Teams are nearly half-full on NBC's "The Voice," which can only mean there's at least a solid week left of blind auditions. Good thing the blinds are so fun, but that doesn't mean there's not a healthy dose of heartbreak thrown in.
Collin McLoughlin, 24, from Bedford, N.Y., with Cat Stevens' "Wild World"
This N.Y.U. drop-out was charming, mellow, and beautifully handled this oldie-but-goodie. Cee Lo Green, Blake Shelton and Adam Levine all turned for his "laser-y sharp" pitch, in Adam's words, and Collin went with Adam.
Summary thoughts: Yeah, dropping out of college to pursue your dreams is cool. You know what else is cool? Paychecks and health insurance.
Joselyn Rivera, 17, from Florida, with Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger"
Born with a neurological condition, Joselyn was a few years behind her peers developmentally, until her doctor "prescribed music." Joselyn's got energy and an endearing quality, plus a great and earnest stage presence, but her voice is kind of underdeveloped. But Blake and Christina both pushed their buttons, and after some verbal sparring, Joselyn decided on Christina.
Summary thoughts: Poor Blake. He's really struggling here -- no one picked him last night, and he has the most open spots left on his team. You can tell he's getting exasperated, because he's losing his touch: With Joselyn, he simply blurted out "Christina's abusive!"
Benji, 24, of Orlando, with Bob Dylan's "Knockin' on Heaven's Door"
Fun fact: Benji is a racecar driver. But that's a pretty expensive line of work, "and I ran out of money, so I went all in on music." I can't come up with the right descriptors for Benji's voice. Raspy and soulful and soaring. Adam and Cee Lo both turned their chairs, and with Adam promising Benji that he could make it to the end, he went with Adam.
Summary thoughts: Yeah, I hope he does make it far in the show, just so I can keep mentioning racecars.
Mycle Wastman, 40, of Seattle, with Al Green's "Let's Stay Together"
Smooth and sexy just about sums it all up. And let's say what all the judges were thinking, but didn't want to say directly: They weren't expecting Mycle to be white. Like, Adam, Cee Lo and Blake were all surprised when they spun their chairs, and the bickering and persuading commenced. Cee Lo: "That's my godfather's song. I was named after Al Green." Adam: "That is in no way true." Cee Lo: "It's 75 percent true." And the line that probably sealed the deal? "Right now, no one does soul music like Cee Lo Green." Mycle went with Cee Lo.
Summary thoughts: Let's just have Cee Lo scream "LET ME LOVE YOU" at least once.
And Now, Unnecessary Montage
Why on earth bother with a montage of contestants during a one-hour show? Regardless, here's how it broke down: Cee Lo got everyone. No, seriously: Chicago's Todd Kessler, 21-year-old Ben Taub, and Brooklyn's Emily Earle all wound up on Team Cee Lo. I do love me a well-purposed montage.
And the Heartbreak
Trevanne Howell, 33, from the Bronx, with Whitney Houston's "I Have Nothing"
The first contestant of the night, a single mother, blazed through Whitney Houston's classic, had the audience cheering, but no one spun their chairs. "Your notes just fell off" at the end of phrases, Christina Aguilera told Trevanne. Yes, kids, mommy has dreams -- that are about to get trampled by a panel of celebrity judges.
Lorraine Ferro, 52, of New York City, with Demi Lovato's "Skyscraper"
Over-the-top, ranging high and low, Lorraine was all over her song, but no coach turned their chairs. But she was still so exuberant, it almost didn't matter. It still felt triumphant.
Updated Team Tally: Adam and Cee Lo each have 11 on their teams. Christian, 10, and Blake, a sad little seven.
Leftover Thoughts: Does Christina have a fan trained upon her, constantly offering a gentle wind to flutter her hair, framing her perfect face? I see your subtle trickery, "Voice." I see it.