An audition that’s been teased since the premiere last week finally took place on Monday night’s “The Voice” — Briana Cuoco, “Big Bang Theory” star Kaley Cuoco’ssister and personal assistant — had a blind audition and successfully joined Team Xtina.
It feels sort of weird that a show would spend so much time previewing one single artist because she has a famous sister, when it constantly trumpets its values about individuality and not mattering what you look like, where you come from, and presumably, who you know.
And then, it was even weirder when Briana started singing Lady Gaga’s “You and I” and its pace was mysterious and her voice was just there. But Christina Aguilera was drawn in by her belt, and Cee Lo Green—egged on by Adam Levine–pushed his button at the very last second, too. Kaley, backstage, was jumping like crazy. Christina was won over by Briana’s “power and raw talent,” so Briana picked her team.
But that was the most exciting part of tonight’s show, so I guess I can see why they spent so much time in Kaley Cuoco’s kitchen, watching her sister make appointments for her dogs.
Seriously, Monday night’s batch of contestants was borderline mediocre, with only a couple real standouts. Monika Leigh was one. The 28-year-old works in a hotel in Boulder (where I once stayed!) and has given up on music at 22. “I started getting older,” she said. “Dreams are dreams; that’s why they’re called dreams.” I want to patch together all the incredibly jaded things young people say on these shows and make some kind of art project out of it, because otherwise they all just make me want to fall into a depressive spiral and crawl into bed and not come out ever. But Monika came back to life when she sang “The Thrill is Gone” all Joss Stone-like and got Adam, Cee Lo and Blake Shelton to push their buttons. She said later that she wanted to go for Adam, but something in her gut told her to pick Blake, after he showed off the three ridiculous “Voice” trophies he got for winning the show.
The other best performer tonight was probably Lina Gaudenzi, another contestant with a family member more interesting than they are. Linda’s mom was a model who posed in the first ever Victoria’s Secret catalog. Linda, too, was a model as a child, but gained weight and stopped modeling, instead going to Paris to study classical music and opera. Her “Landslide,” though, had a lot of country twists to it. Blake did venture to get her on his team, but Christina pushed first and won Linda.
Timyra-Joi, though, wins for most bizarre person to come along to your audition. I’d like to see a separate reality show about Timyra-Joi’s vocal coach since the age of 5 (she’s 15 now), Leigh. I mean, wow. Leigh has this tiny little body with Dolly Parton boobs, a cat-lady-like face, and huge crimped blonde hair. Leigh stopped charging Timyra-Joi’s family for music lessons and even took them in for a while when her dad lost his job. And whatever she taught Timyra-Joi worked great, because the young teen had quite a mature voice, singing “Girl on Fire.” Christina struck her button first, and at the last second, Blake and Cee Lo joined her, but this was totally a Team Xtina girl.
In the ‘average’ department tonight were Ray Boudreaux, a 25-year-old father from Louisiana who landed on Blake’s team after a “swampy” performance of Bill Withers’ “Use Me.” Cee Lo took on Juhi, a 16-year-old from Tennessee who was spunky and cute but sounded awfully copycat on Duffy’s “Mercy.” Adam was the only one to turn around for hardcore country singer Justin Blake, whose job is to escort trailers that are moving mobile homes, and who sang a Blake Shelton song; Adam didn’t even know the song was Blake’s. George Horga, Jr., whose parents are from Romania, won over Cee Lo with the “energy from the audience” during his serviceable rendition of Bruno Mars’ “Treasure.”
And finally, Preston Pohl, a 26-year-old from Texas, who was in a Christian band until his band-mate died. He sang “Electric Feel,” one of Cee Lo’s “favorite songs of all time.” Adam was impressed that Preston “turned it into a Marvin song—you turned that into ‘Let’s Get it On’” Blake spun around, too, but this guy was totally in Adam’s palm after that compliment.
Team Cee Lo: 7
Team Xtina: 8
Team Adam: 7
Team Blake: 7
Watch Monday Night’s Episode of “The Voice” Here: