“It is now time to bring it as a coach,” Blake Shelton said wisely as the The Voice opened Tuesday night. And bring it they did, as he and his cohorts Adam Levine, Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo Green took their seats for the seventh round of blind auditions in the same outfits as nights one through six. We’ll stop harping on that now, as it’s officially beyond ridiculous.
Tonight had some disappointments, of course, as 55-year old cruise-boat-entertainer-turned-school-bus-driver Yolanda Barber failed to make it, despite her professional-sounding, throaty voice. It also had one of this season’s more awkward moments, when the coaches mused that they were shocked to discover that high-pitched IJ Quinn was actually a man…while he was still on stage. Nothing like rubbing salt in a fresh ego wound. Luckily for everyone involved, that awkwardness was short-lived: no one wanted IJ. Them’s the breaks on The Voice, where rejected contestants can just count themselves lucky that they didn’t also have to endure a brutal review from Simon Cowell.
With the above-mentioned lows came the highs, as both pop stars and heartthrobs did make it to the next round. The coaches sifted their way through the talented bunch that auditioned on Tuesday’s episode, and continue to fill their teams.
Sylvia Yacoub, 19, Muskegon, MI
The night starts off with fiery pop singer Sylvia Yacoub. She was born in Egypt, but her dad brought the family to America so she and her sisters could enjoy the same freedom as men. “There are no second chances,” she tells herself as she takes the stage, clearly unaware of this season’s second timers Dez Duron and Daniel Rosa. Sylvia’s performance of Rihanna‘s “Only Girl in the World” by Rihanna starts off a little shaky and is pitchy throughout, but Christina (after much physical deliberation), Blake and Cee Lo all think they can work with her voice. The hopeful singer selects Christina, who sums up the true essence of Sylvia’s realization of her American dream as only Ms. Aguilera can: “You have my dream hair.”
Charlie Rey, 20, Long Beach, CA
The judges may have swooned over Dez Duron in yesterday’s episode, but we have a new Voice crush today: Charlie Rey. Charlie works as a smog technician with his dad, because he doesn’t want his pop to inhale that much carbon monoxide. Clearly, the rest of us are terrible children. He even says he’s blessed that he can work with his dad. Oh – and he’s a physically beautiful specimen. We’re kind of obsessed even before his performance. As if we weren’t swooning enough, Charlie performs a raspy “Home” by Michael Buble that gets both Blake and Adam to turn around. He’s got the Buble vibrato, he’s got the falsetto — and he’s got enough charisma to start a pissing match between Blake and Adam over who is the better coach. Ultimately, Shelton wins when he breaks out the “come to Jesus Blake” open arms. Heading backstage, Charlie tearfully says, “I have to go give my dad the biggest hug ever,” leaving us all jealous of Mr. Rey.
Amanda Brown, 27, The Bronx, NY
Amanda Brown grew up listening to gospel, but knew she wanted to pursue secular music when she heard Radiohead for the first time. Amanda’s song choice — the Amy Winehouse/Mark Ronson version of “Valerie” — doesn’t do much to showcase her technically strong voice. She never falters, but also doesn’t hit any type of wow factor until the end, which gets a last minute spin from Cee Lo. We don’t know if Amanda is as jazzed about Cee Lo as he is about her, because she says that thing we tell anyone who was recently dumped: “Everything happens for a reason.” Ouch. Lady Bird, on the other hand squawks her approval.
Cassadee Pope, 22, West Palm Beach, FL
We knew she looked familiar when she walked in! Cassadee Pope, former lead singer of pop rock band Hey Monday struck out on her own a couple of months ago, and it has been a humbling experience. Cassadee, who counts Pete Wentz as a mentor (he even shows up on the awkward Sprint tablet moment of the night to wish her good luck), hopes The Voice will help establish her as a solo artist. Now, the show hasn’t been much of a comeback vehicle for former pros this season — lest we forget Chris Trousdale from Dream Street or Cupid of “The Cupid Shuffle” fame — but Cassadee’s got the goods. She sings “Torn” by Natalie Imbruglia (hear her studio version, which we premiered earlier this year). All four coaches agree and press their buttons, ready to fight for her. Blake, who uses unreasonable math, tells Cassadee, “I believe with 200% of my heart that you, Cassadee, are a superstar,” and wins her over. The rest of the coaches then stare at Blake with abject hatred.
We end with two spots remaining on each of the coaches’ teams, and the promise of more bickering when blind auditions continue next week. Based on the attempted career re-launches thus far, who knows what former band members or one-hit wonders we’ll see in auditions? Tiffany? Lou Bega? Sisqo? You never know with this show.
You know what you won’t see, though? Guys in in the audience. Here’s a fun game to play during next episode of The Voice: pause your DVR during any crowd shot. There will not be more than one man on the screen. If there is, you probably accidentally recorded Monday Night Football. It happens.