As The Voice teams fill up, and the Blind Audition are near the end, there seem to be fewer standouts per episode. I found Tuesday’s Episode 6 to be a bit slow for that reason (Read our Recap). There’s still some interesting talent, including the opener of the night, Austin Montgomery, an old-school country crooner. The singer is a 19-year-old from Hemet, California. On the side, he helps his dad with screen printing at his family-owned business.
Austin’s voice is not full of range, but from the moment he opened his mouth, he stood out. He sang Hank Williams’ “I Can’t Help It.” Gwen Stefani, the coach with arguably the most unique sounding voice, turned nearly right away. Camila Cabello exclaimed, “doesn’t he sound like Elvis?!” He doesn’t sound that much like Elvis, but either way, he does have an old-school sound. Soon after that, both her and Blake Shelton also hit their buttons.
For classic country fans, Austin is a dream. As a performer, he embodied crooners with his animated stage performance. He did not seem one bit nervous, despite claiming he hasn’t performed much. A three-chair turn was surprising, as the performance didn’t feature a lot of wow moments. But apparently, Austin’s old-fashioned style was refreshing for the coaches. Sometimes standing out is just as important as showing great vocal skill.
The judges were shocked that an old-style crooner turned out to be a 19-year-old. John Legend asked Austin what he listens to that influences this style, and he responded “Jerry Lee Lewis, Hank Williams, Merle Haggard.” John said he hears “the legends” in Austin’s voice.
Blake noted that he is probably the only one who knows who sings the song Austin covered. For the young singer, YouTube and Apple Music have made it easy for him to learn the classics. Camila joked that Blake doesn’t know what that is, but Blake thinks that might be an advantage. Camila called herself the “unpredictable” choice and believes that their shared generation is lacking voices like his. Gwen noted the “character and style” in his voice but urged him to pick Blake over Camila, if he didn’t choose her. Eventually, Austin picked Team Blake.
Austin’s grandparents are the main reason for his old-school influences. If he makes it far, the older audience of the show may vote him through.
The standout of the one-hour episode was pop singer Grace Bello who performed a tasteful version of a Justin Bieber song. Honorable mention goes to Austin for standing out with his old-school style. Here’s hoping that the final episode of Blind Auditions next Monday is stronger and ends the round with a bang.