With more than half the spots on their teams still remaining to be filled, The Voice judges set out to lure in more artists tonight.
And Blake Shelton, Shakira and Usher had better work on their sales job.
Three — Judith Hill, Sarah Simmons and Midas Whale (which includes former Idol contestant Jon Peter Lewis) — have wound up on Team Adam.
The only unanimous judges’ pick Adam didn’t win over was a country duo performing as The Morgan Twins. They went with Blake. Of course.
And the auditions begin …
The Swon Brothers, Muskogee, Okla.: First up are Colton and Zach, brothers who say they grew up around music and have given The Voice photos to prove it. Zach plays drums and says he started touring with their parents’ southern gospel group at age 7. They’ll audition with Tom Petty’s “American Girl.” They’re well into the song before Shakira and Blake spin their chairs. You have to like the energy these two guys bring to the stage, but there’s always that duo curse to consider. Usher joins them in turning around, leaving only Adam facing in the opposite direction. Zack’s a hoot. He says brother Colton is the face and he’s the talent. Grade: B
Taylor Beckham, 17, Dallas, Texas: Here’s a gal who says she sings R&B with some jazz and pop mixed in. But music wasn’t always her passion. She spent years practicing to be an Olympic gymnast. And she says singing on The Voice is more intimidating than any gymnastics meet she ever participated in. Taylor will sing “I’m Going Down.” Usher spins before she hits the chorus. Shakira follows, leaving the two new Voice coaches to battle for their services. Usher says he could tell she was nervous when she started singing, but congratulates her on selling the song. There were pitchy moments during her performance, but Taylor shows potential. Grade: C
Sam Alves, 23, Fortaleza, Brazil: This guy says he was left on someone else’s doorstep at 2 days old and taken in by the couple who became his mom and dad. They’ve since divorced, and Sam says he wants to help his mom by doing what he loves. He’ll audition with “Feeling Good.” Really solid opening by Sam. Surprised a judge hasn’t turned around yet. But this song is a bit overdone on these shows. And, basically, that’s what Adam and Usher told him — that he picked a tough song to audition with. Personally, I thought he was a better singer than Taylor. Grade: B–
Karina Iglesias, 35, Miami, Fla.: She’s a children’s voice instructor, and we get to see her working at a music school where children are allowed to perform current music. The theory being that the kids will learn better if they’re singing music they love. She has brought along her grandmother to watch her audition. She’ll sing “I’m the Only One.” And she displays a powerful voice from the word go. And slips into Spanish for part of the song. But Adam and Blake don’t turn around until Karina is belting out the final notes. And Karina decides to join Team Adam. Grade: B–
Garrett Gardner, 17, Ringwood, N.J.: Here’s the first of the returning auditioners from Season 3. He auditioned with “If You Ever See the Rain” in the fall season, but couldn’t get a chair to turn around. This time, he’ll try out with “Seven Nation Army.” Sorta like this guy’s tone. But he’s having trouble getting a coach to turn around again. Then, at the last moment, Shakira spins, meaning he’ll land on her team. Grade: B–
OK, now we’re going to skip full auditions for …
J’sun,a soul singer who lands on Team Shakira after singing “For the First Time;”
Duncan Kamakana, a folk singer who lands on Team Adam after singing “Home;”
and Chelsea M, a pop singer who lands on Team Usher after singing “Take a Bow.”
Holly Tucker, 19, Waco, Texas: She plays the sax in the Baylor University marching band, but wants to sing country music. She’s been singing with her parents since she was 12 and now wants to prove she’s ready to pursue music as a solo artist. Her audition song will be “To Make You Feel My Love.” And within seconds, Adam, Usher and Shakira spin, soon joined by Blake. Little doubt, Holly’s displaying the best voice we’ve heard tonight. Blake, of course, is the natural choice for Holly. But the other judges are doing their best to lure her to their teams. And Holly heads to Team Blake. Grade: A
Landon Medvec, 20, Rosmount, Minn.: Here comes an audition from a professional mover, who says his full-time job lugging furniture around all day … “yeah, sucks.” He will audition with “You Give Me Something.” Sorry, it’s not doing it for me. And the coaches on The Voice seem uncertain whether they’re listening to a male or female. No one turns around. Usher and Blake thought Landon was a girl. Says Adam: “I get that all the time.” Grade: C–
Michelle Chamuel, 26, Amherst, Mass.: This young woman says she’s an introvert. She might be a bit reserved, but she plays in a band called Ella Riot (I think). She says music is her best method of communicating. But she worries so many variables could go wrong with a blind audition. Her audition song: “I Kissed a Girl.” A unique version of the Katy Perry hit. And Adam spins in a flash, quickly followed by Shakira. And Michelle is providing one of the best auditions of the night. So good, Usher can’t help but spin around as well. That leaves Michelle with three judges to choose from. Shakira calls her fierce. Adam says there’s “some rock chick inside of him too.” And after a long debate and deliberation, Michelle decides to join Team Usher. Grade: B+
Julie Roberts, 33, Nashville, Tenn: She worked as a receptionist before her vocal ability was recognized and she landed a record deal. She says her first album went gold, but the second album didn’t do so well. She wound up losing her record deal and her home to a flood in Nashville in the same time period. Now she’s hoping for a comeback and will auditions with Blake’s “God Gave Me You.” A bit of a rough start to this vocal. And the vocal never turned into anything special. Grade: C–
Monique Abbadie, 20, Miami, Fla.: When she was 6 or 7 years old, she landed a role on a Spanish TV show, where she did comedy, skits and sang. She stayed on the show for about six years, and is looking to recapture a spot in the entertainment industry. She has decided to audition with Shakira’s “Loca.” She recalls attending a Shakira concert when she was 10 and has a photo of herself with Shakira to prove it. And Blake spins in an instant. Before too long, the rest of the judges are facing Monique as well, making this the second four-chair turn-around of the night. And Monique is beside herself with joy. And Monique winds up on the team of her idol, Shakira. Grade B
Warren Stone, 31, Hannah, S.C.: This guy is a full-time firefighter. For the last 13 years, he’s been singing in a band 5-6 nights a week, and it sounds like he wound up divorced or separated as a result. His audition song is “Colder Weather.” And within a couple of notes, you can tell he’ll be the best male singer we’ve heard tonight. Of course, he’s also closing the show, which usually means the singer is pretty good. Adam spins in a heartbeat, followed by Shakira. And, as the song draws to a close, the country judge, Blake, turns around for the country singer. But, guess what, this time the country guy goes with the pop guy and lands on Team Adam. Grade: B