The Voice season 22 Blind Auditions continue with returning coaches Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani and John Legend. Pop star Camila Cabello joins the panel. Carson Daly returns as host. We’ll be live blogging all the Blind Audition performances right here.
By the end of the Blind Auditions, a top 56 will emerge.
The winner receives a cash prize and a recording contract with Republic Records, among other announced prizes.
REMINDER: NO SPOILERS IN COMMENTS. Keep spoiler talk under spoiler posts above, thank you.
The episode begins with the conclusion of the Kate Kalvach cliff hanger. Last night, after performing Kacey Musgrave’s “Rainbow,” she had Camila, Gwen and Blake fighting over her. Blake had yet to lure an artist to his team, so in a bid to finally land someone, he brought out a very reluctant goat to prove that he’s the GOAT. Kate thought maybe he wasn’t fighting for her enough. The show ended with him begging to pick a fellow Oakie. And unsurprisingly, Kate chooses Team Blake.
Now, on with the show!
Reina Lay – 13 – Cielito Lindo
On the premiere, there were no tweens at all. The youngest artist was 19. Now, we have the first kiddo of the season and she’s a 13 year old mariachi singer from Arizona. Currently, she performs at a lot of parties and charities. Oh. She’s singing the “Frito Bandito” song, a sorta racist TV ad from the 60s and 70s. Of course, she’s singing the classic song in Spanish. Her voice is lovely. It’s not a stretch to imagine her singing contemporary music as well. Camila hits her button first. Gwen is next. The two dance around in front of their chairs.
Camila asks her questions in Spanish. There’s no doubt whom Reina will choose, right? The young singer has Mexican heritage and so does Camila on her mother’s side. Camila suggests singing a mariachi version of a Billie Eilish song. Hm. Gwen calls her raw and pure. Reina adds that she likes singing country and pop too. But her hero is Camila. Blake, advocating for his wife Gwen, claims Camila said she’s have Raina sing “The Macarena.” LIAR! And unsurprisingly, Rina picks Camila – Camila and Gwen turn, Reina chooses Team Camila
Bryce Leatherwood – 22 – Goodbye Time by Conway Twitty
Bryce is a farm boy from Georgia. He grew up listening to old school country music with his grandpa, who beat stage 4 lung cancer. The singer started his own lawn care company when he was 13 years old, which he handed over to his brother after he started college. He began singing for a living in school. The singer will perform the Blake Shelton version of the classic Conway Twitty song. Bryce has a strong twangy tone. It’s familiar sounding. Blake is the first to turn, followed by Gwen and John.
The piano parts are Blake’s contribution to the rendition. He waited to see if he could hit the high notes before pushing his button. It’s another scenario that’s over even before the others deliver their pitches. Gwen admits that she had no idea the song was a cover. That’s a ringing endorsement. John compliments Bryce’s deep rich tone and his charisma. He doesn’t have much to offer the country boy, except for his red jacket. But Blake’s giving his team members soft beer coolers, manufactured by Lands End, whom he’s just become a spokesperson for. John, Gwen and Blake turn, Bryce picks Team Blake
KoKo – 31 – About Damn Time by Lizzo
Koko is a singer for a cruise ship band. She sings every day, every genre. In the 70s, her dad was one of the top radio hosts in Mobile, Alabama, where she is from. The vocal is solid, she hits some high notes. A little surprised nobody hit their button. Her voice is strong. Camila looked ready to push, but she did not.
Blake felt there were great moments in the song, but a couple of moments that didn’t land right for him. Camila calls her melodic ear “really cool.” But felt she needed a different song so she didn’t have to compete with Lizzo’s version. She suggests Koko come back. After, Camila wishes she had turned. She suggests production give the coaches a “regret button.” – No Turns
Alyssa Witrado – 19 – “Don’t Speak” by No Doubt
NBC leaked this audition earlier today. The Fresno, California native is 19, but seems younger. Her spider eyelashes are kinda CRAZY. Her parents divorced and she had to split her time between the two of them. It’s a wound that she cries about. The song stirs up feelings about her parents divorce. Gwen instantly freaks out after the song begins, but Camila hits her button first. Alyssa doesn’t change the arrangement from the original. She and Gwen’s tones are similar.
John, who doesn’t like artists to cover his songs, notes that it’s a challenge to sing a coach’s song in front of them. Alyssa is obviously smitten with Gwen. “You’re really wasting your time,” Blake quips to Camila. “I turned around first!” Camila says. Gwen calls it a “weird song” that’s hard to cover. But it sounded good, she says, and Alyssa has something “wild bursting in you waiting to come out.” Gwen will work on bringing out the best in her. No disrespect to Camila, whom Gwen praises, but Alyssa would be her “dream girl” to coach on The Voice. Of course, Alyssa picks Gwen – Camila and Gwen turn, Alyssa chooses Team Gwen
Devix – 28 – Heat Waves by Glass Animals
Devix is another indie singer who has more character than vocal prowess. His sound is breathy, and he doesn’t take the song anywhere at first. He opens up more as the performance progresses. Finally, John hits his button. When he fully opens up on the chorus, Camila turns. She needs that glory note! Finally, Gwen turns.
