Last night after Super Bowl XLVI, NBC's The Voice returned for its second season.  And, delivering on the promise of a hilarious promo commercial that included Betty White, the season debut killed!  It was awesome.  Blake, Adam, Cee Lo, and Christina were in full form and so was the talent.  There's a reason this show is called The Voice.  And, as our American Idol and The Voice expert Steve Thompson explains, there were some big Voices on display!

This morning, Steve and I chatted about last night's season premiere and round one of the "blind auditions!"

From Steve Thompson:

  • What I liked best about this show last year was the blind audition phase of the program where our four intrepid mentors make their first judgments without seeing the auditioners.  So far, based on this first episode, I'm still liking it.  Here's a few reasons why...
  • The singers who don't make the show already sound better than many of the auditioners who made it through the first rounds of both X Factor and Idol.  That's remarkable right there.  No word if they'll have the ones who didn't make it on their first try get a second chance like they did last year.
  • This year each mentor will have 12 singers instead of last year's 8.  That means more possible finds per show.
  • The Voice wears the second chance badge on its sleeve.  While Idol and to a lesser extent X Factor might have seasoned auditioners, The Voice goes out of its way to secure that there will be excellent competitors.  Once have a record contract?  No problem.  Once work with a mentor when you were a teenager?  No problem.  Have you ever been an opening act for a successful artist?  No problem.
  • Our first auditioner's name was RaeLynn and she sang Hell on Heels by Pistol Annies.  Adam and Blake turn around upon hearing her rendition, with Blake winning her over with his obvious connection to Miranda.  I thought she had a decent voice-- better than the recent auditioner for Idol who sang the same song.
  • Quick note: Is Cee-Lo Green auditioning for a part as a Bond villain?  That white cat in his arms reminded me of Stavros Blofield.  (The Bond fans will know the name-- he always had a cat in his lap.)
  • Jesse Campbell, a 42 year old single father sang  A Song for You. This was exceptionally  good.  All 4 judges turned around on his interpretation of this compelling tune.   Christina Aguilera was chosen by Jesse to be his mentor.
  • To make sure the new auidence realizes not every auditioner will be perfect, Daniel Rosa, a 20 year old who has been told by his parents what a good singer he is, sang Animal .  He kept singing:  "What are you waiting for-"  Frankly, I thought the answer might be for him to pick a pitch and stick with it.


  • Juliet Sims a 25 year old rock singer sang  Oh Darling! Adam, Christina and Cee-Lo all turned around for this girl.  She had a very emotive style-- almost theatrical-- in her rendition of this Beatles classic.  It was hardly a shock when a theatrical singer chose Cee-Lo as her mentor.


  • Chris Mann is a 29 year old Vanderbilt grad who majored in opera .  He sings Because We Believe , a song sung by Andrea Bocelli.  Can you imagine someone from Idol singing Andrea Bocelli?  Me neither.  This was very impressive.   Christina and Cee-Lo turn around for him and he picks Christina.
  • A few more also rans: Gonul Askoy sang Tainted Love; Ben Baxter sang I'll Be; and Mark Trussell sang Baby. These three were interesting only in the observations of the mentors.  I especially liked the critique on the Bieber song-- if you don't believe in it, how do you expect the audience to relate?
  • Tony Luca formerly performed on The Mickey Mouse Club.  This would be the version that featured Christina, Brittany, and Justin.   He was very impressive in his version of Trouble.  They could have effectively shown Christina "remembering" him-- but I rather liked the delayed reaction version.  If it was just for the cameras, well-played.  He wound up on Adam's team.
  • Pretty good start to the season.  It will be interesting to see if The Voice can avoid the saturation point criticisms of both The X Factor and American Idol.  The way NBC has gone this year, I'm sure they'd be ecstatic with a 2.5 rating.  It's a two hour show Monday night.
  • We'll see...  won't we?

@February 5, 2012  Stephen W Thompson

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