Admittedly that football game was a hard act to follow, but the second season premiere of The Voice seemed extra dull to me. Thankfully, a sublimely awkward reunion at the end of the episode made me feel that I hadn’t just wasted an hour (which could have otherwise been better spent lying on the couch and clutching my stomach in pain).
The final singer auditioning last night turned out to be a former Mouseketeer and childhood colleague of Christina Aguilera's. Unfortunately, she didn’t recognize him, and when someone finally clued her in, their reunion was hilariously uncomfortable.
The singer was Tony Lucca, a veteran of the ‘90s version of the Mickey Mouse Club which boasted Young Xtina, Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake. Since then, Lucca hasn’t been entirely un-famous—he opened for *NSYNC several times and dated Keri Russell for a long while.
But since household name-fame has eluded him, Lucca apparently decided his best bet was to audition for a reality show coached by a woman he used to wear Mickey Mouse Ears with on TV. Yeah, show biz is weird.
Speaking of weird, this is the show's set-up if you haven't seen it: The coaches sit in big chairs with their backs turned to the singers, so they choose based on talent alone. If a coach (Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, Blake Shelton, Adam Levine) likes what they hear, they press a big red button and swivel around in their massive chair like a Bond villain. If more than one coach hits the red button, the singer chooses their coach.
Lucca sang a throaty, fairly impressive cover of “Trouble” by Ray Lamontagne: It was good enough that all the coaches invited him to join their team. Even though Aguilera said he possessed a “beautiful silky tone,” she clearly had no idea she’d ever met him before, much less spent two years on a TV show with him as a teen. Granted, they probably haven’t seen each other since 1994, but you would think after the fourth time someone said his full name she might have made the connection. (I could name my whole eighth grade class, but maybe that's just me.)
After Lucca chose Adam Levine as his coach, someone tipped off Aguilera and she went running backstage for an incredibly awkward reunion, filled with forced-pleasantries (a high-pitched “Hiiiiiiii!!”) and a half-apology for failing to recognize him (“No hard feelings!”). Still, forgetting him is a step up from forgetting the words to the National Anthem.
All that aside, Aguilera did offer up an awesome little bit of high school gossip. “Britney had the biggest crush on you, she talked about you all the time,” Christina said to Lucca and his wife, being sure to add, “I’m sure she wouldn’t mind my saying that.” And to think, this guy had been settling for Keri Russell all that time! (Kidding, kidding...)
Did you catch The Voice after the Super Bowl, and if so, did you find it entertaining in any way?