The Voice season 15 begins tonight with coaches Adam Levine, Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson and Blake Shelton. Carson Daly returns as host. We’re live blogging all the performances here. Watch the coaches build their teams here.
UPDATE: There are NO iTunes recordings for download or to stream. At least not during the Blind Auditions. The Apple Music page has links to the “original songs,” however. I always assumed there was money to be made from downloads. But maybe not so much as streaming takes over more and more. Still, maybe recordings will return for the live shows and voting.
Sarah Grace – Ball & Chain by Janis Joplin (Big Mama Thornton) – This 15 year old just got her permit. And she’s got a condition where she sees colors when she hears music. The condition has driven her love for music. The blues made gorgeous colors, which is why she’s drawn to them. She would love to have a career like ANYBODY sitting in those chairs! This performance was previewed HERE. Kelly is the first to turn, followed by Blake and then Jennifer. Sarah sounds young, but she’s got a very nice tone. She’s a couple years away from coming into herself, though. Kelly is delighted to hear she’s from Texas. She compliments her “stank face,” which the rest of the panel mocks (Kelly’s use of the term, that is!). Jennifer calls her attitude “sass” which Sarah prefers. The young singer hopes to make a blues rock record–Etta James, Janis Joplin etc. Blake calls her voice full of “grit and passion” and says “I would never assume your face smells.” Sarah thought she had it figured out. But no she really doesn’t. Ultimately, Sarah chooses Kelly
Next, it’s a preview of Kelsea Ballerini and the “comeback stage.” She personally chose 6 no turns to compete for a 13th spot in the live shows! A refresher on the Comeback Stage
Tyshawn Colquitt – Like I Can by Sam Smith – 23 year old from Cincinnati, Ohio runs a pound cake business “Pound 4 Sound” with his mom. He grew up in a rough neighborhood. Being the oldest in his family, he felt responsibility. He’s got a decent, soulful voice. He performs with energy. When he hits a big note, Jennifer hits her button. At the last minute, Blake hits his button. Jennifer is not pleased! Blake says he knows he’s in over his head, but he means it! He wants him on his team. I don’t think he stands a chance–and he knows it. “I want to bring real R&B back,” says Tyshawn. Jennifer can’t stop gushing about his voice. Kelly says she’d pick Jennifer if she were him. Adam piles on. And of course, Tyshawn Chooses Jennifer This is bullcrap, says Blake. Sure Jan. Aw. Tyshawn brought pound cake for everyone!
Tyke James – Perfect by Ed Sheeran – 17 year old from from Laie, Hawaii plays small venues such as taco trucks back home. He feels lucky if he can get a customer’s face out of their tacos. Long haired and hippie like. Tyke is super laid back. He loves the ocean. He’s got a decent enough tone, but isn’t bringing anything new to his interpretation. Adam is pretty quick to hit his button. Hm. This performance is boring. No wonder the other coaches stay put. Well, Adam is probably the best coach for him in any case. At the very least, he’ll make good Battle Round fodder. Adam says he loved his voice, and that his aura is cool. Kelly wants his hair–she thinks he’s cute. Kelly calls him “a young Fabio.” That’s not really a compliment. – Only Adam Turns
Ayanna Joni – Sorry Not Sorry by Demi Lovato – 29 year old from Yonkers, New York, was a child actor, in a teen girl group that released two singles. But at 18 she became pregnant with her daughter. She put her career on hold. Now she’s a wedding singer. She’s a little pitchy, which is maybe why nobody hits their button? Otherwise, she’s a confident performer. She’s got a good voice. Aw. Her daughter is crying. Kelly urges her to come back. Jennifer notes her pitchiness. She was waiting for the big note. I HATE that. If a girl can sang, she can sang. But there’s silver lining! Kelsea chose her for her Comeback Team. – No Turns but Chosen for Kelsea Ballerini’s Comeback Team.
Here’s the first “Comeback Stage” episode featuring Ayanna. Kelsea chooses “Dangerous Woman” for the singer and they rehearse it together.
Mercedes Ferreira-Dias – She Used to Be Mine by Sara Bareilles (Waitress) – 17 year old from Florida auditioned last year but didn’t get a chair. Kelly regretted not hitting her button last time. Adam had urged her to come back. The song hits home, because she knows self-doubt and insecurity. Really nice phrasing here. Her tone is beautiful. If I’m remembering right, she was a very tentative singer last time. She’s really grown. Blake turns first, points to Kelly and says “You better do it.” This all happens at the last minute. Kelly remembers her. “I hear your heart,” says Blake. Kelly calls her voice “angelic” and a little sad–but in a good way! Mom has a huge crush on Blake. “Listen to your mama girl,” says Jennifer. Mercedes Chooses Blake. Mom wins out.
