NBC’s golden singing competition kicked off it’s fall season with super-sized ‘blind auditions’ that lasted three whole nights. As you can see above, the auditions weren’t the only big performances happening Monday night. The judges jump-started the show’s third season with a performance, during which Adam and Christina not only shared the stage–they shared a mic (Mz. Xtina’s special red mic, in fact)!
This season, each coach (Cee Lo, Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, and Christina Aguilera) will create teams of 16 contestants each before the battle rounds begin, meaning longer blind auditions. After three 2-hour audition episodes, all coaches have some strong contestants, and some so-so contestants too. Due to the length of these auditions, I won’t bore you with an entire recap. Instead, I’ll tell you which auditions were the best, and my take on potential winners.
The auditions began Monday night, and one girl immediately caught my eye with her colorful getup and free spirit: De’Borah.
De’Borah came in bursting with positive energy, as seen in her bright orange getup, hipster glasses. At first sight, I knew she was going to be one of my absolute favorites. De’Borah took a stand on traditional gender roles before her audition, saying: ‘I’m meant to love, I’m not into the gender thing’. And, just like that, De’Borah became the first contestant to take a stand on social issues this season.
Her song choice, ‘Hey, Soul Sister’ (Train’s huge comeback summer anthem) was a gamble. The song is so overplayed, it’s easy to get caught up in the fact that you’ve heard the song a million times. But, De’Borah’s rendition of the song was incredibly soulful, and, after a long deliberation, Christina and Cee Lo both pushed their buttons at the same time. While Cee Lo was the obvious choice (being the champion of ‘different’ on the show), I was extremely happy that she chose Xtina. De’Borah has so much potential vocally, and she already has the theatrics and style down, so I can see her growing a lot with Christina. Later, De’Borah revealed that she chose Christina because her song, ‘The Voice Within’ changed her life. That just makes me love her more!
Daniel was one of my favorite contestants last season during the blind audition. It broke my heart when he didn’t make it. This time, singing a stripped down, country version of Gotye’s hit, ‘Somebody That I Used to Know’, Daniel got Cee Lo and Blake to turn around for him. Daniel definitely grew in the past year, and even my untrained ear could hear that he has become way more comfortable and confident in his own voice. When Adam turned around and saw that it was a returning contestant, he ran up and hugged him, and all the judges were bursting with excitement. So much so that Daniel had to sit down to take in the moment! Could he be any sweeter? Daniel was so surprised that they remembered him! Adorable. Daniel ended up choosing Cee Lo, but was clearly torn. And he just won a spot in every viewer’s heart.
Trevin’s Beyoncé-worthy performance of ‘Listen’ (from the musical, Dreamgirls) got him the first standing ovation of this season from the judges. Trevin brought all the emotion and heartbreak into that song, and then some–incredible for an 18 year old. His powerful voice got Blake, Christina, and Cee Lo to turn around for him, with Blake even yelling at Adam to push his button until the very last note of the performance. Trevin ended up picking Cee Lo, after the coach told him that he could possibly come out this season’s champion. There’s no way Trevin won’t make it through the battle rounds. I feel bad for whoever has to go voice-to-voice with someone with that much power. I’m going to go out on a limb and say he’s Team Cee Lo’s best contestant yet.
If you’ve ever asked yourself if somewhere in the world lived a competitive college wrestler/Cowboy/country singer, then this one’s for you. Casey Musicman, a sweet young man who wrestled competitively until an injury forced him out of the sport, sang ‘Sweet Home Alabama’, a perfect song choice for him. It’s traditional and immediately recognizable, yet, his energetic performance made it anything but tired. Blake and Cee Lo turned around pretty early, swayed by Casey’s powerful vocals and unbeatable energy. Casey, dressed all country with a cowboy hat to match, ended up on Team Blake. Here’s to the sweet country music they will make together!
Aquile’s spin on the Elton John classic, ‘Your Song’, got Xtina and Adam to turn around immediately with his raspy, rich, low tone–Cee Lo joined in on the fight for Aquile later. His audition was extremely promising, and it’s obvious that he could try his hand at any genre he wants. He ended up picking Team Xtina, which truly surprised me, as I thought he might choose Adam, the almighty salesman. Aquile’s choice definitely makes sense: everyone knows Christina’s got quite a voice herself. The two are sure to make for quite an interesting match, and I am excited to see what she throws at him.
Julio, a mariachi singer, gave the judges something different and became the first contestant to perform his audition song entirely in Spanish. Julio came out with so much energy, it didn’t surprise me when Blake pushed his button very early in the performance. Cee Lo tried to give Blake a run for his money–Blake won out and got Julio on his team. But, not before Cee Lo could convince Julio to perform a mariachi song for the crowd. Julio’s second song showed off a little more of his range, and solidified my status as a Julio Castillo fan.
Nelly’s Echo–a thoughtful Nigerian refugee who fled to the US when he was a teenager–swept Christina and Adam off their feet with his audition. Nelly’s Echo came across as a very well spoken and dedicated musician, and, with his low key performance style, I was sure he’d pick Adam to be his coach, even though I was really hoping for him to pick Christina. In the end, Nelly went to Team Xtina over Team Adam, helping to make Christina’s team the most diverse and talented so far.
Anita is my biggest disappointment so far on this season’s blind auditions. She is gorgeous, strong, and has the voice to match, yet, none of the judges turned around for her! Her rich voice was consistent throughout her rendition of ‘No Woman No Cry’, and she sang with a confidence and a quietness that showed she didn’t have to show off to be great. Unfortunately, none of the judges saw it that way. When she was finally face-to-face with the judges, Anita asked to do the song acapella to show her emotional range. She took her time, and let herself really sing the song the way she wanted. It was beautiful, and all the judges loved it. They sent her off with hugs and pleas to come back next season. I for one, really hope she does. This girl is definitely not done yet.
Out all the contestants so far, she’s the one I really see making it big time. I cannot wait to see what she does.
Next week I’ll continue to cover my favorites from the blind auditions, and, hopefully, have some more awkward Adam/Christina interactions to comment on!