Episode 4 of The Voice‘s Season 4 Blind Auditions reminded me of one of those John Denver AM radio hits that provided the soundtrack to my grade-school years: “Some days are diamonds, some days are stones.”
That lyric definitely applies to the tryout rounds for NBC’s smash-hit singing competition: Sometimes the potential talent is staggering, and sometimes the proceedings feel all too pedestrian.
Tonight’s installment, alas, fell into the latter category. With only one contestant proving she might be on par with last week’s buzz-worthy vocalists, the whole hour fell into a predictable pattern of Carson Daly voiceovers and carefully edited judges’ banter: “Coming up…on The Voice. A fairly lengthy preview of what you’re going to see after the commercial break!” “Welcome back to The Voice! Let’s review what happened before the break!” Now we’ll cut to Shakira being adorable! “Never underestimate a 5’3″ Colombian girl!” (Okay, Shakira being adorable never gets old.)
Considering this hour won’t qualify for the Voice history books, let’s go directly to a rundown of the five Battle Rounds-bound contestants. (Me? I’d have turned for Minnesota street musician Betsy Barta, who maybe overshot by choosing an Adele song, but was more on pitch — and had a more pleasing tone — than a couple of the cannon-fodder types who advanced tonight.) Anyhow, back to the successful quintet, I’ve ranked ‘em in order from least- to most-promising, and tried my best to keep my reviews down to a Twitter-esque 140 characters or less. Here we go…
5) Orlando Dixon: Ne-Yo’s “So Sick” (Team Usher) | He had a nice enough voice, I guess, but for a voice major at Berklee, I thought he lacked the horsepower to be a true contender. Usher needs fodder for the Battle Rounds, though, I suppose.
4) Brandon Roush: The Beatles’ “With a Little Help From My Friends” (Team Shakira) | Long-haired Louisville native who teaches music to autistic kids hit his notes, but emotionally, it felt a little community theater musical, no?
3) Patrick Dodd: Marc Cohn’s “Walking in Memphis” (Team Adam) | As Adam said, dude really does have a “density of rasp” that’s appealing, but with the exception of a few bluesy runs toward the end, it was all a little too carbon-copy of the original. It does, however, give me an excuse to link to Cher’s legendary video for her cover of the song.
2) Savannah Perry: Taylor Swift’s “Safe and Sound” (Team Blake) | The gorgeous break in her voice reminded me a little of Heather Nova, and while the 17-year-old seemed sweet and focused on her craft, I wonder if in a few weeks we’ll have wished she waited another two or three years to audition.
1) Audrey Karrasch: Jessie J’s “Price Tag” (Team Usher) | My ears detected a handful of flat notes toward the end, but she served her dish with enough sassy sauce that it didn’t really matter. Her courage to go full-on uptempo — and to dismiss Adam with a hilarious, “You didn’t even turn around: Why do you care?” — has me wondering what she’ll do next.
Okay, your turn. What did you think of the fourth episode of The Voice Season 4? Who was your favorite? Which coach is building the strongest team? Take our poll below, then expand on your thoughts in the comments! And for all my reality TV recaps, interviews, news and exclusives, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!