Click on the video below and then quickly close your eyes. The voice you hear singing that Sam Cooke chestnut – does it belong to a man or a woman?
Adam Levine, Maroon 5 frontman and panelist on NBC’s hit The Voice, was pretty sure he knew. Watch his face when he turns around and sees he’s being serenaded by Tim Mahoney, a 39-year old journeyman singer from Minnesota.
Confusion, surprise, dismay – they all register on Levine’s face.
“I thought you were a chick,” he confesses.
It set off a flurry of anatomical references from the judges/coaches. Finally Blake Shelton told Mahoney, “I’m not as interested in talking to you about your genitalia as everybody else is.”
This is the “blind audition” segment of the show during which Levine, Shelton, Cee-Lo and Christina Aguilera sit in big Capt. Kirk console seats facing away from the stage. The idea is that they will select singers they want to work with judged purely on their talent, not their appearances.
That can lead to some comical moments, for instance, when Blake Shelton buzzed in for bespectacled Tyler Robinson. The country star admitted he was a little chagrined when he first turned around and saw a Drew Carey lookalike. In Nashville, they call that buying a pig in a poke.
But no one foresaw that these blind auditions might lead to gender confusion. It makes for good TV though. Levine’s double take? Priceless.