'The Voice': What you didn't see on the live show


Image Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC

The excitement was high and the energy was raging at the first live show of The Voice, which was held on the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank, CA.  There was also some confusion, as the most overheard question among the gaggle of fans lucky enough to score tickets was, “What happens tonight? Who’s performing?”

“I don’t care, I’m just excited to see Christina Aguilera,” interjected one 20-something female fan with red and black striped hair. My thoughts exactly. The team selections were over. The battle rounds were won and lost. Granted, I had no  had no idea what was to come Tuesday night but I didn’t care. It was just fun to see what is arguably the most talented crop of hopefuls and coaches to hit the small screen — at least on NBC.

Walking into the tiny pressroom just behind the stage, I passed a very relaxed Adam Levine and a very chipper Cee-Lo Green, who was holding a fur coat despite the perfect 71 degree weather.

“It’s cold in the studio,” the show representative explained, when I snarfed at his fabulous, but totally unnecessary, wardrobe choice. It wasn’t actually cold in the studio. It was so hot, in fact, that Green needed to be fanned off (more on that later).

The crowd gathered outside (nearly four hours before show time, mind you) looked younger, edgier, and shall I say cooler than fans who go to American Idol tapings. Unlike at Idol, grandmas and small children were not filling the seats. Instead, The Voice seat fillers have to be at least 16 years old (unlike Idol’s minimum age of eight) and ran the gamut of rocker chicks, Xtina-lovers, indie hipsters, club kids, and otherwise stylish music nuts.

On my way to the 1,200-seat Studio 16, I made a pit stop to the bathroom where I spotted fan favorite Beverly McClellan smoking a cigarette and chatting up a production assistant. I couldn’t tell if her red kilt was authentic so I asked. “Kilt!” she replied. “No skirts here.” Later, I asked her about whether she’d quit smoking and she said, “Oooh, Christina doesn’t know. But, no, I’m a smoker.”

While waiting in the restroom line, shy contestant Xenia apparently had to go really, really bad just moments before the doors were to open and her handler asked if she could cut in line. “Of course,” we all said. Once inside, the tiny singer was singing in her bathroom stall, practicing her song for the night.

Here are some other behind-the-scenes tidbits of the show, which began with host Carson Daly announcing, “Holy sh–, we’re going live tonight!”

Fan Favorites. Judging by the shout-outs from the audience members, it’s safe to say that Aguilera is the fan favorite (she had a gaggle of girls who were wearing Team Xtina t-shirts) with Levine a close second. In fact, a few solo shout-outs from female fans who wanted to express their undying love kicked off the night.

The judges’ performance. The coaches’ performance of the Queen medley was pre-taped. At 5:30 p.m. PT, Aguilera, Levine, Green, and Blake Shelton performed the songs twice. Producers picked the best of the two and went live with it at 6. In contrast, guests and judges on Idol pre-taped their important performances a week in advance. Just saying.

Hop to it, Carson! How does the host get pumped up to go live? He does a quick little hop and jumps into the air to get his blood moving. He told EW after the show, “It helps me get my energy up.”

It Puts The Lotion On The Rock Star. Levine might have turned down a makeup touch-up or two, but he was okay with his stylist massaging lotion onto his arms before going live. In all fairness, well-oiled arms do make tattoos stand out more.

Shelton sex troubles? File this under T.M.I. On a commercial break, a guy named Bill who warms up the audience asked Shelton about married life to Miranda Lambert and his response way, “married two weeks and I’m still not getting any!” When Bill went in for a follow-up, the coach joked, “What kind of details do you want about my marriage?”  Well, Blake, I think you just gave us some juicy deets yourself!

Dirrty Girl Ways. Aguilera told cutie-patootie country boy Patrick Thomas to drop his pants again. She said it once weeks ago and twice on Tuesday. Executive Producer Mark Burnett apparently liked her dirty ways: On a commercial break, he ran up and gave her a big thumbs up.

Team Cee-Lo & Team Adam. What were the other eight contestants doing during the show? After the taping, Daly informed us that contestants were encouraged to Tweet during the show. Carson even had his Blackberry in his back pocket the whole time. That might explain why the artists on team Cee-Lo and Team Adam were more interested in texting than watching the competition. At one point, it looked like Burnett was scolding them for not standing and clapping enough. I can’t read lips, but Burnett’s hand movements and finger-pointing seemed to be saying as much.

Back to Cee-Lo’s body temperature. Unlike most TV studios, Studio 16 on the Warners lot was a sauna, causing audience members to bead up. Green had a handler hold a portable, electric fan on his face and head to cool him off for the entire taping. He finally took the fan himself and kept it by his side, often cooling himself off when the cameras weren’t looking.

Sisterly Love. Seriously, Aguilera loves her ladies on Team Christina as much off camera as she does on. Frenchie Davis held her hand coming off the stage after their group performance of “Lady Marmalade,” and the pop diva couldn’t stop hugging her team post show, even when the show was over.

