The Voice season premiere recap: Basic Instincts

All original judges are back! Blind auditions begin and become heated over a rugby-playing, indie-pop crooner
Ep. 01 | Aired Sep 23, 2013

SEEING RED Auditions may be blind, but the judges see nothing wrong with a little saucy strategy.


First guy of the night is Texan Jake Worthington, who’s got a thick Southern drawl, and is shown in a swamp full of mud with other shirtless men. He’s outdoorsy! He’s a guy! He has friends? In addition to being the first dude, he also coins the first catchphrase: “There’s not much to it, besides to do it.” Clearly he’s a man of few speaking words. Now let’s get to his singing ones! Texan Jake sings “Keep Your Hands to Yourself,” and lest you think he’s right in Blake’s wheelhouse, Blake no likey. Jake’s family and friends backstage yell, “C’mon, hit the button!” But again, Blake’s hand registers zero movement. Guess he took Jake’s song seriously. His buttery country crooning didn’t impress anyone and all four chairs remained unturned. Blake speaks first, “You’re about to come here and beat me up.” He explains that Jake didn’t take any “big vocal chance.” And Jake doesn’t fight back, “I’m so happy to be here.” Christina, ever-cheerful this episode, tried to lighten the mood, “I thought it was fun! I was having a good time back here,” imitating Jake’s yodeling technique. C’mon, he yodels!

Keeping the testosterone train going is now the omniscient narrator man’s promised source of the FASTEST CHAIR TURN IN HISTORY! RECORD TIME BUTTON PUSHERS! SPEEDIEST CHAIR TURNERS! (really, we need a linguist to mock up a Voice verb for us…)

On another side note do you guys ever wonder if the judges get dizzy from all that turning anyway?

Anyhoo, enter 20-year-old Matthew Schuler, of Pennsylvania. A rugby player and bagel shop worker, Matthew is a musical everything bagel. Get this, dude also sings songs to help him remember bagel sandwich ingredients. I wonder if he can make “lox, scallion cream cheese, and capers” catchy? Matthew is the son of pastors and dedicates the competition to them, “I could finally give them back a little bit of what they’ve given me.” Matthew sings an a cappella version of Young the Giant’s “Cough Syrup” and really, omniscient narrator man does not fail us, as all four judges appear to push the button at the same time. Matthew’s family goes berserk backstage. And Matthew continues to grace us with his butterscotch-smooth rendition. It sounds, and he looks, (with his glinty perma-white smile), like he was singing this for Glee, and I mean that as a compliment. If you’ve heard the original, Matthew’s version makes it a little more radio-friendly, but still sweet to the ‘ol ear canals. The judges go ga-ga. Tiny Christina stands up on her chair, clapping. Adam also stands on his chair before he switches to straddling it. Blake walks up onstage and shakes Matthew's hand. Christina runs down to hug him. And CeeLo says, “Well hot damn, who the hell are ya?”

It’s a battle between Christina and Adam, and I’m also torn as to which of them would most benefit future Glee cast member Matthew. Christina could give him the range, Adam could... help him get girls. “I know we can do it. This the big one that I have to get,” says Adam. “Please break that cycle. Let me be the first female coach to win this thing,” begs Christina.

Matthew, grinning ear-to-ear with all the adoration, says, “I feel like my heart is telling me that..."

NEXT: Commercial breaks and youth are cruel, no?

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