Rejoice! For once we were steeped in blind auditions and now we can see… the battle rounds in sight!
On Monday night’s final blind rounds, we saw another returning contestant wow the judges, several 20-something singers, and an Iraq vet with a big presence and equally big nickname. All the judges’ teams are now complete.
Celebrity sighting: During 17-year-old Dominic Scott Kay’s audition, you might have recognized one of his “close family friends” as actor Neal McDonough of Minority Report, Band of Brothers, and Desperate Housewives. Though Kay’s rendition of “Easy” by The Commodores didn’t impress the judges (too nasally), he’s no stranger to fame himself. Kay is the son of The Commodores’ drummer Scott Kay and also appeared in Minority Report.
Most unexpectedly embarrassing home video: As part of Matt Cermanski’s back story segment, some home video footage of his very young self sitting pants-down on the toilet singing Kiss’ “I Wanna Rock And Roll All Night” was shown.
Best Christina Diva-Watch moment: After scoring wannabe Spanglish balladeer Michael Lynch, Xtina sang a micro-duet with him onstage.
And now onto the new recruits…
MATT CERMANSKI, 20, of Pennsylvania is a returning contestant who originally got the boot for singing a bad karaoke version of Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream.” “And that’s why we didn’t pick you, because it was weird,” said Adam, who recognized Matt from last season. Matt thinks he’s got the goods this time around, by bringing a better song and his guitar.
Sings: “Have a Little Faith in Me” by John Hiatt
Verdict: Adam moves first, then Blake, and finally CeeLo. Matt picked a much better song this time, one that actually showcases that he can sing like a dude. “It was almost like watching a cat playing with a mouse — you were just having fun with it,” said Blake on Matt’s impressive falsetto. “We belong together,” said Adam, before asking him “How much interest do you have in being a country artist?” Matt stays silent. After lots of prodding from the judges, Matt chooses Adam.
TAMARA CHAUNICE, 23, of Texas has her vocal stylings planted in the church, with a mom for a minister. At the age of 11 she recorded her first album and sold copies out of the trunk of the family car. Currently a leasing agent, she wants to break out of the gospel music mold.
Sings: “1+1” by Beyoncé
Verdict: With barely 10 words sung by Tamara, Christina is the first to turn. “You touched my heart,” she said. CeeLo was the second to move. On the subject of Tamara’s religious upbringing, she jokes to CeeLo, “Come to Jesus!” “Jesus look good, sure look good,” said CeeLo. Messiah joking aside, Tamara chooses CeeLo. Also, when CeeLo gets out of his chair to greet Tamara, this is also the first time I realize that he’s wearing red leather pants to match his Thriller jacket.
BRANDON CHASE, 20, of Texas is both precocious (he graduated college at 17) and miraculous (his parents reveal he almost died after he was born and stopped breathing 64 times in a 12-hour period). Brandon’s prodigious schooling prompted Carson to say, “You sure you wanna be a musician? You’re highly overqualified for this position.”
Sings: “Wanted” by Hunter Hayes
Verdict: Brandon is a country singer through and through and Blake knows it. Grinning ear to ear, Blake moves first. “It’s in your blood to be a country singer,” he said. Blake’s followed by CeeLo, who tells Brandon that in addition to song and dance training, he can offer coaching in “flair and fabulousity.” Despite the flashy promise, Brandon goes with Blake.
NEXT: The male judges fight for the heart of a Grey lady