The Voice Recap: Experience and talent rules this season
9:52 PM, Apr 8, 2013
7:51 AM, Apr 9, 2013
University of Kansas freshman Caroline Glaser took a semester off to pursue a career in music.
The St. Louis native sang "Tiny Dancer" for the judges during Monday night's episode of "The Voice." Shakira and Blake both turned around for the 18-year-old.
Glaser selected Team Blake, after he noted she was a singer/songwriter. Glaser had been playing at coffee shops and was drawn to the folk/indie music scene. She has a unique voice that molds well to the show.
Long before Glaser took the stage, Dallas musician Jeff Lewis was the first person to audition.
Lewis, like many Voice contestants, has a previous record deal. The deal went south for Lewis and his record was shelved.
He performed Usher's "U Got It Bad," knowing it was a risky move.
More than any previous seasons, Voice contestants are making the bold move of using a coach's song during the blind auditions. For some, it has worked out well. For others, the gamble ended badly.
Lewis got what he wanted – three judges turned around, but not before Lewis' family was pleading with judges from the viewing gallery. I think viewers at home were saying the same thing: "Come on, guys?!?" I know my household was wondering what took so long.
Lewis, not surprisingly based on song choice, selected Team Usher.
Night five of the blind auditions is starting off with some generalities for contestants. While Lewis had a record deal, Shawna P has performed with some great musicians, including George Clinton.
Shawna auditioned singing "She Talks to Angels." Her voice was raspy and full of rock and roll.
Shakira and Adam fought over the performer, noting both of their roots in rock music.
Shawna decided to work with Team Shakira.
Next up was KU's Glaser, who ended up on Team Blake.
What to say about the next contestant, Cameron? The performer sang "As Long as You Love Me." He's a true performer, and danced through the performance. But he really couldn't sing very well.
The focus on movement hurt his performance, and the judges noted that he seemed to be running out of air while singing. Usher told him he had to manage both his dancing and singing because "you can't dance off-key."
None of the judges turned around, and Cameron went quietly into the forgotten contestants without a team.
The next contestant, Michael Austin, looks more rock and roll than he does law enforcement.
But the country artist, who performed "Somebody Like You" for his blind audition, comes from a long line of law enforcement. In fact, he's a deputy sheriff in California.
His band also plays in Vegas about once a month.
He selected Team Adam – a second country artist to select Adam. This time, Blake did not turn around to fight for Austin.
Sasha Allen has substantial experience in the music business, singing back up for artists such as former Voice coach Christian Aguilera. But Allen wanted more, so she participated in the blind auditions.
Her chilling performance of "Not Ready to Make Nice" brought all four coaches to turn their chairs.
The four judges fought hard for Allen. Before her performance, she said she would love to work with Usher and Shakira, but said that Adam and Blake could teach her a lot because they were so far away from her roots as a performer.
Allen decided to be part of Team Adam. Does Adam realize he is going to have to get rid of half of his performers before the live shows?
Song choice is incredibly important in blind auditions. The next voice contestant showed that.
Matt Cermanski performed Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream." As Adam noted, songs like "Teenage Dream" are rigidly produced and don't translate well during the blind auditions.
Cermanski bowed out of the competition without a coach.
After Cermanski, we saw quick hits from Jamila Thompson (Team Usher), Amy Whitcomb (Team Adam), Justin Rivers and Michelle Raitzin (both on Team Blake).
The next voice contestant could be a real power house on the show.
Mary Miranda is a 17-year-old who moved from Cuba to Albuquerque, N.M., as a child.
She performed "Como La Flor" for the judges.
Shakira, Blake and Usher all turned around. No surprises here – the teen selected Shakira for her coach.
It took Blake almost no time to know he wanted Grace Askew on his team. The coach turned his chair a few notes into "These Boots are Made for Walkin'."
He competed against Shakira for the artist, who has toured several states, but wanted the help of The Voice to take her career to the next level.
Askew calls herself "blountry" which is a mix of blues and country. As such, she selected Team Blake.
The next performer had a backstory that brought tears to my eyes.
Jane Smith's dad died of cancer when she was young, all while her mom was battling stage 2 breast cancer. Her mom is in remission, and is Smith's best friend.
It was heartbreaking to see the 18-year-old go after her performance of "You've Got the Love."
I truly hope we see Jane Smith again. I think if she'd auditioned earlier in the process, she may have found a team.
At this point, the judges are incredibly particular while they look for the remaining few members of the teams.
The final performance of the night came from Ryan Innes.
The 31-year-old from Provo, Utah sang "Gravity" for his auditioned. All four judges turned their chairs.
There is some serious talent this season on The Voice, and I would count Ryan Innes in that group.
He has real talent and control of his voice. And, as the judges noted, Innes has soul.
And with Innes, Team Usher has a real contender to win The Voice.
That's a wrap, Voice viewers. What did you think? Do you think there's more talent this season than others?