Devix explains that he loves singing pop, and that Glass Animals is one of his favorites. Devix is a HUGE fan of UK artists. Gwen mentions “character voices” and that it took a minute for her to process his performance. John reminds him that he pushed his button first, and that his voice is a male version of Gwen’s. The singer mentions that his mom has cerebral palsy and couldn’t fly out to LA to be with him. Devix chooses Camila, even though he initially appeared swayed by Gwen and John’s pitches. – John, Camila and Gwen turn, Devix picks Team Camila
Chello – 22 – Just the Two of Us by Bill Withers
Chello’s best friends came along to his audition as support. He started playing music at 15, starting as a writer and a producer. Currently, he works as a remote customer service rep. I was not expecting Chello, an indie artist, to break out Bill Withers. He’s singing with that exaggerated enunciation many indie artist employ
. It’s a little weird. He does have a jazzy vibe, but he needs some work. John and Camila hit their buttons.
Camila calls Chello a “cool cool cat.” She loves his tone, and liked that he saved the embellishments for the end. Gwen thinks he looks like his voice, whatever that means. John felt “joy” from his performance. He calls his voice “interesting.” Chello has only really performed live in church. He seemed awkward on stage, so that’s not surprising. Camila’s pitches are so enthusiastic, she’s hard to turn down! And Chello does not. John and Camila turn, Chello picks Team Camila
Kevin Hawkins – – Isn’t She Lovely by Stevie Wonder
Steven has been featured prominently in pre-season promos. So he likely goes far in the competition. Gwen hits her button first and blocks John at the same time. That’s a good use of a block. It’s not hard to imagine John being Kevin’s first choice. He sings with a gorgeous, dramatic falsetto. Camila hits her button next, followed by Blake. A four chair turn with a block! Kevin moves on the stage like a natural. His middle range and his runs are soooo smooth. He’s a terrific singer and performer. Kevin, a middle school music teacher in Texas, is very emotional!
Blake’s pitch is that Oklahoma is close to Texas. Alrighty then. John compares his jazzy style to Anita Baker. Gwen compares his audition to a Grammy performance. “You’re going to shine on the stage.” Camila calls him “flawless.” And appreciates his ability to entertain. And in the end, Kevin picks Blake! Not entirely surprising, as Blake has won the show with several R&B artists, including Cam Anthony on season 20. Blake didn’t even try hard to pitch him. 4-chair turn, Gwen blocks John, Kevin picks Team Blake
Sadie Bass – 25 – Stupid Boy by Keith Urban
Sadie is from Michigan, but currently lives in Nashville. She grew up singing and writing songs, but suffered from stage fright. She’s very very very nervous before her audition. She asks for another minute from production before hitting the stage. But once she begins singing, she doesn’t sound nervous. And there are certainly artists who are obviously nervous on stage. She sings with a pretty tone and a decent range. It takes a minute for the chairs to turn. Blake and Gwen both hit their buttons.
Sadie declares that the coaches helped her get over her stage fright. Camila shares that when she auditioned for X Factor at 15, she had never sung in front of an audience before and was extremely nervous. Gwen promises to build her up if she has the opportunity to coach her. Sadie was all set to pick Blake, but got the general vibe from him that he didn’t believe in her (!!!). Gwen’s heartfelt pitch wins Sadie over. – Gwen and Blake turn, Sadie picks Team Gwen
SheJ – 26 – I Like It by DeBarge
The singer explains her stage name, which has to do with her and her brother having the same initials. His nickname was “HeJ.” During her teen years, she was very active in church and school musical activities. Her dad becomes very emotional about her talent. It’s always the dads who cry! The song begins a little low in her range, but she comes alive in the chorus. She’s having a few breathing and pitch problems, which is why nobody is turning. The song choice and approach were ambitious. She should probably come back.
John thinks she needs to work on control. Gwen compliments her timing, and suggests she not lose that. – No Turns.
Brayden Lape – 15 – This Town by Niall Horan
He looks to be in his mid-20s rather than mid-teens. He’s over 6′ tall, maybe that’s why? Brayden also seems very mature for his age. He plays sports, as well as sings. He has a pretty tone. I don’t know why I expected him to sing country. His phrasing could be more creative. But that’s something he can work on. Ha. Blake doesn’t know the song. How? Blake hits his button anyway. It’s the first one-chair turn of the season.
Gwen calls she and Blake Brayden’s new “coach parents.” When she realizes Brayden’s youth, she regrets not hitting her button. Camila assures Blake that he made a very good decision. Brayden’s family comes out on stage for a big hug. Happy, Brayden admits that Blake was his first choice. – Only Blake Turned
Peyton Aldridge – 25 – Can’t You See by The Marshall Tucker Band
He works as an assistant high school basketball coach under his brother. Peyton is very close to his step-father, who raised him. The singer’s got a retro rock southern vibe going on, and is very animated on stage. Some rock guys can’t perform without a guitar. Peyton’s very comfortable working the stage like a front man. John is the first to hit his button. Blake is torn. He thinks John blocked him. AND HE IS CORRECT. Gwen also turns.
John is captivated by his voice, and admits he blocked Blake. Peyton namechecks John’s “All of Me” and sings a bit of it. He’s not boxed in! John joins him on stage for a little duet. And not to leave Gwen out, he sings a little “Hollaback Girl.” After he sang “All of Me” Camila regretted not turning. Peyton does appear to be versatile. Blake advocates for his wife. But Peyton picks John! – John and Gwen turn, John blocks Blake, Peyton picks Team Legend