The Voice Blind Auditions Week 2, part II
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Hello KPRC Prime Blog readers—some news! As many of you might have heard, Season 4 of The Voice is gettin' all shook up when Cee Lo Green and Christina Aguilera both take temporary leaves of absence in order to pursue their own careers. Xtina’s new album Lotus will drop November 13th, so she’ll be on tour promoting that, while Cee Lo seems to have filled his plate with new projects. In a press release about his hiatus from The Voice, Cee Lo said he was “highly enthusiastic about focusing [his] undivided attention on [his] additional endeavors and interests like [his] upcoming solo album, new Goodie Mob album, Las Vegas residency “Loberace”, new memoir, and new NBC comedy.” Jeez, Cee Lo. Ya slacker. Shakira will man Xtina’s bright red swivel chair for Season 4, while Usher takes the reins for Team Red Zone. I’m foreseeing a distinct lack of cleavage but a significant boost in midriff-baring. Only time will tell.
But wait—MORE NEWS! In addition to your normal recap, we have an exclusive interview with Todd Kessler, the “man without the mane” from Team Cee Lo! I’ll give you the full scoop on Kessler, what he has learned from being on Team Cee Lo, and just what exactly the whole “mane” thing is about.
But first, a recap.
Collin McLoughlin, the NYC grad school dropout, gave a clean, abundantly pleasant rendition of Cat Stevens’ “Wild World.” Why someone who wants to be in the music biz would drop out of his Music Business Masters Program ONE YEAR shy of completion is a bit beyond me, but hey. Live your dream, man. I’m not sure of he's a staaaah, but he gave an impressive enough audition to turn 3 chairs and wound up on Team Adam.
We had tiny beltress Joselyn Rivera who was obviously going to wind up on Team Xtina with the other 8,327,849 tiny beltresses (which she did) and Benji, the ex-race car driver who was memorable mostly for his screams during his performance of “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door.” He went to Team Adam.
Now let’s get to the juice! Todd Kessler is a Chicago native who has been on the music scene for almost a decade. His indie-folk-acoustic-countryish sound has been heard in venues all over the Midwest with his band The New Folk, and they released their newest album, Sea Fever, this past August. I have seen Todd perform in Chicago many times and have been a fan since day one, so it was extra exciting for me to see his face up on the small screen! Check out his blind audition along with the auditions of Ben Taub and Emily Earle:
Todd is your quintessential acoustic musician, usually performing with his trusty guitar. As you can see from his audition, Todd left the guitar behind this time around. When I asked Todd about it, he said he wanted to “get out from behind the guitar… When you have that guitar in front of you, there’s a barrier between you and your audience.” He talked about wanting to focus more on the vocals, since this show is called The Voice after all, and that having Cee Lo for a mentor has really helped him with that. “Working with Cee Lo was very, very eye opening… The most important thing he taught me was to really connect to the lyrics that you’re singing… Being a good performer is so much more than just having a good singing voice. You really need to connect with the story behind the song and really let the audience kind of in on what you’re feeling.”
And to answer your (read: my) burning question, no, Todd has not seen Lady the Parrot. Le sigh.
During his interview after the blind audition, Todd mentioned he used to have dreadlocks down to his butt (it’s true. They were really long), which he cut during the filming of the music video for the single off his new album, “Hallelujah” (which you should watch right now because it’s INCREDIBLE.)
Christina Milian dubbed him “the man without the mane,” which Todd has now adopted as his new tagline not only in social media, but in life, too. I asked him why he cut his dreads and he said that, having just turned 30, it was time to start a new chapter in his life. He had actually gotten through the first two rounds of Voice auditions with the dreads, and then cut them right before the live taping, so the cut itself didn’t really have much to do with being on the show. But as you can see from Todd's music video, this was quite the image transformation! We should all have such momentous haircuts.
Well I’m definitely rooting for The Man Without the Mane—go get ‘em, Todd! I know you'll do your fans proud.
Check back next week for more updates on The Voice.
Thanks for reading, and as always, thanks for watching KPRC Local 2!