The Voice (NBC, 6:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. C) is back! The original cast of coaches has returned for Season 5, including Cee Lo Green and Christina Aguilera, joining Blake Shelton and Adam Levine. Shakira is using this time off to be with her new-born son and record an album; she and Usher, who it’s rumored might go on tour during his hiatus, will return for Season 6.
For Team Blake (who has won three seasons in a row), the mentor will be Cher; Team Adam’s mentor will be One Republic front man Ryan Tedder; Team Xtina’s mentor will be Ed Sheeran and Cee Lo Green’s mentor will be Miguel.
The show began with a retrospective look back at April 2011, when The Voice premiered. The narrator, Carson Daily, introduced the four original coaches, and we saw a brief preview of the show to come. I wrote about this preview elsewhere at this site.
The four coaches sang “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” to begin the episode. It sounded pretty good; Blake proved he can sing rock music when he tries to, and he jammed right alongside Adam on the electric guitar.
Kat Robichaud is the first competitor up for the night’s ‘blind auditions.” She talked about how hard it was to lose her father, who passed away. She sang “I Got the Music in Me.”Three coaches turned around about the same time — Cee Lo Green, Blake Shelton, and Christina Aguilera.
Adam to Cee Lo Green: “Michael Jackson, go for it!” (Green had on a Michael Jackson-style outfit from the Beat It stage of his career).
Cee Lo Green: “I do love you! And, I’ll fight for you!”
Blake: “Teach me! Teach me about David Bowie and Queen!” She chose Cee Lo Green in the end. “I love his music. I love his style, I love his funkiness,” Kat said about Cee Lo Green.
Caroline Pennell, 17, was the next competitor. She sang “Anything Could Happen” by Ellie Goulding.
Blake and Cee Lo Green were the first two to turn around. She has an amazing, awesome voice! Very beautiful voice, IMHO.
Adam: “You’re like the sweetest thing!” Christina: “I liked it when you giggled!”
Cee Lo Green: “You have a quirk! Come over to me where you can make a difference!” Blake: “”You are a bad-ass vocalist, first and foremost!”
Caroline went with Cee Lo Green. “I feel really, really happy!” she said backstage.
Donna Allen, 54, sang with the Miami Sound Machine. “It’s been 25 years. I’ve waited long enough. This is for me and my son,” she said. She sang “You are so Beautiful,” and the audience immediately erupted into applause and screams. Adam and Christina were the first two to turn around. Adam really was digging her voice; it was very soulful. The audience wildly applauded.
Christina: “That voice was like the heavens opening up.” She added “I hope that your journey is with me.”
Adam: “Donna — I’m so blown away that we both weren’t turned around within 30 seconds. I want you on my team really badly.”
Donna picked Adam, even though Christina begged her: “Don’t break my heart!” Adam ran up to her and picked her up into the air.
“I love her! I love her!” said Adam.
Jake Worthington, 17, from Texas was the next one to perform. He sang the classic country song “Keep Your Hands To Yourself.” He sounded very much like the original singer. He did a great job; but, no coach turned around, surprisingly.
Jake said he was just happy to meet the coaches. Blake told him that he had some breathing problems, but that the song sounded great, otherwise.
“I don’t know what the hell I was thinkin’. I screwed the pooch,” Blake said, somewhat regretting that he hadn’t chosen Jake.
“Jake is really a solid singer,” Blake said. “I just really wanted to mix it up this year.”
Blake and Christina are still looking for their first signers.
Matthew Schuller 22, was up, and he sang “Cough Syrup.” The four coaches simultaneously turned their chairs around, for the fasted time yet that this has happened on The Voice.
He wailed; he has a wonderful voice — who will Matt decide to chose?Blake shook his hand: “That was awesome!” Christina hugged him, and said: “Pick me, please!” She added: “I’m the coach for you!”
Cee Lo: “Do you want to be a member of a team, or do you want to be the owner?” Adam: “To see the joy and passion with which you sing — I know for a fact that we can win together!”
Christina: “Please let me be the first female coach to win and break this cycle!”