Radha – Mama Knows Best by Jessie J – 19 year old from New Jersey, is 1st generation Filipino. Karaoke is huge! Her father was in a band. She’s a full time college student, currently. Whoa. Radha has a BIG LOUD VOICE. REALLY LOUD. Dynamics, girl DYNAMICS. Yelly McYerllerson. Geez. Adam turns pretty quick. Jennifer and Blake hit at the last minute. But WHOOPS JHUD IS BLOCKED. Thanks Adam. “SORRY” he says, not sincere at all. Adam couldn’t decide whether to block Kelly or JHud. Jennifer feelings are SO HURT! Adam loves her control and maturity. Blake says she “kicked the door down” and “stayed on point” through the entire song. Radia admits she would have chosen Jennifer. That’s why I HATE this block thing. It ultimately hurts the contestant. Radha Chooses Adam
Kameron Marlowe – One Number Away by Luke Combs – 21 year old from North Carolina. He’s a big Blake Shelton fan. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but his voice is not what I was expecting. He sings country music with a rock vocal. With that strong, muscular tone, he could easily switch to rock music. Kelly and Blake both turn. Adam figured he didn’t have a chance, so he didn’t turn. Now he’s regretful. So he launches into a Blake impersonation to shake it off. Adam asks if he would have had a chance if he turned–Kameron says NO. Ha. Adam appreciates his honesty, so he advocates for Blake. Kameron chooses Blake.
Mikele Buck – She Used to Be Mine by Brooks and Dunn – 39 year old from Virginia is a veteran who served in Iraq after 9/11. He cleared road bombs. Dangerous! He played music to keep his mind off “the bad stuff.” One of his buddies committed suicide. Family and music helped him move on. He figures he’ll pick Blake, but one of his daughters is a HUGE Kelly fan. His kids are already crying! Kelly and Blake hit their buttons at the very last minute. Not sure what took them so long. He’s got a beautiful tone. Oh. It was “strategy”–attempting to wait each other out. Adam calls her move “rookie at best…don’t get lured into his nonsense!” Kelly talks at length about working with Jason Aldean and Kaleb Lee from her team last year. She stresses that she LOVES Travis Tritt and Brooks and Dunn. “My husband is HIS manager!” She’s laying it on real thick. And the daughters are yelling KELLY KELLY so Mikele Chooses Kelly She goes backstage to meet the family. Sweet.
Sam Hastings – Angela by the Lumineers – 23 year old from Portland, Maine. He’s nervous. The biggest crowd he’s ever played was like 40 people. Accompanying himself on guitar–he’s got an interesting tone. But the performance goes nowhere. Great song, but maybe not for a singing competition. He needs that big moment and it never comes. Also, there are pitch problems on the extended notes. Blake was looking for more range. Kelly was waiting for something bigger, but thinks his voice is cool. – No Turns.
Patrique Fortson – Get Here by Oleta Adams – 38 year old from Atlanta, Georgia is a claims manager by day. He started singing when he was 4 years old. He was a 7 years old when he was signed a record contract with a gospel label. At 10 years old, the label folded on his second album. He has a super strong voice and a sweet falsetto. He’s super old-fashioned, though. But his phrasing is nice! Jennifer is the first to turn, and then Adam. Jennifer is winning this round. Adam promises to challenge him. Jennifer rattles off her accomplishments. Adam should just hang it up. Patrick chooses Jennifer by singing a bit of “and I am telling you!” Adam knew he didn’t have a chance.
(Patrique was once Patrick and a 22 year old American Idol contestant. He made the semi-finals in season 2. He was eliminated after singing “Unbreak My Heart” by Toni Braxton. He and Jennifer can compare notes. He was a contestant a year before she appeared on season 3.)
UPDATE: Patrique got into an argument with Simon over his outfit. Also, Ryan busted out a cassette of Patrique’s gospel songs.
Kennedy Holmes – Turning Tables by Adele – 13 year old is a dancer and plays volleyball and track in school. She’s very poised for her age. The first song she sang in public was Jennifer Hudson’s “I Am Changing.” Aw. Dad is tearing up. He says he looks up to her. We previewed this performance HERE. Her singing voice is really mature and assured for a 13 year old. Her performance is effortless. A rich, thick tone–she doesn’t sing a wrong note. All 4 Turn. Kelly flips out when she learns her age. “You are the best vocalist that auditioned this year,” says Blake. Jennifer opens her mouth and Kennedy starts to cry. She’s dreamed about singing with her idol, Jhud. So Jennifer joins her on stage to sing a bit of “I Am Changing.” Oh well. This is settled. Kelly is crying. Adam thinks she could “become the biggest thing to ever come from this show.” Unsurprisingly, Kennedy Chooses Jennifer.