The Voice Season 2: A Look At the Coaches’ Teams

The Voice has without a doubt replaced American Idol as my singing competition of choice. Heck, when my own mom (who loves watching Idol) agrees that Voice is so much more entertaining, you’ve got something. Let’s be real, we totally love it for the coaches, just as much as listening to the contestants. Anyone who watches the show has to admit that it’s totally fun watching Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Cee Lo Green, and Christina Aguilera bicker at one another and fighting to get picked by the contestant. But enough about the coaches, let’s talk about the contestants.

Now the battle rounds have come and gone, with some very hard decisions (and let’s be real, some questionable ones) made by the coaches. We are now left with 6 members on each of the coaches’ teams. As I did last season, I figured I’d break down each team, and see which coach actually has the strongest team.


  • Tony Lucca
  • Pip
  • Kim Yarborough
  • Mathai
  • Karla Davis
  • Katrina Parker

This is a new season, and yet Adam still has the strongest team, in my opinion. Tony’s a former Mouseketeer with Christina, even though she didn’t recognize him. He’s one of my favourites. I remember hearing about him when he opened up for Sara Bareilles (who is also friends with Adam!), not to mention watching the E! True Hollywood Story on the Mickey Mouse Club. Truth be told, I never got around to listening to the stuff he’s released previously, but I definitely have motivation now to check it out.
Pip did really well covering “House of the Rising Sun” and considering he’s only 19? He’s got a great future ahead of him.
Kim is the definition of a diva voice, not to mention, she proves that it is never too late to go for your dreams.
While I enjoyed Mathai’s version of “Rumour Has It” during the blind auditions, after her battle round performance, I kind of realized that her voice was uniquely similar to a couple other singers on the show.
Karla and Katrina, though I didn’t make much of their initial auditions, impressed in their battle rounds.

I’ll also have to admit, that even though the general thought is to never get too attached to contestants early in the process, there were a lot of artists whom I really liked during the blind auditions, who lost in the battle rounds. I was kind of upset with Adam for pairing up Tony with Chris Cauley because I expected both to make it to the live shows (and I absolutely loved Chris’ version of “Grenade”). Angel Taylor was a name I was familiar with, but like Tony, never got around to listening to her material. Orlando Napier showed some real soul singing “Waiting On the World to Change”. I guess it’s not a bad thing to have such a stacked team going into battle rounds, but at the same time, we lost some great talent there.


  • Jordis Unga
  • Jermaine Paul
  • RaeLynn
  • Erin Willett
  • Naia Kete
  • Charlotte Sometimes

Not to be outdone by Adam, Blake’s got a pretty solid team himself. First of all, I totally remember Jordis from Rock Star INXS. I was quite the fan of hers on that show and still listen to her version of “The Man Who Sold the World”. Now after getting over the shock that Adam didn’t push his button for her, I’m actually glad that she ended up on Blake’s team. She’s got better chances at staying longer by being on Team Blake.
Jermaine was once Alicia Keys’ backup singer and now he’s trying to go at it on his own. He’s got a good sound to him, though I’m not entirely sure I liked his performance of Avril Lavigne’s “Complicated.” However, he showed true professionalism and performance with “Get Out of My Dreams, Get Into My Car.”
For her age, I thought RaeLynn did a decent job in her blind audition. But I thought for sure that Adley Stump was going to beat her in the battle. Adley’s got natural talent and sang ‘Free Fallin’ with more clarity I thought. I certainly understood Blake’s decision to pick RaeLynn; she’s someone who could use mentorship and has room for growth.
Erin making it through over Gwen Sebastian in the battle round was a tough call for Blake, but it turns out it was a win for everybody, since Gwen is now on tour as a backup singer for Blake now.
Naia’s got a really easy going sound, not all that different from Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat.
Charlotte’s another name I had heard before when she had done the blind audition. I didn’t love her performance of “Apologize”, but then with “Pumped Up Kicks” for her battle round (which is a song I don’t particularly like in the first place), I kind of felt indifferent. I give her credit for having a unique tone to her voice, but it seems as though each coach has one artist with this apparently not-so-unique tone.


