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by Sally Henry
NBC's The Voice was slightly unusual tonight because it was almost a recap in and of itself. The purpose of the show tonight was to refresh the audience on who the contestants were, what they sang, and of course on whose team they are now. Having seen what feels like a zillion people get up there, sing, and either be rejected or take sides, it was really good to watch an overview of the people who will be part of the show this season. And this was a chance to go ahead and start picking favorites from Team Blake, Team Adam, Team Christina, or Team CeeLo.
For a recap of the past singers from the blind auditions this season, click here.
Reflecting on who has joined The Voice season three, Christina said, "I like creating a team of diverse individuals, and the blind auditions are exciting for that reason." Blake added, "For all of these people, I can see them going to the end." Besides winning the competition and potentially getting eternal fame and glory, the winner of The Voice gets a much-coveted recording contract with Universal. As those who watched last season may remember, Team Blake won with Jermaine Paul, and on the very first season, Team Adam's Javier Colon won. Naturally, both of these judges are set on- nay, convinced of winning this season. It's a brand new year; anything could happen. So let's take a look at each team for season three.
Adam Levine likes to win, and he's not afraid to show it. In the least. He exudes a very confident demeanor, and it is obvious that he is ready to get back on top. Cee Lo described him as a car salesman who's very competitive. "There is no coach too difficult to crush," said Adam about his seemingly over-the-top, sleazy approach to winning over contestants. "The team's looking tough. I'm very excited. I can't wait for the battle rounds. I'm the most excited I've ever been about a team." And here is Adam's team made up of what he considers to be all-stars:
1. BrIan Keith's goal was to step out from his Grammy-winning father's shadow. His performance made all four chairs turn around. During the intense fight for him, Adam told him, "More than anyone I've seen, I'm dying to have you on my team!"
2. Caitlin Michele
3. Samuel Mouton
4. Joe Kirkland
5. Melanie Martinez
7. Brian Scartocci
8. Michele Brooks-Thompson
9. Loren Allred
10. Nicole Nelson was another four-chair turn-around. This time Adam said, "That's one of my favorite renditions of this song... It just kept getting better."
11. Collin McLoughlin
12. Brandon Mahone
13. Alessandra Guerico
14. Kayla Nevarez
15. Sam James
16. Adanna Duru
Country guy Blake Shelton is known for his more subtle and personal tactics to convince the singers to join his team. This season, he has tried to win singers over by saying all the usual, "You're just plain awesome," but also throwing in things like, "You should join my team because I wear that kind of outfit all the time." Blake's strategy is less straightforward than Adam's, but that makes him very entertaining and lovable. So as Blake goes for a repeat this season, will he get it with one of these sixteen performers?
1. Terry McDermott
2. Gracia Harrison was told by Adam, "I want you so bad." However, Blake's comment won her over, "Country music is full of people who can't do what you just did." Later he said, "Gracia has serious potential to win this whole thing."
3. 2 Steel Girls, a mother-daughter duo
4. LIz Davis
5. Nicole Johnson sang Kelly Clarkson's "Mr. Know-it-All" and on the chorus, distinctly said, "thang." Blake told her that that was what got him, "You had me at 'thang.'"
6. Rudy Parris
7. Casey Muessigman
8. Cassadee Pope of the band Hey Monday was an obvious four-chair turn-around, but really seemed more like a Christina pick. In fact, that she even chose Blake was the biggest surprise of the blind auditions. Although, if Blake said this to you, how could you resist? "An artist isn't an artist unless there's no one else like them. There's no one else like you, and I believe with 200% of my heart that you are a star."
9. Julio Caesar Castillo
10. Terisa Griffin
11. Suzanna Chofel
12. Kelly Crapa
13. Charlie Rey
14. Ryan Jirovec
15. Lelia Broussard
16. Michaela Paige
CeeLo Green is without a doubt the absolute wildcard among the coaches, and it thus takes a truly unique artist to get on his team. "Different is what I do." When you see the variety in not only the genres each singer represents, but the sound of each person's voice, you'll see that he is completely right. Team CeeLo's sixteen are looking great.
1. Mackenzie Bourg was a guy who suffered through serious heart problems, but that spurred a passion for sharing his gift of singing with other people. To CeeLo's surprise, he was the only one to push the red button for this talented pop singer who looked like a mix betwen Justin Beiber and Harry Potter.
2. Diego Val
3. Cody Belew (country/soul singer)
4. Mycle Wastman (soul)
5. Domo (Latin pop/hip hop dancer)
6. Trevin Hunte (R&B)
7. Daniel Rosa (indie-pop)
8. JR Aquino (pop/R&B)
9. Nicholas David ("heart music")
10. Avery Wilson (pop/R&B)
11. Todd Kessler (indie folk pop)
12. Alexis Marceaux (indie)
13. Amanda Brown
14. Chevonne (pop-soul)
15. Emily Earle (country)
16. Ben Taub
CeeLo said of fellow judge Christina Aguilera, "She is a very serious and fierce competitor." She concurred, saying, "I've been doing this for quite some time.. I'm ready to take it to the next level." Despite her ferocity, Christina is constantly the first judge to encourage contestants who don't get anyone to turn around for them. And you can tell she really means it. With all of that going for her, she is definitely ready for this to be her year with one of these sixteen.
1. Adriana Louise was yet another singer who got all four judges to push the red button. Christina was very emphatic after Adrianna's performance, "We belong together! I want you on my team! I believe in you already. I think you're a superstar. I really want to be the one to be on your side and take you to the end."
2. Dez Duron returned after not making it last season. In season two, Christina realized too late that she wanted this guy on her team. Luckily, she got a second chance this year, saying of his voice, "The sky's the limit! You have to be on my team."
4. Devyn DeLoera
7. Jordan Pruitt
8. Laura Vivas
9. Sylvia Yacoub
10. Celica Westbrook
11. Beat Frequency
12. Natalie Hernandez
13. Nelly's Echo
14. Marissa Ann
15. Joselyn Rivera
16. Lisa Scinta
At the end of the episode, behind-the scenes footage was shown of what happens after what we see on The Voice. It included each judge commenting on CeeLo's constant companion- a parrot named Lady- as well as Adam's entertaining impressions of the other judges.
Next week, the competition heats up with the battle rounds! In these, two artists sing the same song simultaneously, fighting for one spot on their coach's team. Music stars Mary J. Blige, Rob Thomas, Michael Buble, and Billie Joe Armstrong will give the contestants their expertise as they prepare to battle it out to stay on the show. And this year, there is a new twist called "the steal." When a coach lets an artist go, another coach can steal them, keeping them in the competition. So this should make the show very interesting this year. We'll see how it affects the artists and how it shifts the teams.
Starting to take sides already? I will withhold official judgement about individuals until the battle rounds start, but right now, I'm really liking Team Adam.
Tune in next Monday to NBC at 8/7c to see the beginning of the battle rounds!
Visit www.nbc.com/the-voice/artists/ to view the full list of mentees, plus their stories, videos, and more. You can download your favorites from tonight's performances at www.iTunes.com/thevoice, or watch their performances on The Voice's YouTube channel: www.Youtube.com/NBCthevoice. Keep up with The Voice through the week and while the show on Twitter: @NBCTheVoice, #TheVoice.