The Voice Season 13 premieres TONIGHT with coaches Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Miley Cyrus and newbie Jennifer Hudson. Carson Daly returns as host. Join us as we LIVE BLOG every performance.
Chris Weaver – Try a Little Tenderness by Otis Redding. He’s a worship leader by day and a drag queen at the West End in New York City by night. He sang for Jennifer at a Color Purple party a few years ago. – Four Chair Turn. (Meet Miss Nedra Belle!) Jennifer and Adam hit their buttons first. Good for Chris, because he has his eye on both of them. Chris is a terrific soul singer with a smooth voice and tasty runs. Miley and Blake turn when he hits the bridge. Dude is a pro. Jennifer grabs Miley’s silver platform shoe. Chris reminds him that she threw her shoe when he sang for her at the Color Purple party. Adam is tossing his clothes. Miley says she’s “thirsty to win” and she’ll win with him. When Miley learns that he’s a drag queen, she goes bananas. But I don’t think she stands a chance. Jennifer says the the church and the local queens taught her how to sing. Blake says, “…I’ve never won the show with a drag queen.” Then he pretends that it’s his birthday. C’mon just go ahead and do the thing. Pick Jennifer. – He chooses Team Jennifer Hudson. – Download from iTunes
Mitchell Lee – Hold My Hand by Hootie and the Blowfish – This twenty nine year old is from South Carolina, but lives in Tennessee now. He works as a woodworker. His late mother has always been his big inspiration to continue pursuing a singing career. He was going to be a dentist and she talked him out of it. He tears up talking about mom. Dude is totally the second coming of Barrett Baber. Adam turns first, Jennifer second and finally Blake. He has a very soulful, pleasant voice. But he doesn’t bring anything new to the interpretation. Very karaoke. Adam mentions that Darius Rucker went from pop to country. He calls Mitchell a “strong singer” and a “good looking dude.” Blake thinks he sounds country. “But I like rock,” says Mitchell. Adam runs up on stage to check out his clothing? Weirdo moves like that aren’t going to get his team filled. And unsurprisingly, Mitchell picks Team Blake Shelton. – Download from iTunes
Janice Freeman – Radioactive by Imagine Dragons – She was a single mom with a daughter after her husband passed away from cancer. In 2012 SHE was diagnosed with cervical cancer. She’s currently in remission. And she remarried–a musician. “I’m grateful to be here,” she says tearfully before taking the stage. She’s soulful, but with a strong alto and a distinct rock vibe. She’s interesting. Nobody turns at first. But at the bridge, both Jennifer and Miley turn. “Swampy nastyness,” is how Adam describes the performance. Miley likes Janice’s performance of the song better than the original. She calls her fearless. After confessing to being a cancer survivor, Jennifer and Miley run up on stage to give her a hug. Jennifer reminds her that she’s been through some stuff herself and can relate. But, ultimately, she picks Team Miley Cyrus. I’m not surprised. Janice wants to be more than just an R&B singer. – Download from iTunes
Xaris – Don’t Think Twice by Bob Dylan – Seventeen year old girl from Florida loves folk music and has a vinyl record collection of old folk artists. Oh geez. Her video package is done Bob Dylan style with the signs. She plays a variety of string instruments. In her spare time she works in a yogurt shop. She sounds young and very tentative. She doesn’t understand that you need that BIG MOMENT to get a chair turn. She’s got a nice sweet tone though. Adam calls her an old soul. They weren’t expecting someone so young. They seem a little sorry they didn’t turn. Adam and Miley give her a hug. Alas, her guitar accompanied performance gets NO TURNS.
Shi’Ann Jones – Drown in My Own Tears by Ray Charles – ShiAnn gets NO video package. Boom with the voice. She sounds like a 50 year old gospel singer, but is a 15 year old from Kentucky. The panel is going to freak when they turn around. Jennifer turns first and she tries to keep the rest of the panel from pushing. Blake does anyway. Miley now wishes she’d turned around. Jennifer considers her a “mini-me.” Blake reminds her that he’s been coaching for 13 seasons, and is very passionate about the members of his team. Still, she picks Team Jennifer Hudson – Download from iTunes
Dave Crosby – I Will Follow You Into the Dark by Death Cab for Cutie – The singer is from Utah, but lives in Washington state now. A youtube video of him and his daughter singing together went viral. Eventually, they appeared on Ellen and Little Big Shots. (Here they are on Ellen). After graduating from Brigham Young University, he married his wife. Adam, Miley and Blake turn. I’m not really sure why. His breathy voice is pretty mediocre. He’d be nowhere without the kiddy shtick. Adam calls his voice “beautiful.” Dave explains how he gave up music when his daughter was born. Then the youtube thing happened. Adam remembers seeing them on TV. The kiddo comes out and sings with him. Call me grumpy, but this bit with the kid is SOOO CLOYING. Miley says her dad taught HER everything she learned about music. Oh. And we’re going to have to WAIT until after the commercial break to find out who he picks…and that would be Team Adam Levine. They bond over being dads of daughters – Download from iTunes
Target commercial featuring Chris Blue singing “How Do You Like It.” COOL. So that’s what he was working on a few weeks ago.
