Finally, the last week of blind auditions on NBC's "The Voice."
At the start of this episode, teams helmed by Adam Levine, Cee Lo Green, Christina Aguilera and Blake Shelton had precious few spots left for the taking. Cee Lo had the most to offer, with three spots left on his team, with the other three having to be exceptionally picky to fill the two places up for grabs on each of their teams.
Whitney Myer, 25, from Reno, Nev., whose take on Alicia Keys' "No One" had all the judges spinning their chairs, right off the bat.
Orlando Napier, 25, from Los Angeles. Adam pushed his button nearly instantly upon hearing Orlando's work on "Waiting for the World to Change." Adam's picky, but gosh if he doesn't know what he wants within seconds of hearing it.
The Shields Brothers, the sibling duo of Rory and Tristan, from some small town in Virginia no one's heard of or cares about. Cee Lo was the only coach to push his button, and I'm totally OK with that. Wait, no I'm not – I was hoping no one would pick these jokers, but maybe it's a match made in gauche leather-jacket heaven. Other judges compared the brothers' take on "Dancing With Myself" as chaos, and I have to agree. Inappropriate point to make: We all know what that song is about. And listen, Shields Brothers, you admitted you've never had jobs and you live at home with your parents on a farm. Were it not for Cee Lo, I'd have said you'd best get used to dancing with yourselves.
Chessa, from Honolulu, and her spin on Beyonce's "If I Were A Boy." Cee Lo got scared with this one, as Chessa (what the hell kind of awesome name is that!) and her killer second-to-last note made him spout expletives in shock and caused him to fear her song was over, meaning he'd have missed a chance to have her on his team. Nope, she kept singing, giving Cee Lo time to push his button.
R&B singer Wade, who is only 19 – 19! – and Amy Winehouse made for a pretty delicious blind audition, and Cee Lo scooped him right up.
Lex Land, 25, from Texas, a classically trained singer-turned-jazz-musician-turned-camp-counselor caught the simultaneous attention of Cee Lo and Adam with her cover of "I Can't Make You Love Me," but she went with Blake in the end. She said she was nervous, she sounded nervous, but if that's what she sings like nervous, I cannot wait to hear what she sounds like, well, not-nervous. And she's a camp counselor? D'awww.
Adley Stump, 22, from Tulsa, Okla. – all sorority-girl and curly hair and cowboy boots and pure country. She started singing only 10 month before the blind audition taping, but she's got "chops," as Christina put it. To that I respond with Blake's words: "What does that even mean?!" (All it does is make me want Easter dinner at my Mum-Mum's to hurry up and get here. Mmmm, lamb.)
Lee Koch, 27, who bakes for a living (second "D'awwww" of the night). "I bake," he says. "It's an age-old art … I'd like to be a musician who bakes, not a baker who pursues music." Blond, bearded, and Bob Dylan is how I would describe this quirky delight. While everyone seemed nonplussed with his spin on Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone" (Uh, the greatest song in the history of mankind), Christina acted and pushed her button.
Sera Hill, 24, from Atlanta. Now this – the last performance of the night -- was so very cool. Christina was the last coach to fill up her team, and she sat through several auditions, turning each of them down (I mean, how disheartening, to know you're performing for only one coach, and to have that coach not spin her chair). Then Sera took the stage with Mary J. Blige's "I'm Goin' Down," and Christina was so impressed that she joined Sera on stage. I mean, got out of her seat, grabbed a microphone and started singing with her. Awesome. Especially considering that their voices are basically identical.
That's it! Teams are filled! And now we progress to the battle rounds next week, in which the coaches actually start coaching, and pit their team members against one another in a sing-off. While the coach has the final say in who stays and who goes during this phase of the competition, once the teams get whittled down to six apiece and start competing against other teams' members, the audience starts getting a say. Now is the time to start picking out your favorites, people. I know I've already got mine.
Now, if I could just remember them. Seriously, this season is unwieldy. Twelve members to a team? With blind auditions finally wrapping up, I can't even remember who the coaches' first picks were. Talent, I'm sure, is falling through the cracks.
Residual Feelings Brought to the Surface This Week: With Wade's "Rehab," I wondered, is anyone else still mourning Amy Winehouse? No? Just me?
Hypothetical Image Seared Into My Mind: Blake and Christina taking a fishing trip together. Now that's a reality show that needs to happen.
That One Guy Who Was so Arrogant Even Ayn Rand Would Hate Him: Cameron Novack, the poor jerk no coach picked. Oh, but he's a "real artist" – he told us all himself! You, with your douchey vocal warm-ups and switching from free-styling to opera at the drop of a hat, you do not impress me, and neither did your cover of Alanis Morrisette's "You Oughta Know." (That's the Holy Grail of angst! How dare you sully it!) Clearly, you did not impress the judges either, even though Cee Lo swore he made a mistake in not picking you. And you free-styled your goodbyes in smug defiance of the judges? Go. Home.
"I am the Lorax, I speak for the Trees. I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues." Seriously, NBC, keep hyping the crap out of this movie. I love every second of it. Throw in some promo clips of Danny DeVito, Zac Efron and Betty White "competing" for a coach's (the Lorax's) attention? I'm beyond sold. Then again, you could slap Betty White (or Dr. Seuss) on a toilet plunger and I would buy it.