After Night 1 of The Voice’s Season 20 Blind Auditions raised the bar for attendees (read the full recap here), I half expected the singers to do so on Night 2 wrap yourself under it. Are they lacking in comparison or have they kept the momentum? Read on and we’ll discuss.
Gean Garcia (Team Kelly), “Everything I want” – Grade: B | Blake was so impressed with the unique, vaguely Dylan-esque voice of this baby-faced 19-year-old that he was not only the first to turn around, but also used his pad on Nick. And the son of a Spanish Christian artist was super responsive and sang with the same ease with which worn jeans fit, tattered and so on. “You have such an interesting voice,” said John, the only coach who didn’t turn around. “Almost urgent.” Blake went so far as to look up what “melancholy” meant in hopes of seducing Gean – to no avail, it’s worth noting.
Aaron Konzelman (Team Blake), “Ordinary World” – Grade: B | At first I thought that this 39-year-old “Jack of all trades, master of none of them” did a wonderful job unplugging and turning on Duran Duran’s oldie-but-a-goodie. But as the two-chair lap performance continued, I was more like “Eh, well” than “Oh, wow”. It was solid, it was strong, it just wasn’t unforgettable – especially not as memorable as his ZZ Top-worthy beard.
Carolina Rial (team legend), “Stay with me” – Grade: B + | After this 17-year-old Jersey girl explained in tears in her pre-interview that she was a first-generation American who lost her father as a baby, she lit the stage with a Sam Smith cover that showed a) how far she could run and b) how to make a familiar number her own. The two-chair rotation didn’t so much sing the notes as manipulated and owned them in the coolest possible way. “You breathed new life into the song,” wondered John.
Ethan Lively (Team Blake), “You look so good in love” – Grade: B + | This 17-year-old dog groomer / farm worker from Tennessee told us prior to his performance that he was hoping to add a third job to his resume: acting. Fortunately, not only did he look like he was born with a Stetson, but he was also blessed with a classic country voice that sounded like it could have come from a decades-old jukebox. I honestly wasn’t sure why it had taken Blake so long to turn around. Was Ethan earth-shaking good? No no. But it was as solid as the broadside of a barn – there was something a coach could work with.
Zae Romeo (Team Nick), “Falling” – Grade: A + | Credit Where It’s Due: This 21 year old Texan terrified me with his rendition of Harry Styles’ “Falling”. Each note sounded like it bore another tear. And he was so emotionally open it felt like I was using his broken heart on headphones. Kelly drew his attention to technical imperfections she found due to lack of air – guess I was too carried away to notice? – but even she was blown away. It’s a four-chair turn that wasn’t a five-chair – just because there were no more seats to swivel.
Compared to Night 1’s hopefuls, I found Night 2 pretty okay, no KO – except for Zae. What about you? Hit the comments with your reaction and vote for your favorite in the poll below.