The Voice's Season 3 Premiere: This "The Steal" Thing Sounds Interesting

The Voice S03E01: “Blind Auditions Part 1”

Everybody’s favorite holier-than-thou talent show debuted it’s third season on Monday, kicking off a week that features not one, not two, but three nights of blind auditions because it’s always fun to spite Simon Cowell when crafting your fall TV schedule. I also suspect that someone, somewhere in NBC’s offices is crossing his or her fingers for a rekindled Britney vs. Christina battle circa 1999. For the record, I was a Mandy Moore fan.

Anyway, is it just me or does it feel like The Voice never really left? Same set, same barely mustered enthusiasm from Carson Daly, same bromantic rivalry between Blake Shelton and Adam Levine, same Universal recording contract up for grabs. Every contestant was introduced with some sad story and every turned chair was a manufactured moment of occasionally weepy affirmation. Sprint and Kia got their product placement in nice and early and Christina Aguilera left her bra in the dressing room. The only thing missing was Purrfect the Cat, unceremoniously replaced by Lady Bird the Cockatoo.

I miss Purrfect the Cat, you guys.

The judges assured us that this season’s competition would be stiff and exciting, flaunting two adjustments made to the competition’s format (you know, other than our extra Day of Spite this week). The usual roster of 12 members per team has been upped to 16 and eventually, judges will be allowed to “steal” musicians from a rival team. That sounds both delightfully dramatic and totally unfair to the occasional contestant who finds himself working with his “idol.”

Still, I’m pretty excited for the potential to see contestants pulled out of their comfort zones. You know who I’m talking about: the contestants who, when given a choice, pick the judge who made his or her own career in the genre of music that most closely matches their own. The pop-punks and the “rockers” end up with Adam, the high-note-belting “divas” and potential boy band members settle in with Christina, and of course, the twangy gang sides with Blake. Then there’s Cee Lo Green who, on one hand, I feel should have consistently strong teams with his eclectic taste and willingness to try pretty much anyone or anything. But then I remember the atrocious Erin Martin and severely question his judgement.

While the contestants’ preference to work in their most comfortable genres is completely and totally understandable, it does often take the excitement out of waiting for them to choose their team. Take Monday’s premiere, for example: Was there ever any doubt that yodeling wonder Gracia Harrison, with her “I Wanna be a Cowboy Sweetheart” cover, would jump on the opportunity to work with Blake? Or that Artist vs. Poet frontman Joe Kirkland would consider working with anyone but Adam?

Certainly, there are some exceptions. The talented and unconventional De’Borah opted to work with Christina, despite Cee Lo vying for her favor in the next chair over; it's a team-up where I’m sincerely excited to see what it produces, barring Cee Lo doesn’t exercise his right to “steal” her away. Okay, so I’m kind of ridiculously pumped about The Steal and eagerly await its debut in this season’s competition. You know, as much as anyone can eagerly await anything on The Voice. I guess my first priority is to eagerly await the end of this three-day marathon event. C’mon, NBC, I wasn’t going to watch The X-Factor ANYWAY.

And here are our team rosters for the end of Night 1:

Team Blake

– Terry McDermott (Performed “Baba O’Riley” by The Who)

– Gracia Harrison (Performed “I Wanna be a Cowboy Sweetheart” by pretty much everyone in Nashville. An oldie, but goodie.)

Team Christina

– Devyn Deloera (Performed “Ain’t No Other Man” by Christina Aguilera and yes, she sang along in her chair. Take a drink.)

– De’Borah (Performed “Hey, Soul Sister” by Train)

Team Cee Lo

– Daniel Rosa (Performed “Somebody That I Used to Know” by Gotye)

– Trevin Hunte (Performed “Listen” by Beyonce)

Team Adam

– Joe Kirkland (Performed “Gives You Hell” by the All American Rejects)

Bryan Keith (Performed “It Will Rain” by Bruno Mars)

Did you watch The Voice's Season 3 premiere? Who’s your favorite singer so far?

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