The Voice recap: Blind auditions, Day 5
More blind auditions bring more surprises -- like 40-year-old soul machine Mycle Wastman
Oops! Due to a scheduling snafu, our second Voice recap of the week is just a wee bit late. As penance, I will refrain from making any jokes about Christina Aguilera’s boobs until next Tuesday. Pray for me.
Anyway: Tonight, the Blind Auditions keep on truckin’, and the sob stories keep on comin’. First up is smiley single mom Trevanne Howell, who wants to show the world that “single mothers have dreams too.” But not that often! Because they don’t get much sleep! Nailed it. Trevanne’s dramatic rendition of Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing” is an obvious crowd pleaser — but somehow, her high notes don’t move any of the judges to press their big red buttons. When not even Christina is jockeying to book a diva, you know the competition is finally beginning in earnest; everyone’s being a bit more selective, now that their teams are really starting to take shape. Trevanne exits after getting plenty of reassurance that she sounded good — just not good enough.
She’s followed by Collin McLoughlin, a Millennial who doesn’t totally have the whole “sympathetic back story” thing down. “I sacrificed everything for music,” he explains; here, “sacrificing everything” means “leaving the degree program at NYU my parents were paying for in order to mooch off of them full time.” I’m being a little hard on him, but only because his tale of woe really can’t compare to, say, the orphan whose beloved grandfather just died. (More on him later.) Collin’s gentle but powerful take on Cat Stevens’ “Wild World” wins over every judge but Christina — who really knows how to milk the drama of almost pushing a button. Adam says that Collin has one of the purest voices he’s heard yet, and Collin repays him by joining Team Levine. Afterwards, his mother is forced to admit that she shouldn’t have criticized him for leaving school: “I was wrong,” she says, her heart growing three sizes.
Little Joselyn Rivera didn’t speak until she was five years old, but used to spend four hours a day singing into her Barbie karaoke machine. See, Barbie is a force for good in the world! She goes for the jugular with Kelly Clarkson’s “What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger),” and though I’ve got an inexplicable fondness for parenthetically positive songs, Joselyn’s voice isn’t quite strong enough to do justice to an anthem. But she sounds young and strong — and there’s clearly a lot of potential there — so Christina (of course) scoops her up, despite Blake’s best efforts. Xtina and Joselyn’s embrace is set to Aguilera’s song “Fighter” — which seems like a subtle “F– you, I did it first” to Kelly Clarkson.
NEXT: Mycle Wastman: New frontrunner?
24-year-old Benji loves palindromes so much that he used to be a professional race car driver. A man, a plan, a canal: Benji. Anywho, he left that world behind because he ran out of money — and because he likes how The Voice, an expensive reality singing competition, “isn’t about being glitzy and glamorous.” Unlike stock car racing, with its diamond race tracks and caviar concession stands. Benji’s got a deeper voice than one might expect, and his raspy, powerful “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” sounds as radio-ready as anything we’ve heard so far this season. Both Cee Lo and Adam want to secure his sideburns, but Benji goes with the rocker. His choice makes sense; even Christina notices that Benji sounds a little like the Maroon 5 frontman. Jokes Blake, without missing a beat: “I don’t think he sounded like a jackass at all.”
Then Cee Lo gets his revenge by nabbing three singers, none of whom are given much air time. Welcome, Todd Kessler, Ben Taub, and especially Parker Posey lookalike Emily Earle, who’s got a lovely country twang! We look forward to maybe possibly getting to know you in weeks to come.
Alas, we won’t get to know Lorraine Farro any better — which is a shame, because this quinquagenarian is kind of amazing. She’s been doing music since “the womb.” She takes style cues from Stevie Nicks and behavioral cues from your wacky aunt who lives in New Mexico. She pours herself into “Skyscraper,” a song originally performed by an 18-year-old. Oh, how I yearn to see this lovable Disney villainess chew up some teenage competition in the battle rounds! It’s not meant to be; her voice stinks of old, so nobody turns around. And also, she isn’t so great at “hitting notes” or “staying on pitch.” Whatever, Lorraine. Forget the coaches! Come over sometime, and we’ll watch All That Jazz while trying to figure out text messaging together.
Our final contestant, Mycle Wastman, looks just like Nick Lachey. And just like Lachey, Mycle has had to overcome adversity — he was raised by his grandparents after both his mother and father died young. His beloved grandfather passed away just a week and a half before his Voice audition. But as Joselyn Rivera once told us, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Mycle sings Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” so smoothly and flawlessly that Cee Lo and Adam end up giving him a standing ovation. The guy definitely has range — and Blake doesn’t mince words by saying he thinks Mycle is the best vocalist they’ve heard all day. Though every male judge wants to nurture that velvety vocal, Mycle picks Soul Machine Cee Lo Green. Sorry, Blake: Today, you’re 0 for [indeterminate number].
Next week: More blind auditions! At this point, things are starting to wind down: Cee Lo and Adam both have just five spots left on their teams. Xtina has six. And Blake… has nine. Pick it up, country boy!