The Voice season 18 Blind Auditions continue with returning coaches Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson and John Legend. New coach Nick Jonas joins the panel. Carson Daly returns as host. We’ll be live blogging all the Blind Audition performances right here.
Anaya Cheyenne – I’ll Never Love Again by Lady Gaga – 16 Atlanta GA – She’s originally from Connecticut. And posts cover videos on Youtube. Additionally, she goes to public school and attends her grandmother’s performing arts camp. Her mother is sad that Anaya lives so far away, but she believes sacrifice for her daughter’s musical future is necessary. Anaya’s vocal is very mature. The coaches will be surprised by her age. The song feels too old for her–she could seem too pageanty if she sticks with big diva songs. Surprisingly, it’s taking the coaches a minute to turn. Finally both Kelly and Blake hit their buttons. John says the song took them on a journey. She seemed a little nervous in the beginning, though. Nick says her performance gave them “all the feels” before advocating for Kelly. “I didn’t have your range at 16,” says Kelly, adding “Technique is my jam! You’re in my wheelhouse.” Blake calls Anaya “unbelievable.” He tries to find common ground with the young singer, but FAIL. Anaya Chooses Kelly!
Kelly and Blake turn, Naya Chooses Team Kelly
Mandi Thomas – Time to Say Goodbye – 33 Memphis, TN – The audition begins in darkness, as the singer begins the opera classic in Italian. After a minute, Kelly hits her button. Eh. I have mixed feelings about opera singers on The Voice. America’s Got Talent is THATAWAY. I’d prefer the show be a pop music competition, but maybe that’s just me. Nick had goosebumps the entire time, Mandi knows Kelly sang opera as a kid. She’s glad Kelly turned. Blake admits he knows nothing about opera. But Mandi sings country too, she says. Kelly wants to take her in different directions, but without losing sight of classical music.
Only Kelly Turns
Ari Tibi – The Joke by Brandi Carlile – 27 Calabasas CA – Her parents have always encouraged her creativity. Her mother teaches French, her father is from Tunisia. Currently, she plays in an all female trio called Lucy. By day, she is a music journalist who writes for several publications. She has a hippie vibe. I wonder what her band is like? Here, she’s not distinguishing herself enough for a turn. She’s a little pitchy. With the teams filling up…yup. No turns. Blake said she was so close. He apologizes. John liked the ending, he notes the song was difficult. He advises she come back. Nick suggests a different song next time. Kelly felt the song didn’t connect, but encourages her to keep singing and growing as an artist.
Jacob Miller – The Times They Are a Changin by Bob Dylan – 29 Eden WI – His voice is very…pleasant. This one is starting in darkness too. He’s a better guitar player than singer. Somehow, a tasty guitar run prompted Kelly and Blake to hit their buttons. But Jacob was saving the best for last. A lovely bit of phrasing got Nick to turn. And then he hit a sweet, bell-like high note. But John stays put. Geez. He even looks like a 60’s folk singer, all clean cut. Nick hopes they can work together. Jacob wishes he was alive in the 20s. He doesn’t like things that young people like. Ragtime is his jam. He worked on a farm in the blue ridge mountains for awhile. He’s been writing songs for the last two years. Hm. Kelly is talking about covering pop songs. He’s not going to pick her. He’s not the kinda guy who wants to twist modern songs. Blake gets it. “You have a very specific thing…you can’t be an experiment, you can’t be pushed into things which you aren’t.” Nick would love to work with him on songwriting. He basically offers him a spot in the Jonas Brothers. Jacob picks Nick! I’m a little surprised. He seemed too hardcore to go with a pop artist. But the chance to work with a successful songwriter may have been too irresistible to pass up.
Kelly, Nick and Blake turn, Jacob Picks Team Nick
Jon Mullins – Don’t Give Up On Me by Andy Grammer – 32 Nashville TN – He’s been married to his “beautiful wife” for five years. A year after they tied the knot, she fell and hit her head. She suffered brain damage and lost her speech. It took a year of therapy to get it back. Jon has a big soulful voice. His pitch is good and he performs with earnest passion. Blake hits his button. And then nobody else turns! Blake can’t believe it. He’s hit the jackpot! “It’s unbelievable!” he says. “That voice is big!” says Kelly. “You’ve very gifted.” Nick promises to steal him later. He’s a full time musician and also a songwriter. He’s excited to “be on the team of The King.” Obviously, turning would have been a waste of time for the rest.
Only Blake Turns
Jacob Daniel Murphy – Until You Come Back to Me (That’s What I’m Gonna Do) by Aretha Franklin – 27 Elk Grove CA – Blake turns at the last minute, for this soulful singer. The rest look shocked that he’s Asian. They don’t say it, but… John calls the quality of his voice “exceptional.” Blake says, “I’m having the best day!” He thinks he just robbed a bank, after the others didn’t turn. Blake is on a roll.
