Can you smell that? That’s the smell of post-NBC-Monday-Night-Prime. Ahhhh.
I do love Monday nights. I know that every week, I will have a rather fulfilling 3 hours, parked on my couch, doing nothing but watching the boob tube. And I know I will enjoy, at the very least, 100 of those 180 minutes (accounting for commercial time and boring moments where contestants relay their sob stories on The Voice and the plot slows to a near standstill on Smash). Oh, the joys of working in the television industry.
Indulge me for a moment, because I must say that no other TV show really focuses on the vocal abilities, creativity and perpetually evolving nature of the music industry like this one. From the concept of the blind auditions to the caliber of the coaches (insert snarky “Xtina has nothing valid to contribute other than her chesticles and self-aggrandizing remarks that almost make me forget she’s insanely talented” comment here), I am continually impressed that something so audio-centric found a home and is thriving on a very visually based medium. But enough of this product placement! On to the episode 5 recap.
To switch things up a bit, I think we should take a look at each coach’s team to prepare for next week’s Battle Rounds, marking the highlights and lowlights. Because, let’s be real, it’s only fun if someone’s taking a cyberbashing, am I right?
Adam has a pretty random smattering of artists on his team. He’s got some crazy belters like Kim Yarbrough and some country artists like Karla Davis—in other words, there is no real pattern going on here, but I hope this just pushes Adam to be creative with song choice and pairings in this upcoming Battle Round.
* Remember Pip? The kid with the suspenders and bow tie that sang “House of the Rising Sun” that kind of looks like Joey McIntyre from New Kids on the Block? Please see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7OT3Hof82g&list=UUpdK1NLHxEUGXc1gq2NxkTw&index=29&feature=plcp for reference. Side note: yes, there will be many a YouTube video in this post. I think he’s a STAH. He doesn’t have the most original sound, but I have a feeling he’ll be versatile and, with the right song choices, could be phenomenal.
* And then there’s Mathai (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSnrLqdt6oc), who, unlike Pip, does have a very unique sound and actually did a great cover of Adele’s “Rumor Has it” for her audition (and I generally hate people trying to cover Adele because, more often than not, you will most likely look real dumb). Not to mention she’s cuteness personified, so if she makes it to the viewer voting rounds, I think she has a very serious shot at awesomeness.
* Tony Lucca was a Mouseketeer, sounds like Ray LaMontagne AND made Xtina look dumb. All reasons why he is awesome. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJ8dMg_YMPk)
Not quite so hot…
* The highlight of Nicole Galyon’s audition was when her little adorable blonde brother cried little adorable blonde tears. And that’s about it.
* Katrina Parker’s voice is actually pretty cool, but her back story about the mold continues to entertain me, and not in a good way. So what, if she wins The Voice is she going to start a foundation for the Victims of Mold and Other Fungi? Just kinda weird and gross.
I think of all the teams, Cee-Lo has the largest number of my favorites from the Blind Audition round. This bodes well for the Man with the Cat. Goddamn I love that cat.
The Cat’s Meow!
* Jamie Lono, of KPRC Prime Blog fame, could be a dark horse in this competition. No, he’s not a crazy belter, and no, I don’t think he has a 12-pack hidden under his button-down/cardigan combo, but I just re-watched his rendition of “Fulsom Prison Blues,” and guess what. I still think he’s bananas. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEUOabzp2Ns)
* The ex-cyrstal-meth-addict-turned-Pharrell-lookalike Jamar Rogers knows he’s a rock star, and soon the rest of America will too. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TblfgGiweeg)
* Erin Martin Lesbian Warrior Princess has a really strange yet awesome sound, and I don’t think she is necessarily comparable to anyone, which will make it difficult to out-sing her in a one-on-one battle. Not to mention she’s hot. No need to beat around the bush about it. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-lTgwVPrLo)
* For all the stage and performance experience Tony Vincent has had throughout his career, I was definitely expecting a lot more. I hope he steps it up in the Battle Round and belts someone’s face off.
* I just really didn’t dig Wade’s voice this past episode. I think he sounds like a 75-year-old doo-wop singer trapped in an 18-year-old body, and that novelty will wear off preeeeetty soon.
There sure are a lot of names I don’t recognize on Team Blake. Hopefully they’re a bit more memorable in this upcoming Battle Round.
* Charlotte Sometimes might have a weird jaw situation, but I DUG her voice. Plus, her sound is a total 180 from her outward appearance, which I always enjoy. It’s like ventriloquism, minus the scary puppet. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PcTHmzV7CRY)
* Besides having awesome dreads, Naia Kete (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1LTaiO0rD5g) exists somewhere between reggae and folk and R&B in a way that I find incredibly appealing. She’s kooky a la Xenia from last season and I hope Blake pulls some interesting tricks with this one.
