After posting gangbusters ratings following the Super Bowl last night, The Voice returned for part two of the blind auditions. The show kicked off with the judges taking on a few of Prince’s greatest hits in a pyrotechnic crowd-pleaser. Christina Aguilera, sporting a leather sort of Statue of Liberty crown, led on “Party Like it’s 1999″; Cee Lo Green drove through “Little Red Corvette” in red sequined footie pajamas — appropriately; Adam Levine put his falsetto to good use on “I Wanna Be Your Lover”; and Blake Shelton wrapped country twang around “Kiss” for the finale. Then, it was on to the contestants!
Duo Hailey and Leland from Nashville, who perform as The Line, strummed a fire into Tom Petty’s “American Girl.” Blake was the first to push the button, but all four judges eventually turned. Cee Lo assumed they were a couple, even though the pair explained the relationship was platonic (but, who are they kidding, they should just get a room already). After a dig at Blake’s history with twosomes (he sent a couple home last season), Christina convinced The Line to walk her way.
HIV-positive, crystal meth addict-turned-volunteer Jamar Rogers from Bronx, NY., hit the stage next. The self-described “Comback Kid” funked up The White Stripes “Seven Nation Army” enough to make his idol, Cee Lo, swivel his way. A love fest ensued, and the two lived happily ever after — with Cee Lo’s evil white cat.
Jamar Rogers – “Seven Nation Army”
Family man (and ginger Slash impersonator) Neal Middleton from Salt Lake City brought his wife and infant child along for his gravelly hard rock rendition of “I Heard It Through The Grapevine,” as made famous by the California Raisins. But the sour notes kept the judges stationary, and Neal was sent packing.
Gwen Sebastian told host Carson Daly she’d put starting a family on hold to pursue her career (clearly she’s not a student of Beyonce’s school of Having It All). She sounded sort of like if Robyn decided to go country in a cover of Sugarland’s “Stay”. Maybe it was just her haircut? Anyway, it was lovely and heartfelt, and got each of the boys turned in their chairs. She followed her country heart to Blake in the end.
Gwen Sebastian – “Stay”
The cameras loved beautiful Pamela Rose, whose pitchy “Already Gone” didn’t win her any points with the judges. Cee Lo shook his head in regret when he saw her tight pants.
Kim Yarbrough, 50 — but who doesn’t look a day over 35 — and who, WHAT, used to do security for Dave Matthews Band (?!), felt this was her last shot at making it. Though Cee Lo literally gyrated in his seat, Adam and Christina were the first and only to turn around for the Chaka Khan lookalike’s throaty, not to mention apt, riff on “Tell Me Something Good.” Car salesman Adam landed her a deal — his first of the night.
St. Louis soldier Angie Johnson, who henceforth must be known as Air Force Angie, got internet famous singing Adele, but went with Pat Benatar’s “Heartbreaker” for her blind audition. Cee Lo liked it, no one else did.
Dez Duron, who just might be the lost Jonas or one of those werewolves from the Twilight movies, got his warble on for Backstreet Boys’ “I Want It That Way”. It wasn’t much of a touchdown for the high school football star; he got to look at the back of the judge’s chairs for the whole thing.
Up next was Lindsey Pavao of California. You could tell she was into “different” things because she name-checked Nirvana and wore a skirt with triangles and had Skrillex hair. Christina liked her reinvented version of Trey Songz’s “Say Aah”, then Cee Lo did too, and then Blake hit the button! It was exciting for her, and a little surprising. More importantly, Blake wasn’t sure who Fiona Apple was and used her as a comparison in his compliments after her performance (we heard more Lana Del Rey than Fiona in Pavao’s voice, to be honest), but Christina won her over because they had the same hair, probably.
Lindsey Pavao – “Say Aah”
As the show began to wind down, we met Jermaine Paul, one of Alicia Keys backup singers. Dude got a video shout-out from Mrs. Swizz Beatz, so you know, pressure’s on. But before he took the stage, we got to see the adorable 25-year-old Hoja Lopez really sing the crap out of Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream,” just in the wrong key. She went home. After the break, we were back with Jermaine taking on (our personal karaoke favorite) Avril Lavigne’s “Complicated”. He poured swagu all over that jam. It was smooth with some really nice high-low moments. Cee Lo jumped first, then Blake. Jermaine fished for compliments while the judges had words. And then in a weird twist of fate, he picked…Blake?
Jermaine Paul – “Complicated”
L.A. girl Angel Taylor, 23, closed out the night singing Adele’s “Someone Like You” faithfully and beautifully, as much with her hands as her mouth. Adam liked what he heard — and saw, as soon as he swiveled right ’round. Blake popped around the chorus, then Cee Lo followed suit. As the judges squared off, Angel revealed she has a big crush on Blake, while Adam bragged about last season’s win. It was a valid point to make, as Angel jumped on the Adam train. (S’for the best, Blake is married, after all.)
Angel Taylor – “Someone Like You”