Don’t judge anyone by their looks. That’s what The Voice has taught us. But it’s okay to judge them by their inspirational stories, right? Because, tonight, there’s some major competition between the Nigerian refugee whose father was wrongfully imprisoned, the Nashville family who had to sell their house to live their dreams, and the woman who grew up in a shoe factory.
To be fair, though, how do we know it wasn’t the coolest shoe factory ever? Who says shoe factories don’t come with built-in hot tubs and endless pairs of limited edition Reeboks?
Anyway, the night begins with Samuel Mouton, who doesn’t exactly have a crazy story. Unless you count the fact that this flannel-shirted teenager has somehow become a reggae superstar. Remember how the coaches sent that poor Jamaican woman home on Monday night for singing “No Woman No Cry”? Did I mention that she was from Jamaica? But Samuel manages to fool everyone with his back-to-basics version of “Redemption Song.” Adam quickly nabs him, leaving Christina to insist, ”I definitely expected some dreads on Samuel, instead of a white kid with a baseball cap on.” Really? Because, to me, he sounds exactly like… a white kid with a baseball cap on. Perfectly nice voice, but no real emotional depth. This kid has no business emancipating himself from mental slavery. Bob Marley would know what I mean.
Next up is Chris Trousdale, a former member of Dream Street who wants to relive his boy band dreams by performing The Wanted’s ”Glad You Came.” Let’s just say he’s a much better dancer than singer. Not one coach’s chair turns around for him, but he does manage to score a dance-off with Blake, who might be the first man ever to moonwalk in cowboy boots.And possibly the last.
Once Blake scoots back to his chair, we’re introduced to Nelly’s Echo, a Nigerian-born singer who lives in Maryland. He was 16 years old when his family was forced to flee his home country, and his father was incarcerated for “something he didn’t do.” There’s a heartwarming moment when Nelly’s Echo explains that he sings with his younger brothers to keep their spirits up—cut to the brothers, pumping their fists in the air!—and then he tells Carson that his stage name reflects the interplay, or echo, between the performer and the audience. “Hopefully you’ll hear that echo [tonight],” says Carson. And, for some reason, Nelly thinks this is the funniest thing he’s ever heard. “Ah ha ha!” he laughs. “HA!” Then Nelly performs Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine,” and although his tone is a little too light for the song (the sunshine is GONE, dude!), his cheerful demeanor comes through clearly, and multiple coaches push their buzzers. Nelly picks Christina, who turns around first. ”I wanna go to the concert!” exclaims Christina. “Where’s the concert, already?” Ah ha ha, Christina. Ha!
NEXT: Mother-daughter bonding over smashing some guy’s car