With the "Voice" mentors only having one night left to finalize their team lineups before the Battle Rounds, this Monday it seemed likely that Adam, Blake, Cee Lo, and Xtina would get a little desperate, with Aguilera resorting to her Keane-painting-eyed begging shtick and Levine breaking out his hardest-core used-car-salesman pitches. But then again, each team had just two or three openings to fill, so the coaches couldn't be slap-happily whacking their red buzzers every time they heard an auditioner with a passable ability to stay in tune. This was, at least hypothetically, the time for them to get super-choosy. And yet, I definitely felt a couple of the coaches made some questionable under-duress decisions in their 11th hour.
Here's who got through, for better or worse, on "The Voice's" final Blind Auditions episode, when those magical red-buttoned chairs took one last spin:
Christina told Whitney, "You made me forget it was an Alicia Keys song!" before resorting to some serious begging and pleading. But Adam, who turned his chair first for Whitney and was quick to point this out, laid it on even thicker, comparing Whitney to the great Mary J. Blige and boldly declaring, "You could win this thing." I think it was those words of confidence that sealed the deal, and thus, Whitney decided to join the already strong Team Adam. Is Adam on his way to a second consecutive "Voice" victory? Having someone like Miss Myer on his team certainly won't hurt his chances. And if she wins, maybe then she really can justify that hefty tour-bus expense!
Blake Shelton, who clearly likes soft-spoken girls, judging by his team picks last season. But this soft-spoken? I just don't know if Lex was such a wise pick. Lex is no Dia or Xenia.
Christina wanted him. (Especially since Cee Lo once suggested that he was a good match for sandwich maker Jamie Lono because "I eat sandwiches." What, Cee Lo doesn't eat sweets?) But I think Xtina gained one of her strongest team members yet when she snagged Lee. And what a lucky girl--maybe he'll even bake for her.
Team Xtina, with her impressive cover of the Mary J. Blige/Rose Royce classic "I'm Goin' Down." Sera was great, but of course her mentor Christina had to have the last note, as it were, by joining her onstage to duet on the chorus. It was a move that was probably prophetic, since my one major complaint about "The Voice" is that the show has always been more about the coaches than the contestants (and more about Xtina than anyone else). So watch out, Sera--your team captain just may try to steal your thunder this season!
So there you have it, "Voice" fans: your top 48, the singers who will officially move on to next week's sure-to-be-thrilling Battle Rounds. Of course, that's a lot of keep track of, especially since some of these contestants auditioned weeks ago and haven't been seen on TV since. So to help you brush up before next week, below is a full list of all 48--sorted in overall order from my favorite team to my least favorite team, and then within each team list in my additional order of preference--with handy crib notes next to each:
TEAM CEE LO
Juliet Simms - the Automatic Loveletter frontwoman and all-around badass rock chick
Jamie Lono - the shaggy sandwich-maker who covered Johnny Cash's "Folsom Prison Blues"
Tony Vincent - the Queen-style Broadway powerhouse who was in We Will Rock You and American Idiot
The Shields Brothers - the campy, hairy, awesome rawk duo
Jamar Rogers - the HIV-positive recovering drug addict, also known as Danny Gokey's best friend and a former "American Idol" contestant
Erin Martin - the raspy ex-model who covered "Hey There Delilah"
Sarah Golden - the androgynous folky who did an acoustic cover of Lady Gaga's "You And I"
Wade - the old-school R&B boy who covered Amy Winehouse
Angie Johnson - the Air Force veteran and YouTube sensation
Justin Hopkins - the former guitarist for Carson Daly's house band
Cheesa - the Hawaiian R&B singer with the deep, deep voice
James Massone - the Boston boy who covered Drake
Pip - the bowtie-and-suspenders-wearing Joey McIntyre lookalike
Katrina Parker - the retro-chanteuse, blonde office worker
Angel Taylor - the gorgeous pop-R&B girl, once signed to Columbia
Chris Cauley - the newsboy-capped heartthrob who covered "Grenade"
Mathai - the teenager from the family of doctors
Kim Yarbrough - the 50-year-old, Chaka Khan-style diva
Whitney Myer - the cute family-band girl
Orlando Napier - the ex-delinquent piano guy
Tony Lucca - the former Mouseketeer that Christina didn't recognize at first
Nathan Parrett - a montage contestant who's gotten no screentime, but seems to have potential
Nicolle Galyon - the piano-playing blonde country girl
Karla Davis - cannon fodder, only seen as part of another montage
Lindsey Pavao - the amazing girl who covered Trey Songz's "Say Aah"
Lee Koch - the scruffy, Paul McDonald-esque baker boy
Sera Hill - the diva who held her own next to Christina in an impromptu duet
Chris Mann - the handsome opera singer and "Glee" Warbler
Jesse Campbell - the formerly homeless, single-dad soulman who sang "A Song For You"
Monique Benabou - the girl who dared to cover Kelly Clarkson's "Mr. Know-It-All"
The Line - the platonic boy/girl country duo
Moses Stone - "The Voice's" first rapper
Ashley De La Rosa - another barely-seen montage girl, the one that covered VV Brown
Geoff McBride - the 51-year-old, old-fashioned soulman who sang "Higher Ground"
Jonathas - the boy-band type who got compared to Usher
Anthony Evans - the gospel singer who showed up at his audition with Kirk Franklin
Jordis Unga - the amazing "Maybe I'm Amazed" belter who was once on "Rock Star: INXS"
Charlotte Sometimes - the quirky former Geffen artist who almost lost her jaw to a rare disease as a teen
Naia Kete - the cute hippie street musician with dreads
RaeLynn - the sassy blonde country teenager who covered Pistol Annies' "Hell On Heels"
Erin Willet - the rock-soul girl whose father has pancreatic cancer
Adley Stump - the country-singing sorority girl with little stage experience
Alyx - another montage girl who got no screentime
Brian Fuente - another montage guy who got no screentime
Gwen Sebastian - the 37-year-old country singer who put off having children to pursue music
Jermaine Paul - Alicia Keys's overconfident, shouty backup singer
Jordan Rager - the son of a preacherman
Lex Land - the mush-mouthed girl who covered Bonnie Raitt, badly
Looking at these lists, yes, it's totally obvious to me that Cee Lo has the strongest team. (Blake's got a possible frontrunner in Jordis, but overall, I think his team is still the weakest.) However, the disadvantage of having a very strong team on "The Voice" comes during the Battle Rounds stage, when inevitably two excellent singers must be pitted against each other and only one can survive. (I'm thinking of last season, when Cee Lo made two of my favorites, Nakia and poor Tje Austin, battle each other.) I am already mentally preparing myself for the heartbreaking possibility of Jamie Lono battling Jamar Rogers, or Tony Vincent taking on the Shields Brothers, but hopefully Cee Lo--and the other three coaches--will choose their Battle Rounds pairings very carefully and wisely. And then I will ultimately get the Juliet/Jamie/Pip/Katrina/Lindsey/Lee/Jordis/Charlotte top eight live show that I am dreaming of.
- Cee Lo
- Blake Shelton