‘The Voice’ Recap: Bye Bye, Blind Auditions

I can’t believe we’re already wrapping up blind auditions for Season 4 of The Voice. Next week it’s on to the exciting — and at times bewildering –battle rounds, but for now let’s sit back and enjoy this week’s most memorable moments!

Sexiest Come Hither Stare. Hot Damn, did you see the smoldering look on Adam Levine’s face when he turned to watch Sasha Allen’s performance of “Not Ready to Make Nice?” Yeah, me too, and I GET IT. It started off a little timid, but once she found her footing the song went from 0-100 in no time. She doesn’t have the confident swagger of front runner Judith Hill, but that’s ok because her voice is ENOUGH. It’s a wonder – powerful, layered and emotive. I can guarantee Adam’s re-dusting a spot for his Season 4 trophy because he knows his bases are now covered.

Best Hat Hair. Is Blake Sheltonwearing an imaginary hat? Someone please explain his hair to me in the comments. Also? The country moonwalk is back. Thanks to everyone involved in making that happen.

Night of the Grownups. Watching Season One I was amazed by the variety of people on The Voice – all ages, shapes and styles. This is what the show used to represent for me, so imagine my delight when we had not 1 but 2 over 40 contestants make a team Monday. Shawna P.’s rendition of “She Talks to Angels” showed off her gritty voice to good effect and secured her a spot on Team Shakira, while Michael Austin’s solid performance of “Somebody Like You” earned him a place on Team Adam. Both contestants are scrappy, seasoned veterans in a sea of glossy, 15-25 year old contestants, and I can’t help but root for them.

Mirror Mirror on the Wall, Whose Most Awkward of Them All? I’m filing the pre-audition mirror shots under “least favorite moments.” After 4 seasons of these, it’s become impossible for anyone to look natural while primping, deep breathing and/or high fiving themselves in the mirror.

Best B Roll. This has to be the footage of a tiny Amber Carringtonsinging “Jailhouse Rock” Elvis style (cape and all). I found it utterly adorable. Her grown up take on “Good Girl” was more badass than adorable, so Adam nicely rounded out his team with this choice.

Doctor Feel Good. I’m thrilled that Ryan Innes decided not to become a doctor, because his voice will do more for people’s health and well-being than any traditional medical treatment. His take on “Gravity” was gorgeous, a perfect fit for his raspy, soulful voice and sweet falsetto. I watched his audition in a room full of people who were jumping out of their seats, so I can’t imagine what acrobatics the rest of America was doing at home. Cartwheels?? Splits?? Usher – I love you. Now don’t screw this up.

Most Uncomfortable Moment…For Me. Yes, Mary Miranda did a rousing performance of “Como La Flor,” but all I wanted to do was run onstage and give the girl a sweater. Listen, I am no prude, but let me remind you of her age – 17. Plus, it’s cold on that stage, y’all. Can someone please give her just a few more inches of skirt next time? FOR THE CHILDREN? (And when I say the children, I mean ME.)

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Best New Music Term. Bluntry (IE: Blues/Country) — that’s the term Grace Askew used to describe her music. With her Priscilla Presley hair and hot dobro in hand, she spoke, growled and sometimes sang her way through “These Boots are Made for Walking,” landing on Team Blake. I’ve rarely heard so much personality injected into a blind audition. Would I love to hear more of her singing voice in the coming weeks? Yes, but she definitely got my attention with this ballsy performance.

Usher Leg Watch 2013. Jessica Childress was the last audition to air this season, and she not only coaxed Usher’s leg down but also had the man standing before he even turned his chair. Her voice is big, bold and lovely, and her version of “Marry Me” was a fantastic way to end this portion of the competition.

Funniest Moment. Speaking of Usher’s leg, it should be noted that Shakira’s imitation of his leg up posture last night was priceless (and impressively agile). I also did this at home, so she and I are practically twins, thank you.

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Battle Predictions. I have none. This could be anyone’s game. That being said, my heart hurts for anyone who has to go up against Judith, Savannah, Ryan or Sasha as they are strong contenders.

The Voice Lessons Learned (for next season’s blinds):

– Please refrain from dancing during your blind audition. THE COACHES CANNOT SEE YOU DANCE. You’re just going to lose your breath and thwart your vocal performance (Cameron may be a great singer when he’s standing still, but we’ll never know, will we?)

– Never sing “Teenage Dream” as this this song is not found in nature. It’s become bad luck at this point (like saying “Bloody Mary” 3 times into the Voice mirror! Just don’t do it!)

– If you’re good enough to make a living as a background singer, my magic ball says you will “more than likely” make a team. Skilled BGV singers have been killing it on The Voice the last 2 seasons

Leave your favorite moments and your battle predictions in the comments, and tune in Monday at 8PM EST as I live-tweet the next episode of The Voice (@katrinapmusic).

For more updates, follow me on Twitter: @katrinapmusic and visit my website, www.katrinaparker.com.

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