The Voice season 17 Blind Auditions continue with returning coaches Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson and John Legend. In the wake of Adam Levine’s abrupt departure from the show, Blake gal-pal Gwen Stefani takes a seat on the panel. Carson Daly returns as host. We’ll be live blogging all the Blind Audition performances right here.
Shane Q – Tennessee Whiskey by Chris Stapleton – 28 – Sacramento CA – NBC released a preview of this audition earlier today. Shane works as a special needs driver by day. He was a shy kid, but broke out of his shell after he started singing. Shane receives a 4 chair turn and uhm. It’s a little surprising. He sings with a sweet, high tenor. But, his runs are undisciplined and he hits some sour notes. But the coaches go crazy over his vocal, nevertheless. John notes his “gospel flavor.” Gwen mistakenly namechecks San Francisco as his hometown. Oops. Blake says he made “San Diego proud.” Har har har. Then, Blake bizarrely recites a hyperbolic review from God-knows-where, hyping his skills as a coach. It reads like it was written by Blake’s publicist. Maybe it was! “That’s a lot of arrogance from somebody that just lost The Voice,” snarks John, who happens to be the reigning winner of the show. “I love going in and out of genres,” Kelly says, explaining why she believes she’d be good for him as a coach “You’re going to be in the finale,” she declares. Hm. In the end Shane Picks Team Kelly. Girlfriend’s gotta stop predicting people are going to win. It was the “cross genre” remark that got to Shane, he admits “That’s exactly what I want to do,” he says.
Max Boyle – Wayfaring Stranger by Ed Sheeran – 23 – Toledo OH – He’s the youngest of six kids and is a “little spoiled.” His family loved to watch him perform. But he became more self-conscious about performing in public as he grew older, until he joined a high school gospel choir. He just quit college and isn’t sure where his life is going next. He starts the performance a capella, which is always a risk. But his intonation is really good (much better than Shane before him, to be honest). He sings the entire first verse without instruments, before a soulful band kicks in. He has a nice falsetto! RUH RHO. John turns and BLOCKS Kelly She’s screaming, she’s so upset. Hope Max didn’t have his heart set on Kelly! I still don’t like the anti-contestant block. And…John gets Max all to himself. “You should have been on my team,” Kelly complains. John notes that he blocked Kelly, but didn’t lie about it like Blake did. “You showed us how you could command the stage…it was a daring performance,” says John.
There’s a new thing VEGOT that Includes John’s Voice trophy. He’s got his own little trophy room that he’s hiding from the other coaches. HAR HAR HAR.
Hello Sunday (Duo) – This is Me from The Greatest Showman – (13 & 14) – Hm. Why aren’t we seeing this singer at first. OH BECAUSE IT’S A DUO. The two are very young girls and aren’t nearly ready. Pitch issues EVERYWHERE. Practice more girls. Come back in a few years. WHAT??? After one of the pair screeches out a high note Kelly hits her Button. Uhm…. It turns out, the young singers met at summer camp. One has studied at performance arts schools all her life. STAY THERE GIRL AND PRACTICE MORE. Kelly loves harmony singing. She thinks she can help them. That’s good, because they need it. Blake chimes in to say it’s a good match. Kelly can’t believe Blake is giving her a compliment.
Emily Bass – Blank Space by Taylor Swift – 16 – Magnolia, TX – Not only is Emily a singer, but she loves to draw. She gifts Carson with pencil portraits of the cast. In 4th grade she realized she wanted to perform. But she developed a complex disease, where her brain told her body that an injury is worse than it is. When she tried to sing, it felt like needles in her throat. It took 7 months of physical therapy to heal. There are some pitch issues. She’s probably nervous! But Emily has a sweet, clean tone–a solid pop voice. Aw. No Turns. Those nerves will get a kid every time. Gwen was close. She loved her tone. John says she needs more polish. Kelly encourages Emily to come back. After, The singer hands out the portraits she drew to the coaches anyway.
Royce Lovett – 911 by Wyclef Jean ft Mary J. Blige – 30 – Tallahassee FL – Royce got his name because his mother “really wanted a Rolls Royce.” Huh. He grew up in the sticks. “I grew up singing and rapping to the wind.” Lauren Hill playing the guitar changed his life. “Black boys didn’t play guitar!” He LOVES reggae. He’s married, with a young son named Levi. C’mon Gwen hit that button for your reggae boy! He’s got a great voice, very unique and is a solid guitar player. Gwen turns! Oops. Blake hits his button. She mad! Heh. She dances around the stage as he finishes his song. Kelly says, “One being the obvious choice!” John notes pitch and control issues. Gwen didn’t know his gender and adds, “This is my lane!” She calls his voice “animated.” She says, “Let’s mix it up.” I think Blake hit his button to troll his girlfriend. He mentions his lake playlist…but then admits “Oh screw it!” Yep. Trolling. Royce Picks Gwen. Did Blake ever have a chance? Royce responds with a decisive “NO.” Heh.
Elise Azkoul – Million Reasons by Lady Gaga – 28 – Atlanta GA – Elise is proud to be Middle Eastern and Lebanese. Congrats girl. That admission will probably cost you votes from certain regions of the U.S.A. She comes from a big musical family. Her paternal grandfather wrote “Last Dance” and “It’s Raining Men.” He recently died, and Elise is still mourning. The nervous singers are auditioning tonight. Her lower register is shaky. But when she finally hits some high notes, Gwen hits her button. Kelly loves her retro sixties style (so do I!). Gwen loves her tone. “You just got to get the confidence,” she says.
Cory Jackson – Galveston by Glen Campbell – 24 – Jonesboro AR – He’s lived all his life on a little cattle farm. We see him feeding the animals. He’s about to get married, set for the Saturday after his Blind Audition, which taped back in June. So mostly likely married now! I love this song, first of all. And second of all, Cory’s voice is interesting. Deeper than Campbell’s. I like his tone. He’s country, but also very dramatic. I can imagine him in the cast of Oklahoma! Indeed, later he reveals that he studied classical music in college. Blake, Kelly and Gwen turn. Kelly and Blake argue over Cory. Blake notes that Glen recorded “big songs” for country radio. True! Actually, Blake is really the only choice for Cory, who admits that he really only wants to be country. “I’m kind of country now!” says Gwen. LOL NO. And of course, Cory picks Blake Aw, he cries afterward. He calls his fiance (now wife) to tell her the good news.