The Voice - Season 4

What, no thread yet?

Season 4 is in swing, second week, so we’re up for hour 6 tonight (2 hr Mon, 1 hr Tue).

No Xtina or CeeLo this season. We’ve got Usher and Shakira to skake things up. Oddly they put Shakira next to Adam and Usher next to Blake, like they were afraid if they put Usher in Cee Lo’s seat and Shakira in Christina’s we’d think they’re just swapping black guys and blond chicks, or something.

Once again, the talent pool seems amazing right now in the blind auditions. Keeping everyone straight is once again a chore, simply because there are so many thrown at us. And I’m skipping most of the sob stories this year. I hear their name then FFW until they are approaching the stage. Unless something catches my eye.

I did notice the young country girl from Houston - of course it was all over the local news.

We’ve got another guy returning from trying out and not making it last season. He came out okay and got Shakira, then got recognized by Adam and Blake from last season (and Shakira said she recognized him, too).

There was a country singer who apparently got signed to a label, sold her first album Gold, was making the rounds, then her second album didn’t do so well and she got dropped by her label. So now she was trying to get attention again, didn’t get picked, but then Blake recognized her.

Last night was a major coup for Adam - he won over a country singer from Blake. He really sold the desire and support, and got picked even with Blake against him. Nice move.

I like the nerdy chick. She came out and sang “I Kissed a Girl” with a bit of different style, starting out soft and slow, then kicking in the rock at the chorus. She really had energy and spirit. She had Adam, Shakira, and Usher fighting over her, and I thought she was going to go with Adam, then she pulled a left field and selected Usher. I didn’t see that one, but she said it was something she just felt in the moment.

They kept the montage selects fairly light, with a couple who were direct picks, but there was one that they montaged that had a selection between Usher and Blake. Okay…

It looks like they took some advice from last time because it appears they are going for teams of 12, not 16. We shall see.

The only thing I gotta say is, the show is sooooo much better without Aguilera. She was so bitchy and narcissistic, and really brought the mood of the whole show down for me. I’d have preferred Ceelo stay, Usher is a little “I’m too sexy for this show,” but at least he’s got a positive attitude.

I really like this show. It is so much better than American Idol in just about every way. Shakira and Usher both look like winning replacements for Christina and Cee-lo.

Agreed with both of these. Could never stand American Idol but I’ll stop and watch this show. Although I’ll admit that I’m mainly interested during the try-outs/selection episodes for the chemistry between the judges. They always seem as though they’re actually having fun though which is in turn fun to watch (as opposed to the blatant nastiness on other shows).

I didn’t quite have it out for Aguilera but I do like Shakira more in her spot. And agreed that Usher seems little full of himself but not enough to be a detriment.

So far I’m enjoying the new judges, even Usher.

It makes me giggle when the singers point at one of the coaches and say “I grew up listening to you.”

With Julie Roberts, I didn’t hear anything remarkable in her voice. There wasn’t anything objectionable either. Isn’t that the point of the chair gimmick? Blake said afterwords he regretted not picking her, but it seemed like it was because they were acquainted, not because her voice was amazing.

I do wonder if folks like that are featured because even that tiny bit of exposure will help. Maybe one of the producers is a fan or some such.

Another thing I wonder about is how the order is decided. I’m understand that the order we see on any given evening has nothing to do with the order in which those people auditioned. But would someone have turned around for the young man originally from Brazil if they’d had more spots left. How is the order that the judges see them determined? The one particularly notable one I remember from last season was an older (than most contestants, not than me) lady who’s worked singing on cruise ships. I thought her audition was great, and the judges all said they did, too. But it was towards the end and they were being protective of their few remaining spots.

I see more asymmetrical hemlines on this show than anywhere else real or televised.

My favorite so far is Patrick Dodd. I’ve seen him play at the clubs on Beale Street. He’s a really good blues guitar player. Heres some club footage.

I’ve seen musicians play instruments and sang on the Voice. I’m curious how they’ll handle this with Patrick. He’s really a better guitar player than singer. That guitar could give him a big edge over the other singers.

Patrick’s weakness will be the Battle Rounds. Especially if he isn’t singing a blues song.

He did really good on Walking in Memphis. I’m surprised more chairs didn’t turn.

I believe all the blind auditions happen in one day, so even though we get 6 shows for 9 hours, it all goes in one go for them.

I do wonder how they strategize picking contestants, and how number of slots left plays into that. Occassionally, no one will pick someone that I can’t discern any reason.

The one girl had a great voice but her rendition was too much like Adele, so there was nothing to stand out, and as Adam said, you’re setting yourself up if you go straight up against Adele on Adele’s terms.

Man, Christian Porter completely ganked the arrangement to Sexy and I Know It.

I’m still pissed the Brazilian guy didn’t make it. He was good looking and had a beautiful voice.

I thought so, too.

I didn’t watch season 3 because I just couldn’t face Xtina’s mean-spirited boobs.

