The Voice season 21 Blind Auditions continue with returning coaches Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson and John Legend. Pop star Ariana Grande joins the panel. Carson Daly returns as host. We’ll be live blogging all the Blind Audition performances right here.
The Voice airs on Mondays and Tuesdays this season. The teams are back at 12 artists each. A top 48 will emerge by the end of the round. It’s the LAST WEEK of Blind auditions. Join us, ya’ll.
REMINDER: NO SPOILERS IN COMMENTS. Keep spoiler talk under spoiler posts above, thank you.
Ryleigh Plank – 20 – Fort Myers FL
Anyone by Demi Lovato – She’s been a fan of Kelly Clarkson since she was six. And she loves Ariana Grande as well. Kelly turns pretty quickly! Ariana is the next to turn. It’s probably all she needs. Her voice cracks on a high note, but it’s so loaded with emotion that it works. Ryleigh not only has a lovely voice, but can convey strong emotions. She writes her own songs and creates demos at home. Her parents divorced at 9 and she didn’t have many friends. She struggled with depression.
Ariana says she was moved to tears. She loved her vibrato, but noted some sharpness. John thought she had execution problems as well. Blake decided to stay out of it after Kelly and Ariana turned. Kelly loves Ryleigh’s “whole vibe” and jokes “I made a horrible movie in Florida.” Ha. Kelly and Ariana show off their team gifts. Ariana says, “I think you could win this thing.” In the end, Ryleigh picks Ariana
Kelly and Ariana turn. Ryleigh picks Team Ariana
Jershika Maple – 24 – Killeen TX
Can You Stand the Rain by New Edition – She works at a tech company as a security guard. That’s when she’s not singing. Season 17’s Rose Short inspired her. She sang backgrounds for her. Rose Zooms in to wish Jershika good luck. She has a strong lower register. The song is old fashioned, though. When she hits the money note, Kelly and John hit their buttons. Ironic because her lower register is more impressive than her pitchy high notes.
Ariana notes her lovely low tones. “I’m a security guard, So I’ll lock you up!” Jershika jokes. John calls her performance “electric and exciting.” Kelly loves her smile. “You are going to be an amazing addition to the show.” Kelly promises to help her pick great songs. Ha. John whips out his own jacket emblazoned with “Team Legend.” But to no effect. She picks Team Kelly. Jershika likes that she’s from Texas and has a “pop r&b vibe.”
John and Kelly turn. Jershika picks Team Kelly
Manny Keith – 31 – Miami FL
Break My Heart by Dua Lipa – Manny is a huge Ariana fan. He almost cried when he found out she’d be a coach. His dad is a musician, his mom a dancer. He started singing at 14. He joined a dance team in middle school. Sadly, his mom passed away from cancer in 2017. He’s a decent singer, but not great. Weirdly, Blake hits his button for the R&B singer, but nobody else turns.
Poor Manny was likely HOPING HOPING HOPING for Team Ariana and he’s got Blake instead. Better than nothing! Ariana says she might steal him later. Blake jokes that he intimidated Ariana. He also notes Manny’s resemblance to John. (It’s true!).
Only Blake Shelton turned.
Austin Percario – 25 – Los Angeles CA
This Town by Niall Horan – Austin released a few singles with a boy band, but in the end the deal didn’t pan out. The singer has struggled with confidence. He loves Ariana, but is ready for any of the coaches to turn. His tone is very high pitched, and nasally. I’m not sold on it as a solo voice. He has pitch issues too, nerves maybe. The song is sweet, but he’s not taking it anywhere. Unsurprisingly, there are no turns.
He admits to being nervous. Ariana wishes he chose a song with more dynamics. I agree. John thinks it would have been better in a higher register. Kelly loves his tone.
KJ Jennings – 21 – Austin TX
Put Your Records On by Corinne Bailey Rae – She loves boating, surfing and off roading with her active family. The entire family keeps bees! Bzzz. Her mother is also a performer. KJ did theater first and studied jazz performance at Berklee College of Music. John and Blake hit their buttons fast. Her tone is very smooth. She’s obviously a trained singer. Unfortunately, jazz singers don’t usually last very long on The Voice.
Blake calls her voice “floaty” and “cool.” John calls her performance “charming and inviting.” He compares her to Amy Winehouse. Choosing Blake would be bold. But she picks Team Legend. John is stealing gift ideas. “John’s win cam” is now a thing.
Blake and John turn, KJ picks Team Legend
Garota De Ipanema – She sings the Portuguese language version of Girl from Ipanema. She was born in the US, but her family is from Portugal. – Only John Legend turned
Xavier Cornell – 17 – Los Angeles
Teenage Dream by Katy Perry
Xavier sings the Darren Criss ballady version of the song. Kelly thinks he’ll be a dark horse. – Only Kelly Clarkson turned
Libianca – 20 – Minneapolis MN
Good Days by SZA – She moved to Cameroon with her mother and brother at 4 years old. There were no phones, no tablets, a tiny TV. She got accustomed to the lifestyle. The music was amazing. At 13, she came back to America. And THAT was a big adjustment. She began singing, and it made her popular at school. Ariana turns first. She’s so excited that she’s screaming! Blake hits his button, too. Libianca’s smooth phrasing is effortless. She doesn’t need to hit high notes. But she hits a few.
