After a series of disappointing losses to his rival judges during last week’s auditions, Team Blake caught a few breaks on The Voice this week, padding his roster with an impressive group of talent that includes Cassadee Pope from Hey Monday, an emo-kid band that I vaguely remember existing back in high school.
Also snagged from the clutches of Adam and the others were smog technician Charlie Rey and music teacher Suzanne Choffel who channeled her inner Stevie Nicks during a cover of “Landslide” that was a little bit of country and a little bit of rock and roll. Wait, that’s the Osmonds thing, isn’t it? Whatever, it was awesome. So was Terisa Griffin’s “Someone Like You” cover, showing off her impressive power in what is definitely one of the best Adele covers ever to make an appearance on The Voice. Adele is so hard to compete with that it’s hard not to think of covering one of her songs as competition suicide.
Let’s talk about Terisa Griffin because she’s awesome. After three weeks of blind auditions, the itch to move on to actual competition has appeared. The sob stories are starting to run together and with limited space remaining on each team, the judges are growing more selective, forcing us to watch many perfectly capable singers—like industry veteran Yolanda Barber—sent home. Barber's audition was frustrating to watch because honestly, if she had auditioned earlier in the show, she more than likely would have made the cut. So at this point, I’m tired of watching good musicians get rejected. I’m bored with watching teenagers squeal over Christina choosing them and I’m sick of watching Christina roll her eyes when she doesn’t like a musician. The predictability of which judge different contestants will choose is no longer fun. It’s just dull.
And then Terisa Griffin dominated the stage and changed the game. Rather than become all starstruck and flustered when both Blake and Christina turned their chairs for her, she retained her cool and after exchanging niceties, grilled her potential judges about what they will do as mentors to, well, MENTOR her.
If we adhered to the standard Judge Selection Process as presented by The Voice for the past three seasons, by all rights, Terisa should have chosen Christina. Type picks type, when given the opportunity. Musically, Terisa has more in common with Christina, based on what we saw in her audition, and even Blake seemed to accept that. He made some telling comments, encouraging Christina to turn her chair for Terisa because they’re “made for each other” and then admitting that as he listened to more of Griffin’s performance, “Man, SCREW Christina... I think you’re awesome and I hit my button too.”
He feared that he was selling himself short and seemed to accept the inevitability of Terisa choosing Christina, but his sincere compliments and enthusiasm just made Christina’s cold, canned comments seem all the more fake. I was pleasantly surprised when Terisa chose to join Team Blake. Judging by the look on his face when she made her decision, I’d say "surprised" is a huge understatement in Blake's case.
Highlights from Team Xtina included her recruitment of Egyptian singer Sylvia Yacoub and ex-Disney star Jordan Pruitt. Cee Lo picked up Diego Val who sings to sick children in his free time after experiencing a medical crisis of his own as a child and Amanda Brown, who totally rocked her cover of “Valerie.” Adam’s pickiness has reached neurotic levels as the space on his team grows more limited; he snagged Temptations-crooning Brandon Mahone, Michelle Brooks Thompson, and Sam James on Monday but no one at all on Tuesday.
At the end of our third week of blind auditions, each team has only two more spots to fill. Who do you think has the strongest team so far?