Reality Rocks

‘The Voice’ Season 5, Episode 2: Movin’ On Up!

Lyndsey Parker
Reality Rocks

Tuesday brought more fantastic Blind Auditions on Season 5 of "The Voice," featuring a dazzling array of talent, including an '80s movie starlet, a beardy bluesman with a fondness for '70s sitcom themes, a Jersey girl, and a Jamaican pop powerhouse. It was, of course, another fine night of music television. (Keep this up, Mark Burnett, and you may end up with another Emmy on your mantel next year…)

Here's a full recap of the singers who made it through on this Tuesday's episode:

Jacquie Lee – This Italian princess from New Joisey gave a somewhat fistpump-worthy performance of Amy Winehouse's "Back to Black," even if the song wasn't exactly the best choice for the sweet 16-year-old's teen-pop pipes. Perhaps that is why it took a really long time for Blake Shelton and Christina Aguilera to hit their buttons. Once Jacquie's performance ended, CeeLo Green actually seemed way more interested in her boots, even Instagramming them and squeezing in a bizarre plug for mall shop Aldo. (This made me wonder if he'd be a better judge on "Fashion Star" or "Project Runway," but in his defense, they were really awesome boots.) Blake claimed, "I specialize in 16-year-old girls winning this show," which sounded a little icky…but in the end, Jacquie went with former teen diva Christina, who persuaded her with the line "I want to be that shoulder you can lean on." Wow, Xtina's really in it to win it this year. That was a laid-on-thick sales pitch worthy of the snake-oily Adam Levine himself.
MEMBER OF: Team Xtina

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Barry Black – Originally from American Samoa and now eking out a living as a Vegas entertainer, Barry's gimmick was his "mouth-horn," which sort of made him the poor man's Blake Lewis (of "American Idol") or Michael Winslow (of "Police Academy" 1 through 7). Adam couldn't help but turn his chair out of curiosity when Barry started making farty kazoo noises out of the corner of his mouth, and Blake turned as well; Adam eventually won Barry over with the line "I think you're weird and wonderful." (That was a compliment, by the way.) But I have a feeling this guy is fodder and will be a goner in the Battle Rounds; I found his actual singing kind of bland, and I don't think any "Voice" viewer really wants to sit through an entire season of his lippy sound effects.
MEMBER OF: Team Adam

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Destinee Quinn – This biker-bar country musician, ex-beauty queen, and onetime "Alice Cooper's Christmas Pudding" talent contest winner really looked like a star. In other words, she was gorgeous. She had a nice (if not perfect) country voice singing the Dixie Chicks' "Cowboy Take Me Away," but it was a red flag that the one country coach on the panel, Blake, didn't spin for her. Destinee was left to choose between Christina, who called her an "angel of God," and CeeLo, who probably had less-than-angelic thoughts running through his henna-tattooed brain as he looked Destinee up and down, his lecherous eyes practically burning holes through his sunglasses. Eventually Destinee picked Christina, breaking poor pervy CeeLo's heart. Blake said he missed Destinee's "bottom end" (don't worry, that wasn't a come-on), but threatened to steal her later. I do believe that, whichever coach she ends up with, Destinee is destined to go far. She's just got that…wait for it…X factor.
MEMBER OF: Team Xtina

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Cole Vosbury – This guy really ought to be movin' on up to the "Voice" Season 5's top 20. Why? Well, he auditioned with a skronky, bloozy version of the "Jeffersons" theme song, "Movin' On Up." Isn't that reason enough? The 22-year-old Shreveport longhair with the Kings of Leon/"Duck Dynasty" beard and musical lineage (his grandma used to play with Elvis Presley) delivered the most unique performance of the night. It was no surprise that CeeLo, a sucker for maverick contestants, hit his button. It was a little surprising that no other coach turned around, but I think CeeLo will be a good mentor for Cole, who sort of reminded me of Season 1 Red Zone contestant Nakia. I'm sure some doubters will dismiss Cole as a novelty act, but I think he's got something special, and if CeeLo gives him some guidance, he may finally get his piece of the pie on "The Voice." Maybe one day, he'll even be successful enough to buy a dee-luxe apartment in the skyyyyy! (Sorry, I couldn't resist.)
MEMBER OF: Team CeeLo

