Mackenzie Bourg performs in 'The Voice' blind auditions. (Tyler Golden / NBC )
Another blind auditions episode of "The Voice," another batch of talented singers with heart-tugging back stories.
First up in the second show of the season Tuesday night was Adriana Louise, a waitress and bartender from Brooklyn, New York, who said music "saved" her when she was 9, after a gang attacked her dad and held her family hostage before police moved in. "The only thing that made me happy was my music. It entirely got me through that situation," she said. Her version of "Domino" spun all four judges around.
Christina Aguilera gave Louise a standing ovation, called her a "superstar" and said she believed in her and really wanted "to be the one that's by your side taking you to the end." Cee Lo Green complimented Louise on her poise and then said, I guess because he and the singer were both wearing white, "We look like we just got married." Adam Levine begged. Blake Shelton said she made him smile.
So who'd she pick? "I love you all, but the first record I ever bought with my own money when I was 9 years old was Christina Aguilera," Louise said, making Aguilera "so happy" and Green mutter, "I'm getting that marriage annulled."
Next keeper was a wrestler turned singer with an auspicious-sounding name, Casey Muessigmann. He said he believed wrestling had made him a better artist, and after an injury and "some rough times" that included gaining and losing 100 pounds, he was ready to show the world he had the heart, talent and work ethic to make it as a singer.
"Boots. I heard boots," Shelton said as Muessigmann walked out on stage. Shelton spun shortly after the singer launched into "Sweet Home Alabama." Green also turned around, complimenting Muessigmann's "country swagger" and "soul." Shelton was impressed by Muessigmann's stage moves. "That ass spanking you were doing up there," he said. "That's what had me. I was looovin' that."
But it didn't really matter what Shelton said. Muessigmann, who referred to Shelton as "the man," was going to pick him regardless, saying his goal in trying out for the show "was to make great country music with Blake Shelton." Backstage, he called the audition "life-altering." Aw.
In her second snag of the night, Aguilera scooped up the adorable Aquile, a full-time musician who lives in San Diego, though he grew up in Wyoming, where being biracial seems to have presented some challenges. He learned to play guitar after getting his jaw broken when he was punched in the mouth. He played some gigs with his mouth wired shut a la Kanye West. Levine, Aguilera and Green spun for his buttery vocals on "Your Song." All three made their pitch, but Aguilera's – "I kind of want a private concert, to be honest" – apparently trumped the others.
The next artist to get picked was Mackenzie Bourg, and his back story was a doozy. This sweet-faced singer – whom the judges later said looked like a cross between Harry Potter and Justin Bieber – was coming off a year in which he contracted a virus that shut all his organs down and nearly caused his heart to stop. He woke up from his induced coma the night before the Super Bowl, after which "The Voice" made its Season 2 premiere, and apparently vowed to go after his dreams. "Now I have a passion for sharing my gift with other people," he said. "I sing with passion and I sing with heart and I'm definitely gonna give this heart as much as it can take." His "Pumped Up Kicks" – on which he accompanied himself on guitar – impressed only Green enough to turn around. But Green didn't seem bothered by his solitude. "I like you. Come on down, bro," he said.
Last, we met Julio Cesar Castillo, who began singing mariachi music at the age of 3 (is anyone else reminded of Sebastien "El Charro De Oro," the pint-sized mariachi singer who competed on "America's Got Talent" this season?). Castillo is still singing mariachi to help support his family, and he plans to bring the Spanish language to "The Voice." "I will be the first artist ever to sing an entire song in Spanish on 'The Voice,'" he told us. "If those four chairs turn around, it would be a dream come true."
Ultimately, only Shelton and Green hit their buttons for Castillo's “La Bamba.” Shelton, who spun sooner, seemed to want Castillo more, pulling out all the stops by reminding him that he'd coached last year's winner. Green's appeal – "You know, different is what I do. But Blake is brilliant at doing the same thing over and over again" – held no sway. "I think I'm gonna go with Blake," Castillo said.
At some point, we also saw LeAnn Rimes' cute karaoke-singing tour manager take his shot in the spotlight and come up short, but the best part of the evening – and possibly of Monday night's show as well – was the spot-on impression Levine did of Shelton. I'd push my button to watch a whole show of that.
What did you think of Tuesday night's episode?
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