The Voice Season 14 premieres TONIGHT with coaches Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Alicia Keys and American Idol OG winner and newbie Kelly Clarkson. Carson Daly returns as host. Join us as we LIVE BLOG every performance.
Watch out for the NEW twist The Block plus brand new chairs.
The show opens with Kelly Clarkson walking out onto an empty stage, fantasizing that she wins The Voice. Oh boy.
Britton Buchanan – 17 – Sanford NC – Trouble by Ray LaMontagne – Preview posted HERE. His mom says Britton was not an athlete, but when she handed him a guitar “it just clicked.” His singing voice is mature, sounding much older than 17! His tone has a nice bluesy texture. His interpretation doesn’t bring much new to the song. But he’s decent! Blake finds him good enough to block Adam when he turns. Blake refuses to admit it at first, though. Alicia turns as well. Britton compliments Adam on his “I Love LA” video with Randy Newman. He probably would have picked him–if he could. This twist sucks. Alicia wants to help Britton develop his ability to move people. “If you pick Alicia, it’s going to be so funny,” says Kelly. Oh I agree. AND HE PICKS ALICIA. AWWWEESOMMME. After Britton says he thinks Alicia can take his music in interesting directions. Blake insists blocking Adam was worth it, even if Britton didn’t pick him. Uh huh. – Britton chooses Team Alicia – Download at iTunes
Brynn Cartelli – 14 – Beneath Your Beautiful by Labrinth – Meadow MA – She’s a huge Kelly Clarkson fan. AND SO YOUNG. Her parents are proud of how far she’s come. Well, she’s young but very talented. Her phrasing and tone are really mature for her age. Her pitch is great. Her alto is pleasing and she’s really doing her own thing with this song. Kelly hits her button right away. But then, uh oh. Blake hits his button at the very last minute. Kelly hears a lot of influences in her voice “I can win with you,” Kelly sings. Brynn admits that she’s been a fan since she was 4. Blake is toast. Adam is advocating for Kelly. Blake says he’s had tons of success with young female singers. Besides, Kelly has no coaching experience! “I’m just saying you had to phone a friend,” Kelly says about her stint mentoring alongside Blake in season 2. – Brynn chooses Team Kelly. She hands Brynn a Season 14 jersey! – Download at iTunes
Rayshun LaMarr – 33 – Fort Washington, MD – Don’t Stop Believing by Journey – He sings in a group that performs corporate gigs. He tearfully describes being diagnosed with Lymphoma 3 years ago. Mom and dad are interviewed too. He had a bunch of transfusions and chemo. He lost some of his voice and hearing, which eventually came back, and now he’s cancer free. His song choice is deliberate, a testament to never giving up. Adam pushed his button immediately. Alicia followed quickly after. I dunno, his vocal tone is REALLY harsh. He’s shouting and screaming. He could use a little finesse. He’s going to lose his voice if he keeps doing that. Adam wasn’t expecting a black dude. Alicia says he sings with “so much joy.” Dang, he begins crying again, describing why he chose the song. Kelly wishes she had hit her button. “You have earned this moment,” says Blake. Adam notes there were issues, that he could help with. Alicia promises she will help Rayshun bring his story to life. “I’m ready for my 2nd consecutive win with you.” Oh c’mon Alicia. You know that’s bullshit. Rayshun is not a contender. And wisely, Rayshun Chooses Team Adam – Download at iTunes
Kyla Jade – 33 – Nashville TN – See Saw by Aretha Franklin – We posted a preview HERE She is Jennifer Hudson’s background singer. She spent her entire childhood in church! She sang backups for Carrie Underwood at one point. When her mom developed a seizure disorder, she set aside music. After her mom got better, she joined Jennifer on tour. She sang behind her during a season 13 performance. Jennifer wishes her luck via video! She would be honored to work with any of the coaches, but feels Kelly will connect since they both auditioned with Aretha Franklin songs. Kyla has a sturdy, churchy voice. Strong adlibs. She hits them dang high notes confidently. But of course, she’s hopelessly retro. Blake and Kelly both turn, and then the fight ensues. Kelly loves her sass and look and EVERYTHING. She reminds Kyla “I have won a competition.” Blake pulls out some oxygen…I’m not sure why? Because Kelly is taking up all the oxygen in the room? He breathes heavily into the face piece. In the end, Kyla chooses Blake, because Wynonna Judd was the first person to give her a chance. Don’t see the connection, but OK. She’s probably better off with Blake anyway. – Kyla chooses Team Blake – Download at iTunes
Blaise Raccuglia – 25 – Austin TX – Wanted – He loves the water! During the week, he’s a pool technician. He sang in his grandparents church. After leadership college, he began his own ministry, Cliffside 360. On top of a mountain! His goal is to become a Christian artist. He’s not bad. A little generic. But so are lots of Christian contemporary singers (sorry…I find the genre a little bland). He hits some off-pitch notes that is probably keeping the coaches from hitting their buttons. Kelly liked his round tone, but felt his nerves. Blake thought the performance needed to be tighter. Alicia confesses that she almost blocked Blake. But she didn’t turn herself? – No Turns OH LOOK. No turn singer gets a performance video. That’s a first.