* As much as I liked RaeLynn from Baytown (and I did!), I liked Gwen Sebastian better as a country vocalist. She’s so freaking sincere and puts all of herself into her performance. She kind of sounds like Natalie Maines from the Dixie Chicks, and I LOVE me some DC. Get it girl. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kGWro72bUyM)
* Last night was not a good night for Blake Shelton. Lex Land’s audition was straight up awful and I sincerely have no idea what any one of the three judges who turned around was talking about. Not. Into. It.
* Adley Stump, first and foremost, is named Adley Stump. And I find her name almost as offensive as her weak attempt at mimicking Carrie Underwood. And that headband was unacceptable.
Last and probably least, Team Xtina
* I really hope opera singer Chris Mann can make a stand, not only for himself but for his genre. Opera singers have more power in their lightest falsettos than most pop singers do in their most powerful belts, and his audition was one of the most interesting and unique of the whole cycle. AND he sang in a different language. Get it classical singers! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7Lfc5aiW20)
* Jesse Campbell (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-zl8vw3o7A) is just a crazy legit singer. With that kind of voice, you either have it or you don’t, and he most certainly does. And I even get why he chose Xtina- homegirl can riff like it’s her job. Because, ya know, it is…
* Sera Hill (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CK0xPDvnhI0), the very last member to join Xtina’s team, had the honor, nay, privilege of being upstaged by her coach almost immediately after tasting victory. Don’t worry, Sera. We know you’re a killa. Don’t let Big Boobs getcha down.
* Anthony Evans, the Son of a Preacher Man if you will, had too much wobble to attribute all of it to nerves and had a few too many weird, pitchy moments for me to think he should’ve gotten on to any team. But if it had to be someone’s, I’m glad it’s Xtina’s.
* Geoff McBride is just a poor man’s Jesse Campbell. I’m sure these two will be matched up in the Battle Round, and I’m pretty sure homeboy’s going to get his ass handed to him. But only time will tell!
Well, I think we’re all now ready for next Monday to hurry up and get here so we can see how these Battle Rounds pan out!
Ok, so despite the fact that the plot didn’t make any huge advances this week, I’ma go ahead and say this past episode was a nice step in the right direction, and that previews for next week are incredibly promising. Not to mention, the musical numbers were OUT OF CONTROL. “I Never Met a Wolf Who Didn’t Love to Howl” is everything I could hope for out of a musical about Marilyn Monroe, and Ivy Lynn KILLZ it at that party. More on that later. Or how about right now?
For me, almost everything good about this episode happened at Derek’s soiree for child star Lyle West (Nick Jonas). Also, Nick Jonas is practically a minor being all of 19 years of age, and while he is one handsome looking manchild, that does not make it any less weird that Ivy Lynn (played by Megan Hilty, who is 30 years old), is making sexual passes at him. Also, he’s playing a 15-year-old on the show. So like… ew. However, the epicness of that musical number with the conveniently talented wait staff on hand was not only fun, but really gave a peek into what this season could become once the Marilyn musical solidifies. It occurred to me as I was watching Ivy Lynn own the hell out of that number that this musical is a legitimately phenomenal work. It’s like Smash has brought Broadway directly to the small screen, much like the movies Chicago and Hairspray did to the silver screen. The production value is top-notch and, ::GASP:: there’s even a REAL Broadway star in it!
Also, Eileen, in all her silly-putty-faced-glory, is starting to win me over. That lady is resourceful! And I like that she’s not above exploiting a 15-year-old child star. You go Glen Coco.
Perhaps the character most underrepresented on this blog who has turned out to be one of the more colorful, and does more to drive the plot than most of the other characters, is Tom Levitt (Christian Borle), Julia’s gorgeous and gay co-writer. We’ve all been on dates with people based on the suggestion (read: violent threat of being written out of the will) of our mothers, so the scene of Tom on the date with the stuffy finance guy was so relatable and sincere I couldn’t help but like the show more. Granted, the date turned out to be awesome and the guy is drop-dead GORGE which never happens in real life, but I still appreciated the effort. Also, “yay, Mom” is my new favorite phrase. I’ve been using it in really interesting situations. I suggest you do the same.
Dearest, darlingest Karen Cartwright, I must confess you bore me when you insist on speaking instead of singing. I suppose that’s not your fault, as you must adhere to the script you are given, but maybe the writers should consider having Karen only speak in song… I think that would make her more interesting/likeable/entertaining. And her dancing is hilarious, even after the “intervention” from her fellow chorusmates. But I’m glad Karen now has friends that aren’t from Iowa. God, I hated them.
I am very much looking forward to next week as it promises to FINALLY bring Karen back into the spotlight and hopefully pushes us in a forward-moving direction plot-wise. Check out this clip from E! Online for another awesome number from next week’s episode: http://www.eonline.com/news/watch_with_kristin/smash_first_look_someones_being_real_bad/297527
Until then, thanks for reading and more importantly, thanks for watching KPRC Local 2!