‘The Voice’: Anita Antoinette Turns Four Chairs, Lands On Team Gwen Stefani
The Blind Auditions continued on The Voice Monday (September 29) night, and new coach Pharrell’s niceness is just getting weird. He outwardly supported his colleagues Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani and Adam Levine in their pursuits of contestants…even when he’s also in the running. Either no one has explained the rules of the game to the producer/singer, or he decided to take an opposite approach to the “I know you want it, I know you want it, I know you want it” seduction technique from “Blurred Lines.”
Probably a good idea.
The coaches have hit their groove, though, and when they managed to take a break from the perpetual love fest, each one scored a few more contestants. Here’s who joined their teams.
John Martin, 25 – Illinois
The ladies go crazy for Chicago-based forklift operator John Martin. It’s no wonder: John’s boyish good looks, Midwest accent and deep V-neck have positioned him as a top contender in the battle for The Voice’s Most Eligible Bachelor (not an actual contest…unless there are even more twists in the Knockout Round). Tommy Roe’s “Sweet Pea,” is a little ho-hum to highlight his vocal ability, but Blake, Gwen and Pharrell all turn around.
“There is something so cool and so laid back about what you do,” says Blake.
“You do have a great voice,” says Pharrell. “Your identity came through.”
“Your voice was just delicious,” says Gwen. “It had this real creamy, beautiful tone.”
Adam throws his support behind Blake (first time for everything!), and John joins the country crooner’s team.
Jessie Pitts, 18 – Alabama
Hopeful Jessie Pitts grew up in a one-room barn, and used singing as a way to stand out amongst her family of eight (Eight! In a one-room barn!). The indie rock singer’s rendition of Brandi Carlile’s “The Story” is – for better or worse – much sweeter than the original, and her ethereal tone wins over both Gwen and Blake.
“I loved your voice,” says Gwen. “It was like an angel.”
“That was my wedding song,” Blake counters, and then tries to use his own illustrative language. “Your voice is like a bowl of Lucky Charms: marshmallows only.”
Angel voice wins over Lucky Charms this time, and Jessie joins Team Gwen.
Ricky Manning, 19 – Florida
It’s hilariously troubling how naïve Ricky Manning is. The singer has been busking in New York City’s subway stations with the hope that a record executive would be in the crowd one day and sign him. Seriously.
Ricky sings John Newman’s “Love Me Again.” He throws in some runs to an otherwise mediocre audition. Luckily for him, Pharrell loves the adlib, and Blake loves spinning in to hear his own voice.
“What made me hit the button is your runs were consistent every time,” says Pharrell, but he adds that Blake would be an equally good coach.
“My favorite thing about your voice is how invested you are in what you’re singing,” says Blake.
Wide-eyed naiveté favors Pharrell’s complimentary approach. After joining the producer’s team, one can only imagine Ricky is off to buy some magic beans.
Kelli Douglas, 31 – Texas
Kelli Douglas has gone from stage fright to performing in front of a national television audience on The Voice. The former middle school teacher sings Loggins & Messina’s “Danny’s Song,” and – though her nerves arise out in her out-of-breath performance – her voice, overall, is on-point. Adam, Gwen and Blake all press their buttons.
“You were nervous,” says Adam. “I think there are some things we have to work on, and I’m excited – hopefully – to do that.”
“I love your voice. I love the raspiness. I love how it breaks,” says Gwen. “I don’t have anyone like you, and I would love for you to be on my team.”
“Your voice is mysterious to me, and it’s haunting,” says Blake.
Adam’s honest critique wins over Kelli, who will work on her stage fright on Team Levine.
Blessing Offor, 25 – New York
Soul singer Blessing Offor was born in Nigeria, and is now a working musician in New York City. He has even played piano and sang at the Kennedy Center, winning a national soloist award.
Adding another feather in his cap: Carson Daly is obsessed with him! “I love this guy,” Carson says, as Blessing takes the stage to sing “Just the Two of Us” by Bill Withers. He’s arguably even more excited — like, It’s 1998 And Backstreet Boys Are Going To Appear On TRL excited — than Blessing’s family and friends when all four coaches turn for Blessing’s silky smooth voice.