  • Jamar Rogers
  • James Massone
  • Erin Martin
  • Tony Vincent
  • Juliet Simms
  • Chessa

Same as it was last season, Cee-Lo’s got a rather eclectic mix of artists on his team. I remember Jamar from Idol a few years back, auditioning with his best friend (and eventual third place finisher, even though I wasn’t a fan, Danny Gokey). Glad to see him audition for The Voice and definitely enjoyed his performance of “Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes during the blind auditions. He also killed it with his performance of “I Want to Know What Love Is” in the battle round, even though it meant that we lost Jaime Lono. Not so sure how I feel about James; I don’t think he’ll go all the way, because he still has to develop his sound more.
Erin is Mind-boggling inclusion #1. I really don’t get why she got chosen in the blind auditions in the first place, let alone making it through to the live shows. She’s got a very limited range and to be honest, her voice is kind of annoying (when speaking and singing).
Without a doubt, Tony is one of the most talented guys on the show. I mean, the guy’s coming from a dynamic Broadway background. It hurt to see Justin Hopkins go after their battle round pairing, but I really am looking forward to what Tony will bring to his performances.
Juliet’s got a lot of grit and edge to her. Her personality’s not coming off all that well on the show, but in a show called The Voice, does it really matter? (Just a little. It’s still reality TV after all.)
Chessa, I’m afraid, is Mind-boggling inclusion #2. I don’t get her. I can’t quite pinpoint it, but just something about her voice just doesn’t connect with me. I definitely thought Cee-Lo was going to pick Angie over Chessa in their battle round because Angie had much more clarity in her singing. Alas, that’s not how it went down.


  • Moses Stone
  • Jesse Campbell
  • Lindsey Pavao
  • Sera Hill
  • Chris Mann
  • Ashley De La Rosa

Christina changed it up the most between this season and last with her team. While last season her team consisted of big-voiced singers/belters, her team this season is quite varied. She’s got Moses, the show’s first ever MC. He certainly showed that he does also have the ability to sing and not just rap in his battle round.
If you weren’t already impressed with Jesse’s blind audition, singing “A Song For You”, which had all 4 coaches turn around, then his battle round with Anthony Evans singing “If I Ain’t Got You” should’ve done it. That was definitely a tough call for Christina.
Lindsey’s another unique voice in the competition and really showed creativity performing Trey Songz’ “Say Aah” for her audition.
Sera impressed Christina so much in her audition, that Christina even went up to sing with her! It was a pretty good performance, but now I’m waiting to see what else she brings.
Chris is certainly one of the reasons why The Voice is so different from other talent shows. He’s an opera guy. Where else (except maybe America’s Got Talent) would you find a guy like him competing? I’m not sure how receptive audiences will be to his style, but I’m looking forward to watching it.
I’d say Ashley’s a dark horse. I mean we don’t actually know much about her, except that she’s a young talent. She did a pretty good job of singing “Shark in the Water” by V.V Brown (credit for a different song choice) for her audition, while her battle round duet of “No Air” faced some pitch issues (though her recorded version is much better). She might get shown up by her more polished teammates, but here’s hoping that Christina really uses the opportunity to help Ashley grow as an artist and develop her sound.

So there’s that, a rundown of the 24 artists who made it to the live show. As I understand, the live shows will alternate for 4 weeks, with Adam and Blake’s teams going first this week, then Christina and Cee-Lo’s teams next week, and same thing for another 2 weeks. After that, we’ll be left with a total of 8 artists (2 from each team), then it’ll be the finals. As it was last season, still no theme weeks like Idol (YAY!!!). New to this season is the live results show on Tuesdays, so we’re not left with artists preparing for a song that they won’t get to perform (that was a little awkward).

Now, I still stand by my thinking that Adam’s got the best team, but Blake is a very strong second (down to a Team Adam vs Team Blake again for the finals?) Christina’s definitely got a diverse team this season. And Cee-Lo…well, it’s Cee-Lo, you just never know what you’re gonna get with that guy. For fun (as I did last year) I’ll make a guess as to who the final artist from each team will be (however biased they may be): Tony Lucca, Jordis Unga, Jamar Rogers, and Jesse Campbell.

