‘The Voice’ Premiere: Christian Porter Redefines ‘Sexy’

Xtina's Advice For Biebs
The diva gives advice for the troubled pop star.
Arguably, NBC’s The Voice has the most talented singers of all of TV’s competition shows today. But, for some reason it still hasn’t produced a superstar winner. That may not matter. People tune in to the show for different reasons: the coaches. And NBC knows it.

That said, The Voice has done it again. Monday’s Season 4 premiere was a fun watch and held the curiosity factor of its two new coaches, Usher and Shakira, throughout the two-hour episode. Could they hang with vets Adam Levine and Blake Shelton? Yeah, more or less – after all it was just Day 1.

If one were to judge by The Voice’s– what’s come to be traditional – opening coaches’ performance, Shakira really differentiated herself from the others with her take-charge stage presence. But, as you watch the episode, you learn she’s a much more reserved coach. Usher, on the other hand, is very decisive.

Unlike American Idol or The X Factor, one can’t just pull out the best and worst of the blind auditions as we would for those other shows. Why? The contenders are all so damn good. But, of course, some auditions are more memorable than others.

The Morgan Twins (or should I call them quadruplets? Bad joke). OK, there’s no surprise here that these two ladies from Rochester, N.Y. can harmonize, with the “Wonder Twin Power” and everything. But, the fact that they took on Alicia Keys’ “Fallin’” and sounded pretty much flawless (and R&B) was a winner. They did play a switcheroo in that they expressed a desire to work with Usher in the beginning, but then chose Blake? The two coaches turned at the same time. I think we’ve (and The Voice producers) have been bamboozled.

Usher unveils the smooth operator. Hairdresser Jess Kelner pits Usher against Shakira. And even though Jess has a bit of a Shakira sound to her, she couldn’t resist Usher’s charm. He goes in for the kill – a flirty smile, which ends with him pleading, “Rock wit’ me” and he gets the pick.

The waiting is the hardest part. Part of what makes The Voice so good is that really good people don’t always make it through. Take Janetza Miranda, for instance. Her voice is good, but she has much more to offer in the way of stage presence. And while she’s winning the audience over with the combo, none of the coaches can see all of that. And despite all the screaming we may subject our sets to, the coaches aren’t hearing what they need to turn around. She had her heart set on Shakira, but the coach resisted her urge to push her button. Heartbreaking – at least she got to hold hands with Adam.

Sexy and he knows it. Christian Porter used the advantages of the blind auditions to his maximum benefit. He creates such a huge amount of curiosity among the coaches that the only one who didn’t spin around was Adam – the pop rock star admits that he wasn’t ready to see what was on the other side. Christian’s slowed down, singer-songwriter take on LMFAO’s“Sexy And I Know It” pretty much guaranteed someone was going to swing their chair around. Shakira was the first to turn around and that’s rare for her. Christian ends up picking Blake, but I think he should have honored the female coach for going against her usually more thoughtful waiting period before turning her chair. There’s some chatter on the internet that he stole the arrangement from someone on you YouTube. Who cares, web trolls.

Battle of the youngsters. Two young girls with formidable chops took the stage. One will move on, the other won’t. One claimed crooked teeth as her sob story, the other was adopted from China. Country singer Danielle Bradberry sings with a lot of confidence and wins over the panel – except Shakira (who regrets it later). Leah Lewis, on the other hand, has all the makings of a great and powerful singer, but the coaches seem to think that’s all potential and not enough right now. At 15, we’re not worried about her. But, isn’t this show about finding the someone who has the goods and coaching them into a star? Just sayin’.

Two legends are done proud. I have to give props to Kris Thomas, who’s rebuilding his life after drunk driving into someone’s home. He made Whitney Houston proud with his take on “Saving All My Love For You” and he confused the coaches when they turned to discover that he’s actually a guy. He ends up with lucky Shakira.

Then, there’s Judith Hill, who trained and performed with Michael Jacksonup until his untimely death. She could’ve had her moment after singing at his funeral and fielding calls from talent scouts, but she decided she couldn’t gain on the heels of such a sad event. Well, she’s on her way now with Team Adam. Was she right about the timing?

Which singers were the most memorable for you? Do you doubt any of the coaches’ picks?

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