We’ve got a long and winding road of blind auditions ahead of us. After the premiere, most of the voices tend to get lost in our cranial boomboxes and can start to sound the same. So going into tonight’s episode, I was craving some variety, some idiosyncrasy, even some whack-a-doodle hair accessory to help me differentiate between the power vocalists, folk-genre-hybrid singers, and Danielle Bradbery-wannabes. While tonight’s crop didn’t universally bowl me over with their talent, at least two of the nine new singers added to the roster are ones I can safely say I’ll remember. My favorites from last night? The rasp-a-licious Kat and perma-Glee-grin Matthew.
Before I get into the new additions, I’d like to concur with what a bunch of you pointed out in the comments — Christina Aguilera’s high rate of likeability right now. She’s warm and sweet and gives the most earnest speeches. Girlfriend has come a long way since her boxer-biatch-crafted persona from those Dirrty days. Most of the time she was actually the voice of reason compared to the other judges’ nauseating bickering and jostling. Definitely my favorite judge at the moment.
Now onto the new recruits…
Jacquie Lee, 16, of New Jersey, is a 360-degree cutie. She sings for cancer patients, she looks like a Disney star, her pre-performance self-speech was “breathe, say ‘Hi’ to Adam,” — adorable all around! Christina and Blake fought for her, impressed by her cover of Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black.” Cute as she may be, I wasn’t blown away. She sounded like your co-worker who always brings down the house during happy hour karaoke nights but wouldn’t actually ever quit her day job for a musical career. CeeLo’s main concern: “Did you get those boots from Aldo?” Her leather boots were okay.
Unfortunate quote of the night was Blake’s ill-fated attempt to convince Jacquie, “I specialize in 16-year-old girls [pause] winning in this show!” Jacquie rightfully goes with Christina.
Barry Black, 27, of American Samoa is an interestin’ fella. We’ve got the first instrumentalist of the competition. He sings “What You Won’t Do For Love” with a guitar and a French horn. But not just any French horn — Barry uses his mouth to make French horn-like sounds. “What the hell was that?,” asks Adam. “I thought your bow tie was like some weird harmonica or something,” he added. Adam and Blake squabble for the human kazoo (and Black even demonstrates his mouthy talents by “playing” the Jeopardy theme), and Adam wins. Hi, Barry, are you reading this? If so, do you do birthday parties?
Destinee Quinn, 20, of Arizona looks like a brunette version of Taylor Swift (in her country hippie phase). Quinn plays the biker bar circuit and once won an Alice Cooper singing contest. She sings “Cowboy Take Me Away” and Christina is the first to claim her. I thought she was just okay, kinda boring. I’ve already forgotten what she sounds like. Christina wins this one.
Cole Vosbury, 22, of Louisiana is a bona fide grandma’s boy. But lucky for him, he’s got a cool grandma. Apparently she toured with Elvis and Johnny Cash. “My claim to fame would be the only girl who ever turned down Elvis Presley,” she says. Vosbury warns that his song has “never been done before, but it’s also very risky.” This makes me think his act will involve something being set on fire. But alas, nary a pyrotechnic — Vosbury’s “risk” is choosing to sing The Jeffersons theme song, “Movin’ On Up.” Ballsy.
Adam gets jealous of Vosbury’s Duck Dynasty beard: “I’m trying man, I want that!” CeeLo applauds Vosbury’s “audacity to do that song” and is chosen. Vosbury is alright, I guess. He kind of sounds like James Morrison.
NEXT: The first four-chair salute