‘The Voice’: Sarah Simmons Rocks Out A Joan Osborne Cover, Impresses All Four Coaches
It’s night two of the Blind Auditions on The Voice, and certain coaches are feeling mighty feisty! Blake Shelton and Adam Levine conspire about some newbie hazing (on camera, of course). What hilarious prank could the two be planning? A whoopie cushion on Shakira’s chair? Putting Usher’s hand in warm water when he dozes off?
Unfortunately, it’s all talk at this point, so we’ll have to wait until next week to see if Adam and Blake manage to duct tape Shakira to her red chair. At least there’s a night filled with Blind Auditions to entertain us while we wait for the bromantic duo to make their big prankster move.
Tawnya Reynolds, 32 — Nashville, TN
Up first is Tawyna Reynolds, who is really emotional about her ongoing lack of commercial success. “In Nashville, it’s a lot of work for little-to-no appreciation,” she says, tearing up as she explains that she has been playing four-to-five nights a week in bars and hotel lobbies for the past 12 years. It sounded so much more tragic when she said it over a swelling emotional soundtrack.
Tawnya sings the country classic “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys” by Ed Bruce, and all of the coaches’ ears perk up and chairs spin except for Blake’s. Instead, Blake forms a temporary alliance with Usher, agreeing to the R&B artist’s deal, “I mentor one of yours, you mentor one of mine?” before Usher hits his button.
When three non-country coaches try to win over the country contestant, it can get a little ridiculous. “Out of the three of us, the most country one here is me,” says Shakira, highlighting the fact that she plays the harmonica and breaking out a Voice-branded English-to-Country dictionary (Great work, prop department). At least Usher has Blake in his corner…to tell Tawnya that Usher discovered Bieber (seriously).
Despite the endorsement from the country coach, Usher ultimately does not win Tawyna, who chooses country-convert Shakira.
Josiah Hawley, 27 — Port Smith, AR
Josiah Hawley wants you to know he is so much more than a pretty face (but he is definitely a really, really pretty face). It’s hard to remember anything else about his back story other than that he’s so pretty that he’s a model. Josiah is so attractive, in fact, that it’s almost possible to forgive his muzak-esque rendition of Maroon 5’s “Sunday Morning.” Almost.
Handsome Josiah’s voice is passable, despite the boring performance, and he earns spins from Blake, Usher and, at the last moment, Adam. Usher tells Josiah, “I have information that will sharpen your skill,” which sounds super top-secret, and therefore very intriguing. Adam admits, “There were moments that were not working for me, but then I heard a quality in your voice that reminded me of mine.” So, enough about your voice; let’s talk about how your voice is like my voice. Perhaps that’s why Josiah throws all of us for a loop and chooses Usher as his coach. Performing one coach’s song and picking another? Consider our minds blown, Handsome Josiah.
Midas Whale — Rexberg, ID
Someone alert Idaho: every single one of its hipsters has evacuated the state. All six Idahoan hipsters are now in California either auditioning or being an entourage at The Voice Blind Auditions. If you need to find an ironic bow tie, you’re going to have to wait until after Midas Whale is voted off.
Midas Whale — named for a drawling version of “might as well” — takes to The Voice stage with a guitar, an accordion and a whole lot of personality. Their rendition of Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues” is toe-tapping fun that wins over all of the coaches, who prepare for battle.
Because Midas Whale is so hipster that they mined gold in Chile for awhile, they’re able to go back and forth with Shakira in perfect Spanish as she tries to get them on her team. Usher’s only argument is that he pressed his button first, and they joke with Blake that “country hasn’t reached our state yet.” That leaves Adam, who tells the duo, “You guys are so good and so distinct that you really are going to ignite a lot of people, especially if you choose the right song.” After a bit of deliberation they declare Adam as their coach in unison.
Cathia, 19 — Bronx, NY
Cathia (no last name needed) was inspired by her mother to follow her dreams. “She made her own dreams come true,” she says, “It’s such a great example for me.”
She wants to share her Latin heritage with the world, and so Cathia sings Luis Fonsi’s Spanish language ballad “Yo No Me Doy Por Vencido.” Her vocal ability soars over any language barrier, and earns spins from Usher, Shakira and Blake. Even though Blake can’t quite get over the fact that he doesn’t know what the words mean, he just has to have her on his team.
“I hate to see someone as talented and beautiful as her end up as an experiment for two different coaches who’ve never even been on the show before,” he insists. “They don’t know what they’re doing!” The fact that Blake thinks that the veteran coaching card will trump the fact that he pronounces the “H” in “Hola” is adorable. Usher’s strongest argument (again) is that he turned around first.
Even though Shakira has this in the bag, she tells Cathia, “You have the kind of voice that can work in any language. It makes total sense that you come and join my team. You are meant to be global!” Cathia is sold, and prepares to go global on Team Shakira.
Sarah Simmons, 22 — Memphis, TN
Music student Sarah Simmons took a break from college for the Blind Auditions, but not before she got a blessing from her school. “Because it’s such a great opportunity, the president of my music school let me leave college to come audition for The Voice,” she says. Hopefully he negotiated tickets to the live show as part of that deal, because this girl is going to go far this season!
In true Voice fashion, they save the best for last. Sarah performs Joan Osborne’s “One of Us,” with a vocal that is simultaneously sweet and raspy. She delivers the performance of the night, earning spins from all of the coaches.
“You 150% can win this show,” says Adam, resorting to desperation math to win Sarah over. “You may be in my top three singers I’ve ever heard on The Voice,” says Blake, trying to trump Adam’s compliment. Shakira weakly plays the “we’re both girls” card, and Usher argues, “I’m from Tennessee, too,” which makes last night’s gaff where he referred to Nashville as a state all the more hilarious.
You can’t argue with a 150% chance of winning, so Sarah selects Adam as her coach. Between the acquisitions of Sarah and last night’s Judith Hill, Adam’s team is shaping up mighty nicely.
Luckily for the rest of the coaches, there are still plenty of spots left to fill on their teams. Better step up your game, guys, because those contestants aren’t going to coach themselves!