I don’t know, maybe with three separate singing competitions now on the air America’s well of untapped talent is starting to run dry. At least that’s the way it seemed on the third night of The Voice‘s blind auditions. We all know the show usually saves the best singers for the very end, but tonight there was barely a decent voice at all until the second hour. The judges made some baffling calls as well, picking twelve singers, several of whom were truly mediocre talents, while leaving one unique, arresting singer to a fate of bowling-alley maintenance and food service. Of course, she had the unshakeable albatross of Perez Hilton around her tattooed neck, so I suppose she was doomed to failure going in. We’ll get to my ranking of the singers who made the cut in a minute, but first let’s start with those who found themselves passed over.
WINTER RAE, 26
Her name was Winter Rae, and she had elaborate tattoos running up and down her neck, arms, and cleavage. With her ink and her blue hair, she looked the very definition of a rocker chick. Suddenly it seemed Juliet Simms had a competitor horning in on her gravelly territory. However, Winter, Yuuzhan Vong looks and all, fashioned herself not a rocker, but a soul singer. If Ant and Dec were hosting The Voice, they’d probably look smugly into the camera when she launched into Rihanna’s “Take a Bow,” as if to say, “And you thought she was going to go all Joan Jett on us!” It was a pretty arresting cover, to be sure, and Winter was even given moral support backstage by that Louella Parsons of the Blog Era, Perez Hilton. But somehow the judges completely ignored her in favor of at least three far inferior talents. So it’s back to her job as a waitress at L.A. bowling alley Lucky Strike.
ELLEY DUHE, 19
Somehow the teacher father of this teenager agreed to let her drop out of school in her senior year to pursue her music career. Bad call. Though she has a decent singing voice, and a terrific attitude, she, like so many sprightly blondes her age, willingly sacrifices her individuality to pursue Taylor Swift ingenue shtick. Christina definitely thought about pushing her button — like David Lynch’s assistant, Lil, in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, Christina now communicates almost entirely through contorted facial expressions — but she thought better of it. The fact is, Elley’s falsetto definitely verged on unraveling, but Adam was still so impressed with how she held her final note that he said, “If I could go back in time, I think we’d all press our buttons.” Theoretical time travel is little consolation, though, for nationally televised rejection.
DAVID GRACE, 28
This brawny former Texas A&M football player was more understandably passed over. Though he was good-natured enough to admit that most people who look at him think he’s a security guard or a UFC fighter, his rote rendition of “Sweet Home Alabama” seemed ready for both karaoke and American Idol. I love how Blake was playing a chicken game with Adam over whether or not to push his button, but, finally, he opted out. (The psychological dynamics of button pushing on The Voice are fascinating. Once one button has been pushed it seems like the others are that much more likely to also stake their claim because of the fear of missing out on talent to their competition — even if that particular singer didn’t really strike their fancy. Game theorists, take note.) Still, David’s only been singing for three years, so he could still have time to grow. Or have a decent career as a bouncer.
NEXT: Our Ranking of the Nine Most Prominent Singers the Judges Deemed Worthy of Selection