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Holly Henry - This 19-year-old Minneapolitan pancake-house waitress really wowed with her breathy, ethereal, haunting cover of Coldplay's "The Scientist." The product of an art-teacher mom and musician dad, this striking girl exhibited true star quality, despite her shyness. Blake whacked his button before Holly had even gotten through the first line of the song, and the other three panelists soon followed. She eventually went with Blake, who's always had a soft spot for soft-spoken songstresses, dating back to Season 1 when he took Dia Frampton and Xenia under his wing. So this could be the beginning of a beautiful partnership.
MEMBER OF: Team Blake

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Austin Jenckes – This gruff everyman had an extremely compelling sob story. His father, who committed suicide when Austin was only 16, taught him how to play Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Simple Man," the song he auditioned with. And he played the song on his dad's once-pawned guitar. That's some heavy stuff, right there. However, Austin's actual performance didn't make a particularly heavy impact on me. It was a generic bar-band effort, in my opinion. But CeeLo, Adam, and Blake all turned around. Austin chose Blake as his coach, which made perfect sense, but I don't know if this is the contestant that'll help Blake score a fourth consecutive "Voice" victory.
MEMBER OF: Team Blake

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E.G. Daily – Fans of '80s cult-comedy flicks surely recognized this lady. (See some of her totally rad film credits here.) I got pretty excited when I found out she was auditioning for the show, and I'd hoped she'd sing "I Melt With You" or "Angst in My Pants" or some other new wave flashback from the "Valley Girl" soundtrack. Instead, she did "Breathe" by Faith Hill, but it was the performance of a consummate professional (E.G. released four albums, two on major label A&M, between 1985 and 2008), and her trademark sexy rasp had only improved with age. (E.G. is 51 years old now, a factoid that'll probably make some of you reading this feel positively ancient.) She eventually picked Blake as her coach — even though he didn't recognize her, not even from her most high-profile role as Dottie in "Pee Wee's Big Adventure." I'm not sure if E.G. is too long in the tooth now to pursue a pop career, but I'm looking forward to Blake's big adventure with her on "The Voice" this season, regardless.
MEMBER OF: Team Blake

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Jonny Gray – Of all the auditions this Tuesday, Jonny's was the one that thrilled me most. I loved this Austin rocker's song choice, the Killers' "All These Things That I've Done," and that anthem's "I've got soul but I'm not a solider" line took on new meaning when he sang it, since he was in the military for four years and it really scarred him. Jonny had a distinctive tone (CeeLo compared it to the gravelly voices of Stevie Nicks and Eddie Vedder; I heard shades of David Gray, Ray LaMontagne, and Damien Rice), and he also had a cool, laid-back look. I think voters — especially female ones — will easily warm to him. I was delighted that Jonny decided to sign up with his fellow "soul brother," CeeLo; I think CeeLo will really get this guy.
MEMBER OF: Team CeeLo

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Tessanne Chin – There's a reason that NBC saved this Jimmy Cliff-affiliated Jamaican diva for last. She's the kind of the contestant who could totally run away with this competition. Her performance of Pink's "Try" was stunning, and extremely relevant to today's pop market. She was giving some Emeli Sande/Rita Ora realness, and despite the fact that she usually sings reggae, she was a natural performing pop. It was understandable that all four coaches went to war over her; "This is gonna be a dirty fight," Adam declared with a glint in his eye. Adam eventually won the war, and with Tessanne on his team, he may very well win "The Voice" this season.
MEMBER OF: Team Adam

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Okay, let's recap: So far, Team Adam consists of Barry Blake, Tessanne Chin, and Monday recruits Donna Allen, Nic Hawk, and James Wolpert. Team Xtina comprises Jacquie Lee, Destinee Quinn, and Monday's Matthew Schuler and Josh Logan. CeeLo has Cole Vosbury, Jonny Gray, and previous auditioners Kat Robichaud and Caroline Pennell. And finally, Team Blake's lineup is Austin Jenckes, Holly Henry, E.G. Daily, and Monday's Shelbie Z. Looking at this list, I think Adam and CeeLo definitely have the most interesting teams, but the season is very young, so it's obviously still anyone's game.

Tune in next week for more head-spinning, chair-spinning talent! See you then.

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