The Voice recap: Dare to Be Different

More blind auditions! Judges fight over singers with hidden talents and two very different kinds of divas
Ep. 02 | Aired Sep 24, 2013

SMILE LIKE YOU MEAN IT Contestants like Tessanne Chin gave the competition a killer toothsome turn.


Holly Henry, 22, of Minnesota could be a dark horse in the competition in the vein of last night's vibrato-riffic James Wolpert. She's also the first four-chair fight of the night. Henry's got some cool style, sort of if the Addams family had a cool Norwegian cousin. I dig. She says, "I wouldn't call myself antisocial, but I'm kind of awkward." But you couldn't tell it by her angelic rendition of Coldplay's "The Scientist," causing the judges to freak out and her little brother to cry backstage (most touching moment by far). "Because of you, I'm officially excited about season 5 of The Voice right now," said Blake. "I know as a female what means... I have to get in there and save this girl!" said Christina.

But Holly chooses Blake, prompting him to do the Moonwalk. I'm undecided on her; I like the soothing Sia-like quality of her voice, but I want to see more range.

Austin Jenckes, 25, of Washington is a scooter tour guide with a more melodic-Springsteeny voice. He sings Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Simple Man" with his childhood guitar (his dad, who committed suicide, taught him on it). I like Austin's voice, it's full-bodied and sounds well-honed, but it's missing something, some kind of vocal quirk I can't pin down yet. "You got soul power!" CeeLo proclaims. Blake is all over this one, even complimenting his look of a "big ol' dude coming from the mountains... axing trees down." Austin picks Blake.

E.G. Daily, 51, of California is my favorite so far. In case the name didn't hit you, she's a voiceover actor famous for her talents on The Powerpuff Girls, Pee-wee's Big Adventure and especially as The Rugrats' Tommy Pickles. "A baby's gotta do what a baby's gotta do," goes his motto. A few of the judges even recognized her from her movie work. It's no surprise since she can voice diverse characters that E.G. Daily can also sing. I didn't know Tommy Pickles had so many talents! She's definitely on my to-watch list with her rocker, raspy, Lisa Loeb-y vibes, singing Faith Hill's "Breathe." I think she could give fellow raspy-voiced Kat a run for her money.

E.G. chooses Blake because "I don't wanna play the voiceover card. I wanna be here for my singing."

Jonny Gray, 29, of Texas is an Adam Levine devotee and used to be in the Air Force. He sings The Killers' "All These Things That I've Done," sounding a lot like Brandon, except with less power, and more folk. CeeLo said he could hear some Stevie Nicks in his voice, but Jonny didn't strike me with the emotion you usually get from Nicks. I think he benefited from good song choice. It's down to his idol Adam and CeeLo, and Gray surprisingly goes with CeeLo "because he threw in a Pearl Jam reference."

The Voice saved the best for last.

Tessanne Chin, 28 of Jamaica is the best contestant hands-down. She garners the second four-chair turnaround of the night, singing "Try" by Pink. She likes reggae and rock and has this sonically delicious Jamaican/British accent and you just want to hear her sing and speak all day. "This is gonna be a dirty fight," said Adam. And it's not hard to hear why -- she's got this Melissa Etheridge-diva-plus-something-magic vibe going on and she's definitely the one to watch.

With that range and power you'd think she'd go with Miss Aguilera, but instead Tessanne chooses Adam. I was sad about her choice but happy there's a singer who will make the Battle rounds very interesting.

How about you? Who were your favorites of the night?

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