The Voice: Sophomore Slump

Alright, so not every episode can be a winner, I guess. It wasn’t a terrible episode, though. It just never really felt like it went anywhere. All the singers were middling and on a talent competition, having shitty talent hurts a ton. Just ask American Idol Episode 1: The Paint-Selling Menace Season 9. Also? Two hours is way too long for an audition episode that isn’t the premiere. In the premiere it’s new and fresh so you can get away with it. Sometimes later on in the season it’s not absolutely terrible because we feel a little invested in some of the contestants and maybe are actually interested in hearing them sing. This? This was like, “oh god I pray the next person isn’t awful” or “oh god, at least let them be hot.” Speaking of which, this show needs to up its hotness factor stat. Season One of American Idol might have been low on singing talent, but at least it had Christina Christian.

The coaches were still on their game, even if they had to pretend to actually like 90% of the mediocre singers that sang for them. “I wanted Adam/Blake/Christina/Cee-Lo to pick you” became coach-code for “stay the hell away from my team but I hoped one of those other sad sacks in the spinning super-villain chairs would be saddled with your sorry talentless fleshbag.” Adam provided much entertainment through comedy (and my Twitter feed would probably suggest that he provided entertainment through another means). Blake is his own brand of subtle hilarity. Christina is gorgeous. Cee-Lo has turned half-joking-but-really-dead-serious flirting into an art form. This episode was definitely carried by the strength of this panel. (To come: even more star power in the form of special mentors! Yeah!)

I am feeling dreadfully lazy right now and completely unmotivated to go through each individual contestant again. So, instead, I will go from memory and see what I come up with on the individuals.

Not Melinda Doolittle or Kara DioGuardi: She was a backup vocalist for Carrie Underwood and wrote a hit song. Really, though, if you’re writing #1 hits do you really need to be on this show? Especially if you’re not particularly good at singing? No one liked it when Kara DioGuardi attempted to sing during Idol. I’m pretty sure she ended up singing Miranda Lambert but I have no idea if she got through? Everyone was so mediocre that I can’t differentiate. Maybe Christina picked her. Her team is pretty bad.

Other Girl Who Sang Miranda Lambert: They passed on her the first time! Even though she had the best voice of the night. Then, of course, she comes back butchering up Adele’s “Rolling In The Deep” to high heaven and singing about taking walks in parks and taking hearts out or something and gets picked by Adam Levine! Granted, at that point I’m sure the producers were like, “yo, dude, the talent isn’t getting any better, you have to pretend to like at least eight of these people.” (Really, how stupid was that whole ordeal with going through everyone and not filling the teams? Yes. We get it. Your talent was worse than you anticipated it being. Don’t advertise that crap. Pretend everyone was TOO awesome and make it seem like the judges were saving that last spot. Don’t tell me 40% through a show that there are more empty spots on the teams than there are contestants left. Reality show manipulation 101, folks.)

Sonia Last Name Starts With An R: She was from last week, so I remember her name. She was pretty but couldn’t sing Alicia Keys last week. This week she was pretty but couldn’t sing Adele.

Casey Abrams’s Even Uglier Incarnation: Scary bearded dude who growled and generally acted like a mass-murderer of some sort. I don’t know if he’s going to shoot up a mall or just axe people to death in the woods, but something terrible is going to happen and he’s going to be at the center of it. He was just so aggressive and his beard was offensive and he seemed like such a complete egotistical jerkwad. It was really awful. Luckily, the judges can see him now and there’s no way he’s lasting past the battle rounds. I don’t know whose team he’s on. Oh wait, I lie! He picked Cee-Lo because he was burying “Fuck You” into the ground.

Gay Mormon: His dad didn’t know he was gay, so he decided the best means of coming out was via national television. That’s how I like to hide all my secrets to, dude. Sometimes I’m just like, “damn, I really don’t want anyone to know how attractive I find Adam Levine to be, so I’ll hide it by telling the internet.” It’s an effective secret-keeper. Then he sang that completely overdone Jason Mraz song that no one ever wanted to hear again and was kinda not very good on it. But for some reason people were all about it and it ended with… Adam? getting stuck with chicken little. I don’t know. Someone got stuck with chicken little. I hope he sings “Part-Time Lover.”

Obnoxious Sisters From Pig-Farming Hell: Liekz oh mai gawd! They have setlists! Liek totally! How. Freaking. Interesting. Then they sang that obnoxious country song with the woah-oh oh-oh part in the chorus and it was all bad. It was all bad. I can only assume Cee-Lo thought he had to fill his team by the end of the auditions (… which I guess is not an entirely crazy thing to think) and forced himself to turn around for the so-much-more-annoying-than-the-Olson-girls sisters.

