Biggest fight between the judges
It doesn’t happen often, but all four judges — Adam Levine, Cee Lo Green, Christina Aguilera and Blake Shelton — turn their giant swivel chairs around for Pip, 19, who goes by Pip. Before he auditions, Pip says that people don’t take him seriously — not only because he’s wearing a bow tie and suspenders, but because he looks so young. Luckily for Pip, he does a soulful rendition of “ The House of the Rising Sun,” and every judge wants him.
Blake says that he needs more guys on his team, while Christina cuts in to say she’ll give Pip time and attention. “When she wakes up before noon she has time!” quips Blake, prompting Christina to shoot back that she’s a mom, so she’s always up early. As they bicker, Adam tries to convince Pip to choose his team, but Christina points out, “I did have success before Maroon 5 came along.” Burn! That’s actually is a pretty good zinger. Eventually, though, Pip goes with Adam, because he hit the button first.
Local contestant with a tragic backstory
Erin Willett, 22, is from Gaithersburg, and also has a horribly sad story involving her father — who inspired her to pursue music — being diagnosed with cancer. She dedicates her performance to him, and then heads to the stage.
Erin has tons of personality and a very strong voice as she sings “I Want You Back” by Jackson 5, and Christina looks like she’s considering turning around...but doesn’t press the button. However, Blake does, and the crowd goes crazy.
Contestant with the most extensive Wikipedia page
Remember “Rock Star: INXS,” the 2005 singing competition on CBS where the winner got to be the new INXS lead singer? No? Well, 29-year-old Jordis Unga was a contestant, and did pretty well on the show, which might explain why she’s here. (It also probably helps that Mark Burnett, producer of “The Voice,” also created that show.) Anyway, Jordis belts out Paul McCartney’s “Maybe I’m Amazed,” and all the judges turn around except Adam, causing him to say sadly, “I’m the [expletive] who didn’t pick you.” Blake eventually woos her by telling her that she has the kind of voice that makes him wants to be a better singer.
The Egyptian warrior princess
Erin Martin, 27, was a model, and is tired of people judging her only on her looks. (Cue sad violin music.) She has donned an impressive up-do and sparkly headband for the occasion, and deems herself dressed as an “Egyptian warrior princess.”
Cee Lo is immediately drawn to her even before seeing what she looks like, and loves her unusually smoky voice as she sings the Plain White T’s song “Hey There Delilah.” Blake is also intrigued, but this is all Cee Lo. “Your voice is so strange and unique and bizarre and great and wonderful,” Cee Lo tells her. “I mean, quite naturally you belong with me, don’t you agree?” Erin does, and she’s Team Cee Lo.
Middle-age contestant with the stellar voice
Geoff McBride, 51, does not wear sunglasses all the time to look cool — as he tells us, he had a boxing injury when he was young and “caught a thumb to his eye.” (Try getting that image out of your head.) Anyway, he has a lovely voice as he croons Stevie Wonder’s “Higher Ground,” causing a brief battle between Cee Lo and Christina.
As Cee Lo tells Geoff that he loved the Stevie Wonder song because it had soul, Christina breaks in with her own thoughts: “I may not look like Cee Lo, but I got soul too,” she says, cracking up at her own joke. She adds that she’s learned a lot from last year about wisely choosing a contestant, and she recognized the audience loved Geoff. It works, and Geoff chooses Christina.
Among some of the other lucky singers who made it through:
* We weren’t allowed to see Sarah Golden, 27, until the judges did, as the producers kept her face hidden as she told her story — record label execs have said they would sign her, but only if she changed her look. So what are the producers hiding from us? Nothing too exciting — she’s a folk singer with very short hair. But her rendition of “You and I” by Lady Gaga impresses the judges, and she chooses Cee Lo.
* The show portrays Katrina Parker, 34, as having the most boring job of all time — they show the insurance administrative assistant in a very dreary office. That is, until Carson Daly shows up at her office with a ticket to audition for “The Voice.” She sings “One of Us,” and Adam likes what he sees.
* None of the judges expect auto shop worker James Massone, 23, who croons Drake’s “Find Your Love,” to look like the jock character in an 80s teen movie. His voice, coupled with a strong Boston accent, is unique, and that sells it for Christina, Cee Lo and Blake. Ultimately, James goes with Cee Lo.
* Chris Cauley, 27, shows an adorable video of his late grandmother singing — she was a bluegrass musician, and inspired him to pursue music. Chris goes with “Grenade” by Bruno Mars, and manages to stay impressively on-key for the whole song. Cee Lo and Adam turn around, and Chris jokes that they should arm wrestle. It’s not the worst idea we’ve heard on this show. Sadly, no arm wrestling takes place — and Chris chooses Adam.