"The Voice's" blind auditions saw a few unexpected acts grace the stage Tuesday and a few unexpected coaches snag them.
A country hopeful didn't head to Team Blake, and a model-turned-singer with the temerity to cover Adam's own song didn't head to Team Adam. And a pair of white guys from Idaho who chatted up Shakira in Spanish didn't end up picking her, either.
And at the end of the night, Adam came away with a whale (and a Whale) of a catch.
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The night's first hopeful was Tawnya Roberts, a country singer who'd spent too long putting in her dues in Nashville. "I play out four to five nights a week," she said. "I've been shot down by every label in town."
A surefire Blake favorite, right? Especially with her playful but lilting take on the Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson classic "Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys?"
Blake, who'd nabbed a country hopeful Monday night, sat out that round while the other coaches fought for her. Usher pulled out the tried-and-true Dolly Parton comparison any country singer wants to hear — but armed with an "English to Country" dictionary and praise of Tawnya's talents, Shakira won the 27-year-old over.
"I'm totally psyched about Shakira. She seemed super-passionate," the singer said.
But she wasn't quite as psyched as Cathia.
Cathia, a college student from the Bronx whose family hails from El Salvador, won the coaches over not just with her soaring take on "No Me Doy por Vencido" (Spanish for "I Will Never Give Up") but also with her sense of humor — and her endearing fan-girl moment.
"Usher!" she yelled, starstruck after she finished her song — itself a bold choice, given that it was entirely in Spanish. "Shakira!" she screamed, realizing she had just sung before one of the world's biggest Latin pop stars.
"I didn't understand one word," Blake said.
"It's okay, music is universal!" Cathia rejoined, and her enthusiasm was clearly infecting the coaches.
"I understand you," said Shakira, saying she wanted to be a mentor to the 19-year-old just as Gloria Estefan had been a mentor to her. "You can take the world by storm."
But if singing in Spanish is bold, singing one of the coaches' own songs is even bolder, and that's just what model-turned-singer Josiah Hawley did.
The gamble paid off. Hawley's take on Maroon 5's "Sunday Morning" won Adam over, and his hairstyle won some plaudits from Blake. But Hawley ultimately chose Usher as his coach.
Adam instead got a team member, and his first-ever duo, in Midas Whale, a quirky folk-pop duo from Idaho — one half of which was "American Idol" alum Jon Peter Lewis. After promising to become the first duo to win the whole shebang, the pair delivered a rockabilly cover of Johnny Cash's "Folsom Prison Blues," accompanying themselves on accordion and acoustic guitar.
And for a couple of white guys from out west, the pair stunned Shakira when they began chatting her up in Spainish.
But that Whale was hardly Adam's biggest catch of the night.
That honor belonged to Sarah Simmons, a soft-spoken music student from Memphis, Tenn., whose soft-spoken reserve belied her powerhouse of a voice.
Her emotional take on the Joan Osborne hit "One of Us" built from a fragile croon to a raspy belt and had the coaches stumbling over each other, and themselves, to woo her to their teams. Blake even deemed hers one of the top few performances he'd heard yet.
She chose to join Team Adam, and he had nothing but praise.
"She is magic," he said. "It is unreal."
The one contestant who went home disappointed Tuesday night was Abraham McDonald, a 35-year-old who began to take his ambitions seriously after his little sister goaded him into karaoke competitions. His take on Beyoncé's "Best Thing I Never Had" didn't prompt any of the coaches to turn their chairs.
"I think you're an excellent singer," Shakira told him with regret. "The only thing you lacked was a little precision on the trills."
Blind auditions will continue on "The Voice" next week.