The Voice airing on NBC Mondays @ 8:00 P.M, with results show Tuesdays @ 9:00 P.M.

The Voice: Breaking Down the Coaches’ Teams

Tonight marks the first live performance show of NBC’s The Voice, and I figured now would be a good time to take a look at how each coach’s team stacks up.


  • Casey Weston
  • Javier Colon
  • Devon Barley
  • Jeff Jenkins

Without a doubt, coming into the battle rounds, Adam had the strongest to begin with. That being said, going into the live performances, Adam still has the strongest team. Adam made solid choices on who won the battle rounds, and really it was still tough to see Rebecca Loebe and Angela Wolff go but that just goes to show how good Adam’s team was to begin with. Jeff got all 4 coaches to turn their chairs around during the blind auditions, so there was no doubt that he was moving on. Devon’s shown that he can take direction well to better himself as a singer. Casey’s got a special quality about her, and Javier is just plain good. This is a well-rounded group of singers, and Adam’s shown great mentoring skills in the process.


  • Patrick Thomas
  • Jared Blake
  • Dia Frampton
  • Xenia

Blake’s team is interesting to say the least. First of all, I think he made a wrong decision in choosing Patrick over Tyler Robinson, who was much better in their battle round duet. We have Jared who’s sort of the rocker guy. Then we have Dia and Xenia who both have a quieter but still strong sound, which serves as such a distinct contrast to the big voices of Christina’s team (more on them later).


  • Vicci Martinez
  • Nakia
  • Tori & Taylor Thompson
  • Curtis Grimes

Team Cee-Lo started out as the most diverse of all the coaches’ teams I feel. With the exception of choosing Vicci over Niki Dawson (which would’ve been great either way because they killed in their duet), I really think Cee-Lo made some questionable choices in choosing the winner of the other 3 battle duets. I really felt Tje Austin was better than Nakia in their duet of “Closer.” The Thompson sisters are really rough around the edges and do require mentoring/help, which is probably why they got picked, but Kelsey Rey sounded better than them. And I suppose Curtis isn’t a terrible choice, but odds were in his favour with the battle duet song choice (Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now”) – personally, I liked Emily Valentine better.


  • Frenchie Davis
  • Beverly McClellan
  • Raquel Castro
  • Lily Elise

Christina’s team’s strength is also its weakness. All the singers are big voices/belters. But as Blake Shelton told Serabee, just because you can sing it big, doesn’t mean you should do it all the time. That pretty much sums up everything about Team Christina. It’s not that their bad singers, it’s just that the guys’ teams are more varied.

Now from what I’ve read it seems as though 1 person from each team will be dropped each week. People vote for their favourites (as always), the bottom 2 of each team will presumably battle it out and their coach will ultimately decide who goes home. That’s what I’ve heard is the format for this round of competition.

Just for fun: if I were to guess who will be the last person standing from each team, I’d say Javier (Team Adam), Xenia (Team Blake), Vicci (Team Cee-Lo), and Frenchie (Team Christina).

The Voice live performance show airs tonight @ 9 on NBC. All 16 contestants will sing  in the 2-hour show (less filler! yay!), and the coaches will be doing a little singing themselves at the start with a medley of Queen songs.

Pop Culture Randomness Post #3

After The Social Network’s Best Picture loss at last night’s Oscars, I’m happy I can take solace in the multitude of good news coming out of the music and TV worlds.

1.) Probably the thing that put the biggest smile on my face was this headline from EW’s Music Mix blog, “Justin Timberlake heading back to the studio.” Can we collectively say “ABOUT TIME!!!”?

2.) Cee-Lo Green & Adam Levine have both officially signed up to judge NBC’s new singing competition/Idol rival The Voice. Cee-Lo’s a crazy personality, and Adam free to say whatever the hell he wants on TV (sorta) is going to be awesome. The show is still looking for 2 more judges, and rumour has it that Christina Aguilera is in talks.

3.) Matthew Morrison debuted his first single, “Summer Rain” on Ryan Seacrest’s radio show today and it’s not bad. The song’s definitely got a Jason Mraz-y feel to it, without all the crazy wordplay. I’m really looking forward to hearing the rest of his album.

