Move Over Idol, The Voice Has Arrived

The Voice on NBC

I thoroughly enjoyed the first episode of “The Voice”.  Idol had better watch itself, because “The Voice” is offering up some serious, serious talent.  The format is more enjoyable, the judges are useful and coherent, instead of blathering, drunk, and incomprehensible (at least for now).

Let’s start with the introductions: NBC and Mr. Burnett have definitely lined up some big names, and more importantly, a good team of accomplished singers with legitimate, recognized talent.  Personally, I would have picked a different song to showcase Christina’s legendary voice though (Keeps Getting Better is really not one of her better songs and drew all kinds of unfavorable comparisons to Lady Gaga).

I totally loved the opening song all the coaches did together.  Besides being fun, they really jived together and served as a reminder that they know what they’re talking about.  Plus, give me Adam Levine playing the drums (in his white t-shirt, of course), any day.  Just a warning now — if I actually manage to cover this show every week, you’re going to hear (read?) a LOT of gushing about Adam Levine, so I’m just warning you now.  Megacrush in the works here.

Carson Daly did a great job laying down the rules for the competition, although I somehow missed half of them when I watched the first time.  (Yes, I watched it twice.)  The one thing I’m curious about is how many contestants they have who are auditioning.  There were two contestants last night who no one wanted on their team, so is the contestant pool 32 (8 team members X 4 coaches) plus a few extras?  Or are we going to see the rejected contestants again?  (Carson hinted at that at the end of the show.)

Thoughts on the Judges Coaches

I keep calling them judges, which they kind of are, but “The Voice” is sure to make the distinction that they are coaches.  There’s a good representation of the broad spectrum of music genres, but more importantly, the coaches have a good rapport.  They play off each other well and are just fun to watch.  I enjoy the anticipation of seeing which coach will push their button first.

Adam seems to be the most discerning critic, but I think he’s also built up the strongest team from the contestants we’ve seen so far (he landed both of the unanimous contestants), although Rebecca Loebe is by far the weakest member.  I do love the coaches’ faces when they turn around and see the contestant who looks nothing like they thought.  I swear you could see some doubt creep across their faces a few times.

Even though she doesn’t fall into this category, I am going to mention her, just this once: Alison Haislip is useless.  If NBC renews “The Voice”, we can only hope she goes the way of Brian Dunkleman and disappears.

Coaches’ comment of the night easily goes to Aguilera when she asked the cowboy Patrick if he could take his pants off.

Thoughts on the Contestants

Note: I’m not going to talk about every contestant or performance (at least not during the audition rounds).

There needs to be an immediate moratorium on amateur singers singing Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep”.  Actually, there needs to be a moratorium on anyone but Adele singing this song.  Seriously.  We had Haley Reinhart brutally murder it on Idol last week.  Vicci Martinez did a good job, but she looked the way I imagine a guy must look when he’s trying to pass a kidney stone and kept fistpumping and throwing up finger horns.

I’m not going to lie – I was immensely satisfied when none of the coaches selected Sonia Rao, the gorgeous Indian girl who sang Alicia Keys and who had no back-up plan if she didn’t make it, because you know, she’s just that awesome.  She was decent, and on a show like Idol, she probably would have skated through, bolstered by her looks.

I wasn’t impressed with the couple who lives in their parents’ basement at all, and they’ve already earned a spot on my “Please Go Home Because You Annoy the F*ck out of Me” list.  That whole show when she called him baby and said the decision was up to him?  Yes, Adam, it was so cute I wanted to barf, minus the cute part.  Just barf.  Plus, loads of minus points for showing with a group name already (Elenowen sounds like something out of a Tolkien novel).

How excited was I to see Frenchie Davis?  You have no idea!  I think she has an amazing voice, and I always thought Idol did the wrong thing by canning her.  And the joy on her face when Xtina pushed her button?  I loved it.

UGH, Kelsey Rey.  Who the fuck is this girl?  Oh, I know.  She’s #1 on my “Please Go Home Because I Hate You” list.  Any girl who “complains” about how being pretty detracts from her mediocre singing talent (while simultaneously wishing that the coaches could see her because she thinks that would help) and has weird YouTube music videos needs a good slap in the face.  The good news for Kelsey is that there’s always porn.

“The Voice” did dip a little into the sob story with “homeless” Rebecca Loebe, who is not really homeless, but chooses to live out of her car so she can travel around doing gigs and doesn’t see the point in paying rent on a place she’ll hardly ever be.  Adam’s face when he turned around and saw her was priceless.

Early frontrunners have to include Jeff Jenkins and Javier Colon, the only two contestants who got all four coaches to push their buttons.

Coaches’ Teams

Adam: Jeff Jenkins, Homeless Rebecca, Javier Colon

Blake: Patrick the Cowboy, Weird Couple, Xenia (are they hiding her last name because of her age?)

Cee-Lo: Vicci, Pretty Kelsey, Tje

Christina: Tarralyn, Frenchie, Bald Beverly

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