‘The Voice’: Christina Aguilera Joins Contestant Joe Maye For Insane Duet Of “I Put A Spell On You”
Maybe Carson Daly was right when he said Season 10 of The Voice would be ten times more exciting than any other season, because Tuesday night’s episode packed in every one of the series’ tropes and then some. We’re talking a former child star, a famous parent, two returning hopefuls, utterly unnecessary appearances from two Voice quarter finalists and total Christina Aguilera vocal domination. Oh, and Tyler Perry was there.
Coaches Xtina, Pharrell Williams, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton grew more heated than previous nights as they duked it out for contestants. It was all fun and games until Christina took the mic and shut the place down with her vocal perfection.
Though these contestants weren’t Christina-level perfect, they made it to the next round:
Tamar Davis, 35 – Houston, TX
Tamar Davis is a mystery. She has ties to Beyonce and co. – having performed with Destiny’s Child back when the group was known as Girl’s Time. She performs backup vocals for Prince, and Prince likes her so much he introduced her to Tyler Perry. Tyler Perry likes her so much that he put her in a movie…and accompanied her to her Voice audition. Oh, and she’s really, really good.
So if not connections, exposure or vocal lessons: what on Earth is does Tamar have to gain from The Voice?
Tamar’s rendition of Aretha Franklin’s “Chain Of Fools” is so good that it makes you forget the mystery that is her Voice presence. Both Blake and Christina vie for her attention.
“It is time for you to step out of the background,” says Christina. “It’s time for a female to win. It’s time for you to win.”
“Knowing what I learned working with Jermaine [Paul], I’d love to have that opportunity to work with you and see you win this thing,” says Blake.
Tamar joins Team Christina.
Jessica Crosbie, 21 – Atlanta, GA
UK-born Jessica Crosbie moved to Atlanta to pursue a music career (which, if you’re coming from Europe, may seem sort of close to Nashville or New York). Jessica takes a stripped down approach to Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida.” Her smooth tone is beautiful, and Adam, Christina and Pharrell all turn around.
“There is stuff inside of you that we haven’t heard,” says Christina. “I would definitely push you to sing higher because I think you are capable of doing it.”
“I could hear the breath and the nerves, but I don’t really care because I heard a really tremendous individual vocalist,” says Adam.
Pharrell goes the self-help approach, and drops his bit about how he’ll hold up a mirror. “At the end of the day, it’s going to be completely up to you,” he says.
The mirror argument is surprisingly effective, and Jessica joins Team Pharrell.
Justin Whisnant, 28 – Bearden, OK
Justin Whisnant may be a country singer, but his voice has a soulful versatility. His strong, steady performance of Cole Swindell’s “Ain’t Worth the Whiskey” attracts the attention of Adam Levine, who all but adds Cole to his roster until Blake turns around at the last moment.
“I really saw what needed to be seen before that dude,” says Adam, pointing to Blake. “I care about great talent. And that’s what you are.”
“When I see and hear a great country singer I take it to heart,” says Blake. “There’s probably going to be a relationship that goes on long after this show.”
Oklahoma? Country singer? It doesn’t really matter who turned around first on this one: Justin joins Team Blake.
Daniel Passino, 21 — New Boston, Michigan
Aspiring pop singer Daniel Passino got some support (?) from his mom when he first started singing and she told him he sounded just like Christina Aguilera. Though he has since trained in opera, Daniel wants to pursue pop, citing Justin Timberlake and Michael Jackson as his music influences.
Daniel sings Charlie Puth’s “Marvin Gaye,” and though he actually sounds nothing like Xtina, she turns around for his smooth vocals. Blake gets in on it at the last moment. It’s like he’s trying to patent the last moment move.
“He hit that big falsetto note at the end, and my hand just hit it,” Blake explains.
“I hit it within the first few…things,” says Christina.
Despite her lack of an argument other than “I was first!” Daniel joins Team Christina.
