Let’s be clear: Last season’s premiere week wasn’t exactly what you’d call riveting television. In the past, The Voice’s battle rounds have been the most exciting part of the series, and surely the premiere episodes should offer up perhaps the best of the best (or at least, some of the best). So why, then, am I a little underwhelmed this season?
After last Monday and Tuesday’s inaugural season installments, I’m less than impressed by the first draft players. Very few artists stick out in my mind, and the ones that actually do register only do so because their names were memorable, not because their performances were notably spectacular.
I recall Christina Grimmie singing “Wrecking Ball” and Cary Laine rocking out to The Band Perry. Both ladies ended up on Team Adam, along with the only duet so far, Dawn & Hawkes, so I suppose that either suggests that Adam has picked the best contestants so far, or that he’s picked the only good contestants so far.
But alas, it’s waaaay too early for this kind of nonsense talk. The season is young, and I’m sure I’ll find some favorites to cheer as the blinds continue. And with that, let’s talk about tonight’s artists, several of whom actually stood out on night three of the blind auditions.
Ryan Whyte Maloney, 33, Traverse City, MI
Former Job: Garbage Man
With Several Former: Garage Bands
Song: “Lights” – Journey
Adam, Blake and Shakir O’Neal are the quick turners as soon as Ryan launches into Journey — and he’s got that totally pure tone that makes it fun to watch The Voice, because his pitch is so crystal clear that it’s hard to guess what he looks like, yet the judges will turn for what they hear as great potential and probable virtuosity. Usher makes his way around towards the end of Ryan’s audition, telling him he wanted Ryan to work, bitch. Blake calls Ryan a stud. Shakira says they’re a match made in heaven (I’m not entirely sure this is true). Ryan opts to go with what his basically toddler son advises, which is I guess sound advice to pick Team Blake.
Blake Says: “Ryan Whyte Maloney just absolutely made my day.”
Deshawn Washington, 23, Natchitoches, LA
Makes Sure You Know It’s Pronounced: Nak-a-tish
Could Be A Disney Prince Because: This!
Song: “Twistin’ the Night Away” – Sam Cooke
After what he sang in his pre-tape, I didn’t expect a ‘60s twist song for Deshawn — and in truth, knowing how the show makes its contestants audition with songs they didn’t necessarily choose, I can’t help but wonder if this wasn’t Deshawn’s choice. It felt really unnatural and didn’t really go anywhere. Luckily, Shakira Kurosawa shows some faith and turns for Deshawn, who lights up and gets a ton of energy. Usher seems to praise the song choice, even if he didn’t turn around. By default, Deshawn is starting the season with Team Shakira — though Usher definitely wants to steal during the next round.
Shakira Says: “I’m the only smart one here.”
NEXT: A nanny sees a diamond in the flesh