The Voice: About Erin Martin...

By MaryAnn Sleasman

Mar 20, 2012

I think we all need to get together and stage an intervention for Cee Lo Green. I understand his quest for uniqueness and I’m behind it. I applaud it, even. I think his general openness to different voices, styles, and personalities opens the door for contestants that the other judges would probably pass on. But I can’t get behind Erin Martin.

There are lots of enormously talented musicians who are “weird” and “unique” and whose voices and styles don’t fit into the traditional box: Bob Dylan, David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, and Janis Joplin are all people who broke the mold that shaped their respective times. An argument can be made more recently for the likes of Adele, Amy Winehouse, and dare I say it, Lady Gaga.

But here’s the thing, Amy’s beehive and Gaga’s meat dress aside, both artists were and are legitimately talented musicians, despite their weirdness and gimmicks. Erin Martin spent her entire rehearsal ignoring the advice of Cee Lo and Ne-Yo, balking at Ne-Yo’s declaration that she was “cute” but she wasn’t “sexy.” Gently reminded by Ne-Yo that the Tina Turner song “What’s Love Got to Do With It” is not a sexy song, but a scorned woman song, Martin just couldn't get past the idea that someone wouldn’t find her sexy.

And that, dear readers, is just the tip of my rage iceberg when it comes to Cee Lo’s darling. Her audition, way back when, was painful. Her performance last night, equally so. Her voice is truly wretched—and not because it’s unique, but because it isn’t pleasurable to human ears. I have yet to see this “style” of hers that Cee Lo so often raves about because when she sings, I don’t get the sense that she’s at all conscious of what she’s doing musically. That would be alright if she was willing to learn, but she isn’t. Her voice is ugly. Her personality is ugly.

But as Blake so helpfully pointed out when Carson Daly made his way down the judging line, her body sure isn’t ugly. He didn’t address her performance at all. Not once. He openly thanked her for the revealing attire because he’s married, and women who are willing to wear stilettos with their panties are all he has. I’ve watched episodes of America’s Next Top Model with less open leering from the judges.

That is not to say that I thought the Shields Brothers blew the stage away. In their rehearsal, Babyface likened their performance to watching Wayne’s World, a comparison that made me cringe mostly because it was true. Cee Lo chose Erin Martin because he felt she was the more “versatile” contestant. Frankly, none of them struck me as versatile, but at least the Shields could actually carry a tune.

Okay, rant’s over. Here are the rest of the results:

Team Adam: Nathan Parrett vs. Pip

Oh man, this one was hard. I loved both Nathan and Pip during their auditions. Adam gave them an Amy Winehouse tune, “I’m No Good,” and both contestants held their own in rehearsals, although Nathan’s nervous habits, specifically his penchant for hiding his hands in his pockets, detracted from his performance. Adam really struggled to make his selection at the end of their awesome performance.

He ultimately went with Pip. I don’t blame him, but I would have understood going with Nathan too. Compared to last week, and with the exception of the god-awful Erin Martin vs. the Shields Brothers, I thought the battles were pretty evenly matched.

Team Cee Lo: Erin Martin vs. The Shields Brothers

We all know where I stand on this train wreck. It was an all-around cringe-inducing performance. Adam summed it up as “That was so weird,” but I think he was just being polite.

Moving on...

Team Christina: Ashley de la Rosa vs. Jonathas

Ashley de la Rosa and Jonathas faced off to “No Air” by Chris Brown. Jonathas made googly eyes at Christina throughout rehearsals and Ashley struggled with her shyness. Jewel told her to be herself, which I always think is interesting advice on a show like The Voice. It makes the potential rejection that much worse. Theirs was a pretty solid performance, but it felt more like Ashley de la Rosa featuring Jonathas than an equal duet, and the judges unanimously cast their votes for Ashley.

Team Blake: Alyx vs. Jermaine Paul

Blake pitted these two against one another and gave them the Billy Ocean song “Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car” because he didn’t think they had enough fun while performing. Jermaine seemed to embrace the opportunity from the start, while Alyx constantly maintained that she was having fun... without actually appearing to have fun. I understand the feeling. I once had a boss who was very very concerned with how happy I was and why oh why didn’t I look happy? I finally said, “I’m happy on the inside.” Unfortunately for Alyx, that sentiment doesn’t cut it in the heavily scrutinized battle rounds. I mean, her judge specifically asked for “fun.” She seemed to bring it late in the performance, but Jermaine rocked it the whole way through and Blake went with him.

Team Adam: Katrina Parker vs. Angel Taylor

This was another one of the harder-to-judge battles of the night, in my personal opinion. Adam handed the women “Bleeding Love” by Leona Lewis and they sounded great together. They totally did. I leaned toward Angel at the end of the performance, and much like his previous battle between Nathan and Pip earlier in the night, Adam agonized over who to choose. He ends up with some really hard choices, doesn’t he? He picked Katrina, but it could have gone either way.

