Did I totally underestimate Shakira? I'm thinking that maybe -- just maybe -- I haven't given her her proper due, given that the lady made some pretty smart power plays in tonight's episode, the fifth round of blind auditions for season six. Sure, Shakira sometimes makes no sense in her critiques, and sure, some of her contestant pitches involving her social media followers can be especially head-scratching and aimless, but tonight, Shakira demonstrated that she's got wiles -- and she knows when to use them (see: Cierra, Ddendyl, not to be confused with a dirndl). It doesn't help matters that the boys have devolved into school kids goofing off near the jungle gym, leaving Shakira to be queen of the playground.
Tonight's blinds were a pleasant enough pick-up from the ennui of the season so far, but fortunately for us, the auditions are drawing to an end in the very near future, so the less-than-stellar talent of this season will be quickly eliminated from memory. Before we begin, Usher and Shakira are both rocking nine team members, Blake and Adam are keeping their options open at seven. By the end of the episode, there's not much room left.
In addition to my Shakira epiphany, I realized a few other things tonight:
1. Everyone I really like ends up getting zero chairs.
2. I really loved the song "Cups (When I'm Gone)."
3. I hate when other people sing "Cups (When I'm Gone)."
4. The only duo Blake Shelton can think of is Siskel and Ebert.
5. I am a sucker for contestants with kids.
6. After I complained last week, it seems my prayers were heard: Unnecessary sob stories appeared to be completely gone from tonight's episode, for the most part. It was noticeably cheerier, and I don't think for one second that those overly emotional backstories were missed by viewers.
With that, let's get to tonight's blinds.
Kat Perkins, 33, Minneapolis, MN
Backstory: Five years as a yodeling cowgirl in a countrywestern revue; singer of a band called Scarlet Haze, formed with drummer ex-husband; now, nanny
Let’s Ignore: The fact that Kat makes her kids sing “What Does The Fox Say?”
Endorsement From Nameless Child: “She’s the coolest rockin’ nanny because every time we turn on music, she’s always the star.”
Song: “Gold Dust Woman” – Fleetwood Mac
It’s interesting that Kat’s pre-tape suggested she wanted to ditch country and sing rock -- and singing Fleetwood Mac should have helped -- but Usher immediately recognized her as a country singer (sorry Usher, you've removed yourself from her consideration). Shakira begins to talk about her past accomplishments, a surefire way to tell a potential artist “I love you but I’m not in love with you," so she's out too. Adam suggests that Kat was a rock singer, which makes her smile like she's in a toothpaste ad, so of course she picks Team Adam, which is absolutely the right decision.
Potential-o-Meter: 7 — I didn’t think she was that memorable, to be honest.
Shakira Says: “I’d like for you to be the architect of your own destiny.”
NEXT: Soccer star, hospital worker, and a SUPER rebellious dancer