'The Voice' Season 8 Recap & Review: Best & Worst Blind Auditions of Night Two as Adam Levine Starts to Build a Team
The Voice season eight is still coming out swinging in its premiere week. After a stunning showing on Monday night (Feb. 23), with not a bad singer in sight (or out of sight), the Tuesday night (Feb. 24) show continued this momentum. Oh, and Adam Levine finally got a couple of singers to join his team.
The Voice started off strong, with two huge dichotomies in Anthony Riley and Gabriel Wolfchild. One was a soulful, energetic performer and the other was a tenderhearted singer-songwriter. Just guess which was which.
There were more inconsistencies than the fiery finale, with some singers who got multiple chair turns just being mediocre, at best. But, hey, the fat has to be trimmed somewhere at some point, so not everyone can be the next potential "Voice."
For now, let's take a look at the good, the so-so and the slightly less than so-so contestants who made it through to the next round on The Voice. Because, while some of these guys were wishy-washy, none were wholly terrible...
Anthony Riley, "I Feel Good": Anthony Riley is one of the top street performers in Philadelphia and New York, so of course he just oozes charisma. Of course, that wouldn't necessarily matter in the blind auditions, but all four coaches turned their chairs for Anthony faster than you can say "Ha!" Anthony is a classic soul performer, and tackling this James Brown classic was a good choice for him. He's a little Bruno Mars and a little all himself, with a beautiful upper register. Like Adam pointed out, the biggest challenge Anthony will be keeping the fire, and with the help of his eventual coach Pharrell, it could very well happen.
Gabriel Wolfchild, "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right": If you couldn't take it from the hippie name, Gabriel Wolfchild is the tenderhearted indie singer-songwriter guy, straight from a very alternative family. So, with that name and a Bob Dylan song as his choice, it's very clear that this performance was going to be dripping with raw emotion, tender and raw. And it was all of those things. Gabriel's guitar worked together seamlessly with his voice. Isolated, sure, his vocals weren't anything mind blowing. But he's a true artist and there's something to be said for that on a show like this. After a flashy opening performance, this was a nice cool down. Team Christina.
Mia Z, "The Thrill is Gone": Wow. At 15 years old, Mia Z is a B.B. King fan with a sizzling low range and a whistle tone that could very well rival Christina Aguilera's. In her lower range, Mia does do this weird little Kardashian-like baby voice, and she has more enunciation issues than Ariana Grande, but those could be cleaned up with the right coach and plenty of time. But, she has flair, taking ricks that other 15 year olds could never, ever so. More importantly, Mia has the soul of a performer and raw talent out the ying-yang, and she really could go far. Team Pharrell.
Blaze Johnson, "How to Save a Life": Introducing Little Blaze. Blaze Johnson is a big guy, from Columbus, Ohio, by way of the Bahamas. He can turn on his accent at the drop of a hat - and yet, he sings like a tenderhearted soft rock frontman. Now, with a big body like that and his church leading background, there is quite an injection of soul in Blaze's voice, making him feel like a true original talent with a sweet, timeless voice. It's unseen what kind of music he's looking to make, and what's going to be great about Blaze's journey on The Voice is that he is a majorly versatile artist. Team Adam.
Deanna Johnson, "All I Want": Deanna Johnson was a season five reject, and she almost let her disapproval from that cast get her down and away from singing for good. But, she was back and boy, was she better than ever. She has a wholly unique tone to her voice, it's very deep and throaty with some hints of Cher in there. Throw in a rasp and you have a 100 percent different singer. Thank goodness she came back. After wrestling from all four coaches, Deanna decided to become the third singer on Team Adam.
Tonya Boyd-Cannon, "Happy": It's a ballsy move to perform one of the coaches' songs, especially when that coach takes his good ol' time to turn his chair around. For the second night in a row, we got a taste of "Happy," and it was much improved from last night's jam session with a rejected singer and Pharrell. Tonya Boyd-Cannon is full of soul and has a big ol' voice to match. Some of her phrasing was a little short, but that could be fixed with some lessons, which she'll get as the first official member of Team Adam.
Brooke Adee, "Skinny Love": Brooke Adee is a sweet little Georgia peach with a voice as sweet as her little headband. This 16-year-old took on the heartbreaking Bon Iver classic "Skinny Love," giving it a piano-led makeover. Her voice was fittingly tender. There were little breaks, but they only helped to emphasize the emotion of it all. Despite being a good and mature singer, it's still yet to be seen really who she is as an artist. Can she pull of an upbeat performance? I'm not so sure. Regardless, she'll be moving on. Team Blake.
The Slightly Less Than So-So:
Joe Tolo, "To Love Somebody": To be honest, this guy is a total average singer with an above average falsetto. Joe Tolo's take on "To Love Somebody" had a whispered quality to it and that was fairly interesting, but there's little else to say. He ended up on Team Christina, and when she has some real powerhouses, then Joe just feels second tier.