The Voice season 15 continues tonight with coaches Adam Levine, Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson and Blake Shelton. Carson Daly returns as host. We’re live blogging all the performances here.
Each coach has one spot left on their teams. Once the teams are filled, the Battle Rounds begin! The coaches have each enlisted a mentor to help.
Blake has tapped Keith Urban. Kelly has enlisted country superstar Thomas Rhett. Jennifer has brought along pop singer Halsey. And Adam brings back former The Voice coach CeeLo Green.
Emily Hough – 16 – Petersburg IL – Big Yellow Taxi by Joni Mitchell – Emily can do accents! She demonstrates some Russian. Like Natasha from Rocky and Bullwinkle. Her hometown is small and rural. She hangs out with her sis, mostly. She did her first talent show at 7 at a county fair. Her town expects her to pick Blake. This was a song choice I wasn’t expecting. She sounds VERY young. She could use a few more years to season. Adam is the first to turn. Blake is next. And then Jennifer. Am I crazy? This gal is nice, but nothing special. She can barely hold a note. Blake calls her voice beautiful and angelic. She loves folk and the Beatles. Adam calls her “A-Team.” This battle is between Adam and Blake. But Jennifer promises not to boss her around. Emily Chooses Adam.
Josh Davis – 20 – Cleveland TX – Too Good at Goodbyes by Sam Smith – NO NOT THAT JOSH DAVIS! This Josh Davis is a personal trainer at the Y and lives in Tennessee (Joshua Davis #1 is from Michigan). Cleveland is called the “church town.” His parents are also musical. He grew up singing in church and school. He was in a band called 3 for 3 that got a record deal. They were like a Christian One Direction. At only 16, Josh had a record on the Christian charts. He learned a lot, but since then, his music has become more secular with R&B influences. He has a very nice tone and beautiful runs that he doesn’t overuse. Boy’s got some range too. Kelly turns first, followed by Jennifer. Kelly says she has lots of female power on her team and she wants male energy that can hang with the girls. Adam and Blake step in to fight, since the girls won’t Adam is Kelly, Blake is Jennifer. They don’t do a good job. Heh. Josh Chooses Kelly
Lisa Ramey – 33 – Brooklyn NY – Beautiful Trauma by Pink – Currently, she sings in a cabaret that includes drag queens. She started singing at 9 and did musical theater in high school. After school, she moved to NYC. She couch surfed for awhile. Basically, she was homeless. Eventually, a band asked her to be their front woman. This performance has pitch problems. I’m finding it hard to connect. She seems nervous. And obviously, so are the coaches. Blake noted “pitch things.” Kelly and Adam felt she chose the wrong song. Jennifer says it’s getting tight, and everyone’s getting picky. – No Turns
Katrina Cain – 29 – Denton TX – Rhiannon – by Fleetwood Mac – She’s worked at music her whole life and has never taken a “big shot” until now. She got married a few days before her audition–ended up cancelling her honeymoon! The trip to Los Angeles was the couples honeymoon. She didn’t start playing shows until she met her musician husband. They have a band together. She writes and sings country radio jingles on the side. She typically does electro pop. So she’s adding some of those elements to this 70’s classic. Hm. Making the best of a song the show prolly forced her to do (that happens a lot)? She has a very nice tone, though–sweet and crystalline. Her intonation and pitch are also impressive. Jennifer and Blake both hit their buttons. Adam says she should have been a four chair turn. Kelly keeps hitting her button. She’s sad her team is full. Blake calls it a “mysterious” version of the song. Jennifer says she’s versatile. Blake admits that he’s country only, but still manages to win with contestants across the board. Jennifer about gives up right there. And Katrina Chooses Blake.
Matt Johnson – 26 – Staunton VA – Never Too Much by Luther Vandross – He works at a local winery. He sells memberships, hosts tastings. And he’s the entertainment. He’s gay and black and that’s scarce in the small town where he grew up. He did some professional theater in Houston. He moved back home after his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. It became metastatic, and now it’s considered terminal. He’s auditioned for the show every year since Season 1!!! Welp. There is no suspense here. Pretty sure Jennifer’s gonna turn! It’s taking her a while though. Matt has a pleasant soulful voice. It’s kinda generic though. Smart boy. He hits a long note. That got Jennifer to hit her button. When Matt confesses that he’s been auditioning every season, the coaches give him a standing ovation. The coaches want to meet mom. She comes on stage. Jennifer gives Matt a big hug. – Jennifer Fills her Team
The Top 48 is complete! Now, it’s time for the Battle Rounds.
Kelly Clarkson and Thomas Rhett are first.
