Adam Levine Recruits Two of the Most Desired Contestants on ‘The Voice’
After spending much of the first half of tonight's premiere episode of 'The Voice' being teased by fellow coaches Christina Aguilera and Blake Shelton and not getting any of singers to sign up with him, Maroon 5's Adam Levine made a strong comeback by recruiting two of the strongest contenders onto his team in the second half of the NBC singing competition.
Jeff Jenkins, a big-boned, big-hearted kid from Texas with a heartbreaking story about his deceased mother, absolutely floored all four judges with his take on Rascal Flatt's 'Bless the Broken Road,' and surprised the crowd by going not with the established country star (Shelton) on the panel, but instead with Levine. Perhaps he was won over by Levine's urgency, as he interrupted his fellow coaches more than once to make his case for Jenkins, firmly declaring, "I want to work with you."
It didn't take long for him to grab a second singer after that. When Rebecca Loebe delivered a brooding take on Nirvana's 'Come as You Are,' Levine at first hung back, allowing Aguilera to express her interest. But when Loebe hit a haunting series of breathy high notes towards the end, he submitted and ended up getting his way. The young contestant explained, "Since Adam's career has followed a trajectory more similar to what I'm aspiring to, it would make more sense for me to be on Adam's team."
The back and forth between Levine and, particularly, Aguilera, intensified throughout the night as they fought over singers they both chose for their teams. (The coaches start off facing away from the competitors. If more than one star turns around during a performance, the singer has to choose their mentor.) Christina referred to him as a "wheeler-dealer" at one point.
None of that stopped him from making another strong move. Despite strong pleas from Cee Lo and Aguilera, one of the two most impressive singers of the night, Javier Colon (who pretty much killed it with a tender reading of Cyndi Lauper's 'Time After Time') was won over by Levine's self-motivated speech: "I want to win this s--- so I really want you to pick me."
As the show wound down, Levine expressed satisfaction with his evening's work: "I'm really excited about the group I'm putting together, my little singing army." He withstood Shelton's gentle teasing and Aguilera's more forceful interruptions rather well, though he was clearly the least charismatic of the four judges. Most importantly, he displayed a killer instinct that may serve him well in future episodes. Let's see how he does next week as the four judges -- we haven't mentioned Cee Lo Green much here, but you can read about his night here -- round out their teams and move on to the next stage of the competition.