The Voice season 16 Blind Auditions continue tonight with veteran coaches Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson, and new kid on the block, John Legend. Carson Daly returns as host. We’re live blogging all the performances here. Watch as the coaches build their teams.
FYI: Like last season, there are no studio recording for the Blind Auditions. Apple music does provide links to the original versions of the contestant’s song choices. Additionally, The Comeback Stage digital series returns with coach Bebe Rexha. Click for more details. And the block is back. Each coach has one opportunity to “block” a coach from picking a contestant.
Give it up for the Season 16 coaches!
Beth Griffith-Manley, 46, Detroit, MI “Til You Come Back to Me That’s What I’m Gonna Do” by Aretha Franklin
The first contestant says being here is like being on wings and you’re ready to fly. For one of the coaches to turn for her would be validating, she’s been a background singer for so long. Her Dad was a Motown musician, Johnny Griffith, one of the Funk Brothers. They were Grammy winners and have a Hollywood star. (Think Dancing in the Streets). She worked as a receptionist at a recording studio and got a background artist gig for Anita Baker. She’s singing an Aretha song, because her Dad was Aretha’s first piano player. This song is so overdone, good but nothing special so far. She looks gorgeous in a red blouse. John & Kelly turn as she gets into the first chorus. She did a really different take on that song, with runs in unusual places and subdued in parts. Two chair turn. Adam says he’s in love with her but he didn’t turn because John & Kelly turned. John says he’s from the Midwest too and that it was a beautiful song choice. Kelly said good song choice, she nailed it, has a voice that moves her. Blake asks her about her background. Beth says she’s a little bit turn, but she picks Team Kelly! because she thinks Kelly can help her develop the rasp in her voice. Kelly says she’s blessed to have a classic voice on her team.
Bantering between the coaches about sports ball. Time for the next audition.
Selki, 31, Durban, South Africa “I Try” by Macy Gray
Selki lives in Florida, she’s from South Africa. She played on cruise ships, she met her husband, a juggler on the ship. He is the one who pushed her to take this opportunity. She’s playing guitar and wearing a cool black heart. Oh she has a nice smooth voice. Adam turns pretty quickly. She starts to belt but not overdoing it, in the chorus. As she hits higher notes, good control. Blake turns on the very last note. Two chair turn. She says her name means “Seal” but Seal was taken already. Adam says good song choice, he likes her vibe and what she does. John is excited to see who she chooses. Kelly tells her she doesn’t sound like anyone on the show. Blake tells her he’s never been to South Africa, but he likes to imagine over there that she’s country. He thinks she’s a complete package. He reminds her that he has won the show twice as many as times as Adam. Blake says he’s a huge fan. Adam tells her his wife will kill him if she’s not on his team. Selki picks Team Blake! (She mentions that was her husband’s choice). Blake says she’s a great artist, unique sound, singer/songwriter vibe.
Jae Jen, 33, Baltimore, MD “Hallelujah I Just Love Her So” by Ray Charles
He’s a Korean soul singer. He wants to break the stereotype. When he was young, he was diagnosed with a terminal illness and told he only a few months to live. He did an experimental chemotherapy, and it worked. Then music became everything. He lives out of two suitcases and plays wherever people will hear him. Facing his mortality has made him strong and ready to celebrate how precious life is. He’s pretty good, lots of energy. Song doesn’t really go anywhere. The audience is clapping along with him. He does a big run at the end. Kind of surprised, no one turned for him. Adam says he was great, but the song didn’t lend itself to the energy. John said he was a little sanitized, he needed more grit. Blake tells him he’s a good singer but not enough stank. No chair turn.
Denton Arnell, 31, Chicago, IL “Hold On, We’re Going Home” by Drake
He grew up in music playing piano and singing all his life. He works at the church, teaching young adults. His girlfriend teaches dance at the church. She says he’s worked so hard, and he’s so deserving. He shows the ring to the camera and says she has no idea. (Is he going to propose after his audition?) Smooth soul voice, John turns almost immediately. A little different take on this song, (sorry but no one can ever do this song like the late, great Christina Grimmie). He seems a little nervous, the phrasing is strange and a long overdone run at the end. One chair turn. Adam tells him he has a great voice. John says welcome to Team Legend! He has a wonderful tone, he likes that he was creative with the melody. Denton asks if it’s okay to share the moment with his girlfriend. She comes running out on stage. Denton says being that John gave him a yes, he wants to see if his girlfriend Tiffany will give him a yes. He proposes right there on the stage, and Tiffany says yes. Everyone is on their feet! Sweet moment. John says Denton has good control, tone, and is creative.
