Another week of blind auditions on NBC's "The Voice," and another two hours to boil down into a single blog post. A nice change of pace this week for the audience: Instead of clipped montages of contestants who didn't make the cut onto Adam Levine's, Cee Lo Green's, Christina Aguilera's or Blake Shelton's teams, the clipped montages were of contestants who did, in fact, get slots in the competition.
So let's get to it.
Team Cee Lo
Sarah Golden, a folk singer from Houston, whose face was obscured to heighten the "I won't get judged by my looks here" shtick. Sarah's been offered two record contracts in the past, but on the contingency she change her look (I think her boyish looks make her cute as a button). Her twangy take on Lady Gaga's "You and I" sent Cee Lo's and Blake's chairs spinning.
Erin Martin,a ditzy former model with a halting, breathy voice who sent me to the Internet to find out if she was actually the lead singer of CocoRosie. She's another contestant who has been judged by her looks in the past – looks so pretty they render her a bit unlikeable. Points to her, however, for singing "Hey There Delilah" and making me an emotional 18-year-old again. I could write a dissertation on all the feelings this song makes me feel, and how once a friend described the song's color as orange, but no one wants to be subjected to that.
James Massone, 23, who works in his family's Boston auto body shop. Sweet and endearing, he broke down at the end of his song, "Find Your Love," which had prompted Blake, Christina and Cee Lo to all vie for his voice. This kid's adorable, but his nerves are going to get the best of him.
Out of 12 slots on his team, Cee Lo has six still open.
Pip, 19 from Marietta, Ga., with his wittle bow-tie and suspenders and all things adorable. His soulful cover of "House of the Rising Sun" was the first to give me goosebumps tonight (goosebumps not related to my rather chilly apartment). All the judges spun their chairs, but Adam was first and Pip went with him.
Katrina Parker, 34, from Hollywood who, despite having the weakest sob story of the evening ("Mold in my apartment made me sick and I couldn't sing for two years") had a killer cover of "One of Us." She had a pretty snazzy dress, too.
Chris Cauley, 27, from Atlanta, whose grandmother was a bluegrass singer and a darn cute one at that. His take on Bruno Mars' "Grenade" had Cee Lo and Adam fighting over him – almost literally: Chris asked the two to armwrestle, and the winner would get Chris on their team. Adam rightly conceded (his outstanding biceps aside, there's no way he could take Cee Lo) but Chris went with him anyway.
Nathan Parret, 24. Don't know too much about this one, other than his fun take on Steve Miller's "The Joker." He was one of the unlucky contestants whose segment got boiled down to less than a minute of airtime.
Seven down, five to go to fill Adam's team.
Erin Willet, 22, from Gaithersburg, Md. I'm the jerk who tends to scoff at sob stories, but this one was, well, nearly sob-inducing. About a month and a half before filming, Erin's father – her best friend and mentor – told her he had Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Maybe it was it was her friendship with her father, maybe it was her bright red lipstick, or maybe it was the simple joy of Jackson 5's "I Want You Back," but something about her makes me want to be writing about her well into the competition.
Jordis Unga, from Los Angeles by way of Minnesota. The last performer of the night had all but Adam spinning their chairs with Paul McCartney's "Maybe I'm Amazed." And her name is Jordis. I mean, that's just awesome.
Brian Fuente, whose (abridged) take on Grace Potter's "Ooh La La" was better than Grace's herself. Brian's another one we don't know too much about, thanks to whatever joker makes the editing decisions at NBC.
Six spots filled on Blake's team, six to go.
Geoff McBride, father of four from Santa Rosa Beach, Fla., whose "Higher Ground" had both Christina and Cee Lo gunning for him. His sunglasses, he said, aren't a "cool factor" – they're to protect against an old boxing injury. Which, in turn, makes him just that much cooler.
Moses Stone, from Hollywood, whose "Let's Get it Started" marked the first time anyone has rapped on "The Voice." Even though his segment was one of the short ones and the audience got zero back story, I can tell you a little secret: He's 25 and a 2005 graduate of Laurel High School in Laurel, Md.
By my tally, that leaves six spots left on Christina's team.
What We Learned Tonight
Cee Lo is a creepy, creepy man. The cat. The leering (is he leering? I can't see his eyes behind his sunglasses!). That weird tongue thing he does. This week, he called ditzy model Erin "a beautiful, wonderful creature of a woman … your voice is so strange, so bizarre. Quite naturally, you belong to me. Don't you agree?" Because treating women as property is ALWAYS COOL.
Name-dropping Perez Hilton will get you nowhere. Just ask Winter Rae, who works in a California bowling alley, and whose take on Rihanna's "Take A Bow" failed to impress the judges. No one cares if Perez Hilton is your friend, Winter.
"Sweet Home Alabama" is an awful song. No, wait, already knew that.
Carson Daly is super-intense. Yelling at the viewing screen as he waits with the families, hunched over, hands on his knees. Your yells have NO IMPACT on what's happening on screen, Carson. Ask any sports fan.
Stay in school. I'm lookin' at you, Elley Duhe. You and your killer-last-note-on-Duffy's-"Mercy." Tough luck.
Cee Lo sleeps during the show. At least, that's according to Blake: "That's why he wears sunglasses." Darn. I really thought it was because he was a Cyclops.
Suspenders are always cool. Pip reminded us of this. That, and his awesome name (which I'm just going to go ahead and assume was inspired by Charles Dickens' "Great Expectations") as well as his take on "House of the Rising Sun" are all contributing factors to his being crowned standout of the night. He's got his bowtie tied so snugly around my heart.