Comments (112 total) Add your comment
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  • Derek Van Leenen

    What was Blake’s relationship with his team like? I heard the Xtina sisterly thing, but was much more impressed with how Blake was portayed with his team

    • RCB

      For team Xtina, it’s almost sure that Beverly and Frenchie will go through. For team Blake, Dia is a sure thing. The last spot is still up for grabs. A male contestant will probably go through, but then again, Xenia has strong i-tunes sales (second to Dia).

      • JillZ

        I just don’t get Beverly’s appeal. I liked her the least.

  • k

    Christina’s team was awesome. And I loved the banter/ribbing going back and forth between the coaches. Beverly and Frenchie were the clear winners tonight although Dia did great as well. Fun episode all around.

    • bethany0403

      Really? I thought Christina was annoying and would not shut up. Let them speak and stop interrupting. Also, what the hell was she wearing???

      • Tania


      • JoAnn

        I agree. Christina needs to close her mouth!!! – and what was with the hot pants — yuck!

      • Jillian

        Christina is the only thing wrong with the show. Why won’t she shut up?

      • Skye Hill

        Ahhh here come the catty remarks. Women cant stand it when another woman gets attention.

      • kate middleton

        Agree with you. They seemed to be nervous bc of the live taping…the banter, esp from Christina, was idiotic.

        Christina desperately needs a new stylist – she is trying far too hard.

      • ST

        Agree, don’t like Christina as a judge. She can’t take a joke, doesn’t know how to deliver one and pretty much won’t shut up.

      • Rob

        agreed she bugged the crap outta me!

      • Pants

        Actually Skye, the one who had the problem with attention was Christina herself. When the focus wasn’t on her, she became a bratty child and acted out in order to get everyone back to her. She made her team act as background singers while she keened like a banshee in heat. She’s got a terrific voice and we all know it–she doesn’t need to scream every note. She should take the advice she ironically gave to Frenchie and stop oversinging.

        I’ve been a fan of Christina’s for years. Her bahaviour on last night’s show ended that. She acted without tact, grace, or class. And that’s not even touching the subject of her stylist, who should be fired at once. I really hope they get a different coach to fill her place next season.

      • Judy

        Totally agree, Bethany. I was so embarrassed for her trash-talking attempts :-/

      • Rob_in_MN

        I agree, Christina is coming off like a bit of a moron. And really classless, otherwise I love the show.

      • BruceMpls

        I totally agree with Pants. I’ve also been a fan of Christina for many years but her attitude on the show is pathetic. She’s trying to be a Simon Cowell and has no idea how to do it.

      • Tracey

        Skye, women can’t stand it when another woman gives the entire gender a bad name. I couldn’t care less if Christina got every ounce of attention. If only it would be for brains and singing ability and not fake boobs, fake hair and horrible clothes. Someone else already said it, but her stylist needs to be fired and find another line of work. Possibly doing a drag queen show of some kind.

      • Isla

        yeah I agree that christina is basically coming off as a douche but as a viewer of the show I’m loving it. her diva/childish behavior is hilarious to me. much like the way tyra is always absurd on antm. she’s entertaining in a trainwreck kind of way.

    • Kelcie

      i agree with Derek…and Skye.

  • Jason

    I love this show so much. I mean, ask me again in a few years when the coaches start getting bored, but every emotion on this show seems way more genuine than Idol. They all look excited to be there and look like they are having fun. I’m so happy this show is on and getting great ratings.

  • Sagittarian25

    Christina’s team KILLED it.

    That Lady Marmalade performance was EVERYTHING.

    • Denton

      OMG yes! That performance had me dancing along in my living room. LOVED it!

  • Rachel

    I really enjoyed how the judges seemed like they genuinely cared about their team. I LOVE the restriction on voting. American Idol are you listening!?!

    • Anne

      I’m glad I don’t have to dial for hours when I really love someone, but I have access to at least 5 phones to vote with.

      • Karen

        50 votes is still a lot better than the hundreds of votes people can do with American Idol’s rules.

    • Kacey


    • Snsetblaze

      I like the fact that voting is open until Monday – so if you watch the show late via DVR – you can still vote.

      • Chris

        I agree, that’s really cool.

      • Lily

        I agree. I had no choice, but to DVR it due to my schedule. Watching it this morning I was happy to be able to vote.

      • Squishmar

        Wow… didn’t know that. I’ve been watching online on NBC, so this is great news knowing I can still vote. Very cool.

  • maya

    i think christina did a good job and the live performance are great

  • Beauty

    These judges are so much more genuine and not afraid to criticize and they don’t give BS critics.

    • Mike

      Seriously? They praised every single performance tonight and didn’t criticize once.

      • el

        To be fair the performances feel a lot more like a concert and less like a TV show.