Like the new judges.

The singers should know by now that song selection is very important and not go for “gimmicky”; performing one of the judges’ own songs or singing the song of a person they sound like instead of showcasing their own, hopefully different, range.

It was oddly different, showing his different ranges. Apparently that arrangement is by Only1Noah.

I knew immediately that Blake would like the “bluntry” girl. Not that I did. I mean, she was nice to look at, but not my genre at all.

The older lady Shawna P. started out a little too close to the Black Crows rendition of She Talks to Angels, but then brought out the elements of her voice and convinced them to turn around.

I agree, Cameron the dancer guy was not showcasing his voice. He came off pitchy and blah.

Matt Cermanski had an odd choice in Teenage Dream, and his voice wasn’t there.

The young Cuban girl sounded great even if it was in Spanish.

Last episode to go, each coach needs one pick. Tune In!

I’m happy you told me they each have one pick. I TiVo it, then fast forward until they sing because I’m not interested in their stories. I also am messing around on my iPad while I watch, so I guess I’m not the most involved viewer, but I enjoy it.

I was just wondering how many were left, and for some reason I was worried that everyone but Shakira had just one or two left but she had four or five. What do they do when that happens? I can’t imagine being one of the last people to audition and knowing everyone was full but one person who still had four slots to fill.

It’s weird. I usually don’t watch these sorts of shows, and I couldn’t get into The Voice in any of the past seasons. But I really dig this one, something about the chemistry of the judges is appealing. I’ve seen other people on the Internet agree with me, so it must be true that the new judges are just clearly objectively better :stuck_out_tongue: First show where a personality shakeup did something for me.

I’m rooting for underdogs here, but I really liked Midas Whale…but I just like that style of music generally.

Final night, all teams are full, ready for the Battle Rounds next week.

This season I started fast forwarding through most of the stories. The thing is, everybody has a reason this is their “big break” or “last chance”, everyone has a need for this. But I don’t want sob stories coloring my perception of their auditions.

Tonight the last couple of competitors only had one or two judges available. The last lady was surprised when they told her that only Usher could have picked her or they would have.

In the past, it hasn’t always worked out quite evenly. Season One IIRC Adam was the last to fill his team, and one season IIRC Christina had a couple picks left when everyone else was done. Basically it plays out like last night. All the judges sit through the auditions until the final judge finds a voice they like.

That’s where the dynamics of the show comes in to affect the judges’ picking strategy. Early on, they have little point of comparison so they look for something that sounds reasonably good, especially if catchy. As the show progresses, they begin to filter the merely good out and look for the special, unique, stand outs. But they may throw in an okay singer if they sense potential. For their final slots, they tend to be more picky, looking for the real gotta have that’s.

I’m liking the dynamic pretty good. Swapping out Cee Lo and Christina has improved things.

I’m not really a fan of Shakira’s music, but damn if I don’t love her as a coach.

Shakira has been a really big improvement over Christina. I’m hoping Shakira will be a good coach. I’m not sure that shes ever mentored anyone before. Some of the people she picked are really young and untrained. Coaching them will be an eye opener for a pro like Shakira. She’s used to working with other pros.

Usher has been finding talent and developing them for years. The Voice is a great fit for him.

Was Shakira pregnant during the auditions? I know she had a baby in January.

Battle Rounds begin! There were excellent showdowns tonight.

Blake missed the call, he picked the Swon Brothers over Christian Porter. I thought Christian had the better performance. The Swons were okay, but Christian had a bit more edge and a bit more something. But Blake fell back on “what I know”. Sucky call.

I’m a little surprised J’Sun didn’t get saved. He had great vocals and smooth flow.

Sasha and Amber were a great duet and that was a close match. I leaned for Amber but only by the thinnest margin.

Holly and Michelle was another even performance.

On Jess vs Taylor, I liked Jess’s smoothness a tad better than Taylor’s voice, which is a bit grating to me. But I did like Taylor’s dress.

But the song of the night was the final song, Judith Hill against Karina Iglesias. I loved their little bow at the beginning, both were powerful and sultry and soulful and intense. I couldn’t pick between them.

But I’ve got to say, Judith’s red outfit was kinda fugly. The saggy crotch was awful.

Damn, the battle rounds are often the hardest to call. You’d think putting them in the same song together would show the better artist, but sometimes it pushes both to great heights, and you’re left picking on things like hairstyle.

I thought that she was dressed like an aircraft mechanic. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen her before as I looked out the plane window at the gate. But she can sing.

Ce-lo and Christina don’t need to hurry to return. In fact, I’ve always though that this show would be better if the coaches who mentored the top two singers were safe for the next season, and the others would be replaced. Maybe keep two and replace two, just to keep it fresh.

Hmmm. Pull the coaches into the mix. That would keep it fresh.

I skipped season 3 because of Cristina so the Steals are new to me. I like it. Sometimes, as said, it’s too close to call and this way a good performer isn’t dropped too soon.