Dude Who Is Country You Can Tell By His Cowboy Hat: Why do people think it’s a good idea to sing songs that the mentors hold dearly? It’s not going to result in good things. It’s really not. You could tell he was crushed when Cee-Lo turned around and Blake Shelton was like “sorry dude, that song is better than you. I am better than you. Lick my shoes, peon.” His voice was less-than-hot.

Two Fodder Girls: The Voice managed to show us like 40 out of 42 people who auditioned and 5 of those people twice, but for some reason these two fodder girls got no love. I’m pulling for them, but they’re so toast before the live rounds.

Even More Boring Daughtry: Dude who sang Cobra Starship last week was back with a vengeance, this time singing some Dixie Chicks. It was less bad than before, but still aggressively bland. He’s just so musically disinteresting, I can’t handle it. Blake Shelton figured he’d be an easy cut and took him. I assume. If not, he was smoking some good stuff.

Pretty Taylor Swift-Looking Girl At The End: She sang some song I had never heard before and sounded, frankly, like Taylor Swift while singing it. She was back for her second chance, but I don’t recall seeing her first chance. So either she was cataclysmically unmemorable or the producers don’t care for her. She was really, really pretty though. I’m finding doing this from memory to be difficult when everyone is equal levels of blah. I think she’s team Adam?

Dude Adam Levine Thought Was A Chick: So, I don’t actually remember anything about this guy except Adam Levine turning around and being like, “wait. What. You have a penis. You weren’t supposed to have a penis, this ruins all my plans” and being stuck with some dude. Poor Adam Levine. Trying to chase all the hot girls and ending up with some dude who apparently just sounds like a girl. (Really, though, he sounded like a guy to me.)

Why Do You Bring Lipstick Stains and Left-Side Brains Upon Us? What Are We Being Punished For?: Why would you sing “Hey, Soul Sister” ever? Why? WHY WOULD YOU DO IT? It’s just mean. No one ever needed to hear that song a first time, let a lone a four hundred and fifty eighth time. It’s cruel and unusual punishment. It oughta be made illegal. We have suffered through nearly two years of Pat Monahan’s inane driveling about sweet moonbeams or untrimmed chests (shudder) and the pain needs to end now. I legitimately have no recollection of what he sounded like, looked like or whose team he is on. I am left only with the horror that the song brought upon me.

Girl Who Sang Bubbly With An Affection Up The Yin-Yang: Add “Bubbly” to “I’m Yours” and “Hey, Soul Sister” on the list of songs that should be retired from life. They’ve run their courses. Put them to rest now. This girl, though, decided that she was going to make “Bubbly” interesting by singing it like a smoking stroke victim underwater and wring the lines dry until all semblance of authenticity was gone. It was all so overdone in poor phrasing and weird enunciation. She might have a good voice, but she sure as hell does her best to hide it under thick layers of ugly vocal clown makeup.

Sixteen Year Old: She had a decent voice, but sang a Leona Lewis song and paled in comparison. I have nothing else to say. She’s just not Leona Lewis and maybe shouldn’t have picked a Leona Lewis song to sing. I would think Christina Aguilera would at least be able to pick out a good diva voice, but apparently she cannot. It’s a tragic flaw on her part. (AfterBionic, perhaps the worst thing about her.)

Girl Who Sang Twice That Christina Aguilera Picked: I remember nothing about her. I can’t remember what she looked like or if she was a good singer or what songs she sang. All I remember is that clip of Christina Aguilera saying “I wish I picked you” and then having Christina pick her.

Emily Valentine: I know her name because I totally had a conversation about her potentially being Emily Wynne-Hughes from Season 8 of American Idol. (Emily Wynne-Hughes/Valentine (potentially) was kind of a trainwreck of odd-colored hair in that group with Anne Marie Boskovich and Alex Wagner-Trugman (holy lord, could these people have longer names?) during Hollywood week that sang “Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow” in their own terribly harmonized way. There was a black dude in their group who got cut and had a major diva moment.) She sang Sober and went with Cee-Lo. If she is indeed Emily Wynne-Hughes, then Adam’s dig at Idol just got even more ridiculous.

Totally Camile Velasco 2.0: She had a cool tone and sang “Mercy” but sounded nervous as all get out. She’ll probably crash and burn sometime and everyone will wonder how she even got by the initial audition. Pretty sure she’s on Christina’s team, but don’t quote me there.

… I can’t remember anyone else. I don’t know who I’m missing but they were clearly less memorable than the two fodder girls, so how good could they be, really? The BATTLE ROUNDS are coming up and now that they’ve been thoroughly explained seem far less interesting than they could of been. If they sing at the same time isn’t it going to devolve into one gigantic scream fest? It’ll be like that terrible “Renegade” duet from Season 8 except the ridiculous oversinging will be required.

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