Kelsea Johnson -21 – Newark DE – Like I’m Gonna Lose You – Her grandfather was in a mariachi band. He was sick but wanted her to audition. Even when he was in the hospital he said, “Don’t change plans…do it!” But then he passed away before he could see her on The Voice. Adam and Kelly turn right away. Finally, Alicia hits her button. Kelsea is effortlessly soulful. Love her tone and phrasing. She’s good. A natural talent. Kelly wished she had blocked Alicia. Kelly thinks she could make a record right now. She wants to pick the perfect songs for her. “I’ve been you,” she says. Alicia says, “I’m a beast. I plan to win again.” Then she mentions that she’s currently in the studio with Chris Blue. “We could win The Voice,” she says. Unsurprisingly, Kelsea chooses Team Alicia – Download at iTunes
Drew Cole – 25 – Los Angeles – Sex and Candy by Marcy Playground – He works as a bartender in a movie theater. A Youtube video of him serenading a friend’s dog went viral. Ha. I remember that video! Host Carson Daly head out to where he works to recruit him. He’s got a bluesy growly tone. Adam pushes his button. But when Drew soars up into his falsetto, that gets Blake’s attention and he turns. Drew has an impressive range. Adam calls his vocal “The Voice.” Drew admits he was inspired by Adam’s “Sex and Candy” cover. Blake reminds him that he’s won with all different kinds of singers. Nevertheless, I think this contest is over. Adam is the best pick for him, anyway. “I think we’re cut from the same cloth,” says Adam. Kelly gives Adam crap for making the pitch all about himself. – Drew chooses Team Adam – Download at iTunes
D.R. King – Believer by Imagine Dragons – No introduction before singing. Dude does not get an intro package. Interesting song choice. It’s a hard song to sing, and he’s pretty much nailing it. He sings dramatically and with conviction. He’s a soulful rocker. Kelly turns first. That would work. Blake follows. Kelly calls his runs “sick.” Kelly gives him a standing ovation after he mentions being a school teacher. But then he admits that it didn’t make him happy, and he moved on. Oops. Both Alicia and Adam are Team Kelly. Blake says he felt every note. “I’d be beside myself if you picked me as your coach.” However, D.R. makes the correct choice. D.R. chooses Team Kelly. He and Kelly have similar styles. They’re a good fit. Kelly wastes no time gloating that she beat Blake. – Download at iTunes
Kaleb Lee – 31 – Florida by way of Kentucky – Never Wanted Nothing More by Kenny Chesney – Kaleb was born to an 18 year old single mom. He gave up performing to raise a family, but now he’s ready to do both. Kaleb has two daughters and a son. The boy was adopted in Nicaragua. Never knowing his bio dad inspired him to adopt. Kaleb has a gravelly, pleasing voice. Good song choice. When he hits a well placed growl, Kelly hits her button. Blake turns next. Uh oh. The fight begins. When Blake compares him to “Texas red dirt” country music, Kelly interrupts to say she’s from Texas. Adam also keeps interrupting. Exasperated, Blake makes fun of Adam’s casual shirt, suggesting he go off and make him some drinks. Kaleb introduces his family from the stage. In a last ditch effort, Kelly namechecks all the country people she knows and then launches into the song she recorded with Jason Aldean, “Don’t You Wanna Stay.” All for naught! Kaleb chooses Team Blake. His kids are huge fans, so nobody else stood a chance. – Download at iTunes
Kelly declares that she REALLY wants country singers on her team. So that means, of course, that she’ll get one soon.
Makenzie Thomas – 19 – Wallingford, KY – Redbone by Childish Gambino – She sings in a gospel ensemble at Morehead college. She likes The Voice because she believes she’ll be judged on her voice. Teased about her weight growing up, she wants to represent all the bigger girls out there. Interesting song choice. She’s soulful and has lovely phrasing. BUT NOBODY TURNS! Why not? She wasn’t perfect, but she had some great moments. What’s more, she was different. Adam says, “There’s so much magic in your voice.” No turns was dumb. Despite her nerves, she put out something unexpected. – No Turns
NEXT…The biggest BLOCK of the night. Whoo boy.
Justin Kilgore – Buffalo TX – Tomorrow by Chris Young – Raised in a small farm town, he was a cheerleader in high school. The first male cheerleader at the school. It’s real conservative there. It was difficult, because he was also hiding that he was gay. Now he lives in Nashville. When he sang country music initially, he was in the closet. Now Justin is gonna be himself. Unfortunately, the country fan base is probably not ready for an out country singer. Just sayin’. Nevertheless, Justin has solid country music chops. If he can write songs, all the better. He’s a four chair turn. Blake is the first to hit his button, but Alicia blocks him as she turns. Adam and Kelly mock Blake relentlessly about his block. Alicia wants Justin for himself. When he mentions being obsessed with Reba. Kelly boasts that she’s her in-law. “I AM A COUNTRY GIRL,” Kelly exclaims. Justin chooses Team Kelly. I have to wonder if he would have considered Blake if he was available. Probably. – Download at iTunes