Metro Atlanta did well in the first round of NBC’s “The Voice” over the past month’s pre-taped episodes: at least five singers who live here made it into the semifinals. Each of the four judges have picked 12 singers each for a total of 48.
Adam Levine nabbed three of them that I know of: Pip of Marietta, Chris Cauley of Atlanta and Mathai, who moved to Atlanta a year ago but is identified as a Dallas resident.
Blake Shelton picked Jordan Rager, a country singer from Loganville during the fourth episode.
Christina Aguilera took in her 12th and final member of her team last night: Sera Hill of Lithonia.
Ironically, the one Atlanta judge, Cee Lo Green, ended up with no Georgians on his team that I know of.
Next Monday starts the battle rounds, where each coach will pick two singers to go one on one and pare them down to six, then to three. Of the four, Mathai is the standout in my mind.
Here’s a quick summary of how each got there, with a link to the videos of each singer:
Pip. (UPDATE: I had earlier referenced him as Pip Andrew. Andrew is his middle name. For publicity purposes, he goes only by Pip.)
Song choice: “House of the Rising Sun” – the Animals
Age: 19. City: Marietta (2010 Kennesaw Mountain High School graduate)
Distinctive look: bow ties and suspenders.
Who picked him: all four judges.
His quote: “People don’t want to take me as seriously,” he said, because his voice and look don’t match.
Judge quotes: “Great song choice and great delivery,” Cee Lo said.
“You are a chameleon and could do anything,” Adam said.
Pip picked Adam because he turned his chair around first. “I never thought all four of you would turn around in a million years,” Pip said.
Song choice: “Grenade” – Bruno Mars
Age: 27. City: Atlanta, grew up in Cumming
Distinctive look: fedora.
Who picked him: Cee Lo Green and Adam Levine.
Style: deep soul, loves Stevie Wonder, Earth, Wind & Fire, James Brown
Judge comments: “It was really great all the way through. You were really smooth.” – Christina. “This guy had to be part of this competition so I had to press my button.” – Adam, who cited his “consistency” and “grace.”
His comment (on the Star 94 Cindy & Ray show):” “The most nerve-wrecking thing I’ve ever done.”
Who he picks as a coach: Adam.
What Chris says: “I just respect him so much as an artist. He’s a cool dude.”
He is a regular at: Buckhead Church
Song choice: “Rumour Has It” – Adele
Look: adorable, sweet
Style: distinctive, with pop stylings
Who picked her: Blake Shelton, Adam Levine, Cee Lo Green
What the coaches said: “Attention! We are looking at a star right here! You don’t sound like anybody else before.” – Blake Shelton. “You were laying down this sassiness. No nerves. You owned everything you’re doing.” – Adam Levine. “You have the whole thing going.” – Cee Lo.
Who Mathai picked: Adam
Here’s a duet she did with Cauley of “Ordinary People” by John Legend:
Song choice: “I’m Goin’ Down” – Mary J. Blige
Quirk: a self-proclaimed psychic
Distinctive look: feminine tough, in a Mary J. Blige-ish way
Style: R&B all the way
Who picked her: Christina Aguilera, who then sang with her and she held up just fine.
Song: “Chicken Fried” Zac Brown Band
City of residence: Loganville
Judge who picked him: Blake Shelton
What Blake said: “You’re the first real genuine country singer in two seasons of the Voice to step across this stage. And I’m the only here who gets it.”
By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk