Night 5 of The Voice Season 21 Blind Auditions aired Monday (Read our Recap), with Tuesday as the final night of Blinds with just 5 spots left.
Monday night didn’t necessarily have the best vocal moments of the season besides Brittany Bree, the standout 4 chair turn whose audition NBC leaked last week. However, top 3 of the night outside of Brittany were super current R&B singer LiBianca, soul singer Jershika Maple whose low notes I loved despite a not so great song choice, and Ryleigh Plank who showed the most upside.
Twenty year old Ryleigh, who hails from Fort Myers, Florida opened the night with the emotional song “Anyone” from Demi Lovato. This song is becoming a singing show staple; we heard it twice last season on American Idol, and it’s been sung twice on The Voice as well (a no chair turner Faye Moffat in Season 19 and Carolina Rial last season). Ryleigh conveyed the emotion in a pure yet slightly theatrical way. The opening line drew me in with her quivery vibrato and strong vocals.
Kelly Clarkson and Ariana Grande turn for Ryleigh
Ryleigh put her own stamp on the song, with phrasing a bit different than the original. The clarity on her belts was impressive and got Kelly Clarkson to turn early. Ariana Grande hit her button towards the climax when the emotions really hit home. Ryleigh’s voice did crack in the middle but on a song like this it was forgivable, as Demi’s voice even breaks in the original. She bounced back and wrapped it up with a few impressive runs that showed Jessie J like vocal agility.
In her package, Ryleigh shared about loving Kelly and Ariana. She also talked about writing her own music, her parents divorcing when she was 9 and dealing with depression. When Kelly and Ariana say she sings from the heart, she truly is singing from the heart.
Ariana screamed “You’re so cute!” once Ryleigh was done, and was excited to hear she was from Florida. At that point, Kelly was just hoping to have a chance. Ryleigh seemed humbled to receive chair turns, telling Kelly and Ariana that she sang their songs growing up.
“Does Kelly have a chance?”
Ariana said she was brought to tears, mentioning Ryleigh’s wide vibrato, but noting that “at times it was a bit sharp.” John Legend also noted the execution issues saying “that is what coaching is for.” Blake Shelton wondered, “does Kelly have a chance”? Ryleigh responded “Kelly always has a chance.” Blake shared that he didn’t turn, because Kelly and Ariana fit her better than he did. Kelly noted how she turned “light years” before and loves Ryleigh’s vibe before reminding everybody about her American Idol days, without really mentioning Idol.
The coaches were truly duking it out. They display their team gifts and finally, Ryleigh decided to go with Team Ariana. Both coaches would’ve been good choices, but I think in the long run Ariana made more sense, as Ryleigh has a very current sound that I could see Ariana wanting to work with.