SET REPORT! EXCLUSIVE Sneak-Peek!
THE VOICE: Really Good Voices, Not Good Enough!
Written and reported by: John Perry
WARNING: This post contains SPOILERS!
Culver City, CA- Tuesday, October 25 at Sony Studios a second season of NBC’s singing competition show “The Voice” officially started taping it’s second season which will premiere after the Superbowl in February of 2012.
After a long wait, and far too many Carson Daly “intro/pick-up/teaser” shots, the “blind auditions” were ready to start! First up was a young man named Nathan who sang a nice version of Marc Cohn’s “Walking In Memphis”, but it was not enough to convince any judges Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, Adam Levine, and Blake Shelton to give him the almighty “swivel” of the chair that reads “I Want You”. The audience quickly realized that, in this show, good isn’t good enough. In fact, it seemed even really good wasn’t good enough. These guys are looking for great and unique voices. After a few more rejections of good singers, the first to be picked was the lovely country singer guitarist Carla, whom Adam chose for his team.
Tension between Christina and Adam?…
The teams are bigger this year. Judges get to select twelve members instead of eight. The first real bidding war happened with the ninth competitor of the day, a rocker named Juliet who lives in Hollywood. She brought the house down with “Oh Darling” by the Beatles. Her raspy, rich, powerful voice got the chair turns from Christina, Cee Lo, and Adam. Even Blake said he was impressed, but let the other three judges battle it out. This is where things got interesting.
Christina was making her pitch for the singer, and Adam thought she had talked enough, and it was his turn. When he finally got to make his plea, he started by saying “Christina Aguilera is one of the best female singers of our time, but not one of the best coaches”. After she tried to interrupt, calling Adam “a used car salesman” (for his style of selling himself as a great coach), the two judges told each other to shut up, even using the non network friendly “F” word. (Yes, they actually started telling each other to “shut the fuck up!”) When Christina called Adam a “Justin Timberlake wannabe”, the audience roared with laughter. In this reporter’s opinion, it seemed like friendly banter which excited the crowd, but a fellow audience member told me she thought Adam was genuinely upset. After the fighting died down, Juliette decided to go with Cee Lo as her coach.
Picks of the day…
Eventually, the judges selected a handful of lucky but talented singers. A few notables included another country singer-this time from North Dakota, named Gwen (picked by Blake), the Brazilian born and suave Jonathis -yes it is correct, “Jonathis” (picked up by Christina), and the soulful Ashley from Orlando, who sang the cool song “Shark in the Water by V.V. Brown (also picked by Christina). Sadly, It seemed that some excellent singers were out of luck because the judges were strategizing with numbers and style of singers they wanted on their team, and saving space for later picks. In fact, Cee Lo was so upset that one singer was not picked, that he begged the producer to let him change his mind. But rules are rules, so the singer went home.
The most spectacular performance came late in the day. It was from a man named Jesse, who got the swivel from all four judges. His unique powerful singing voice utterly stunned the audience. Everyone, including the judges stood for him, with Adam Levine comparing him to last year’s champion, Javier Colon. Adam said, “We’ve seen about 52 competitors so far. In my opinion, there are the other 51, and then there is you.” He really was that good. In a sea of fantastic singers, Jesse stood alone. Keep an eye out for him.
As with last season, there is a great mix of ballads, rock, soul and country, and just to spice things up, perhaps a little drama amongst the judges.
The second season of “The Voice” starts on February 5, 2012 after the Super Bowl. Another episode airs at its regular time Monday, February 6, 8/7 c.