Each needs 12 artists or duos before the real competition begins. At this point, Adam Levine has seven team members; the other three judges, six apiece.
That means we’re probably in for two more audition episodes, counting tonight’s.
But, hey, look at the bright side. With all the good-natured jousting between judges, the episodes are hardly boring.
And at least we’re getting to meet all the contestants we might be voting for later on.
I mean, I just looked down the list of the top 42 on American Idol. And the casual viewer is going to wonder who half of those singers are.
But that’s a subject for another blog. Tonight, it’s time for The Voice. Head here, and you’ll find recaps of the first three episodes, as well as links to more music for nearly all the artists who have joined teams.
Ducky, 26, Carlisle, Pa.: Ducky is also an artist, but he wants to focus on his music. And he’s waiting to propose to his girlfriend until he can support them. Unfortunately, it looks like his fiancee might be waiting a while for that ring. No one turned their chairs around. Truly, that was just OK considering some of the other voices we’ve heard on the show. Want to know about Ducky … he’s really Matt Schmohl and goes by the name Ducky Duke. He’s the front man of the local rock band Ducky and the Vintage, according to this story in The Patriot News. You can go here to hear some of his music. Grade: C.
Jonathas, 23: He’ll sing “U Got It Bad.” He was born in Brazil, came to the U.S. when he was 5 and is now striving to succeed for the benefit of his two young children. He says he learned to speak English by listening to music. And he turns in a soulful version of the song, soulful enough to get Cee Lo and Christina to spin their chairs around. And the good-looking guy from … hey, did The Voice say where? … lands on team Christina. Grade: B-
Monique Benabou, 23, Alameda, Calif.: This young lady is dedicating her performance to her parents and launches into Kelly Clarkson’s “Mr. Know It All.” Brave gal, tackling a Kelly song so soon after it was released and Kelly’s version is still so fresh in our minds. In fact, it might not have been the wisest song selection. Not Kelly good, but then how many singers are? Good enough to land her a spot on Team Christina. And display a pretty big voice. Christina now has just four spots left on her team. For more music from Monique, go here. Grade: B
Naia Kete, 21, Hollywood: She’s a street performer who entertains along with her brother and boyfriend. She’s been performing and writing music since the age of 5 or 6, according to her mom. And shortly after launching into a quirky rendition of “The Lazy Song,” she entices Blake and Cee Lo to spin their chairs around. Liked her unique sound, and the singer-songwriter vibe. I actually liked her voice a little more on the clip from her street performance. The street musician has a website, too. Here’s the link. She ends up on Team Blake. Grade: B.
Charlotte Sometimes, 23, Wall, N.J.: At one point, this young woman was told her jaw was disintegrating, underwent an operation and had her jaw wired shut for five months. She sings “Apologize” with a special passion and a special sound in her voice that gets all four chairs to spin around. Way to go, Charlotte. Her real name is Jessica Charlotte Poland, she was once signed to Geffen Records and released a 2008 CD entitled “Waves and Both of Us.” She goes to Team Blake. Charlotte seems to have disabled her website, but she has the album and two EPs on iTunes. Grade: B+
Erick Macek, 31, Bethlehem, Pa.: Another Pa. singer. His parents were born in Slovakia and brought their children to the U.S. so they could pursue the American dream. He says if a chair turns around, their “dream lives on.” He’ll sing “Free Fallin’.” Wow, crystaline voice on this guy. Love his sound. Someone needs to turn around. But no one does. Wow, I thought he was among the night’s best. Want to hear more Erick Macek, here you go. Grade: B+
Tony Vincent, 38, New York, N.Y.: Here comes a guy from Broadway who performed in “Rent” and got to work with Queen. He says his pregnant wife is quite the artist on her own. He says his heart lies in the pop-rock world in spite of his Broadway background. And he’ll perform, what else, Queen’s “We Are the Champions.” Well, to be able to play Queen in Vegas, you’d better be able to pull off that song, and he did. He lands on Team Cee Lo because his is the only chair that turned around. Here’s a link to more from Tony Vincent. Grade: B
