OK. Deep breaths.
So that was an exciting and competitive Super Bowl, eh?
OK. See? I’m slowly taking my Patriots Fan hat off and moving in the direction of my Reality TV Live-Blogging hat.
It’s time to start Season 2 of “The Voice”… Click through for my full discussion of the magical chairs, Christina Aguilera’s cleavage and Cee-Lo’s weirdness.
7:20 p.m. Pacific Let’s get this party started, complete with lots of not-very-veiled stabs at “American Idol,” because why wouldn’t NBC’s only hit be petty?
7:22 p.m. Teams will have 12 singers instead of 8 this season, which means even more chair-spinning auditions.
7:23 p.m. Our first artist is 17-year-old RaeLynn, exactly the sort of attractive, blonde Southern belle who can never get a break in our image-obsessed culture. Thanks, “The Voice,” for giving people like RaeLynn a shot. She’s singing a Miranda Lambert song, though she swears she’s changed it up. She’s got a raspy baby-doll voice and Adam presses his button immediately. Blake hesitates before turning around as well. RaeLynn’s not quite so terrific on the lowest of notes, but she has a distinctive and sometimes powerful voice that really builds well. I suspect we’re going to get to see a lot more of her and her aggressive mom, who wants all four judges to turn around. Alas, Christina and Cee-Lo remain unmoved. Adam says that he’s “beyond happy” to have pressed his button for her. “I can’t wait for Miranda to hear your version of that song,” says Blake, who has a bit of a trump card. RaeLynn calls Miranda her idol and quickly emphasizes that she thinks Adam is beautiful. “[Cough] I can make you a country star?” Blake argues. “Why would you want to be just a country star? Wouldn’t you want to be much more than that?” Adam shoots back. “I’m gonna go with Blake,” RaeLynn says unsurprisingly. We’ll now sell RaeLynn short by playing a little Miley Cyrus over her happiness.
7:32 p.m. Up next is Jesse Campbell, a 42-year-old father who had to leave his musical career behind to support his family. But that’s not all. His wife left him. But that’s not all. He and his daughter were homeless. But now, he sings at churches and weddings. He dreams of a fresh start and taking care of his daughter. It takes less than a line of “A Song For You” before three of the judges press their buttons. And before Jesse’s reached the chorus, Blake gives in and presses his button. Jesse has a very nice, smooth R&B-friendly voice. And from a distance, he looks much younger than he is. Christina, Cee-Lo and Adam all stand for Jesse. Blake is too cool to stand, but he congratulates Jesse for the impact he made. “At some point, I started realizing that I was the only dumbass in the room who was missing the show,” Blake says. Christina vows to work hard for Jesse. “You sounded strong, brother. Aw man, you touched me deep down,” Cee-Lo says, calling Jesse his “brother.” Christina protests she was feeling it too, even if she’s not the same color. “Everybody’s the same color with the lights off,” Cee-Lo reassures Christina. “I made it work last year. I think I can do it again with you,” Adam says. Jesse calls himself “humbled.” He decides to go with… NOBODY BEFORE WE SELL PRODUCTS!
7:41 p.m. Well, at least NBC is making some effort to promote “Awake.”
7:42 p.m. Jesse is still wavering. But ultimately, he picks… Christina Aguilera. “You said you would fight for me. And I’m ready to fight,” Jesse says.
7:43 p.m. “That was a good one for me,” Christina gloats.
7:44 p.m. Hmmm… Daniel Rosa is 20 years old and he’s trying to believe that he has talent and that there’s something in him. He didn’t expect this to happen, because he’s Daniel Rosa and he’s from Riverside. Geez. Way to be a Julie Cooper about Riverside. He sings “Animal” and he has a OK, personable voice. He’s a bit thin and nasally on the high notes. “Pitchy” says Blake. Wow. A criticism from the “Voice” mentors? As he progresses the nasally sharpness proliferates. Nobody turns around for poor Daniel. We only saw this happen a couple times last season. “First of all, you are a beautiful singer. I was captivated by your voice,” Christina says. Daniel says that just being here has been a blessing. He asks what he could have done better. Christina praises him for even asking. But she doesn’t actually give him a substantive answer. “I feel bad,” pouty kewpie doll Christina says after Daniel leaves.
7:52 p.m. Does anybody remember when “Smash” premieres?
