The Voice 9 Premiere Recap Part 2 – Live Blog and VIDEOS
The Voice 9 premiere week continues, as coaches Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton battle to win over more singers to their teams. Click to check out tonight’s song and performance spoilers!
First a recap of last night’s show.
Blind Joe – 32 – Fargo ND – If It Hadn’t Been for Love by the Steeldrivers – He was born 3 months premature, and wasn’t supposed to live. He did, but was left blind. “This is a truly blind audition,” he quips. His parents have always encouraged Joe to work hard. His grandfather bought him a guitar. He’s been playing small town bars for 10 years. His wife is his “roadie” and his “seeing eye wife.” She’s so supportive. “She’s my angel,” he says. He teaches blind people how to use accessibility software as a day job, but is looking to play music full time. Accompanying himself on a lap steel guitar, He’s got a nice Americana vibe, but his voice is by no means perfect. He’s got a limited range. Blake is the first to turn followed by Adam. Gwen and Pharrell go at the very last minute. Blake tells Joe he got a 4 chair turn. Adam is sick of losing country artists to Blake. He’s hoping Blind Joe bucks the trend. Pharrell is glad to lend his support–he’s not fighting hard. Neither is Gwen. She calls his performance “honest” and mentions Blake’s “country mafia.” Blake name drops Ronnie Milsap “I’d be honored to introduce you to Nashville.” Adam doesn’t stand a chance. And indeed, Blind Joe chooses Blake. Blake calls him “special.” – Download from iTunes
Now, a bit where Adam and Blake introduce Pharrell to the “winners lounge.” Adam talks in a clipped British accent as he namechecks the coaches who have never won.
Ivonne Acero – 17 – Style by Taylor Swift – CANTALOUPE GIRL IS BACK. She’s the teen who lives in New Mexico with her parents on a cantaloupe farm. Last season, after she didn’t get a turn, the coaches gave her advice and urged her to come back. And here she is. THIS time, Pharrell and Gwen turn IMMEDIATELY. REDEMPTION. Vocally, she’s improved quite a bit. Her pitch problems have improved, and she’s more confident. She hits some nice big notes. But, her presentation could use some work. She sounds more confident than she looks. Blake remembers her as the “fruit girl.” “You said you’d turn for me!” she teases Blake. “Men lie,” he jokes. She thanks Gwen and Pharrell. Gwen wasn’t around the first time. Pharrell noticed she was in the “pocket this time.” Your voice is amazing, he says. He notes her glasses and braces as a thing that makes her unique. What? Gwen can’t believe she’s 17 and is impressed with her vocally. Rejecting the coach who turned the first time, Ivonne chooses Pharrell Download from iTunes
Gage Navarro – Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked – His dad left the family when he was little, his mom functioned as both parents. But then a step dad came into the picture. He got into music initially to meet girls. When the economy tanked, he put music aside to help out his parents run the family business–a deteriorating golf course. They moved into the pro shop. A drought ruined the greens. He’s hoping The Voice can get him back to music full time. Sadly, he’s going to have to toil on the golf course a little longer at least. No Turns. Gwen liked how rhythmic it was, but didn’t feel a genuine human story. She was looking for the emotion and connection. Adam told a story about his music teacher who wrote the word “Ooomph” on the board every day. Or something. Quite rambling, Adam. The gist was that Gage lacked charisma. Pharrell agrees. Do some work and come back, he says.
