Cierra Mickens, 23, Eagle River, AK
Backstory: Administrative assistant to her adorable chaplain dad Wilbert
High Stakes: If the chairs don’t turn, she’ll go to law school
Song: “Crazy” – Gnarls Barkley
I knew I liked Cierra from her pre-tape alone, but I knew I loved her from her first phrase because this girl can SING. What a knockout. Blake, Usher and Shakira turn, and while Blake and Usher bicker about “technical fouls,” Shakira takes it upon herself to approach Cierra on the stage and connect immediately with her, telling Cierra how much she believes in her and establishing an intimate bond. That was a wise move from Shakira, and here's why: Cierra's got a voice with real Voice potential, and I’ll choose to believe that Shakira recognized that early on and leapt to her feet to get a head start on a truly great singer. I'll also choose to believe that the shared moment paid off and is the reason Cierra goes with Team Shakira in the long run.
Tyler “Mgummy” Montgomery, 24, Dexter, MO
Especially Sad Backstory: Turned to music after watching his father burn to death in a tragic farmhouse fire
Self-Described: “Country boy”
Actually Is: Raspy, high-voiced soul singer
Song: “I Wish” – Stevie Wonder
Poor little Tyler! I don’t have much to say except that. He came, he saw, he sounded like a woman. And so it goes, and so it goes.
Alaska & Madi, Tulsa, OK
Backstory: Met at age 12 in a singing group competition called American Kids (which Blake won!)
High Stakes: If they don’t turn a chair, Madi’s going to college for jazz studies while Alaska is going to go home and figure out her life
Song: “Barton Hollow” – The Civil Wars
Yes, her name is Alaska, and yes, you have to accept it, because Adam turned around pretty quickly for this country-fried duo. Alaska actually looks the country part, while Madi sort of looks like she’s going to some sort of western-themed sorority philanthropy that requires cyan ankle boots. Blake looked a little reluctant to turn, but he gave them the coveted Pistol Annies comparison, which really sets the girls off. Come on, there was never any doubt that they’d pick Team Blake if he turned around. Adam’s mad.
Potential-o-Meter: 5 – The duos are usually the first to go
Adam Says: “They might as well have been his little cousins or something.”
Ddendyl, 25, Washington, DC
Yes, That’s: Ddendyl
Backstory: Eccentric musician father, adorable polka dot dress
Song: “Stand By Me” – Ben E. King
Holy crap, Ddendyl is talented. And gorgeous. And just an overall damn cool girl. Yes, her name looks like Siri is drunk, but she’s actually very endearing. Shakira’s quick to recognize the uniqueness of her voice (which is really fun to listen to), and I can guarantee that if Blake and Adam could see her, they’d turn their chairs much faster. I liked Shakira’s use of the word “airy” to describe Ddendyl’s voice. It’s just Team Shakira who scores her, which proves yet again that I have underestimated Shakira (or that her worst moments were edited into the first few blind audition episodes).
Potential-o-Meter: 8 – Get it, Ddendyl
Josh Kaufman, 38, Indianapolis, IN
Backstory: Father and husband, working musician, standardized test tutor
Song: “One More Try” – George Michael
It takes just five words for Adam to recognize the potential of Josh’s voice. It takes about 15 for Blake. Shakira waits unusually long (by Shakira standards) but she turns as well, and Usher “Holdout” Raymond waits even longer. But boom, all four turn, and it’s an all-out philosophical brawl for this quasi-hipster fella. Josh wisely opts to go with Team Adam -- their styles match up nicely, and Adam always seems to be the choosiest (he even says Josh could win the whole thing).
Potential-o-Meter: 9 – I spy big things for J-Kauf.
What'd you think of episode five? Big improvement from last week, no?