      • Snsetblaze

        There were a few minor criticism (especially for Lilly – but it was more about the “mimes”). Even the worst of these performances was better than 90% of what was on Idol this year but I would like to see a little more constructive criticism. I do agree that the performances do seem more like a concert though.

      • Squishmar

        I don’t think their jobs are to “judge” though. I think they truly mentor them (or “coach” them, since they’re called coaches) throughout the week, and then once it’s live it’s up to the contestants to do their best and for the audience to decide who did best.


    Christina’s Team Nailed it. I love Frenchie and Beverly. I’m so in love on this show. People behind the Voice are truly BRILLIANT! 2nd season gets me more excited. Woo Hoo!

  • Red

    BEST SHOW in PRIMETIME!!! that Lady Marmalade performance is bringing me back to the early 2000’s! Great contestants too! I’m rooting for Team Xtina

  • TinLV

    Lots of good performances tonight and a few really great ones. I’m most impressed with Beverly, Frenchie and Jared. All are anything but mainstream, but that’s what makes them so good. Great voices and stage presence to go with them. Raquel and Patrick are really good, too. I like the limited voting. Good idea.

    • Snsetblaze

      Ditto. And Xenia was charming. I was however bored by the country guy and thought Rachel hit several bum notes.

  • Yawn

    I never understood why Ryan Seacrest got all that money for hosting idol . But now I do . Carson Daly is a horrible host . I mean it’s like if a yawn could yawn . Besides that , the ” V ” room is jpretty lame and not appropriately named . The girl that does that hosting there Alison .. Something is not a great choice . Change the the hosts and this show could be a lot bigger than it already is .

    • Mitch

      The show is number one and had it’s largest audience yet last week, with over 14,000,000 viewers. It was never expected that this show would achieve Idol’s ratings, yet it’s already rather close to doing so. I’m expecting lasts nights numbers to be substantially higher than the previous weeks episode, meaning ratings north of 15-16 million views.

      I kinda get what you’re saying about Daly, but I think he fits perfectly within the show. I for one can’t stand Ryan Seacrest, and I know I’m not a minority with that opinion. Daly is being Daly – he’s been hosting music television far longer than Seacrest, and this is his true personality. I think he fits so well with the show because when he started TRL years back is right when Christina Aguilera was fresh in the business and just bursting onto the scene. So it’s interesting to have them now, involved in the same television show, so late in their careers.

      • Zakry

        Not to step on your point, Idol averages 23 million viewers a week, 14 million is excellent, but “rather close” to Idol? No.

  • Ron

    I’m a little disappointed in The Voice so far, true there are good singers on it but we barely see them. It was 6 weeks between Jeff’s first and second performance. They should of condensed the battle rounds and got them over with in one episode. Tonight was a disappointment not knowing what exactly was going to happen I was disappointed to see only Christina and Blake’s team preform. Just My opinion but they are the two weakest teams, no performances stood out to me “nice” is the best I can say about any of them. The judges/coaches taking jabs at each other was mildly entertaining though. Note to any performer: NEVER cover a Queen song you will only make yourself look foolish!

    • kate middleton

      I totally agree that the pace is off. Hopefully they will fix that next year – there is no reason the battles should take 4 weeks.

      I can’t stand all the twitter stuff and how they keep cutting to that Alison girl – they are trying WAY too hard with that. Just focus on the performances, please!

      • Katie

        I was on twitter while they were cutting to her and even I was completely annoyed by her and her twitter pimping.

      • kate middleton

        Yeah, I don’t mind the tweets at the bottom of the screen, but they were really just trying too hard. That will happen organically with a show like that – all the pimping was just annoying, IMO.

      • Squishmar

        Kate… I think they will definitely tweak the process and pace next season. For one thing, I think they’ll have some way to bring back a really good contestant from each team who had to be booted because their particular battle was against another really good person. It does the show no favors to have to boot someone really good (like from the Week 1 battles–where the teams were really closely matched) and keep on someone like the awful sisters… although, to be fair, that choice is on Cee-Lo’s head and I think he’ll regret it very soon. I don’t know why he kept them. The novelty wore off *during* their first blind audition.

      • swietie

        Probably the number of twitter followers and/or facebookfriends may boost their changes to the next rounds?
        Just remember that computervoting may not give you the exact figures of how popular the contestant is.
        It is still a show to promote the contestants in a certain way.

  • Jose

    Team Christina: Nailed it! I enjoyed every moment.

  • Sagittarian25

    NBA playoffs were airing the same time. The ratings could get affected somehow.

    • Zakry

      Nah. Entirely different audiences.

  • joansie

    The writer of thid article should have their name readable. Please let me know whenever you write your details are to love,love love. A true pro, love your work.

    • Squishmar

      Not sure what you mean… the writer of this is Carrie Borzillo.

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