SandyRedd vs Cody Ray Raymond – Cry to Me by Solomon Burke – Kelly calls Sandy “crazy rock n roll soulful.” While Cody is understated blues, neo-soul. Cody watchs Sandy perform. He knows it’s gonna be a challenge. Oops. Cody had never heard this song before. Kelly wanted to slow Sandy down a bit and get some passion out of Cody. Thomas is impressed by both their ranges, but he wants to hear the low in Cody’s voice. Kelly falls on the FLOOR when she hears Sandy. At the on stage rehearsals, Kelly suggests they don’t touch, to keep the sexual tension going. Kelly–crying at rehearsal!
Cody kicks off the performance with his guitar. Man. Sandy is SO GOOD. I love the rasp and the cry in her voice. Cody is a good match, though. She’s soul with a rock edge. He’s rock with a soul edge. His voice isn’t perfect, but it’s full of character. These two are bleeding up on stage, literally. THERE’S GONNA BE A STEAL. Has to be. Sandy is in tears at the end.
Adam says off the bat he’ll steal the loser. He calls it miraculous. Blake calls them superheroes. Cody’s voice is “vintage.” And SandyRedd moved the bar even higher. He’d pick Sandy. “You’re so ready for this,” says Jhud. Kelly wants to do saves in the Battles. Kelly Chooses Cody Ray – I’m a little surprised! Maybe because her team is so female heavy already. Adam, Jennifer AND Blake steal SandyRedd. Adam reminds her that he pushed his button first every time. Blake calls himself “decisive” and insists she won the battle. Fellow Chicagoan Jennifer calls her a STAR. She’ll ask HER what she wants. SandyRedd Chooses Jennifer. Folks were SO surprised when Sandy didn’t pick Jennifer in the first place.
Blake Shelton and Keith Urban are next. KEEEEIIIITH. Miss ya dude. Wish you were still a judge on Idol.
Michael Lee vs Joey Green – A Thing Called Love by Bonnie Raitt – Keith was on The Voice Australia. He loves mentoring. Michael and Joey were certain they’d be paired up. They know each other from the Texas music scene, and have become really good friends. Michael was playing blues clubs all over Texas. He’s a skilled guitar player. Joey also played around Texas for a long time. He performed “Baba O’Riley” in the Blinds. But he’s got Americana influences too. John Hiatt wrote this song. His version is also very good! Blake calls them “workhouse artists.” Blake calls Michael a “dark horse.” I think Joey is in trouble, to be honest. Keith tells them to own what they do. Michael needs to loosen up a bit.
Hm. I’m not liking this song for these two. Unless it’s done as a TRUE duet, it should be left as a solo. The performance needs more harmonies. I really like Joey’s voice. It’s open and rangy. Michael got a wonderful growl to compliment his impressive guitar playing. He reminds me of Hiatt’s version, actually.
Jennifer thinks Michael’s voice fills the room. She compliments Joey’s range. She felt Michael had more presence. She picks him. Kelly appreciates his “laid back” voice. Keith wanted him to work harder for the song. Kelly can’t choose between the two. Adam liked seeing a different shade of Joey. Michael and Joey have known each other for eight years! Blake Chooses Michael. Joey is Eliminated. Aw. I liked Joey a lot. But, he was a one chair turn. And I kinda figured when he didn’t dial into the reporter conference call, that maybe he didn’t advance.
And now, Jennifer and Halsey
Colton Smith vs Patrique Fortson – God Gave Me You by Blake Shelton – Colton was a student at Belmont University. He grew up gay in Alabama, and it was tough. But his mom is supportive. Patrique is a claims manager for an insurance company. In 2003, he was a semi-finalist on American Idol. Simon hated him! He recorded a gospel album at 7. Both are concerned about singing a country song. Jennifer is purposely trying to get them out of their boxes. They’re stripping it down to “take off the country nuances.” Halsey says she forgot it was a country song. She advises them to pay attention to their bodies. Jhud wants to make sure they both have a moment to show off. Halsey says the difference between the two singers: Patrique says “I’m giving you the song, I want you to like it” while Colton says here’s the song–If you don’t like it I don’t CARE if you like it. Jennifer wants to SEE JESUS.
It’s the battle of the soulful runs here. Patrique has the wider vocal range and his tone is like butter. But there’s something about Colton. He’s got a fierce stage presence. He’s hard to ignore! After the performance, Jennifer is so impressed, she throws her shoe!
Kelly calls it an amazing song choice, it allowed them to shine even more than the Blinds. Both good, but Kelly would choose Patrique. Adam calls it “the battle of the dudes with the great range.” Blake calls it a “cool vision for the song.” Blake jokes that the two of them sound so much alike! Patrique trills a little bit of “Oklahoma.” Ha. Jennifer calls them both “superb vocalists.” But she has to choose one! Jennifer Chooses Patrique. Oooh. And just as Colton is walking off the stage, Blake Steals Colton. But still–poor Colton, he’s such a huge JHud fanboy.
The coaches sing “Thank You For Being A Friend” from Golden Girls. OK THEN. There’s video!