From saying the other coaches are too Hollywood to lying about using his block, his button and everything in between, Blake is pulling out all the stops this season.
Blake Shelton’s newest line of attack on the other coaches this season on “The Voice” is to call them all Hollywood, while he’s remained authentic to his Oklahoma roots.
And yet, as the other coaches were quick to point out, it’s Blake who’s marrying the “Queen of Orange County,” Gwen Stefani, so who’s really gone Hollywood? But Blake didn’t stop there, also lying about using his block and accusing Kelly Clarkson of being too busy with her talk show to have the time to coach anyone.
The gloves are definitely off this season, making for some fun banter that at times can almost overshadow some of these contestants. They're standing up there with their hearts in their chests trying to figure out who to pick and the coaches are just having a ball poking at one another.
At least it’s a moment of joy, well-earned, by that point for those contestants who have the freedom to choose who they want to work with moving forward. Tuesday’s hour certainly had some powerhouse vocalists to choose from.
There were also a few that definitely have some work to do, including the second singer in two nights who has this tendency to bend words beyond comprehension at times for the sound. Who’s made this a thing in young singers and how to we get them to stop?
If the word is “stay” there’s no reason to sing “stoe-aa-ee-yuh” no matter how long you stretch it out.
And don’t you worry, we’ve got some more of the best of the worst of the coach’s banter from Night 2 of the Blind Auditions right after we break down what’s supposed to be the point of this show, the singers.
Fair warning, since I'm safe at home, I'm probably going to be a little harsher than my colleagues Kelly Clarkson, John Legend, Nick Jonas and Blake Shelton.
And just for fun, I'm going to rank the performances from worst to first to see who my favorites are, and then see how well they do as the season progresses.
(“Midnight Sky,” Miley Cyrus - 30, Hamburg, NJ) She came in with more confidence in who she was as an artist, talking about the genesis of her stage name and that she’s even working on an album right now, but everything felt a little timid the whole time. If you’re going to come out and belt a Miley Cyrus song, you need to project that same attitude with power. Who knew someone named Yellsmiles would underperform the track. She has some interesting things in her voice, but a few pitch problems on top of everything else just left the whole experience a little lacking.
Result: No chair turns
(“Stay with Me,” Sam Smith - 17, Ridgefield, NJ) There are a lot of things Carolina has yet to learn, including not mangling the pronunciation of words so much they’re nearly unrecognizable. She bends some of them way too much to the point of distraction, but it wasn’t enough that we couldn’t hear she has a very cool and original tone underneath the over-the-top vocal tricks. But at such a young age, those are things that can be taught out of her to help the artist underneath emerge and really bloom. She’s got potential to have a really strong journey if she can take that type of guidance and grow with it.
Result: Team Legend (John, Nick turn)
(“You Look So Good in Love,” George Strait - 17, Coalfield, TN) Interestingly, this teen has so much polish on his country vocal, this almost sounded more like a 1960s country song than the ‘80s classic it is. It’s almost too clean, though we can’t fault anything he did up there. He hit all his notes and was absolutely chill up there. Hopefully he’s open to kicking it up a notch, adding a little energy and even some emotional connection to his performances because the tools are there.
(“Ordinary World,” Duran Duran - 39, Waco, TX) Raised around music -- literally traveling with his family from the crib -- Aaron then shifted to making music with his wife. He’s turned down chances in the past for his family, which means we’ve all been denied one of the cooler rock-and-rasp voices out there. He took an incredibly well-known anthem and put his own spin on it, with lots of heart and authenticity. Sometimes, you need life experiences to put that kind of texture into your voice, and Aaron has it for days.
Result: Team Blake (Blake, John turn)
(“All I Want,” Kodaline - 19, McAllen, TX) With a voice that did not look like a hip, young dude at all, Gean commanded this performance from the very start. In the dark for much of it, we were as much subject to only judging based on his voice as the coaches, and it was a mesmerizing, haunting, beautiful vocal. His father, Jon Carolo, is already an established artist in South America. He actually toured with and even recorded a track with his father, so he’s had a taste of this life.
Result: Team Kelly (Blake, Kelly, Nick turn, Blake blocked Nick)
(“Falling,” Harry Styles - 21, McKinney, TX) Zae has known pain in his life, growing up with his three siblings in the foster system until they were finally adopted together by a loving family. But that doubt and insecurity continued to plague him. We add this context because sometimes these experiences add so much to a performance, and the way in which Zae caressed the story behind this song was so genuine it was clear he knows something about pain and struggle. It was a visceral performance, reaching into our soul until we were combined with his pain and sharing that emotional journey with him. Every vocal choice, from the subtle to the big, fueled that story perfectly, and yet it looked instinctual. This was a masterful audition.