4.) Live Nation killed me with Toronto concert/show announcements today. Brooke Fraser on June 18th. Donald Glover + Childish Gambino on May 16th.

5.) Zach Galifianakis hosting SNL on March 12th.

53rd Grammy Award Winners

Better late than never right? So the biggest night in music came and went, and two days later, I’m still not entirely sure how I felt about it. I mean I love the Grammys – I love award shows in general – but this year’s show just seemed like such a mix bag, not just with the actual winners but the performances as well.


Album of the Year: Arcade Fire, “The Suburbs” – Shocker! Their win was surprising for two reasons. First, they beat Eminem and Lady Antebellum. I was almost certain Eminem was gonna take it, and then with the night Lady A was having, I thought maybe they were gonna sweep it all. Second, Arcade Fire didn’t even win in the Best Alternative Album category (that went to The Black Keys). Through the years that I’ve actually followed the Grammys, the AOTY winner didn’t win in their own category?

Record of the Year/Song of the Year: Lady Antebellum, “Need You Now” – They totally deserved it. I’ve said this many times before, but I fell in love with this song when they performed it at last year’s Grammys. One year later, I’m still not tired of it! (Except for maybe the dance remix that our local radio station insists on playing – that’s just annoying). Also, I totally called that Lady A would win ROTY purely because they were up against 4 hip-hop/rap songs which were all amazing, and it would’ve been hard to choose one.

Best New Artist: Esperanza Spalding – I’m sorry, but who are you? I’m happy Beiber didn’t win, but I was pulling for Drake all the way!

Best Female Pop Vocal Performance: Lady Gaga, “Bad Romance” – I was hoping for Sara Bareilles to win, but with Gaga nominated, I knew it wasn’t happening. Sara’s Grammy win will come one day.

Best Male Pop Vocal Performance: Bruno Mars, “Just the Way You Are” – I feel conflicted with Bruno Mars’ win. On the one side, he totally deserves it. It’s a great song. On the other side, now that he’s won a Grammy, he’s not eligible for Best New Artist next year.

Best Pop Performance by a Duo/Group: Train, “Hey Soul Sister (Live)” – I admit it, I’m biased, I wanted Maroon 5 to win. I always want my favs to win, so sue me. But “Hey Soul Sister” was undeniably EVERYWHERE in the past year or two so I guess they deserved to win. I’m gonna call it now though, Maroon 5 will at the very least be nominated next year for “Never Gonna Leave This Bed” (but then again, that’s me being biased.)

Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals: Herbie Hancock and others, “Imagine” – I knew it! Throw a handful of artists together on one song, and nobody else stands a chance.

Best Pop Vocal Album: Lady Gaga, “The Fame Monster” – Was it really that much of a surprise? Nope.

Best Rock Album: Muse, “The Resistance” – Awesome album. Granted, that was the only album nominated in the category that I actually listened to.

Best Rap Album: Eminem, “Recovery” – At least Eminem won this one. He really should’ve won more Grammys though. Shame.

Best Urban/Alternative Performance: Cee-Lo Green, “Fuck You” – Happy he won something for this song. Although the one thing I’ve got to say is how hilarious it was seeing how they handled the song title. The Grammys had to go the long route and call it “The song otherwise known as Forget You”. Too funny.

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration: Jay-Z ft. Alicia Keys, “Empire State of Mind” – It really was between this song and “Love the Way You Lie”. Don’t think there’s much else to say about it.


Aretha Franklin Tribute – Not sure how I felt about it, which should’ve been an indication of how the rest of the night went. On paper, it should’ve been CRAZY AMAZING with all the voices involved (Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Hudson, Yolanda Adams, Martina McBride, and Florence Welch). But with everyone trying to outdo one another with the vocal runs, it just seemed like overkill.

Lady Gaga – I’m not a Gaga fan so I really could’ve cared less. But “Born This Way” with its completely obvious similarities to Madonna’s “Express Yourself” and “Vogue” were so distracting.

