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Freelance entertainment writer, martial arts instructor, and mother of two.

The Voice, Sept. 30 – Stingy Judges

You can tell we’re starting to wind down closer to the end of the auditions. The judges are starting to get stingier and stingier with turning around their chairs. Nobody tonight can prompt all four judges to turn their chairs, but it’s not for lack of talent. The judges are most likely noticing that they only have a few spots left on their teams and are trying to leave spots open for the truly deserving.

Auditioner: Ray Boudreaux, 25, Lafayette, LA. He grew up in a small town and started doing music gigs at 20, then had a baby girl at the age of 22. He stopped playing as many shows to be more of a family man, but eventually broke up with his daughter’s mom. He cuts grass to make a living now and is very grateful for his daughter and the time he spends with her. He thinks the judges will be shocked to hear the soul side coming out of him.

Song: Use Me
Chairs Turned: Blake, Cee Lo

Me: He’s correct that the soul doesn’t look right coming out of him, but it’s good!
Adam: It’s an incredible genetic feat, as he looks like Blake but sounds like Cee Lo.
Christina: She’s not sure if the gaps she heard were from him trying to also play the guitar or from his excitement over turning some chairs.
Cee Lo: Bill Withers is like a father to him, so he feels like they’re cut from the same cloth, yet he didn’t realize it was blue-eyed soul he was listening to.
Blake: It was so powerful, electric, and swampy. He’d buy a ticket to Ray’s concert.
Coach: Blake

Auditioner: Lina Gaudenzi, 23, Miami. Her mom was a professional model, and she got into it as well at the age of 13. After an awkward stage in high school and a weight gain, she stopped modeling and started soul searching in Paris. She decided to start singing after studying classical music. She moved back to Miami and started writing and gigging.

Song: Landslide
Chairs Turned: Blake, Christina

Me: She sounds good, but this song needs a little more emotion.
Blake: He was already sold on her but gives her a “Damn, Girl!” for the falsetto at the end.
Christina: She announces that she had an opera singer on her team once to speak to Lina’s classical training.
Adam: If he were a young aspiring female singer, he’d be swayed by one of the most iconic singers of our time, Christina.
Coach: Christina

Auditioner: Juhi, 16, Franklin, TN. Her GPA is above 4.0. Her dad has a P.h.D. in electrical engineering, and she gets her musical talent from her mom who sings classical Indian music. She’s not sure what she wants to major in but is thinking aerospace engineering or computer science. Her parents are okay with her putting scholastics on hold if she makes it on The Voice.

Song: Mercy
Chairs Turned: Christina, Cee Lo

Me: It’s a different type of sound for this song, not bluesy as it usually is heard.
Cee Lo: She had a wonderfully unique version of the song.
Christina: As a female, she thinks she’d understand her more, yet Juhi is interested in being a cross between Amy Winehouse and Kurt Cobain, and that speaks more to Cee Lo.
Coach: Cee Lo

Auditioner: Malford Milligan, 54, Austin, TX. His family was poor when he was growing up, yet his biggest struggle is he’s a black albino and legally blind. Growing up in the 60s was tough. The pain drove him to singing and to his time as a part of the BB King tour.

Song: Let’s Stay Together
Chairs Turned: None

Me: He has a great sound, and it’s clear he’s been doing it awhile. I’m shocked no one turns around. I would download this guy’s album.
Adam “You can sing, Dude.”
Cee Lo: He closed his eyes and reminisced about Al Green’s perfromance of that on Soul Train.
Christina: She was waiting for something else, but his voice is undeniable.
Blake: He begs Malford to go make a record so that he can buy it. Me too!

Auditioner: Justin Blake, 20, Savannah, TN. He’s an escort driver for 18-wheelers and mobile homes. It’ not great-paying, and that’s difficult with a baby on the way. At $8 an hour, it’s not enough. He’s taking a risk by singing one of Blake’s songs.

Song: Sure Be Cool If You Did
Chairs Turned: Adam

Me: He has some great grit that he adds into his country singing.
Adam: He thinks Justin is a great contry singer.
Blake: It takes nerve to come out and sing one of his songs. Surprisingly, Adam didn’t even know it was Blake’s song.
Coach: Adam

Auditioner: Timyra-Joi, 15, San Diego. She’s ben singing since before she could talk. Her mom is very supportive and keeps her going. Her vocal coach has been working with her since she was 5 years old. Her dad lost his job when she was 9, and the family ended up moving in with the coach for about six months.

