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'The Voice' contestants seem promising

Above, Cee Lo Green, Christina Aguilera, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton act as coaches for "The Voice" contestants. "The Voice" premiered its second season on Feb. 5 and airs every Monday night at 8 p.m. (photo/ reeltalk.areavoices.com)

If anyone stuck around after the Super Bowl, they would have seen the second season premiere of “The Voice.”

For those of you who haven’t seen it, it’s a pretty interesting twist on “American Idol.” There are four judges: Adam Levine, Cee Lo Green, Christina Aguilera and Blake Shelton, whose goal during the “blind audi­tions” is to form a team of 12 of the best singers in the competition.

During auditions, the judges sit facing away from the stage while each contestant sings. If a judge likes the performer’s voice, he or she will press their button and turn around to see the singer for the first time.

If multiple judges turn around, the person auditioning gets to choose whose team they want to be on—after quite a bit of sucking up and encouragement from the judges, of course. After the auditions, the judges become the coaches and train their team to be the best singer(s) in the competition.

Of course there were auditions that didn’t make a team, but most of their performances were forgettable, and I agreed with almost all of the judges’ decisions.

What I don’t agree with is the sucking-up process of he judges. It is usually overdone and often attacks another judge. If I were a contestant, I would know which judge I would pick first, second, and so on, before I even went on the stage, so the judges’ ban­ter would be pointless. Just let the contes­tants decide on their own.

The first performer who made a team was RaeLynn—a 17-year-old country prodigy. After graduating from high school two years early, she chose a career in music. Her voice is super country and has a little too much vibrato in it for me, but the judges seemed to love it.

What really grabbed the judges’ atten­tion, though, was the bite and growl she got at just the right moments in her song. She chose Blake after hearing the almost slan­derous banter from both Adam and Blake towards each other.

Tony Lucca, the last performer to get a spot on a team Sunday night, chose Adam’s team. Tony definitely made the right deci­sion for his sultry voice. But his previous claim to fame was before “The Voice” when he performed with Aguilera, and others, for four years as a part of the "Mickey Mouse Club."

Rocker Juliet Simms picked Cee Lo after having all of the judges turn around for her. She has been performing since she was a child, and her voice is unarguably rock—it has that gravelly growl that all rockers strive for. Although she probably would have done better with Adam, Cee Lo was probably the next best choice for her.

Jesse Campbell, on Aguilera’s team, also had all the judges turn around with his soul­ful voice. I have to say that he knows how to use his voice and will probably make it far into the competition with Aguilera.

Chris Mann was the biggest shocker, at least for me, for the first night. He sang a beautiful opera song, which doesn’t happen very often. Aguilera is the best bet for him, and luckily, he chose her.

Blake was the first to push the button to have Haley and Leland, who performed in a duet called “The Line,” on his team, but unfortunately for him, the other three judges followed. Although I wasn’t impressed by this country-but-not-quite-country duo, the judges were very enthusiastic in their praise. The two ended up picking Aguilera, much to Blake’s surprise.

Jamar Rogers is on Cee Lo's team, who was actually the only one to turn around. Rogers has a powerful voice that is right up Cee Lo’s alley. These two are a perfect match.

Gwen Sabastian, who gave up get­ting married and starting a family in favor of a music career, started her au­dition nervously and was pitchy. But, she got better as she went on, getting Blake, Cee Lo and Adam to all turn around. She ended up choosing Blake.

Kim Yarbrough, a 50-year-old wom­an who believes even “old people” can sing, had Aguilera dancing from the first few notes of her song, and I think those two would have made a good team-coach duo. It was Adam who turned around first though, and it was Adam’s team she picked.

Following Yarbrough was Angie John­son, who became “YouTube”-famous through a military band she sang with. I was also very impressed with her, and expect her to go far in the competition, especially with Cee Lo as her mentor, and her powerful, Kelly Clarkson-esque voice.

Lindsey Pavao had a very unique voice that instantly grabbed the judges’ atten­tion. Aguilera turned around first, Cee Lo wasn’t far behind, and Blake turned right after, which was a huge surprise for me as Lindsey seemed to be the very opposite of country. She finally picked Team Aguilera, which was my first choice for her.

Angel Taylor had a unique, low, smoky voice that had Adam, Blake, and Cee Lo turn around. After confessing her crush on Blake, Angel turned around and chose Adam. He was my first choice for her voice, and I think she, too, has potential to go far in the competition.

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