February 6th, 2012
01:00 PM ET
It’s been months since NBC’s "The Voice" ended its first season, and what better way to return to the game than to debut right after the Super Bowl!
As you might imagine, it had a lot of hype to live up to in that time slot on Sunday, but I’m going to go all out and say the season 2 premiere delivered, and then some.
Let's start with the “down on my luck” story from 42-year-old Jesse Campbell, who also happens to be a single dad.
Campbell tells the cameras that he moved to Los Angeles to pursue his dream, but couldn’t get a record deal or make it big in the industry. Because he couldn't make enough money to support his family, his wife ultimately left him and their daughter.
Within seconds of Campbell belting out the notes to “A Song For You,” Cee Lo Green turned his chair around, followed by Christina Aguilera. They allowed him to sing the entire song, and all four coaches applauded his efforts.
After a showdown between Cee Lo and Christina especially, Campbell decided on Christina. If you're keeping score, that's one for Aguilera and one for Shelton, as teen singer Raelynn chose the country superstar to be her coach.
Next up? Daniel Rosa, 20, from Riverside. He sings “Animal” by Neon Trees, and definitely didn't get off to a strong start.
Although they were hesitant to say it, that was confirmed by the fact that he was halfway through the song and not one of the coaches had turned around. Instead, they listened intently, almost straining to decide, talking to each other trying to assess whether they should turn around or not. But not one coach turned around during his performance! Poor guy; he came all that way for nothing.
Juliette Simms, 25, is next in line. She sings “Oh Darling,” and with a bit of a country style.
It takes a minute or two, but both Cee Lo and Adam Levine turn their chairs around in excitement. Adam even stands to sing the rest of the words with her! Blake refused to turn his chair around until the end, and Christina only turned hers around seconds before the end of the song.
The Florida native got the Christina pitch first with Christina telling her, “You blew my socks off.” Then Adam and Christina get back to basics: arguing exactly as they did in season 1! Both cut one another off, and accused the other of trying to be the center of attention. Just like old times.
Then it's Cee Lo’s turn, and after hearing him tell her she turns him on, Simms went with Team Cee Lo.
Meanwhile, Christina, perhaps feeling bad about arguing with Adam, gets up from her chair and gives him a big hug right before a commercial break along with an apology.
This is also when the show takes a quick detour and highlights two other contestants who have already had their brush with fame. We briefly meet a man who has been singing background vocals for Alicia Keys for a while. Then we hear from another contestant who's worked with Green Day.
Both contestants are pitched as people who have been in the background for too long and now deserve their time to shine, which is a nice way for "The Voice" to separate itself from all the other talent shows out there.
Chris Mann, 29, is the next one to take the stage and try to turn some chairs, and he sings LIKE NO ONE ELSE! He performs Italian opera music, and the judges seem confused.
Cee Lo is the first one to turn his chair around less than a minute after Mann’s performance, followed by Christina. But Blake and Adam refuse to turn their chairs. (Blake later interjected, saying, “I’m a country singer and I couldn’t understand a word you were saying!”)
Mann explains his song choice by saying, “I’ve been at it for a while…I decided for this show I was just going to sing like myself.” When it was decision time for Mann, he went with Christina, bringing her team's total of contenders up to two.
Then we get to see those that they rejected, but what I LOVED is that the show didn’t dwell on those that didn’t make the cut, spending more time focusing on those who did.
And now for the surprise: Tony Lucca! This guy actually knows Christina Aguilera from his Mickey Mouse Club days.
He explains during the show that while Justin, Christina and Britney were going on to become pop stars, "I decided to jump in my truck, grab my guitar and start playing small clubs." After a while, he says, "you start to reach a ceiling and you are always kind of in search of that next big break.”
When Lucca sings “Trouble," Adam is the first to turn his chair, but all four coaches wanted this former Mickey Mouse Club kid!
It wasn't until after Lucca chose to be on Adam Levine's team that Christina appeared to have an aha moment.
She pops out of her chair and goes backstage after realizing that she was on the Mickey Mouse Club years ago with Tony, and gets to meet his family. It’s a wonderful quick catch up as they both give each other hugs (and Christina let it slip that Britney Spears used to have a crush on him).
And that’s the end of the first night of blind auditions. Were you impressed by the talent on "The Voice's" premiere?
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