Anthony Evans, 33, Dallas, Texas: He’s the son of a pastor and says he grew up singing along in church. He says his dad has a radio broadcast on more than 500 stations across the world and grew his congregation from 10 to more than 8,000. He says he’s struggled between being a gospel performer and a Christian contemporary performer. He’ll sing “What’s Going On.” Wow, I wasn’t sold on that performance at all. The weakest of the night in my mind. He’ll be on team Christina because she’s the only one to spin around. Grade: C-
Jamie Lono, 22, Chicago, Ill.: He’s worked in a sandwich shop the last four years and gets to play music for about two hours every Friday night. Another guy with a hard-luck medical story. He had to have part of his lung removed when he was young, and the medical bills made his family go bankrupt. He says his father has now brought the family’s finances around, but he’s grateful for the support. He’ll sing “Folsom Prison Blues” and it’s his own version for sure. He gets Cee Lo and Adam Levine to ask him to join their teams. The sandwich maker chooses Team Cee Lo, and I’ll give Jamie the best grade so far tonight for an original rendition of a great song. Check out more of his music here. Grade: A-
Dylan Chambers, 19, Arlington, Texas: His mom was into theater and cast her in a version of “Fiddler on the Roof.” He says his father wasn’t around when he was growing up, and he thinks that’s one reason he focused so much on music. He’s the youngest singer we’ve heard tonight, and he’ll perform “Valerie.” None of the judges turned around. Not surprised. That wasn’t special given lots of the other performances we’ve heard tonight. Grade: C-.
Justin Hopkins, 30, Redondo Beach, Calif.: He was a former member of the Carson Daly house band, playing guitar, and calls it the best gig of his life. He’s also already decided he’d like to work with Cee Lo, and he says he needs something big to happen for him to keep doing music and become a lead singer. And look at that, he gets Cee Lo to spin his chair. And he’s the only one, so he winds up with his wish granted. Cee Lo calls his voice unique. An adequate version of “Babylon.” A link to more music. Grade: C+
Nicolle Galyon, 27, Sterling, Kansas: She wants to be the first “piano girl” in country music. She grew up study classical piano and says she didn’t sing in front of a soul until age 20. Everyone tells her she’ll have to play a guitar to make it in country music. She wants to prove otherwise. And she’ll play piano and sing “Save Me.” Surprised Blake didn’t turn around for the country singer. But Adam did, so Nicolle advances on The Voice. Adam says he could tell she was a little nervous during the performance. Here’s a link to more music from Nicolle. Grade: B.
Ashley De La Rosa: Sings “Shark in the Water” and joins Team Christina.
Jordan Rager: Sings “Chicken Fried” and joins Team Blake.
Karla Davis: Sings “If I Die Young” and joins Team Adam.
ALyX: Sings “Just Like a Pill” and joins Team Blake.
Hate when they breeze through singers like that. I’d rather meet each and every contestant. But click on the name, and you’ll find more of their music.
Mathai, 18, Dallas, Texas: Her dad’s a psychiatrist. Her mom’s a nurse. Her brother’s studying to be a doctor. Of course, she was expected to be in the medical field. Of course, she has other ideas. She’ll sing “Rumour Has It.” Just a few notes in she has Adam looking at her. Now Blake joins him. Look at their eyes light up when they see the pretty young gal standing on the stage. Cee Lo joins in the hunt for Mathai, too. Blake proclaims: “We are looking at a star.” Cee Lo says she “has the whole thing going.” And the gal who could have been a nurse chooses Team Adam. Grade: B.
Eric Tipton, 31, Sanger, Texas: He grew up in an area where everyone listened to country music. His parents listened to soul. So now he’s a 6 foot, 300-pound white “old-school soul singer” who says people are surprised when they hear his voice. He also likes the idea of The Voice because he won’t be judged by his appearance first. He’s going to sing “You Make My Dreams.” Unfortunately, there’s nothing very distinctive about his old-school soul, and he can’t prompt a judge to turn a chair. Grade: C-.
So, my favorite of the night was sandwich maker Jamie Lono and his unique take on the Johnny Cash classic, followed close behind by Charlotte Sometimes and Erick Macek. Bummed the guy from Pa. didn’t land on a team.