The Voice Blind Auditions wrap up their second week, and the coaches have begun to rub off on one another. Adam Levine is starting to sit with one leg up like Usher, Shakira is brewing up a rivalry with Adam a la Blake Shelton, and Usher is using the “I turned around first!” appeal first popularized by Blake. It’s only a matter of time before Shakira starts telling contestants that she discovered Bieber!
For his part, Blake is getting a little desperate for contestants, and has resorted, yet again, to the security blanket of his American Music Award. The crystal statue, which has been conspicuously absent this season, made its way to set today after a devastating loss of a country artist to Adam Levine during Monday’s Blind Auditions. The fun and games are over (y’all)!
The contestants abandoned the tragic backstories for the evening, leaving just their voices to be judged. Unfortunately, a few hopefuls didn’t get the “don’t perform Adele unless you are Adele” memo that every singing competition show collectively sent out to the world, so they’re off to drown their sorrows at whatever karaoke bar hasn’t put a moratorium on “Someone Like You.” Here’s who did make it to the next round:
Audrey Karrasch, 20 — Reno, NV
Before Audrey Karrasch tried out a music career, she was a model. Why this gorgeous creature would then decide that a blind audition process was the best fit for her is mind-boggling, but she’s totally into it. “It’s the first time in a long time that I’m actually recognized for my voice and not what I look like,” she says. So yes, Audrey’s tragic back story is that she is just too pretty. Wah.
Audrey is all spunk and stage presence in her performance of Jessie J‘s “Price Tag,” and she hits the octave-scaling transitions nicely. Blake and Usher are impressed, and prepare to go to battle for Audrey.
Oh, wait, what? Audrey’s mind is already made up?
Saving the audience from a fabricated suspenseful decision process, Audrey says, “Let’s do this, Usher,” utterly dissing Blake’s very presence. Audrey: keep that efficient sass coming!
Brandon Roush, 19 — Louisville, KY
Brandon Roush works with children all day and performs with his band at night, yet somehow he finds the time to maintain a gloriously long and wavy ginger mane. This sweet spawn of Carrot Top teaches music to children with autism, and he informs us, “I get a ridiculous amount of joy and fulfillment from this job.” With hair like Shaun White, a voice like Joe Cocker and a heart of gold, Brandon is a very lovable package.
The Kentucky hopeful performs Joe Cocker’s “With a Little Help From My Friends,” demonstrating his rich and raspy tone. It takes a bit, but he wins over Shakira. Blake almost turns around, but he’s really struggling with not having a visual on Brandon (you know: the “Blind” part of the Blind Auditions). “What does he look like?” Shelton demands during the performance. “Oh, my god, that is not what you’re supposed to look like!” Blake laments after the reveal. Maybe a Season 5 rule change is in order, but for now, the contestant goes to Shakira.
“I think that your voice is exquisite, I absolutely loved the depth of it. That high note that you hit absolutely won me over,” she tells Brandon.
“You want me? Well, I love you,” he responds, thus solidifying what is sure to be an awkward and one-sided friendship.
Patrick Dodd, 35 — Memphis, TN
Despite his ill-advised dreads, family man Patrick Dodd is a standout at this early stage of the competition. A seasoned performer, Patrick performs in Memphis about 300 days every year, and won an award for being the Entertainer of the Year on Memphis’s Beale Street.
(But seriously: lose the dreads. You look like Adam Duritz. Sure, Adam is a Platinum recording artist who’s dated Christina Applegate, Courtney Cox, Jennifer Aniston, Mary Louise Parker… Okay, keep the dreads.)
Anyway, Dodd sings “Walking in Memphis,” which is a little on the nose, but the crowd digs it. It’s incredibly raspy, and he virtually growls out the chorus, but his gravely voice has quite a range. Shakira turns around after he hits some high notes, followed by Adam.
“The thing I envy the most is the density and the rasp and the soul. I don’t have that. I sound like a girl,” says Adam.
Shakira really fights for Patrick, telling him, “You have so much soul in your voice,” and “never underestimate a five-foot-three Columbian girl,” but ultimately he chooses fellow rocker Adam.
Orlando Dixon, 24 — Washington, D.C.
Orlando Dixon graduated from Berklee College of Music, and is just about ready to put his wedding singing career behind him. “I just want to make my mom and my sister proud. If I can take care of them by way of doing what I love to do, I’ll be happy,” he says, shedding some unexpected tears.
Orlando sings Ne-Yo‘s “So Sick” and wows the audience with soaring falsettos. It’s not until the last moment, however, that Usher decides to take a chance on him. “I turned around because I really did feel like you have a great tone,” Ursh tells Orlando. “I’m going to push you more, though.”
Orlando gushes to his idol in a long string of uninterrupted compliments that begins with “I grew up listening to you,” and ends with “I want to buy my mom a house.”
You got that, Usher? It’s not exactly a buyer’s market, so the pressure is really on.
Savannah Berry, 17 — Houston, TX
Savannah Berry has already been semi-discovered via YouTube. After Sugarland saw the cover she posted of “Stuck Like Glue” online, she was recruited to perform a duet with the band during the Academy of Country Music Awards. Unfortunately, unlike Justin Bieber’s celebrity mentor (what is his name again?), this didn’t result in long-term fame, so she’s back on network TV looking for her big break.
For her audition, Savannah sings Taylor Swift‘s “Safe And Sound.” Her performance turns out to be so much richer than one might expect of a Taylor Swift cover, and her strong high notes win over Adam, followed by Shakira and, eventually, Blake. On talent alone, she should have earned that fourth spin from Usher. But he knows an automatic Blake win when he hears one.
“I’m fascinated by your voice. I really am,” says Blake before dropping the names of as many country artists as he can think of. “I’m actually married to Miranda Lambert.”
“Miranda Lambert is not available to be your coach,” Adam shoots back, adding, “Go with the person who believed in you first.”
Shakira really fights the good fight, telling Savannah, “These two guys: three seasons already. They’re jaded. They’re almost deaf. You wanna be with someone who’s fresh. Who’s hungry. I’m hungry.”
Then Blake offers to adopt Savannah, which is weird and inappropriate, but it pretty much seals the deal.
“Didn’t even have to use this” he gloats, finally breaking out his AMA.
FYI Some other contestants performed:
Let’s keep these Blind Auditions moving! They didn’t make an appearance on the show this time around, but three more contestants made it through to the next round. Joining Team Blake is Trevor Davis, who performed Andy Grammer‘s “You Have to Keep Your Head Up.” Joining Team Shakira is C. Perkins, who belted out Ne-Yo’s “Because Of You,” Even though she auditioned with Shakira’s “Beautiful Liar,” returning contestant Agina Alvarez joins Team Adam.
The Blind Auditions wrap up next week, where Carson Daly has noncommittally promised that “we may have saved the best for last.” Sell it, Carson. Sell it!
Who’s team do you think is shaping up to be a winner so far? Let us know on Facebook, or in the comments below!