(It should be noted at this point that Blessing is blind…as opposed to being noted in the very beginning and throughout, as The Voice opted to do).
“When you first came in, I thought your voice sounded so beautiful. It sounded a lot like Pharrell’s voice,” says Gwen, continuing the G+P love fest.
“I’ve not heard anyone sing a song that’s written with country intentions, but sung with a voice like yours,” says Pharrell. “I know a couple things about mixing genres.”
“The thing that maybe I’m plugged into that you would be interested in is that Nashville songwriting community,” says Blake. “Let’s connect it.”
That connecting will have to happen at a different time, because Blessing joins Team Pharrell.
Troy Richie, 21 – California
Before he performs, Troy Richie entertains a circle of fans/paid extras with a handstand walk, and (needless to say), looks like a total clown. He continues building on his eye-roll factor with some Family Guy impersonations and an aborted attempt at Christopher Walken. Woof.
Troy’s performance of “Out Of My League” by Fitz And The Tantrums is controlled, but just okay. Gwen, however, presses her button.
“I don’t have a lot of guys yet on my team, and I really like your voice,” she says. “It was so strong when you went up to the top.”
Troy doesn’t seem all that excited to join Team Gwen, but the free Team Gwen t-shirt does lift his spirits.
Mia Pfirrman, 19 – California
Mia Phirrman is currently enrolled in community college, where she’s taking a pop-rock class. Said class includes her “professor” lining gigs up for her and fellow classmates over the weekends, so it sounds like she’s paying tuition for an instructor to totally profit dollars off of her “internship” experience.
Whether it was that probably non-accredited situation or other training, Mia successfully tackles Katy Perry’s “Unconditionally.” She’s got pipes, and only a few technical issues. All four coaches vie for her attention.
“The fact that you were able to do a live performance of that type of song is incredible,” says Blake.
“The moments that were really spectacular, were, like, really spectacular,” says Adam “It’s so good that I don’t think it would be fair for you to go home.”
“You took a lot of chances vocally,” says Pharrell. “You sang like this was your one and only moment.”
Mia is charmed by Adam, and joins the fellow pop-rocker’s team.
Bree Fondacaro, 24 – California
Music is the family business for Bree Fondacaro, who helps her dad teach piano and vocal lessons. The singer has been performing locally for years, but sees The Voice as an obvious opportunity for more exposure.
Bree sings Johnny Cash’s “It Ain’t Me Babe,” and her performance is interesting, raspy and worthy of Blake’s attention.
“Your voice has a rawness to it that reminds me of someone like Bonnie Tyler,” says the uncontested country coach. “You fit perfectly into my team”
Anita Antoinette, 24 – Massachusetts
Anita Antoinette, a contestant returning from an unsuccessful Season 3 audition, closes out the night. Although she has been battling with severe stage fright since her first audition, which has kept her from performing (thanks a lot, The Voice), she doesn’t sound out of practice in the slightest.
The Jamaica native’s stripped down version of Bob Marley’s “Turn Your Lights Down Low” prompts Blake and Gwen to turn around within the first bar, and eventually Adam and Pharrell follow.
“I think I would have probably picked you then,” says Gwen of her fellow coach’s Season 3 rejection. “I need that cute voice on my team.”
“I’m a country artist, and that’s what country is. It’s about stories,” says Blake. “I think I can help you be even better at that.”
“To Blake’s point, he could be great for you,” says Pharrell, agreeing with the country coach’s point. It blows everyone’s minds.
Anita ignores both Blake and Pharrell, and joins Team Gwen. The new coach finally has her first four-chair turn under her belt, so she’s pretty much unstoppable from here.
Untelevised: So many contestants, so little time! The coaches secured a few more yet-to-be aired team members, leaving more time for Carson to drive around promoting Kia. Pop singer Alessandra Castronovo joins Team Adam, indie rocker Jordy Searcy joins Team Pharrell and rocker Kensington Moore lands herself on Team Blake.
The Blind Auditions continue tonight! Any favorites so far? Let us know below.