Only Blake Turns
Zan Fiskum – Light On by Maggie Rogers -22 Seattle WA – She loves the music scene is Seattle. But it’s very expensive to live there. Right now, she’s living in an RV. It’s a tiny house parked on her family’s property. She’s been working on her indie-pop music since high school, writing and recording her own music. Nick hits his button right away. I’m not sure why, her vocals are thin. John turns too. I don’t love her breathy vocals. She does hit a high note, which prompts Kelly to turn. Blake says she deserved a four chair turn, “And I’m the jack*ss that didn’t give it to you.” John mentions his wife grew up in the area. He compliments her ethereal yet powerful quality. Nick commends her for stepping out from her band. He shares that he did the same with his family band. Kelly says, “You’re tone comes with reverb!” It gives her presence, Kelly says. “I think you sound magical. Zan picks…and cut for commercial! Now we’re back and Zan picks John. She believes he can connect with her style of music
Kelly, Nick and John turn. Zan picks John
Chan Fuze – Groove Me by King Floyd – 23 Chicago IL – He’s 6’10”! He has trouble with slacks. He comes from a family of giants–all over 6 feet. He loves basketball, but feels music in his heart. He plays a lot of indie rock. He moves on stage. I’m not sure about this song choice. It’s a groovy 70’s tune. But I can’t imagine it’s the type of thing that will move the coaches. And…no turns. Blake could tell he was dancing. He feels it hurt his singing. John thought his falsetto could have been more effective. Nick had a hard time singing falsetto as well. Kelly doesn’t think The Voice is right for his party vibe.
Roderick Chambers – Back at One by Brian McKnight – 38 Miami FL – Roderick has been singing for “a very long time” and feels the passage of time. He’s been singing since he can remember. His was in a trio with his brother. They loved Kriss Kross. After a decade, they broke up. Eventually he and his wife moved to California. They had a kid, but are no longer together. He’s got that old school 90s R&B deal going. Nick hits his button. Roderick has a very smooth voice, and a beautiful falsetto. But he’s super old-fashioned and loungey. Nick was transported back to the time he first heard the song. John thinks he sounds a little bit like Nick. And Nick, like Blake feels as if he just robbed a bank.
Only Nick turned
Jules – Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked by Cage the Elephant – 15 Peoria AZ – Jules explains how she uses a stage name. NO KIDDING! She’s a sophomore in high school. She got her first guitar at 6. She put on concerts in her living room, but was very shy at first. Eventually, she found her voice. She began writing at 10 and gigging at 12. She can play a 3 hour set with her own music! She explains how she changed up the song she’s covering–changing the melody and a chord progression. She does flip the song and make it her own. She would have gotten instant turns earlier in the process, I think. She seems right up Blake’s alley. FINALLY BLAKE TURNS. Kelly is next. John didn’t recognize the song! Blake and Kelly did, though. Nick is psyched to watch Kelly and Blake fight. He literally pulls out popcorn. Kelly disagrees with Nick, who criticized Jules lower register. Yeah, I didn’t get that either. Blake is impressed with how she re-arranged the song. Kelly reminds Jules that she is also pop rock. Truth be told, Kelly is probably the best choice for her. And she picks Kelly.
Blake and Kelly turn, Jules Picks Team Blake
Jared Harper – (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction by Rolling Stones – 22 San Francisco CA – He’s deaf in his right ear. Sometimes it’s hard to communicate. He was born that way. His hearing loss was discovered in first grade. He and his mom were encouraged by Season 16 Maelyn Jarmon’s success. She also has hearing loss. I’m not sold on this version of the rock classic. It’s very tinny. Like those Tonight Show renditions of songs played with classroom instruments. The performance feels small. It’s a big sexy song. His rendition needed more. And nobody turns. John calls his tone “cool,” but his pitch issues kept him from turning. Nick thought a better song choice would have had more impact. Blake likes his gravel, but noted the pitch problems, and that the singer needed to turn it up a notch.
Michael Williams – You Say by Lauren Daigle – 18 Mason OH – He comes from a sports family. In school he did sports and musical theater at the same time. Unfortunately, he was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. He’s on medication now, and doing great. Hm. Interesting song choice, but he’s REALLY struggling in his upper register. There were bum notes. Yet, Nick hit his button. Huh. “You’re so cute!” Kelly gushes, comparing him to Tom Cruise. She notes that he didn’t nail the falsetto, but says he’ll be killer when he does. Nick is taking a page from Blake. He realizes he’s there to HELP a singer. Nick had to WORK to make his falsetto killer. He’s sure he can help Michael. Well, that’s a point.
Only Nick Turns
Mike Jerel – It’s a Man’s Man’s World by James Brown – 31 Ashburn GA – We previewed this last Blind Audition of the night HERE. Nick and John hit their buttons immediately. Mike accompanies himself on the piano. I think he stuffs too many runs into this performance. Sure it’s showy, but if he dialed it back, the vocal would be even better. Kelly hits her button, and then Blake. Mike was his grandma’s drummer as she played nursing homes. Later, he had his own band. In her memory, Mike performs at retirement homes. The coaches fight for Mike, but it becomes very clear that Team Legend has it. Especially when mom comes out and flat out states that Mike should pick John.
4 chair turn, Mike Picks Team John