Odiseas – Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag by James Brown – He auditioned initially back in season 3 when he was only 15, but didn’t get a turn. He and his mother emigrated to the US from Ghana. He feels that he’s learned so much in the past few years. Hm. He’s interesting, but the performance is really undisciplined. The words are muddled and he’s adding too many embellishments. He comes off affected. And alas Strike TWO No Turns. His family is so disappointed. Jhud calls him out for over-embellishing his notes. When JHud is calling you out on ad-libs, honey, you’ve got too many. Miley is sorry she didn’t turn. She loves his look and the fact that he dances as well as sings. The coaches don’t remember him from last time. They suggest he try AGAIN.
Esera Tuaolo – Rise Up by Audra Day – Forty-eight year old former NFL football player came out as gay after he retired. He played for a bunch of teams and competed in the Super Bowl. He’s from Hawaii but lives in Minnesota now. He was married with kids at one point. While in the closet he fell into a depression. He sees The Voice giving him a second chance at a new career. Jennifer turns first and then eventually Blake. He’s got a decent voice. I’m surprised it’s taking everyone so long to turn. He’s very soulful. Beautiful tone. Adam could tell he was a “big dude…he could whoop my ass.” Adam calls himself a moron for not turning. Jennifer mentions that she loves the song. She appreciated his soaring notes, but noticed that he had breath problems on the quieter notes. He’s wearing his NEC Championship ring. “I’m such a football geek!” gushes Blake. Ha ha. When Esera picks Blake, the championship theme plays. Incidentally, that dude is still in really great shape. He picks Team Blake Shelton – Download from iTunes
Brandon Showell – There’s Nothing Holding Me Back by Shawn Mendes- Seventh grade school teacher lives in Virginia. His kiddos don’t know he’s an aspiring musician. He used to perform on cruise ships and is engaged to be married. He was very excited to learn Jennifer Hudson was joining the panel. Adam turns first. Jennifer and Miley eventually turn. He’s got potential, but seemed really rushed and nervous up there. He lacks bravado. Brandon and Jhud bond over working the cruise circuit. They can’t believe he has a day job. He thinks Adam will help him the most with stage presence and confidence. Not JHud though? Hm. He picks Team Adam Levine. – Download from iTunes
Lucas Holliday – Women’s Work by Kate Bush (Maxwell’s version) – Twenty-six year old lives in Michigan and works in a discount store. He loves the singer Maxwell. After he got Maxwell’s attention via a viral video a friend made of him singing while he worked in the store, the artist invited Lukas up on stage to perform with him. Yep. He sounds a lot like Maxwell. He’s a Maxwell impersonator. I wonder if he can do anything else. His performance is a little unwieldy, which is probably why nobody is turning. Jennifer does eventually. Of course, the judges are shocked when they turn and realize he’s a white guy. Blake compares him to Frasier. Jennifer gets up on stage to sing a gospel tune with him. She says Lucas is the type of singer that The Voice is about. – Team Jennifer Hudson is the only turn. – Download from iTunes
Brooke Simpson – Stone Cold by Demi Lovato – Twenty-six year old lives in a Native American community in North Carolina. She’s 100 percent native. We see Brooke at the community pow wow. Her parents are travelling evangelists. As a kid, she was obsessed with the Spice girls. Miley and Blake turn first. Brooke is very very good. Her voice is big rangy and full of feeling. When Adam and Jennifer turn, she gives it everything she’s got. Adam runs up on stage for a hug. Her mom is her main inspiration. Miley describes herself as a “very invested coach.” She runs up on stage to let Brooke feel her heart beating. All the coaches are aware that they have a gem on their hands–a great technical voice that’s nevertheless effortlessly soulful. “Our spirits are very similar,” says Brooke about choosing Miley. The hand on the heart did it. – Four Chair Turn – She picks Team Miley Cyrus – Click for Preview – Download from iTunes