Team Blake: Gwen Sebastien vs. Erin Willett

I’ve praised The Voice for its ability to present “sob stories” without turning them into melodramas before, and the update on Erin Willett’s family this week was no exception. Her father, previously diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic cancer, took a turn for the worst during the battles (it was later revealed that he passed away) and it was sad, and I really felt for Erin, but I applauded The Voice for not taking Erin’s tragedy and completely exploiting it. Erin herself was dignified and acknowledged her family’s situation without letting it overshadow her performance. I wouldn’t have blamed her for breaking down, but the fact that she didn’t really attested to her professionalism. The fact that The Voice didn’t seem to push the issue either was refreshing, too. I’m always waiting for the drama to explode on this show, but I’m not disappointed when it doesn’t.

Blake assigned Gwen and Erin a Pat Benatar tune, “We Belong,” (nice!) and throughout the rehearsals, both women worked to develop their strengths. Erin sought to prove her versatility, concerned that so many admirers fawned over her “power” that no one would realize that she could be soft as well. She managed to do both brilliantly, and Blake chose her to advance to later rounds.

What are your thoughts on the season so far? Are you eagerly anticipating the day when Erin Martin is pitted against one of the unquestionably talented musicians on The Voice? I know I am.

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  • zdragon59 Apr 04, 2012

    I was a true fan for The Voice until I watched Erin Martin. For those of you who truly believe she is talented, you must like dogs howling, nails on a chalk board, or the sound of screeching tires during a wedding. The show is called "The Voice", not "Can you dress like a hooker".

  • NatAsia1 Apr 02, 2012

    I think her voice is very pretty but not at all as unique as Cee-Lo makes her out to be. There are many coffee-shop underground artists out there that sound like her, and have better range than she does. Matter of fact, I think Zenia from last season that had that same type of raspy soul voice was a lot more talented than Erin is. However, I think she is stronger and more versatile than the Shields brothers so I agreed that she should of won. Her attitude is terrible though. You could tell she was getting very upset when some of the judges picked the Shields Brothers over her. I think if she wants to make it as an artist, she really needs to grow up and mature. Her snippy little comments to her coach about how she should sing a certain part of the song shows her immaturity. Most people who get that chance probably would not be second-guessing the coaches. I understand that she wanted the best possible way to showcase her voice but she came off really annoying and pushy. Not sure how many people would want to work with an artist that has a terrible attitude.

  • KevinG87 Mar 23, 2012

    I sort of like Erin's voice, but her enunciation makes me want to rip my hair out and vomit while punching people in the face. hate it! That was probably the only one I disgareed with, he should've picked the Shields Brothers.. and I'd maybe have picked Angel Taylor over Katrina Parker but honestly, I don't even remember the performance so...

  • rasonexile Mar 22, 2012

    erin martin's voice is uniquely dreadful

  • BarryDalton Mar 22, 2012

    if dreadful means wonderful, then yes

  • BarryDalton Mar 21, 2012

    Erin Martin is awesome. Anyone who disagrees is entitled to their opinion but you are just wrong. Plain wrong. End of discussion.

    ON A LIGHTER note, Cee Lo is "Creepy TV". I love his music but he's weird with a capital I. It's like he wants to do all of his singers.

  • tonbruken Mar 21, 2012

    There is nothing especially unique about Erin< Doesn't anyone remember Macy Gray???? Same approach but generally in tune and without that strange screech/squeal that Erin does.

    I like Macy Gray but this is a piss poor imitation!

  • ch0c0nutz Mar 21, 2012

    cee lo has the weakest team so far and erin is sooooo fake and obnoxious!... her voice is awful and when she sings, it's like she has a lot of saliva stuck in her mouth!...

  • osdawaya16 Mar 21, 2012

    I'm so pleased to hear that it's not just in my head - Erin can't sing! She makes up for this fact by not enunciating, which really doesn't help her. I guess she doesn't think anyone will care about her voice if she replaces vowels and the like, but it doesn't work. It's painful. Her personality sucks as well - if she doesn't get her way, she pouts. And I really wanted to slap some sense into Cee Lo when he picked her. I mean, the Shields Brothers certainly aren't polished artists, but they followed the advice given to them and actually had nice voices - more than I think anyone can say for Erin.

  • GlenHersey Mar 21, 2012

    What I dislike most about Erin is that her voice is so fake and unnatural. Fake accent, fake put-on style, its like when North Americans sing with a fake British accent, so phoney.

  • aarongutch Mar 21, 2012

    I actually really like Erin's voice. Not as much last night, but I loved her audition. However, her personality is awful. So that kinda ruined her for me.

  • BarryDalton Mar 21, 2012

    I agree with you that her personality is a turn off, at least based on the things she said. But let's be fair. She's very young and who know how much she said and how it was edited to create tension or competition in the show. But either way her vanity did her a disservice tonight. All that said, she's already a star with the right original song. I'd buy her album as long as it wasn't jazz or something really off beat.

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