Ciera Dumas, 21, Cartersville, NC “Tell Me You Love Me” by Demi Lovato
She says 22 and then she says I’ve already aged myself, she’s actually 21. She currently has pink hair, but she’s not afraid to take chances with her hair and has had lots of colors. Singing has always been in her life. She moved to Nashville at 19, and was “most likely to win The Voice” in her high school yearbook. She moved back home to NC. Her Mom says this is all she’s ever wanted. Her voice is really clear and unique. Adam and John almost immediately turn. She has good power, control, she’s very comfortable up there. She has a little grit, rasp in the chorus. Surprisingly, only a two chair turn. Adam says she’s powerful, spectacular voice. John says they were both mesmerized by her voice. She got nervous when they turned around, but he felt the power, pain and emotion. She has a story to tell. Kelly says her favorite voice was her rasp. Blake says the shred part of her voice is the money. John tells her don’t give up the shred. Blake pushes hard for John. Adam says her voice captures the entire room, she can go real far and maybe win this thing. Ciera picks Team Adam! Adam tells us Ciera is awesome, and she’s going to be a big surprise to everybody.
Andrew Sevener, 22, Alvarado, TX “Honky Tonk Women” by Rolling Stones
He lives in a very small town where the only big thing is the freeway. He’s a country, rock. blues, he’s been playing guitar since 5th grade. He, his Mom, and his Dad started a band when Andrew turned 15. He’s learned so much from his parents but he’s trying to become a solo artist. He works 7 days a week as a motor home specialist. Typical cowboy hat and electric guitar. He has some grit in his voice, but it’s nothing too special. During the guitar solo, he really tears it up and Blake turns. He breaks into some big notes. One chair turn. Blake is screaming his classic yes! Kelly says she didn’t turn around cause country artists always choose Blake. Blake says he can hear Hank Williams Jr. John says his guitar solo was nice, and his high notes electrified the room. Andrew is Team Blake! Blake says he likes the growly sound and shredding.
Next artist works the front desk at a salon. She’s never done anything on a big scale, and she likes that it’s about your voice not your look.
Mari, 20, Claremont, FL “Boo’d Up” by Ella Mai
They are not showing us the artists face, but three judges (sans Blake) turn in the first few seconds. She’s got a cool vibe, wearing red pants and orange turtle neck. She has a smooth voice, putting lots of energy, and runs into the song. I thought it was a little over done but audience loved it. Different, and solid performance. Three judges on their feet. Kelly likes her headvoice, fluid. John says Mari comes off as confident. Mari tells them she grew up listening to John and Adam. Adam tells her she’s 1976, and he turned around because she doesn’t do things the way other people do, and he thinks he can help her intergrate into the show the best. Blake advocates for John by walking behind him and pointing. Mari picks after the commercial break…
Mari picks… Team Adam! after apologizing to Blake. Adam says she has jazzy chops, she’s different and cool. Mari says she picked Adam because he really wanted to push her forward.
Adam is on fire today! Oop John Legend just says the same thing.
Crystal Rose, 26, Kansas City, MO “Wicked Game” by Chris Isaak
It’s an honor for her to be here she’s proud of where she came from. She had 7 siblings when she was younger her house burned down and her single Mom couldn’t keep her. She grew up in a girls home, and felt forgotten. She missed her Mom, wished it was different. She started singing in choir, music has always helped her escape and express her feelings. She’s a server at a French restaurant and plays gigs around town. She has an interesting take on this song. Really deep voice, and subdued. She’s wearing a gold long dress and has a huge nose ring. I don’t think she’s putting enough into the song, but she’s getting a little more into towards the end. I don’t think she put enough umph into this. No chair turn. Adam says it’s one of his favorites song, but it’s a tough song. John tells her she was wonderful, but the song required dexterity. Kelly says there were things she loved, but she was waiting for common threads. Blake tells her her chest voice was so good, and if she could find a song in that she would be there.
Stay tuned for the artist selected for the Comeback Stage. And the teams start to fill up!