Regina Love – 51 – Atlanta – Rock Steady by Aretha Franklin – HELLO RECRUIT. Regina works as a personality on a radio show in Atlanta. But she also worked with her family in a gospel group. She had a record deal in the 90’s with boxer, Evander Holyfield (!!!) who stops by to speak with host Carson Daly. She recorded 3 gospel albums! But then the record label folded and she had to scramble to take care of her kids. She cries as she talks about refusing to quit. She wants a The Voice coach to PUSH HER. Yep. She’s this season’s big forced aging diva! It’s turned into a reliable The Voice trope. If things go as they usually do, she won’t make it past the knockouts. She’s got a good voice. Raspy and strong. Lots of fierceness going on there. But she’s hopelessly old fashioned and dated. Adam turns first, and then Blake. Gwen was floored by her voice, but didn’t think she had anything to offer her. Pharrell admits he made a mistake. Adam calls her talent “incredible” and calls her beautiful. Regina tells Pharrell, after he asks why she performs, that she sings music for people’s souls. Despite Blake promising he’ll give the singer an opportunity to shine, Regina chooses Adam. Helloooo cannon fodder. Download from iTunes
Zach Seabaugh – 16 – Marietta GA – Take Your Time by Sam Hunt – He’s got a slew of sisters and is a middle child. His grandfather introduced him to Johnny Cash. He passed away in 2009, promising Zach he’d be “somebody.” He played football initially, because peer pressure, and kept his singing aspirations to himself. He eventually chose singing over football. He got some crap for it, but when he won some competitions, folks came around. Players would even come to his performances. He wears his grandad’s military dog tags for good luck. He’s performing one of those annoying, talk/sing modern country songs. Yuck. But Zach’s got a decent, deep, pleasantly-toned, if unformed voice. He needs some maturing, but he’s got potential. His breath control is particularly problematic. Adam, Blake and Pharrell turn, nevertheless. The coaches can’t believe he’s only 16. Gwen is shocked by his performance. “You look like a man,” she coos. Hm. Pharrell has never had a country artist, but he calls Zach different. He wants a shot! This dude is like Scotty McCreery light, I don’t get the coach’s frenzy over this one. Adam asks if he’s superman. “That’s superman’s voice! It’s seasoned, and deeper than mine’s ever been.” He wants to win The Voice with someone unexpected like Zach. Blake gives him the “country mafia” pitch, dropping Travis Tritt’s name. Blake says he knows the pulse of country music. Come over to my lane, he implores. And of course, Zach chooses Blake Blake calls him a “dark horse.” – Download from iTunes
Evan McKeel – 20 – Richmond VA – Typical by Mute Math – His first gig was at the Farmer’s Market. His dad taught him to treat his music as a living right off the bat. And it’s been working. He plays at a home for elderly afflicted with Alzheimer’s. He wants to make a difference. Interesting that he picked an obscure alt/rock song from 2009 to sing. His tenor is thin, but he’s got a nice rangey rasp and sings with emotion. I could see him fronting an indie band. He definitely has potential. All four judges turn for him. Adam was sold by the end. “I’m your man all the way.” That’s probably correct. Blake compliments his stage presence. Gwen can’t pinpoint his style, and she likes the “collision.” Pharrell asks him what he likes. He loves soul music too! He sings a verse of a fav, “Overjoyed” and it’s nice. Real nice. So maybe Pharrell would be his man. Gwen runs up to stage–YOU BROUGHT ME TO TEARS she says. “You earned your position on this show,” says Pharrell. Adam is so impressed he performed in such a high pressure situation. HE WANTS HIM. Evan loves them all. Who to choose? We find out after the break. Evan chooses Pharrell. Evan wants a career crosses genres. He’s sure Pharrell can help him. – Download from iTunes
Bryan Bautista – Locked Out of Heaven by Bruno Mars – He comes from an eclectic household. He’s an usher at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn. He’d love to headline there someday and eventually sang the National Anthem before a game. The buzz was crazy afterward. News media picked up on it. He’s still only doing open mics. He wants help from the coaches. Vocally, he’s kind of a Bruno clone. One with massive pitch problems. This is not impressive. Therefor, No Turns. Adam calls Bruno a maniac. The notes are hard to nail. Adam suggests to Bryan that he comes back for another shot. Gwen thought he locked into the chorus, but she just wasn’t feeling it. Pharrell advises him to sing as if it’s something he loves to do, and also encourages him to audition again. Sorry Bryan!