John wasn’t sold on the song choice, because it didn’t give opportunities for big notes. Ariana is excited for her voice. She really understands what’s good about it. They belong together, honestly. When Blake brags that he’s obviously the coach for Libianca, she responds “WHY” very skeptically. “BLAH BLAH BLAH I WON THE MOST BLAH BLAH.” But God gave Libianca a sign. she says. She picks Blake! WHAT? God has a sense of humor.
Ariana and Blake turn. Libianca picks Team Blake
Jared Brasher – 26 – Huntsville AL
Drunk on Your Love by Brett Eldredge – Baseball was his true love, and in 2017 he was drafted by the Washington Nationals into the minor leagues. But they released him in 2019. He and his wife had a baby and he works medical sales. He always sang, but never considered it a possible career. He’s never performed in front of a live audience. “This audition will be my first gig,” he says. Hm. He’s got a nice tone, but also pitch problems. Obvious amateur is obvious. No turns.
Blake thinks he has a great country voice, but it lacked control. No kidding. Do like the other artists. Get out there and PLAY dude. If your family keeps you from that. Oh well. Keep selling medical supplies. There is no easy road to success in the music business.
Sophia Bromberg – 16 – San Rafael CA
Heather by Conan Grey – She’s been watching The Voice since she “was little.” Her mom sings. Her dad loves hip hop and R&B. She partakes in her high school musical program. She struggled with an eating disorder. Her weight began dropping at 12 years old before her parents intervened and got her help. Kelly, John and Ariana turn at the same time. She has a unique, mature sounding tone. She’s very contemporary. She goes for a high note, but doesn’t quite hit it. She already had the turns she needed at that point, however.
“There are so many people in your throat box,’ says Ariana. She wants to help her solidify her own sound. John calls her sound “riveting.” John heard many influences in her voice. “You paint with your vocal cords,” says Kelly. Blake says he didn’t turn because he’s got someone like her on his team. Unsurprisingly, Sophia picks Ariana.
Kelly, John and Ariana turn, Sophia picks Team Ariana
Wyatt Michael – 24 – Fredericksburg VA
Mack the Knife by Bobby Darin – Wyatt is seen in shadow first, sharing how he started a rock band with his brother. But eventually, he chose a genre in which it was hard to succeed. His mother introduced him to jazz. He takes the stage to sing a swingy version of “Mack the Knife.” He’s actually really good! It takes a minute, but Kelly and Ariana both turn. He’s got a young Elvis Costello look that’s sorta cool. tbh.
Blake was looking for more personality, while John felt it was too “spoken sounding.” Ariana thinks he has “a time capsule in your throat” and that he’s capable of more. She uses the word “navigate” to troll Kelly. “No one is going to sound like you,” says Kelly. She wants to sing a duet with him in the final. He’ll never ever get that far. C’mon. His gut picks Kelly, even though his girlfriend loves Ariana.
Ariana and Kelly turn, Wyatt picks Team Kelly
Alexandra Stojack – 20 – Cincinnati OH
The Way I Am by Ingrid Michaelson – During rehearsals for a high school performance of Hairspray, she had bad headaches. It turns out her brain, too big for her skull, was squishing out against her spine. Yes, this is really a thing. After experiencing more neurological symptoms, she went under the knife. The doctors removed part of her skull to make more room for her brain, and the pain disappeared. She’s another singer with a great tone, but pitch problems, and a song that doesn’t go anywhere. And being the next to the last performance, it’s TIME FOR A NO TURN.
Kelly liked her sound and vibe, but noted the pitch problems. Ariana thinks nerves got the best of her. She suggests that she come back. John too.
Brittany Bree – 26 – Monroe LA
Call Out My Name by The Weeknd – Brittany grew up singing in church in Louisiana, but lives in Dallas, Texas now. NBC previewed her 4-chair turn a few days ago. Since 16, she’s worked as a praise and worship leader. She’s used to singing in front of large audiences. But after having two kids, she put music aside. She works two jobs to make ends meet. She’s never sung outside of the church before. John and Ariana push their button first. And then Kelly follows, and finally Blake. Brittany has a soulful growly sound and an impressive range. She chose a good song.
John, Kelly and Ariana fight the hardest for Brittany. “If your voice isn’t in the finale, something’s wrong” says Kelly. Blake calls everyone “unstable” and lists the reasons why the others are bad. It’s very unserious. And no cliffhangers this week! Brittany picks John.
4-chair turn Brittany chooses Team Legend
One more night of auditions! At the end of Tuesday’s episode (Oct 5) the teams will be complete. The Battle Rounds start next Monday.