The Voice

Hear this loud and clear. We are LOVING The Voice.

Last night, NBC's singing competition kicked off in a two-hour treat that was both wildly fun and chockfull of chills, thanks to some serious (as Cee Lo Green would say) sangers. It also had some tired bits, but hey, after 10 seasons of Idol, we'll take a few sob stories over endless weeks of clowny, time-wasting auditions.

For those of you who may have been in comas or alternate universes during NBC's full-frontal media blitz, the setup goes down like this: The four coaches — Green, always-better-than-Britney Christina Aguilera, country hunk Blake Shelton and Maroon 5's Adam Levine — pick a team of eight singers each, who will then compete against one another for a recording deal with Universal Republic. So we not only got compelling performances, we also got lots of good-natured back-and-forths between the coaches, who often had to jockey for the hopefuls they mutually favored to choose them. As for the blind audition concept, well, it's a great twist (Xtina and company listen to the tryouts with their chair-backs to the singer, turning only after hitting an "I Want You" button) but we can imagine the "voice alone" idea will be nullified by makeovers further down the line. And that's OK. If we wanted to watch schlubs on stage, we'd hold out for the next round of America's Got Talent.

Adding to the sheen of the last night's opener, aside from the winning chemistry of the four coaches, was the fact that the talent was, in Idol-speak, already Top 10 worthy. So much so that an actual former Idol wannabe, Frenchie Davis, made Team Christina, was recognized by Cee Lo, and was still not one of the night's biggest triumphs. Nope, that would be Team Levine's Javier Colon, whose take on "Time After Time" turned all of the coaches around. The guy was Ahh. May. Zing.

If The Voice can keep this up, we'll be singing its praises all season long. Was it music to your ears, too?

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