Emily Ann Roberts – 16 – Knoxville TN – I Hope You Dance by Lee Ann Womack – She’s a country singer who loves old school artists. She’s won some local competitions. She sings the old stuff at gigs around town. She loves the emotion in traditional country. She’s a fan of Blake and Adam. Emily has a very sweet tone. Adam turns immediately. Blake thinks on it. She’s a little pitchy. She could probably use a vocal lesson or two and a few years to marinate. She’s kind of generic. Eventually Blake turns, claiming he waited to see what she’d do with the chorus. The bro-dudes will go at it again! Adam says Blake’s the man when it comes to country. You’ll have zero competition on my team, he says. Oh. Blake tries to trip Adam by asking who sang the song originally. Adam knew the answer! Blake namechecks his country team members, like Cassadee Pope and Danielle Bradbery. Adam says he’s got the passion, if not the experience. Blake swears Adam will need his to ask his advice. “Don’t let him scare you!” says Adam. The girl has some sense. Emily chooses Blake – What is Adam’s obsession with wooing a country singer? Maybe the producers suggested it as a hook on which to hang the frenemy bit. Can you say contrived? – Download from iTunes
Ellie Lawrence – 26 – Calhoun GA – We Don’t Have to Take Our Clothes Off by by Jermaine Stewart – Everybody in her small town, including her musician brother, is into country. But she’s an indie singer. Her fiance Cody gets her, and is such an encouragement. They’re in a band called “One Shot Ellie.” She really wants to work with Gwen. “She forged a path in every genre,” Ellie gushes. She sings the slowed up version by Ella Eyre, of this 80’s dance hit. She’s interesting, singing with an appealing rasp and phrasing. She feels what she’s singing. When Gwen turns her chair, the fiance cries. Ellie is so happy that her fav turned for her! It’s not lost on Adam, who now realizes he’s barely got a chance, as he notes Ellie’s excitement. “That’s the queen of Ska!” exclaims Ellie. “Give her the freaking t shirt,” says Blake. Adam loved her timing, but could help her refine her range. Pharrell loved the rasp in her voice. Blake was the only coach that didn’t turn. And of course, Ellie chooses Gwen. Gwen thinks the two of them can really get creative. – Download from iTunes
Noah Jackson, Boston MA – Gwen snagged him. Tim Atlas, San Jose CA – Gwen snagged him too. Hannah Ashbook, Mt Prospect IL – Another Gwen team member! GWEN MONTAGED.
Season 6 finalist, Christina Grimmie, is back as the “style correspondent” for Kohl’s. Zzzzz.
Natalie Yacovazzi – “Oh Darling” by The Beatles – She’s a credit card processor. Her husband wasn’t supportive of her music career, so they divorced. She has a young child. Her career has been on the backburner ever since. She feels it’s her time. She sings soulfully, but tentatively. She’s nervous! Girl’s got a big voice though. The runs are a little shaky, but she’s got potential. No Turns. Somebody should have given that girl a shot. Blake liked a lot of it, but she was sharp, so he didn’t turn. Pharrell thought her thinking made her nervous. Gwen thought she was amazing in parts, but she wasn’t coming through all the way. Adam compliments her on a great job. Natalie admits her performance was forced. She was intimidated. She should come back!
James Dupre – 30 – Bayou Chicot, LA – Let Her Cry by Hootie & the Blowfish – He’s one of 6 kids. Married at 19! He became a paramedic. They had four kids. He and his wife divorced. That’s a lot of life packed in a few short years. He moved to Nashville to continue his music career and was on Ellen due to Youtube fame. He got signed to a record deal after, but was eventually dropped. He wants to choose Blake. But his boys are fans of Adam. Everybody but Blake turns immediately. Near the end of the performance, Blake finally pushes his button. James has a radio friendly voice, a nice tone. Pleasant, but a little generic. Pharrell calls him a natural. He admits he hasn’t worked with country artists, but he could help him become a multi-faceted artist. Gwen is drawn to his honesty. Adam notes that all the country singers so far are on Blake’s team. Adam wants to beat him so bad with a country singer! He’s James guy! James loves James Taylor (whom Adam namechecked) and Vince Gill. “Country music is my life,” says Blake. He’ll make sure James’ ends up in the right hands after the show. There’s that. Blake is offering to open doors no matter what. Which is why it’s probably a dumb mistake when James chooses Adam. James expects Adam will pull him a little outside of the country box. – Download from iTunes
Everybody freaking out during the promo for next week? Click this link to find out why (duo is your hint).