The Voice season premiere recap: Just Like Christmas Morning

Add two new judges, six new sob stories, shake well. Serve while spinning...
Ep. 01 | Aired Mar 25, 2013

FAB FOUR With the addition of Usher and Shakira, the new group of coaches is as charming (even more so?) as ever.


Our first contestant of the hour, and the season, is actually a contestant(s): the self-styled “Morgan twins,” who had names a long time ago before giving them up to address everyone using the royal “we,” as in: “We feel like we can bring something special to the show,” and, “Harmonizing is our thing.”

Okay, so as a twin, I’m sort of repulsed by their twin-ness. As a person, I’m sort of confused as to how it is they’ll be able to perform together: Will the judges judge them for their combined strengths and weaknesses? The dirty little secret is actually a dirty little secret(s), because yes, the “Morgan twins” (I’m never dropping the quotes) are allowed to perform together, “Fallin’” that is, but in so doing reveal their one flaw: that one of the sisters is the better singer — and that, just maybe, one of them isn’t that good at all. Did my ears deceive me? Because as a twin (that’s so a thing now; they started it) I detected some definite vocal fishiness, including the fact that one of the Morgans was mighty reedy. No matter, the judges ate her up, leaving the ultimate decisions to the twins, who revealed their choice in a cutesy-horrific patois:

“The coach—”

“We’re going—”

“To pick—”

“Is Blake”

This is shocking for two reasons: One, because the girls had earlier gushed about loving Usher, though he made no great play for their vote at the end; and two, because because the Morgans are, like, two separate people who should have to compete separately. Apparently this is the first time anyone on The Voice has ever seen twins (no really), so a little shock is understandable. But as a twin, I can vouch for our lack of necessary symbiosis, hand-holding notwithstanding. Also they so switched teams and went with Blake.

Next up is 21-year-old hairdresser Jess Kellner, who had an alcoholic mom growing up and now wants to be able to express herself through song. This she does through “Can’t Help Falling In Love,” complete with pizzazz (compliments of that supersize piece of hand jewelry on her mic hand). Kellner’s got a pretty voice but little ability to shape it. She sings through, around, and on top of the melody. Shakira is “haunted” but whatever, because Usher, sprawled out all akimbo like he was born in the coaches chair, smiles real slow and says, “Come rock with me” and if you haven’t figured out who she chose by the end of this sentence then the answer is Usher.

NEXT: “While our coaches plot…”

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