B.o.B., Bruno Mars, and Janelle Monae – Their performance was, without a doubt, one of the best of the night. I definitely love it when artists change up their songs for award shows or televised performances because it gives us a fresher take on songs we hear all the time on radio.

Lady Antebellum – Some people may not have liked their stripped-down set, but it was a nice contrast to the flash of some of the other performances.

Cee-Lo Green, Gwyneth Paltrow, and the Muppets – It was just a great performance!  I kinda noticed when Gwyneth didn’t sing part of a line while she was getting up to stand on the piano, but hey, she got up on the piano with KILLER HEELS! Why there is some hate towards Gwyneth is unbelievable. She’s mad talented.

Eminem, Dr. Dre, with Rihanna, Adam Levine, and Skylar Grey – First thing’s first, I got totally excited when the Grammys announced that Adam was performing with Eminem and Dre. I mean how random but awesome is that?! Consider me disappointed when Adam was relegated to just accompanying Rihanna on “Love the Way You Lie (Part II).” I mean what a wasted opportunity. It reminds me of a few years back when John Mayer and John Legend only accompanied Alicia Keys and Fergie, on their respective songs. Anyways, the rest of the performance was awesome – like how could it not?

Katy Perry – I applaud her for starting off with “Not Like the Movies” but then she went into “Teenage Dream” which wasn’t really all that spectacular. We’ve heard her do this before. She could’ve changed it up a little. Heck, all she really needed to do was bring in Darren Criss.

Rihanna & Drake – Uhmmm, why did Rihanna get to perform twice? Rihanna was really only nominated for “Love the Way You Lie” (I know she was nominated and won for “Only Girl” but that was for Best Dance Recording…) and she got to perform it. I didn’t really see a need for her to come out again and perform “What’s My Name?”. They should’ve just let Drake do his own performance. Or you know, give Esperanza Spalding a chance to perform (outside of the Grammy Jazz Ensemble thing), so people would’ve sort of known who she was when she won?

So that’s all I’ve got. Here’s hoping next year’s show is better. Oh, and also, maybe let’s get a couple more awards handed out DURING the show? It is called the Grammy AWARDS, not Grammy CONCERT. Just puttin’ it out there.

53rd Annual Grammy Award Nominations

It’s that time of year again! Award season is upon us, with nominations for some of the biggest names in movies and music are slowly announced. Last night, with the official live nomination concert, we found out the nominees for this year’s Grammy Awards. And as usual, here comes the accompanying rave/rant blog post!


  • B.o.B. ft. Bruno Mars – Nothin’ On You
  • Eminem ft. Rihanna – Love the Way You Lie
  • Cee-Lo Green – F**k You
  • Jay-Z ft. Alicia Keys – Empire State of Mind
  • Lady Antebellum – Need You Now

I absolutely love how rap & hip-hop is so dominant in this category. All these songs are without a doubt some of the best and most well-received songs of the year. This is gonna be a tough category, but if I had to choose which will win, I think I’m gonna have to give the edge to Eminem & Rihanna. This is Eminem’s year. But I wouldn’t be surprised if Lady Antebellum won because of the number of rap & hip-hop songs nominated alongside them, and voters could be split.


  • Arcade Fire “The Suburbs”
  • Eminem “Recovery”
  • Lady Antebellum “Need You Now”
  • Lady Gaga “The Fame Monster”
  • Katy Perry “Teenage Dream”

I’m surprised that Jay-Z’s “The Blueprint Vol. 3” didn’t get nominated, but there’s no doubt whatsoever that Eminem is winning this.


  • Ray LaMontagne – Beg Steal or Borrow
  • Cee-Lo Green – F**k You
  • Miranda Lambert – The House That Built Me
  • Eminem ft. Rihanna – Love the Way You Lie
  • Lady Antebellum – Need You Now

As always, this category is not to be confused with Record of the Year. This category awards the songwriters for any given song, while ROTY awards the artist and producers of a song. If Lady Antebellum does not win for Record, they’ll win here. The song was just so damn good. I remember them performing this song at last year’s Grammys, and that was it, I became a fan after that performance.