Abby Kasch, 20, Palios Park, IL “Here for the Party” by Gretchen Wilson
When she was 12 years old her Mom put her up on the stage at a bar. And a country star is born. She grew up around boys, and was completely a tomboy. Lots of broken bones. After an awkward High School experience, she moved to Nashville and worked at clothing stores, sandwich shops to pay her bills. She’s been working at this since she was really little. She starts off very energetic, and she has the right tone to carry off this song. Very comfortable on the stage. Abby is really good, still no turns. Blake tells Kelly he’s waiting for the big note. Huge note… Blake and Kelly turn towards the very end, I thought they weren’t going to. Kelly says she likes ballsy country too. Kelly says she needs to talk to her Mama about having a baby in a bar. Blake says he turned around out of excitement and passion. Tells her he was waiting on the big note at the end. Adam says she’s very talented, and John says they are here for the party. Kelly name drops Reba and Trisha, and Adam pushes hard for Kelly. Abby picks Team Kelly! A little surprising…. Kelly likes that she sings pure country but also rough. Abby says it was in the moment, a girl thing picking Kelly over Blake.
Mikaela Astel, 14, Queens, NY “Electric Love” by BØRNS
The next artist does aerial silks. She plays guitar, posts covers on YouTube, and does local gigs. She comes to the stage wearing a fluffy blue dress and playing acoustic guitar. Kelly turns on the opening note. She has a Florence type vibe, really different sounding voice. John turns. She will need to work on enunciation a bit, but she has a singer/songwriter type bluesy voice. Two chair turn. Kelly says she hit her button because her angelic tone can’t be taught, it’s vibey and different she heard Julia Michaels in her voice. John says he loved her tone, she stands out from the crowd. He believes in her. Mikaela picks Team Kelly! No surprise, the young girls always pick Kelly. She’ll probably win. LOL Kelly says she’s so young and she’s going to grow.
Montage audition clips:
Anthony Ortiz “What Makes You Beautiful” by One Direction
In his family everybody skateboards. His strategy is to just do his thing. One chair turn. Team Adam!
Oliv Blu, 20, “On & On” by Erykah Badu
She’s so excited to sing a song that inspires her and tells the kind of artist she wants to be. One chair turn. Team John!
Kayla Seeber, 18, Poplar Grove, IL “Baby One More Time” by Britney Spears
She grew up in a farm town. She wears bright colors. She always had a sense that she was different, and that it was more then she how she dresses. At 17 she wrote a song about liking girls and that was her coming out to the world. She is going to mix up the song, like she does her life. She is wearing a really bright multi-colored shirt and white high-tops. Her stage movements are very awkward and this is not very good at the beginning. Her lower register is weak, and she’s overdoing the runs. Not surprisingly, no chairs turn. Kelly tells her she’s so cool, and good song selection. Kelly was waiting for texture, and her ache was too guarded. John said the song choice was daring.
Kayla and Crystal’s journeys are not over. They were chosen by BeBe Rexha for the comeback stage. BeBe says they have something special, and they will be battling against each other. Kayla and Crystal Rose are ComeBack artists! See the voice official app for more.
The final artist of the night!
Shawn Sounds, 33, Houston, TX “All My Life” by K-C & Jo Jo
He’s a teacher by day, rock star by night. He loves teaching, but music is his dream. His students say they turn around and dance when he starts singing in his classroom. One of the videos of it when viral. He’s hungry and ready. He has a band that sings at parties, weddings, corporate functions. He feels like he’s done all he can on his own. He wants to inspire his students. Big R&B voice reminds me of Reuben Studdard. He is wearing a cool hat and vest. This dude is really good, velvety smooth voice. At the bridge he breaks into runs, and three judges turn and then at the very end Kelly turns. Four chair turn. Audience loved it! I’m surprised they took so long, because he was really good. Must be the filling up teams. Kelly says he has a solid voice, runs, range was beautiful. John says he has beautiful tone, and control, and showed skill at the end with the runs. Adam says his chair is the most important chair to turn. He says I know I’m fighting a losing battle here, but you need a coach who is willing to go far. Adam says he’s an artist who paints with his voice, pours soul out but is so refined. Blake tells him the ending was incredible. His job isn’t to be like him, or for them to be in the same genre, but to help him be whatever he wants to be. Shawn picks Team John! Not a surprise there due to style. John says Shawn was great, confident and will dazzle America.
Next Monday is the final night of Blind Auditions, and they saved the best for last!
One night of auditions left. The Voice is only on Mondays for the next few weeks so you see next week! Thanks for watching with me tonight!