Hyphen TV: Have a Wonderful Day

April 1, 2013

Judith is not afraid to go for a bold look, and I like it

The Voice is back! In the premiere we met Leah Lewis; she's 15 and was adopted from
China when she was eight months old (Leah's sister was also adopted
from China). Looking back at photos of the dilapidated orphanage, Leah commented, "it's crazy that I could come from that." She
went on to explain that she is a country singer and wants to "break the
stereotype" that only a certain type of person (um, white) can be
successful in the genre. It was sweet to see Leah's dad start to cry as
he talked about how proud he is of her. Aww. Parents, you guys! My
greatest weakness.

During Leah's performance of Carrie Underwood's "Blown
Away," Usher mouthed "So close" to Adam, who responded, "I know." When none of the coaches turned around after her performance, Usher repeated that she was really close and has "a very powerful voice." Shakira advised Leah to
keep practicing, and Adam shared some encouraging words: "If you're 99% amazing and you're
15, you got nothing to worry about, sweetheart." Blake added, "I turn
around and there's a cute little Asian girl singing a country song; that
was cool and surprising." I'll forgive the infantilizing comment only
because I get that it must have been an unexpected sight for the judges. Way to keep 'em on their toes, Leah! Keep at it, girl!

This is what a country singer looks like, America!

Before the season even premiered, The Voice contestant Judith Hill was already getting a lot of publicity; she was previously known for being one of the
background singers featured in the Michael Jackson tour/documentary This
Is It
and for singing "Heal the World" at Michael's memorial service.
Frankly, I don't understand why she needs to be on The Voice, but I'm
thrilled to get the chance to spend a little time with her again.
Judith's mother is a keyboardist from Tokyo, and her father is an
African American funk musician. It's "a blessing to carry on the family
legacy" of music, she shared, and though her phone went crazy after her
"Heal the World" performance, she explained "it seemed like poor taste" to pursue
those opportunities at that time.

So there she was auditioning
for The Voice, singing a funky version of "What a Girl Wants" that got
immediate turns from Usher and Adam and eventual turns from Blake and
Shakira. Usher and Adam stood during the song, both
desperate to recruit Judith to their teams. "You are the first person on
the show to do Christina as well as Christina," Adam began. "I am going
to claw everyone's face until you realize that I am your friggin'
coach. I'm gonna light myself on fire to make sure you are on my team."
Usher assured her, "Not only will you win The Voice, but you'll win the
world over." Blake said it was "like a star just hatched out of a shell
up there," leaving me wondering if he understands where stars come from.
Shakira couldn't really add much more, saying, "We all know that you're
perfect, we all want you. My heart is beating fast right now because I
feel I'm in front of a star." Phew! Effusive enough, guys? Judith
decided to join Team Adam, who exclaimed, "She's going to be a
Grammy-winning superstar." I don't doubt it! Can't wait to see more from
Judith in the coming weeks.

She is adorable, you guys

And what's that? Is Dr. Sung
getting a tiny bit of character development on Monday Mornings? Oh, the
shock...! This week we saw Sung in his office, looking at a
very ill-designed website called English for Anyone, which
robotically spits out phrases like "Have a wonderful day" for Sung to
awkwardly repeat. (If I may be even more of an insane stickler for a
second: the recordings on the "website" speak way too quickly! That is
no way for a non-native speaker to hear nuances of sound and tone.
C'mon, writers.) Sung was embarrassed when his English language lesson
was interrupted by Dr. Wilson, who was looking for a little guidance on
dealing with a lawyer. Sung gave him his usual warm welcome: "Want
something. What want." Then, upon hearing Wilson's situation, described the lawyer as a "bad man, not honorable" before dishing out a little
extra wisdom on Wilson's relationship with one of the other doctors: "Sleep with another man's wife, ruin marriage? Shame. Want advice? Get 'Sorry' pamphlet. Fran Horowitz." A Korean person learning English would have a lot more
trouble with "Horowitz" than he did, by the way, but I'll let it slide. Later, we see
Sung back on the website; this time repeating the phrase, "I'm so sorry
the patient died." Is this an ESL site or one that teaches you how not
to be a jerk? This show, man.


Dianne Choie


Dianne Choie's TV is in Brooklyn, NY. She has a cat, several reusable shopping bags, and other mildly annoying stereotypes of youngish people who live in Brooklyn.