Song: Girl on Fire
Chairs Turned: Blake, Christina, Cee Lo

Me: She has a few pitchy moments, but hits the big notes when she needs to.
Christina: She nailed the run at the end.
Adam: She seems like an unpolished diamond, and Christina is the person who could maker her into something.
Cee Lo: He wants to be a part of her journey.
Blake: He brings up again that he won the show last year with a 16-year-old.
Coach: Christina

Auditioner: Monika Leigh, 28, Boulder, CO. She would perform for her neighbors when she was a kid and has been gigging since she was 13. At 22 she decided she wasn’t meant to do music. She’s an administrative assistant for a hotel and eventually returned to doing gigs, but wishes she could just gig and nothing else.

Song: The Thrill is Gone
Chairs Turned: Blake, Cee Lo, Adam

Me: Once she hits the chorus, she rips it up.
Christina: She thinks Monika is gorgeous and knows the three guys will get into a bloodbath over her.
Adam: Her voice seemed really pure, and it’s hard to sing that way.
Cee Lo: He loves the way she sang so womanly, and she seemed so cool with the story in the song.
Blake: All the elements of being a technically good singer were there, then he fell in love with her voice.
Coach: Blake

Auditioner: Zach Hinson, 21, Yakima, WA. He’s been working with fire services for about six years now. He fell in love with the job when he was a junior in high school. His oldest brother is a firefighter as well, and he had a cousin who was as well, but she passed away fighting a fire. It’s a happy life for him, but music will give him more than firefighting.

Song: Drunk on You
Chairs Turned: None

Me: Once again I’m shocked that no one turned around, as I thought he was good.
Christina: She calls him a cutie pie and is sorry they didn’t turn around.
Blake: He believes he should hone in on the growl. He was drifting off the pitch a little too much.
Adam: Some of the riffs didn’t pan out, but if he polishes that up he could come back and get really far.

Auditioner: Briana Cuoco, 24, Los Angeles. She is a personal assistant to her sister Kaley Cuoco who is on The Big Bang Theory. Briana knows her sister understands that there are other things she wants to do. Kaley has been waiting for this for Briana for a long time. She’s been singing since she was 7 or 8 and hopes to someday be as successful as her sister.

Song: You and I
Chairs Turned: Christina, Cee Lo

Me: She has a unique voice, but it’s not really right for this song until the end when she really kicks it into gear.
Christina: She was moved by her power and raw talent. Briana held out the notes really strong.
Cee Lo: He felt the same power in her voice and wants to be closer to it, as being with a powerful woman is one of his favorite places to be.
Coach: Christina

Auditioner: George Horga Jr., 19, Portland. His parents are from Romania originally and have built businesses from absolutely nothing. The hardest thing he ever did was move away from the Romanian community to pursue a career in Hollywood. He wants to show his dad that his son can live this life because of him moving to America.

Song: Treasure
Chairs Turned: Cee Lo

Me: He has a great tone and is cute, too, so would do great with the young women out there.
Cee Lo: He likes that he has so much charm and personality that it just bled through.
Adam: Cee Lo is a great person to help shepherd along his talent.
Christina: She saw the girls jumping around in the audience so figured he had to be cute.
Blake: He has high hopes for George.
Coach: Cee Lo

Auditioner: Anthony Paul

Song: With You

Cee Lo: With some guidance, he thinks Anthony stands a chance.
Coach: Cee Lo

Auditioner: Cilla Chan

Song: Come & Get It

Blake: He mentions the way she points at the notes while she sings.
Coach: Christina

Auditioner: Jacob Poole

Song: Marry Me

Cee Lo: She loved his voice from the moment he started singing.
Coach: Christina

Auditioner: Preston Pohl, 26, Hallettsville, TX. His dad played the drums at church, and his mom sang at church, with music always being in him. He had the opportunity to play guitar for a Christian rock band, and they did well. His music mentor in the group passed away suddenly after a few years, and it was never the same for Preston again. He knows his mentor would want him to keep singing.

Song: Electric Feel
Chairs Turned: Blake, Cee Lo, Adam

Me: He’s so smooth, yet powerful at the same time. It just makes you move slightly in your seat watching him.
Cee Lo: He did one of Cee Lo’s favorite songs of all time.
Adam: Preston turned it into “kind of a Marvin song.” He made him believe in him.
Blake: He starts to talk about there not being many hip hop artists from Texas, and Cee Lo points them all out, making Blake realize he just screwed himself from the hopes of landing Preston.
Coach: Adam

I don’t know why the contestants don’t choose Cee Lo more often. They seem to always want the big name of Christina Aguilera or the winning Blake Shelton. Cee Lo always connects to them so well, and there are times where I am sure that they would do really well under his mentoring. These contestants choosing Blake and Christina will be sorry in the long run when they don’t stay as long with them as they would have Cee Lo, because there is no true connection.

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