"The Voice" is back for Season 3 and it really does look like three's the charm for the NBC reality singing competition. Christina Aguilera graduated from leather diapers to leather daisy dukes and with that, she's tuned down her "woo's" and irritating factor. Cee Lo upgraded from mohawks and latex to some silk. With that, he kept his creepy underage lady pick-up tricks to a minimum and his weird new show pet -- in this case, Lady, a Moluccan cockatoo -- was only exploited once. And in general, there was less catty bickering, car salesmanship, and the sob stories weren't forced.
But, of course, some things never change -- Christina Aguilera's boobs were out in full effect, Christina Milian was wearing a horrendous dress and talking about "trending worldwide," Carson Daly was sufficiently awkward and there was also a gender ambiguous singer and a "I'm so pretty, but it was hard to be so pretty" performer as well. And, during the coadges' opening performance of The Rolling Stone's "Start Me Up," Christina Aguilera wasn't wearing pants.
Chelsey: "Adam looks so white trash chic."
Jaimie: "Cee Lo looks Mandarin chic."
Chelsey: "Christina looks 'Moulin Rouge' whore."
As we wonder what X-tina is putting on her skin to look that orange, we notice the audience members are holding some sort of flashlights.
Chelsey: "Is there relevance?"
Jaimie: "Like at Disney On Ice?"
Chelsey: "'The Voice' On Ice ... Coming soon!!"
Jaimie: "I would be front row ... like I want to feel the ice shavings."
But back to the current non-skating "Voice" hopefuls. Since this is the first of a consecutive three -- yes, three -- night premiere week, we'll be picking our favorite five who are moving on to the Battle Rounds and then provide the basics about the rest of the "Voice" hopefuls we met in the first episode of Season 3, those who were selected and those who weren't.
"Hey Soul Sister," Train
De'Borah is from Chi-Town and is straight up FULL. OF. SASS. And we love every second of it. Deb explains how her parents are pastors and she comes from a choir background, but once she turned 18, she went her own way and developed her own style, much to the chagrin of her fellow choir-members. But De'Borah's parents seem incredibly supportive (and adorably awesome) and are there to cheer her on. Deb shows us that she DGAF when she says things like, "I'm not into the gender thing" and "Boom! I'm gay." We like her. And her awesome get up.
Chelsey: "She's a sassy chick. I like it."
Jaimie: "BOOM. She's gay. WHATUVIT."
Chelsey: "Though she may have been better suited for 'The Glee Project.' Ryan Murphy would eat that shit up."
Jaimie: "A very very good point. A new GF for Santana at college."
De'Borah surprises us a bit with her song choice (Train ... UGH), but between her wild dance moves and her precious parents cheering her on, we are still on board the De'Borah train. Though, to be clear, we will never be aboard the Train train. We get very nervous though as the judges seemed hesitant with the classic "WILL THEY OR WON'T THEY" fake-out shots of their hands almost pressing the button. Luckily, Cee Lo and Christina both got on board. Deb ultimately chooses X-Tina as her coadge, because of how much Christina's song "The Voice Within" inspired her as a young girl.
De'Borah is reunited with her parents, and it is so cute and heartwarming. It is probably (definitely) too early to call it, but so far, they are in the running for our favorite parents of Season 3.
Chelsey: "Oh my God. Her parents are so cute. I mean they're no Papa Jordis Unge, but they'll do."
"I Want to Be a Cowboy's Sweetheart," Patsy Montana
The 18-year-old Illinois native looked at first like a slightly grown-up take on Season 2's RaeLynn, which, is not a good thing in our eyes.
Chelsey: "She seems a bit more tolerable, which doesn't say much for Gracia."
But this hardworking young woman, who has two jobs back at home, brought something new to the "Voice" stage: yodeling. Jaimie thought for sure that meant we'd be hearing some Jewel. But instead, Gracia chose a country classic that many artists -- like the Dixie Chicks and LeAnn Rimes -- have done their own takes on ... and she made it her own. We're impressed that Gracia was able to take two of our least favorite genres -- Broadway and Country -- and made us love it.
Chelsey: "I kind of like her. Is that weird?"
Jaimie: "No. She's great. I agree."
Chelsey: "She's animated in a non-obnoxious way."
Adam turned around right off the bat and Blake soon followed. Cee Lo followed, but Christina didn't make it a "Voice" grand slam. Which of the boys won Gracia's heart? Despite Adam's pleading (and standing ovation), she chose ...
"It Will Rain," Bruno Mars
Bryan Keith is a 22-year-old straight out of The Bronx, but don't be fooled by the rocks that he got. And by rocks, we mean his famous dad, Grammy-winning musician Ray de la Paz of the Spanish Harlem Orchestra. Bryan does not want to use his dad's fame to get to the top -- he wants to make it on his own. ("SCREW YOU, BRO!" says every contestant with a poverty-stricken and/or absentee parent sob story.)
Chelsey: "I like how his whole thing is 'I'm not using my dad' but his whole back story was about his dad."
But once Bryan starts to sing, we relent. Because he's really really good. And the coadges agree, as he managed to turn around all four chairs ... The first this season!
Chelsey: "DING DING DING!"
As Cee Lo makes some disturbing hand gestures in some even more disturbing glasses, Bryan mulls it over and ultimately chooses Adam, becoming the first member of Mr. Levine's Season 3 team.
Name: Daniel Rosa
Song: "Somebody That I Used to Know," Gotye
Oh my gosh you guys, Daniel Rosa is back with a vengeance. A really sweet, teddy bear-like vengeance. Daniel auditioned for Season 2 and when none of the coadges turned their chairs around, he graciously (and tearfully) asked them what he could do to improve, and he has spent the past few months taking their advice to heart. The whole scenario feels just a bit scripted, but it's hard not to root for Daniel because he just seems so genuine.
