and she's no Beverly McClellan, but she draws in Adam, Cee Lo and then Blake. Christina expects a "bloodbath" between the guys, but it turns into an awkward love-fest between Adam and Cee Lo, before Blake does what we've all been waiting for, producing his trophies for Monika's inspection. For some inexplicable reason, Monika goes with Blake. Maybe Adam should bring his trophy from Season 1 and start showing that off?
Here comes 21-year-old firefighter Zach Hinson, whose mom would probably feel a lot safer if he pursued music instead. Zach's a country artist, as evidenced by the cowboy hat, whose version of "Drunk On You" immediately makes us start Blake Shelton Cam again. Unfortunately, he goes home empty-handed. He even admits that he wasn't that impressed with his own performance. Hopefully he'll work on it and come back for a second shot.
Briana Cuoco's audition has been hyped since last week, because she's the sister of The Big Bang Theory star Kaley Cuoco. But while that might make for a juicy storyline from a TV show standpoint, it's not going to get a chair to turn for her. She has to do that herself, with her take on Lady Gaga's "You and I." After some deliberation, Christina decides to turn her chair for Briana, with Cee Lo being egged on by Adam to fight her. However, Bri opts for "girl power" and sticks with Christina.
Following her is 19-year-old George Horga Jr., looking to make his family proud with his performance of Bruno Mars' "Treasure." From the moment he opens his mouth, George establishes himself as a candidate for this season's role of "resident heartthrob." Cee Lo is intrigued, and George goes to Team Cee Lo by default.
It's time for that most hated of The Voice tropes, the montage of auditions that were successful enough to land artists spots in our competition but apparently not enough to show them on TV or even online. Welcome to Anthony Paul (Team Cee Lo), Cilla Chan (Team Blake), Jacob Poole (Team Christina). Hopefully, we will get to meet you in battle rounds. More importantly, why is this still allowed to happen?
Our final full audition of the evening is that of 26-year-old Texan Preston Pohl, whose band broke up after the death of one of its members, and whose "Electric Feel" draws all three of the guys almost immediately. Christina is the lone holdout, although she does admit that she "missed out." After Adam, Cee Lo and Blake bargain for his attention, and Blake is bewildered that there's an artist named "DJ Screw" (wer'e right there with you, Blake), Preston signs on with Team Adam - so all four coaches have scored some solid singers tonight.
After the third night of auditions, the tally stands at Team Adam 7/12, Team Blake 7/12, Team Cee Lo 7/12 and Team Christina 8/12. Our rosters are more than halfway set, so how is the strategy going to change from here on out?
Stay tuned Monday night for the next round of blind auditions, and for more on all things related to The Voice, be sure to check out BFTV’s sister site Big Red Chairs and follow us on Twitter (@bigredchairs).