The Voice: Let the Real Games Begin

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We’ve finally reached the end of blind auditions on The Voice. Now, go back and read that sentence again, and when you say “finally,” do so with a bit of dramatic flair, with the sort of impatience typically presented by child actors who can’t really act but find themselves in a scene where they must show indignation over mom being late to pick them up from whatever the cool kids do after school these days... when I was a wee one, it was computer club, but that was before everyone and their grandmother had a computer. Ah, the '90s: when Carson Daly was on MTV and Christina Aguilera was on the Disney Channel.

So yeah, think of whatever after school activity is cool these days. I’m sure kids still get huffy when they’ve been sitting on the sidewalk outside the school for 20 minutes. Find that tone, and say it with me again: We’ve finally reached the end of blind auditions on The Voice.

I like The Voice. I really do. I appreciate that the auditions are taken seriously and the candidates are vetted for talent and experience before they're allowed to appear before the judges. I admire the show for not exploiting the mean-spirited bully who hides in all of us by parading contestants who clearly never had a shot across the sage. The Voice has a sense of maturity and focus that competitors American Idol and The X-Factor lack, and it’s that very trait that consistently elevates the show above those other two talent shows for me.

But for god’s sake, two-hour episodes of endless auditioning are too much. The contestants’ stories start to run together. The judges’ jokes start to fall flat. I start to hear buzzing in the back of my brain and I have to use every commercial break to pinch myself alert.

Thankfully, that’s all in the past now. The contestants have paid their dues. The judges have paid their dues. And I have paid my dues. Next week, we switch to hourly competitive installments—and I’m totally stoked.

I’m also totally stoked to learn that Cee Lo Green’s cat, Purrfect (thanks for the heads-up on kitty’s name last week, guys!) has a Twitter feed. My life is now complete.


Highlights from This Week’s Purrfectly Talented Contestants

– The Shields Brothers were easily my favorite performance of the night. I saw that dismissive attitude, Christina, and sure, things fell apart at the end there, but it was after Cee Lo turned around. Plus, I’ve noticed that performers tend to lose their composure when a chair turns and they realize they made the show. Don’t be hating. The Shields make sweet harmonies; they’re like musical Bash Brothers. Yes, that’s a Mighty Ducks reference (D2, technically)—let’s keep the '90s-lust coming.

– I dig Lex Land’s retro '40s throwback style. Cee Lo remarked that she has a “cool-ass name,” and she does. I’m jealous. It’s catchy and it makes me visualize some sort of deranged Lex Luthor-themed amusement park, which in turn makes me want to bust out ye olde comics collection to see if that ever happened in continuity because it so would have, especially in Golden Age stories. Christina’s was the only chair that didn’t turn, and she remarked that Lex had trouble controlling her pitch. Blake gave her props for rocking the lower register that many performers shy away from. Both made valid points.