Chelsey: "I feel like they've been planning this whole comeback kid story with him since last season."
Jaimie: "I know. But I hope he makes it."
Chelsey: "Me too."
When Daniel first starts singing, all of the coadges seem hesitant, and we can't tell if it's because they recognize his voice or if they can't decide if they like it or if they're just haunted by Lindsey Pavao's Season 2 performance of this song. Cee Lo simply states, "I like it!" and turns his chair around almost simultaneously with Blake. The two both immediately recognize Daniel, and though neither Adam nor Christina press their buttons, they all seem so excited for Daniel that he has a second chance. Adam even runs on stage and gives him a huge bear hug, and it's the cutest thing ever.
Chelsey: "This is adorable. I want to watch it over and over again."
The judges all seem to really respect Daniel for taking their advice and improving, and he tells them that not getting chosen for Season 2 is one of the best things that ever happened to him. He is a class act, folks. But now is the time to decide: Cee Lo or Blake?
Well, Team Cee Lo is like a magnet for outcasts.
Chelsey: "Cee Lo takes the misfits in like the Butkiss family takes in orphans." (If you got that "It Takes Two" reference, we love you.)
Jaimie: "Boi's gon be wearing some feathers before you know it."
Team: Cee Lo
It's a risk to tackle Beyonce ... and arguably even more so if you're male. But 18-year-old Trevin, from Queens, who grew up listening to a radio that his father, a sanitation worker, picked up on one of his routes, dared to take the song on ... and he had the audiences on their feet, including three judges.
Also, who is the asshole teacher who discouraged Trevin from pursuing his singing dreams. A) Had she heard him sing ever? B) Isn't that the opposite of a teacher's job?
Trevin also had Jaimie screaming at Adam via TV screen to press his m----- f------ button. But alas, in one of his douchier moments, Adam did not listen. Christina, in
her only a hilarious moment, asks Adam, "What is with your ears?" Still, an emotional Trevin (an early favorite) had three coadges to choose from and of the gushing trifecta, he went with Cee Lo.
Chelsey: "As creepy as Cee Lo is, he's just so f-ing smart ... once you can decipher what he's trying to say."
Team: Cee Lo
And the rest:
Terry McDermott- Scottish
"Baba O'Riley," The Who
The adorable Scottish rocker kicked the night off -- with his equally precious, well-dressed son -- and had Cee Lo, Adam and Blake gunning for him.
Jaimie: "Dude looks like a lady ... and boy looks like a Shiloh Jolie Pitt."
Chelsey: "Yes! Is the boy in a suit? Very dapper."
Jaimie: "It's a family full of blazers!"
Adam tells Terry, "The choice is yours" and immediately, we think ...
Jaimie: "Adam just quoted Omec."
Chelsey: "The choices are yours and yours alone!"
Jaimie: "Now, he has to assemble the Shrine of the Silver Monkey, a.k.a. The Silver Fox, Blake Shelton."
But before we go to commercial, we meet Cee Lo's Purrfect replacement: Lady, a cockatoo.
Chelsey: "Everyone up! Everyone in!"
Jaimie: "Time for the fun to begin!"
Chelsey: "Come along with us to Zoobilee Zoo."
"Have You Ever Seen the Rain," Creedence Clearwater Revival
Garrett had one of the sadder stories of the first round of Blind Auditions. The incredibly poised 16-year-old shared his heart-wrenching story of losing his musician father two years ago to cancer, which is when Garrett realized he wanted to perform. He dedicated the performance to his dad and though his voice was full of rasp, he lacked the control he needed to move on, according to Blake and Christina. After hearing his story, Adam told him not to give up and Garrett tearfully said his goodbyes to "The Voice" ... for now.
Jaimie: "Don't push your boobs against the young boy, Christina!"
Chelsey: "'Oh my god. You're adorable. Suck it, Christina. Suck it."
"Ain't No Other Man," Christina Aguilera
Though beautiful Devyn's sob story about being more "artistic" than "athletic," made us roll our eyes, there was no denying her talent when she belted out the first note of an X-tina hit, a very gutsy move. Though the rest of the song didn't impress us all that much, it was enough to spin a flattered Christina and a ballsy Blake around. Devyn had a choice to make, but really, how could she not pick ...
"No Woman No Cry," Bob Marley
It was difficult not to feel for Jamaican-born Anita, whose mother moved to the States when she was just two years old to create a better life for Anita and her sister. The Berklee School of Music grad said she chose the Marley tune because she could relate to the deep lyrics, but the judges didn't feel it. Anita convinced them she could channel that emotion and went for it once more a cappella before leaving the "Voice" stage as tears rolled down her cheeks. Chelsey's not too worried about her though, noting, "If they don't pick her, I bet Wyclef already called her."
"Gives You Hell," The All-American Rejects
Maybe this sounded different on set, but we were pretty confused as to how this real-life Peter Pan won Adam and Blake over almost instantly. His mulleted mom was pretty stoked though. Blake tried to bond with Joe a.k.a. PP over their mutual love of vests and Texas origins, but it wasn't enough. There were also penis jokes, which kind of made us stop listening. "Definitely the late night hour of the show," Chelsey noted.
"Son Of A Preacher Man," Dusty Springfield
Despite the feathers in her hair and ears and the flowers garnishing her blonde locks, Jessica's country-girl-in-the-big-city schtick and her far less fantastic take on Juliet Simm's hit cover from Season 2 did not do the trick. Cee Lo's bummed he missed out on an opportunity to add a hot chick to his team and Christina tried to make it OK by, again, pushing her boobs up against the eliminated contestant. That just gave Jessica another reason to cry. "X-tina," Chelsey asks. "How do you NEVER know the right thing to say?"