7:53 p.m. We’re on to 25-year-old Juliet Simms. She’s a rocker. We know this because she has tats, a nose-ring and a blue jean vest. She may also be a rocker in 1985. I’m not sure. She also sings “Oh Darling,” which I don’t really think of as a “rocker” song. But she’s raspy, so she must be a rocker. She’s “Actually, you’re making *my* throat sore” rasping and that’s what Juliet is. I’m not sure if that’s really my thing. But Adam and Cee-Lo turn their chairs around almost simultaneously. At the last minute, Christina gives in and turns her chair around in time to catch the final chord-wrenching moments. “You obviously brought the house down,” Christina says. She also mocks Adam’s used car dealer pitch. “If selling a car means ‘Winning ‘The Voice,’ I sell cars,” Adam says. “Christina Aguilera is one of the best singers on Earth, but I can assure you that she’s not one of the best coaches,” Adam says. Christina gets in a good line about Adam trying to be Justin Timberlake, which Cee-Lo thinks is sexual tension. “Baby, I am so thoroughly impressed and in awe of you. You turn me on,” Cee-Lo says. Juliet selects… Cee-Lo. After the heated exchange they both lost, Christina goes and hugs Adam and reassures him that she still loves him. AWWWWWW.
8:02 p.m. The thing that makes “The Voice” different, Carson Daly tells us, is that they start with the highest level of talent. We call that “screening the talent” and makes a lie to that “open audition” nonsense.
8:03 p.m. If Bradley Cooper and Adam Scott could have a baby, he might look like opera singer Chris Mann, whose mom was just diagnosed with cancer. Chris sings “Because We Believe” and he has a fine opera voice. It’s hard to compare him with anything because people on reality shows don’t usually sound like him. The mentors are initially unsure what to do with him, but finally Cee-Lo presses his button. And, after a brief wait, Christina buzzes in as well, being sure to quickly devour Chris with her eyes. “Now that’s a voice. I loved it,” Christina gushes. “I couldn’t understand one word you were saying, but you’re a really good singer,” Blake mumbles. “I’ve tried to shrink my voice down to fit, but I decided for this show, I was going to sing like myself,” Chris declares. Christina knows from not being willing to shrink down. Cee-Lo says there’s nothing Chris can’t do. Christina says she was mesmerized. And Chris goes with Christina. It’s funny that with 12 team slots to play around with, Christina doesn’t need to only select screaming divas.
8:08 p.m. Montage of singers who didn’t get the judges to turn around, including a rocker girl, a raspy hipster and a curly-haired nerd playing Justin Bieber.
8:12 p.m. Oooh. Retread city! Welcome former “Mickey Mouse Club” star Tony Lucca. He’s 35 now, but back in the day, he used to hang with Christina and Britney and Justin. They’re gonna make this really awkward for Christina Aguilera, aren’t they? Playing his guitar, Tony launches into a very polished, albeit somewhat midbrow rendition of “Trouble.” Adam turns around. Christina turns around. Blake turns around. And Adam jumps onto Cee-Lo’s chair to to make sure that he turns around as well. Tony Lucca is definitely good enough to make a living playing coffee shops and bookstores around the country. Tony says his name. We cut to Christina, who very obviously has no clue who he is. Cee-Lo thanks Adam for pushing his button. “It does take a true talent to come along and jolt us out of our seats to push our buttons,” says Christina, who has never seen Tony Lucca before. “This is what you do and you’re really, really good at it,” Blake adds. “For the record, I pushed two buttons,” Adam says. That’s the winning argument. Tony chooses Adam.
8:17 p.m. Darnit. I’d hoped that Tony would choose Christina to force her to eventually realize who he is. But wait! She’s had an “Oh my gosh!” moment. She leaves her chair and goes backstage and tells… random people that now she “remembers” who he is. She makes her way backstage to try finding her “old Musketeer buddy.” They hug! Christina meets his wife and kid. “I remember him back when Britney had the biggest crush on him,” Christina says. Wow. Way to toss Britney under the bus.
8:22 p.m. ARGH. Thanks to commenter Matt C for offering the reminder that Tony Lucca did the version of “Devil Town” featured on the “Friday Night Lights” soundtrack. Flash back.
So what’d you think of the “Voice” premiere? Who’d you like? Did the singers choose the right mentors?