April 9, 2013 at 11:24 PM ET
“The Voice” wrapped up its blind auditions on Tuesday, with each of the four coaches having one spot left to fill as the show kicked off. That gave Blake Shelton, Usher, Shakira and Adam Levine a difficult choice: Turn their chairs around early, secure their squad and then sit around bored stiff until everyone else finally got motivated to complete their rosters? Or wait around and hope that the next Justin Bieber walks through the door when each of the other judges had already fired all their bullets?
Blake took the first approach, turning around in a nanosecond for Jacqui Sandell and then convincing her to pick him over Usher. And wow, was that a mistake. Not necessarily because better singers followed, but because the country star’s too antsy to sit around and twiddle his thumbs until everyone else was finished.
So he spent the remaining 45 minutes of the episode (and goodness knows how long in real life) trying to convince the other three that whoever was onstage at that moment was the greatest performer ever, so they should turn their chairs around and let him get back home to Miranda Lambert as soon as possible.
Adam Levine soon rounded out his own team by securing country singer Amber Carrington. With the veteran coaches both set, Shakira and Usher now had two voices urging them onward.
“Buble! Buble!” Blake whispered to Usher when Dustin Hatzenbuehler took the stage. The hype didn’t work. The R&B star didn’t turn around, perhaps because while Dustin was pleasant enough, he was far from Buble-esque.
Blake and Adam were moments away from asking to get their seats switched so they could be next to each other and at least play some cards while the newbies finished up, but Luke Edgemon got onstage just in time. He inspired both Usher and Shakira to turn around, and even got Shakira to do her impression of how Usher lounges around in his tilt-a-whirl chair. That broke the tie, and she got the nod.
Had the rules been different, and had Usher been smart, he could have used being the last coach left with an incomplete roster to his advantage. Imagine if he had stretched things out, forced singer after singer to take the stage as the other three judges started falling asleep. Surely they would have offered their top singers in trade just to end this phase of the competition.
But instead, Usher caught a break with Jessica Childress, who surely would have caused multiple coaches to fight over her had she come around earlier. Because the hopeful came in so late in the blind auditions, he got her without a fight.
Now, it’s on to next week’s battle rounds, where a bunch of these finalists will ask themselves the time-honored question: "What on earth was I thinking when I chose this judge anyway?"
Which coach do you think has the strongest team? Tell us on our Facebook page!
More in The Clicker: