'The Voice' recap, Baltimore's Nelly's Echo kills it, joins Christina Aguilera's team
Baltimore singer/songwriter Nelly's Echo performed the Bill Withers classic "Ain't No Sunshine" on "The Voice." (NBC)
Nelly’s Echo -- the band and stage name of Nigerian native Nelson Emokpae --prompted both Christina and Adam Levine to spin their chairs with his oh-so-groovy take on the soulful classic, and undoubtedly won the audience's heart with his story.
"We left Nigeria because of the political unrest," Nelson, 32, told host Carson Daly before performing. "Our lives were in danger."
Nelson, his brothers and his mother had to leave a wrongfully imprisoned father behind in Nigeria when the came to the United States where, he said, everything changed.
"It seemed that as we walked into the land of America, I had this distant voice of 'land of opportunity and dreams,'" he said.
Music became a coping mechanism for his family, Nelson said on the show, and 16 years after moving to Baltimore, he's a local favorite and his freed father is once more with the family.
"Nelly's Echo," he said, is "based on the premise that music is a two-way street," with the audience being the echo.
"Hopefully, you'll hear the echo," Carson him.
Nelly's Echo did, in fact, hear the echo, with both Adam and Christina vying for his favor. He wound up choosing Christina to guide him through the competition, and she couldn't have been more thrilled.
"He's a true artist," she said. "He's coming from a very creative place, and I'm very excited to see where he goes from here."
Oh, but Nelly's Echo wasn't the only act to grace the stage.
Samuel Mouton, of Fort Collins, singing Bob Marley's "Redemption Song"
Skinny white country boy singing Marley? It worked. It worked so well, in fact, that Adam, Cee Lo and Christina all pushed their buttons. Samuel went with Adam.
Summary thoughts: There can never be enough Bob Marley on this show. Samuel wins my approval.
2Steel Girls, of Nashville, with Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats"
The mother-daughter duo Allison (mom) and Krystal (daughter) was good, but pop-country isn't really my speed. Their song was loud and powerful, but it was like being hit in the face with a haystack. Sill, Cee Lo and Blake liked them enough to push their buttons, and the pair went with Blake.
Summary thoughts: Of course they went with Blake. Lots of country this go-around, yes? I reserve further comment till the battle rounds.
Domo, singing The Pussycat Dolls' "Don't Cha"
Cee Lo was the only chair to spin for her, but she still packed a whollop. Domo's a model/singer/dancer/whatever, and Cee Lo pushed his button before the music even kicked in to her a cappella intro.