Matt: “To be in the same room with you guys is an honor. But, I feel that my heart is telling me –” and, cue up the commercials. We’ll learn who he chooses after the break.
Cee Lo: “This is our time, bro!”
He went with Christina — woo-hoo!
“”I’m so excited to have Matthew on my team!” she said.
“She has one of the best voices I’ve ever heard! I think that she will help me,” Matt said backstage.
Next up is a guy who came back to live with his mom and baby brother and support them after his stepdad left his mom after being with her for 15 years. He’s Nic Hawk. The song he performed was “Hit ‘Em Up Style” by Blu Cantrell. Adam turned around right away. Finally, Cee Lo also decided to turn his chair around. Nic jammed; he was a great singer.
Adam: “What’s your name, handsome?”
Nic: “Nic Hawk.”
Cee Lo: “That takes a lot of charisma to do it well.”
Nic to Adam: “My only problem is, I don’t know if I’d be able to focus, because you’re so good-looking.”
Nic had a tough decision, but he decided to go with Adam. Christina maybe blew her chances, when she told him to “Go with your heart.”
After commercials, Julianna Bustone sang, and Samuel Mustone; but, the coaches didn’t chose them.
Matthew Brea, 15, was a great singer, but the coaches, again, didn’t choose him, for some reason. He told Carson about his little brother, who passed away, and how he sang “How Great Thou Art,” at Jonathan’s funeral — though, he couldn’t sing the entire song without breaking down. He chose the song “I Want You Back” by The Jackson 5.
Nobody turned around, but Cee Lo said: “My God, you’re a child prodigy!”
Blake: “I know you so much wanted this to be the moment.” It was pretty sad that no coach turned around to choose him.
Cee Lo wiped tears from his eyes after he heard about Matthew’s life and his younger brother. “You’re a good guy, man,” he told Matthew backstage.
“My passion for music is just a fire in me,” the next competitor, Shelby Z. says. “I’m me and I love myself, no matter what size I am,” she says. She belts out the Gretchen Wilson song “Here for the Party.” Blake turns around quickly, as does Adam. “Adam, she won’t pick you!” Blake yelled to Adam. Christina also turned around, then Cee Lo.
“Let me be the first to welcome you to Team Blake,” Blake said.
“Be the exception, Shelby! Go somewhere else!” (Not Blake)
“I thought long and hard about this, and I’ve got to go with Team Blake,” she said.
“The talent this season is the best we’ve ever had,” Cee Lo says.
Josh Logan performed the song “Too Close” by Alex Clare. He gave another great performance. Blake and Tina turned their chairs around, then Adam.
Adam: “That’s about as legit as a voice can be.”
Blake: “It reminds me of the stuff you can do,” he said, referring to Christina.
Adam: “That definitely hurt my feelings.” He and Blake hugged it out.
“So who do you pick for your coach? Cee Lo asks.
“Honestly, I have to go with Christina,” he said.
“I’m on fire!” Christina said. Team Xtina is shaping up fairly well.
Delvin Choice was next. He’s got some pretty wild hair. He’s been working for Starbucks for about a year, he say. “They call me ‘the singing barista,'” he says.
He sings “Closer.” The audience claps along with his singing. No coaches turned around, though Cee Lo complimented his singing.
The Voice will return with the final blind audition of the night after another commercial break.
James Wolpert, 22, was the last performer of the episode. “The Voice has given me a great opportunity to make this my full-time job.”
He chooses the song “Love Interruption.” He has a really amazing voice, pretty unique. The audience began screaming their approval. Adam and Cee Lo turned around pretty quickly.
Finally, at the end of the song, Christina also turned around. Cee Lo applauded, then the sound went off on that channel on my set — curses ensued — but I know he chose to be on Team Adam, because Adam went up and gave him a big hug.
That’s it for the two-hour premiere of The Voice, but the blind auditions will continue tomorrow night. This is shaping up to be a tough battle between the teams, as they each have great singers on their teams already! This looks like the start of another great season of The Voice.
Join with me again in watching The Voice on Tuesday night, and afterwards, check out my review please and see if your opinions are similar to mine about which team is shaping up to be the winning team this season.
Written by: Douglas Cobb