  • Justin Beiber
  • Drake
  • Florence and the Machine
  • Mumford and Sons
  • Esperanza Spalding

Drake is taking this, hands down. If for some reason he does not win, I sure as hell hope that Florence and the Machine win. Justin Beiber? Really? And I don’t even know who the other 2 are. I’ve heard the name Mumford and Sons in passing, but that’s about it. I really don’t know who Esperanza Spalding is. You know what would’ve been great? If Matt Morris or Ry Cuming got nominated, although granted, they were longshots. I would’ve even taken Kris Allen or Adam Lambert, but the only Idol to have been nominated in this category was Carrie Underwood, and that was because she was a lock to win (which she did).


  • Sara Bareilles – King of Anything
  • Beyonce – Halo (Live)
  • Norah Jones – Chasing Pirates
  • Lady Gaga – Bad Romance
  • Katy Perry – Teenage Dream

Because I’m a big fan, I want Sara Bareilles to win. However, her chances are a little on the low side, due to Lady Gaga and Katy Perry.


  • Michael Buble – Haven’t Met You Yet
  • Michael Jackson – This Is It
  • Adam Lambert – Whataya Want From Me
  • Bruno Mars – Just the Way You Are
  • John Mayer – Half of My Heart

If we base it on previous years, John Mayer practically has it in the bag. But he’s got serious competition this year. Personally, if I had to choose, as much as I love “Just the Way You Are”, I love “Haven’t Met You Yet” more.


  • Glee Cast – Don’t Stop Believin’ [Regionals Version]
  • Maroon 5 – Misery
  • Paramore – The Only Exception
  • Sade – Babyfather
  • Train – Hey Soul Sister (Live)

First of all, GLEE IS NOMINATED?! Not just for a compilation soundtrack (which they are nominated for), but for an actual song. I mean, don’t get me wrong I love Glee, it’s just a little surprising, that’s all. Secondly, why is it the live version of “Hey Soul Sister”? Regardless, Maroon 5 HAS TO WIN! Chalk it up to me being biased, I don’t care, I just want them to win.


  • B.o.B. ft. Eminem & Hayley Williams – Airplanes, Part II
  • Herbie Hancock, Pink, India.Arie, Seal, Konono No 1, Jeff Beck & Oumou Sangare – Imagine
  • Elton John & Leon Russell – If It Wasn’t for Bad
  • Lady Gaga & Beyonce – Telephone
  • Katy Perry ft. Snoop Dogg – California Gurls

I have a strong feeling that Herbie Hancock and co. will take this. Never underestimate the veterans, not to mention that’s a lot of people in one song. Otherwise, I would think that Lady Gaga and Beyonce would take it.


  • Justin Beiber “My World 2.0”
  • Susan Boyle “I Dreamed A Dream”
  • Lady Gaga “The Fame Monster”
  • John Mayer “Battle Studies”
  • Katy Perry “Teenage Dream”

I can’t believe Beiber is nominated here. SERIOUSLY? You’re telling me that his album is better than Maroon 5’s “Hands All Over,” Sara Bareilles’ “Kaleidoscope Heart” or Florence and the Machine’s “Lungs”? REALLY? I’ll take Susan Boyle’s nom because it sold a ridiculous number of albums, Gaga because it’s Gaga. But Beiber? COME ON! I hate to go against John Mayer in terms of his music, but I’m pretty sure Katy Perry’s gonna win.


  • B.o.B ft. Bruno Mars – Nothin’ On You
  • Chris Brown, Tyga, Kevin McCall – Deuces
  • Eminem ft. Rihanna – Love the Way You Lie
  • Jay-Z ft. Alicia Keys – Empire State of Mind
  • John Legend, The Roots, Melanie Fiona & Common – Wake Up! Everybody

Another tough one to call, but ultimately will be down to Eminem & Rihanna vs. Jay-Z & Alicia Keys.

And that’s all from me. Most of my comments are with the Pop categories anyways. What can I say? I’m a pop music fan first, everything else second. Overall, Eminem received 10 nominations, followed by Bruno Mars (for performing/producing/songwriting) with 7, and Jay-Z, Lady Antebellum & Lady Gaga each with 6 nominations. The Grammy Awards will air on CBS, February 13th, 2011.