Owen Danoff, 25 – New York, NY
It’s music dynasty time…sort of. Owen Danoff comes from music royalty-ish, as his father, Bill Dannof, not only penned “Take Me Home, Country Roads” for John Denver, but was part of “Afternoon Delight” group Starland Vocal Band. Though Owen does not sing one of his dad’s jams, he does go old school with Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright.” Adam, Christina and Pharrell all turn for him.
“Seeing you play after listening to you was even better,” says and early-turning Adam. “You, Owen, have a very strong identity.”
“I do know the place that you’re coming from, and I think music is music no matter what genre it is,” says Christina, using one of her go-to arguments.
“You’re in New York, I’m in Oklahoma. I know it’s a long shot. Just think about it,” says Blake, using the reverse of his go-to argument.
“What I loved was very much what you love,” says Adam of his early Maroon 5 days.
Pharrell sums it up best, though provides no helpful input. “It’s obvious that we all would love to have you on our teams.”
What weak arguments! Owen goes with his gut and joins Team Adam.
Maya Smith, 31 – Los Angeles, CA
Someone is eventually going to make Maya Smith sing Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours.” She is, after all, the most gorgeous mail woman anyone has ever seen. She also happens to be a vocal powerhouse, and crushes Aretha Franklin’s “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man.”
Maya trips up a little when Pharrell turns around, but regains her composure to finish strong. Christina later presses her button to compete for Maya.
“The song choices I could give you would make me so happy,” says Christina. “Nobody appreciates a real singer and a soulful singer more than myself.”
“Didn’t we just work in the studio together? I appreciate great singers!” Pharrell retorts, looking almost mildly phased for the first time…ever. He tells Maya, “Your voice really cut through.”
When Maya joins Team Pharrell, you can almost see Christina’s blood boil. Consider the beast unleashed.
Brittney Lawrence, 21 – Jacksonville, FL
Persistence pays off for country singer Brittney Lawrence, who has tried out for The Voice a whopping seven times. Season 10 is her first time making it to the Blind Auditions, and she comes ready to fight. Brittney sings Demi Lovato’s “Warrior,” and, despite a few pitch issues, earns a turn from Christina and (again) a last moment turn from Blake.
“It’s harder with what you did to not throw in the vibrato,” says Blake. “You just had to land right on it.”
“I loved what I heard,” says Christina. “You soared.”
She’s got those country leanings, so Brittney joins Team Blake. Christina’s getting madder.
Matt Tedder, 20 – Forth Worth, Texas
Like so many contestants, blues singer Matt Tedder is living in Nashville, hoping to make it big. He performs Muddy Waters’ “I’m Your Coochie Coochie Man,” and his raspy voice gets Adam’s attention. It’s a little surprising that none of the other coaches catch on to his unique voice.
“You’re really a great slide player,” says Adam. “You’re singing beautifully and ridiculously and soulfully all at the same time.”
Joe Maye, 24 – Baltimore, MD
Closing out the night is Joe Maye, a returner from Season 9 who danced too much during his Blind Audition the first time around. Even though he didn’t make it through, he did – apparently – make friends with former contestants Mark Hood and Ellie Lawrence, and oddly they are available to cheer him on backstage. Joe stays put to sing Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’/Creedence Clearwater Revival’s/Annie Lennox’s “I Put A Spell On You,” helping him give a better vocal performance than his Season 9 bid.
Christina turns around early for his signature growls, and Blake follows (again) at the very end.
“You were not going to take no for an answer, and it worked,” says Blake. “It’s all about navigating this gauntlet, and you don’t want to do that with someone who’s not familiar with how to do that and make it to the end.”
Annnnd she’s had it. The gloves come off, and in lieu of an argument, Christina gets on stage and flawlessly duets “I Put A Spell On You” with Joe.
If you turn down Christina after she sings, bad things happen. Joe joins Team Christina.
Untelevised, But Not Unloved: Even though there are six hours of airtime dedicated to The Voice this week, these folks didn’t quite make the televised cut. At least they made it through! Teresa Guidry joins Team Blake, Chelsea Gann joins Team Christina and Lily Green joins Team Adam.
On Monday, the Blind Auditions wrap, and the Battle Rounds begin. Why keep a team intact for any longer than is absolutely necessary, right?