The final night of "The Voice" Season 4 Blind Auditions aired Tuesday, and with the coaches having only one vacant spot each on their respective teams, they had to be very picky. Now was not the time for them to gush over any singer with a decent set of pipes and a pulse (like that Melissa McCarthy "SNL" skit parodying "The Voice" last weekend). So among the passed-over auditioners were Mark Lennon, longtime frontman of L.A. local heroes Venice (despite host Carson Daly's unabashed fanboying) and a cute indie nerd-boy named Dustin Hatzenbuhler. But by the end of the hour, four contestants made it through, and the teams were at long last complete. And it was game on.
Here are the final four singers who advanced to next week's Battle Rounds:
Jacqui Sandell - Jacqui certainly seemed like an interesting mixed bag: She's a Jersey girl, a former classical ballerina, and the tattooed frontwoman for Warped Tour band My Arcadia. (Side note: What is the deal with this "Voice"/Warped Tour connection? Are the "Voice" talent scouts Warped groupies or something? I think it's time for there to be an official "Warped Voice Tour" with Dia Frampton, Juliet Simms, Cassadee Pope, and this Jacqui chick.) Anyway, all that being said, I had mixed feelings about Jacqui's cover of Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams." The phrasing and arrangement were just a little off, a little uncomfortable, not quite in the pocket; while Jacqui did make the song her own, she didn't exactly make it any better. Usher spun his chair, although he admitted, "There were some things that I would like to improve…but I'm glad I turned." Blake Shelton, who also turned, was more effusive, gushing, "Your voice is so snaky to me…you've got a very sexy sound!" Unsurprisingly, Jacqui picked Blake, and Blake became the first coach to complete his team lineup. A victory dance ensued.
MEMBER OF: Team Blake
Amber Carrington - An all-American golden girl who showed up with her grandparents and a sad backstory (her mother died from breast cancer), this 19-year-old country cutie impressed with her cover of (fittingly) "Good Girl" by Carrie Underwood. I personally thought her stage presence was more impressive than her voice (though her voice was great too), which maybe explains why only Adam Levine hit his button. But Adam has always been a savvy "Voice" game-player, so I trust that his more honed ear heard something that newbie judges Usher and Shakira somehow didn't pick up. I know Adam's fellow "Voice" veteran Blake wanted Amber--"I wanted to push my button so bad! I hate Adam right now," he seethed--so I wouldn't be surprised if Blake makes good on his threat to steal Amber away in the Battle Rounds. But for now, Amber is Adam's girl.
MEMBER OF: Team Adam
Luke Edgemon - A white boy raised on black gospel (he got his start singing in an evangelical church), a professional backup singer for Mary J. Blige, a former "Glee" Warbler (just like Season 2 "Voice" finalist Chris Mann), and a Season 9 Hollywood Week "American Idol" contestant, cool Luke seemed fascinating before he even hit the "Voice" stage. Then he sang "I Can't Make You Love Me" and he became even more fascinating, giving the coaches some Daniel Merriweather/Daniel Bedingfield/George Michael realness. Usher was amazed, saying, "I've been waiting for a voice to really move me," but Shakira rallied hard (even propping up one of her legs to do her best Usher impression), and she won in the end. This was a really good coup for her. Shakira had arguably the weakest overall team this season, and she really needed someone like Luke on her side. Now, with Luke, Shakira could actually win this thing.
MEMBER OF: Team Shakira
Jessica Childress - Jessica left her joyless career in corporate PR (with her loyal husband's blessing) to pursue her musical dream, and it may turn out that this was a wise decision. Squeaking through at the last minute with her divalicious powerhouse cover of Bruno Mars's "I Think I Wanna Marry You," this adorable lady pretty much had every one of the coaches wanting to marry her. She was that lovable. But unfortunately for Adam, Shakira, and Blake, they'd already completed their teams--so Jessica was all Usher's. What a lucky man.
MEMBER OF: Team Usher
So now, we have our top 48. Below, I have listed the teams--ranked in my opinion from strongest to weakest team--with the individual contestants ranked in my order of favorites within each list. Adam still seems like the coach to beat (he certainly thinks so, since he bragged, "Season 4 feels like my season"), but each team has a few strong contenders. So Season 4 could still be anybody's game. See you next week, and let the Battles begin!
Midas Whale - quirky folk/rock duo featuring "Idol" alum Jon Peter Lewis
Judith Hill - former Michael Jackson backup singer
Sarah Simmons - music student who wowed with "One Of Us"
Sasha Allen - Alicia Keys backup singer, young mom
Warren Stone - rocker firefighter, handsome family man
Amy Whitcomb - two-time contestant on "The Sing-Off" whose montage performance showed promise
Karina Iglesias - feisty music school teacher
Amber Carrington - sweet country girl who covered Underwood
Duncan Kamakana - Hawaiian singer-songwriter; shown only in montage
Michael Austin - country-singing sheriff, Vegas entertainer
Agina Alvarez - repeat contestant from last year; shown only in montage
Patrick Dodd - dreadlocked Beale Street musician
Grace Askew - alt-country girl with Amy Winehouse/June Carter vibe
Savannah Berry - country YouTube sensation who once sang with Sugarland
Christian Porter - jokey bar singer who covered "Sexy And I Know It"
Danielle Bradbery - sweet country teen who covered Taylor Swift's "Mean"
Holly Tucker - country powerhouse diva
The Swon Brothers - shticky sibling duo who covered Tom Petty
Jacqui Sandell - Warped Tour rocker girl
The Morgan Twins - blond identical twins with nice harmonies
Caroline Glaser - inexperienced young coffeehouse crooner with wispy voice
Trevor Davis - montage fodder
Justin Rivers - montage fodder
Michelle Raitzin - montage fodder
Michelle Chamuel - supercool nerdy girl with electropop aspirations
Jess Kellner - hairdresser with pretty indie voice
Audrey Karrasch - sassy former fashion model who covered Jessie J
Jessica Childress - Usher's final pick; PR maven-turned-singer
Josiah Hawley - male model, blue-eyed soulman
Orlando Dixon - Ne-Yo clone with potential
VEDO - young R&B singer with cancer-stricken mom
Jeff Lewis - former Interscope artist who did "U Got It Bad"
Ryan Innes - former med student who sang "Gravity"
Taylor Beckham - squeaky-voiced girl who did "I'm Going Down"
Jamila Thompson - montage fodder
Chelsea M. - montage fodder
Luke Edgemon - former "Idol" and "Glee" singer with R&B edge
Shawna P - badass MuzikMafia lady
Tawnya Reynolds - Nashville vet who did "Mamas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys"
Garrett Gardner - emo boy with lip-piercing; repeat auditioner from last season
Brandon Roush - shaggy rocker who works with autistic kids
Mary Miranda - sweet 17-year-old Cuban girl who sang Selena
Cathia - another Latina powerhouse
Kris Thomas - the guy everyone thought sounded like a girl
Mark Andrew - rocker whose two bandmates tragically died
Monique Abbadie - former "Sabado Gigante" child performer
J'Sun - montage fodder
C. Perkins - montage fodder
- Interview with "The Voice's" Judith Hill
- Interview with "The Voice's" Midas Whale
- Photos from "The Voice"