The Voice season 16 Blind Auditions CONCLUDE 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.
Kelly is talking to John’s wife Jackie about how he sings a lot. Funny montage of John singing about everything. Tonight the blind auditions come to a close!
Adam and Kelly each need 3 artists, Blake needs 2, and John Legend only has 1 spot left to complete his team. The pressure is on, with just a few spots left. Battle round sneak peeks later!
Celia Babini, 17, New York, NY – “Idontwannabeyouanymore” by Billie Eilish
She has wanted to do music since she’s 3. Her family isn’t musically inclined but her parents are artists- Dad’s a photographer and Mom’s a fashion designer. Her Mom put some of Celia’s lyrics on her fabric. She was insecure as a child, and music was her therapy. She’s sad that her Dad won’t be there cause he has to work, and right before she goes on stage he shows up and surprises her. John is singing again as Celia takes the stage. She’s wearing a long white jacket. She has a Regina type voice, very unusual deep, lower register. Three almost immediate chair turns (all but John). At the bridge, John turns too. 4 chair turn. She doesn’t belt, but shows a lot of emotion and has a rich voice. Nicely done. 3 judges on their feet. John tells her he loves NY, and she has a power, range, storytelling, he heard Florence and Fiona. She’s going to do well. Blake says her performance was literally captivating. He hit his button because he thinks she’s a champ. He thinks she’s incredible. Kelly tweeted about this song, and she loves that Celia sounds different then her. Adam tells her it’s his dream for her to win The Voice. The show is ready for a winner like her, someone with her intensity and raw power. She is the future. Blake tells her his cat died today, and it wouldn’t brighten his day if she picks him. Celia picks Team Adam! Dang, Adam has a good team this year. Adam says Celia is a unicorn, and we badly need someone like her in the show.
1 minute commercial break…
Kelly says that her team will fill up first…
Cecily Hennigan, 16, Conway, SC – “Foolish Games” by Jewel
The next teen sang her way through a McDonald’s drive thru. The video went viral on line and was on the Today Show, the Steve Harvey show. She’s in a school for arts & humanities, it’s a selective school where she had to audition to get into. She misses her family. She needs The Voice because the opportunity will open so many doors. She’s wearing a blue lace jumper and a black hat. She starts off a little slow, and it’s kind of boring. About one minute in Blake hits his button as she hits some of the higher notes. Still a little boring, but technically good. Her voice breaks at the end a bit. One chair turn. Adam says she’s awesome. John tells her that her voice is beyond her years, she needs to showcase her power. Kelly tells her it was a rad pick. Blake says I don’t think you know what you’re capable of vocally. He thinks she can blow the roof off the place. Team Blake! Blake is shocked that the others didn’t turn.
Get the Voice official app and build your own Voice team.
Kalvin Jarvis, 29, Tucson, AZ – “A Good Night” by John Legend
He’s an Assistant Manager at a breakfast restaurant. He’s been there for 11 years, his Mom is his boss. He has to balance a full-time job and music. His Dad was a rapper, MC Scrap Boy, who was passionate about music. His Dad started getting into drugs when he was in 6th grade, and they lost everything. He could get lost in singing. His Dad cleaned his life up. He’s singing a John Legend song to John Legend, and he’s terrified. John’s dancing along to him. Adam turns pretty fast. Kalvin is wearing a white jacket and doing some runs, very energetic performance. Kelly turns. Her really gets into the runs, too many for my taste but Adam and Kelly like it. John says excellent song choice. Kelly says you’re so good, runs flowed, lows were really good. John tells him you performed my song, you did a fantastic job. Adam says you’re ridiculous. When Kalvin says he manages a restaurant, Kelly says I love food! She didn’t give much of a pitch. Blake teases John about not turning for his own song. Kalvin picks Team Adam! Not super surprising given his style. Adam says the song choice was bold.
Ava August, 13, Orange County, CA – “House of the Rising Sun” by The Animals
Now we meet the youngest artist ever on the show! (Ten bucks says she goes Team Kelly). She busks around the beaches in California. She loves the feeling of performing. She’s intimidated knowing that she’s the youngest ever. She wants to be on Team Kelly. They cut to the end of her audition. She’s wearing a red hat and sitting at the keyboard. She seems to be forcing it too much. She really belts at the end. No chair turn, although Kelly was close. Kelly says there was so much angst and drama for 13. Adam says there was some issues with overstyling (I agree). John tells her she has a powerful voice, she just needs to refine. She took all the feedback very maturely. Kelly says Ava just needs time.
David Owens, 24, Indianapolis, IN – “I Can’t Make you Love Me” by Bonnie Raitt
This audition is an opportunity to change his life. He got married, got a new job, had a new baby boy. He’s from a family of 7 in Indianapolis (HOOOSIERS represent!). He started singing in church, then moving to choir and having a band. Since he grew up without a lot of money, he was reluctant to pursue singing as a full-time career. His son came two months early, he pulled through. He’s been playing it safe for the last five years, but he wants to show his son how to go after his dreams.
David is wearing a leather jacket. He has a smooth, R&B voice, nice runs. He does something different towards the chorus, hits a big note and Kelly turns. He’s really belting but not losing the tenderness needed. Kelly’s on her feet. Another big note. So far no one else is turning. If the teams weren’t so full this would get more chairs. John says he was too nitpicky, but he’s an excellent singer. Kelly says the fact that he’s a man and did that song so differently will make him stand out. Team Kelly! Kelly says he has a roundness and a ton that can’t be taught.
Presley Tennant, 16, Norfolk, CA “Stone Cold” by Demi Lovato
She’s a tomboy. Her whole family likes to go ATV riding in the dessert. She loves being active, around 10 she entered a singing competition. She then entered into a girls group, and she began performing. When the band broke up she was devastated, and she’s been performing at amusement parks and local events. Really smooth, unique lower voice. Kelly turns a few lines in. She’s really good, and doing this song differently then how’ve we heard it before. (Although Alisan Porter owns this song). She has a big belty voice, the audience is really into it. Wow can’t believe this is a one chair turn. She was really good, nice run at the end. Kelly says that’s a big ole range and they are all insane for not turning around. John says she sounded incredible in the high areas. Team Kelly! Kelly says she’s so excited, that she has a mighty range. She should have been a three or four chair turn for real.
Rod Stokes, 34, Grand Bay, AL – “To Love Somebody” by Bee Gees
He says he’s a male Kelly Clarkson. He works his Daddy’s construction business. He’s been around it his whole life. He stepped in and ran the family business when his Dad had a setback. He never sang growing up, his first solo was at 20. Gospel is all he knows, never sang outside the church. He has an acoustic guitar and is standing at the microphone. He sounds a little shouty, but the target demo will eat this up. Adam turns very quickly. His low range isn’t as strong, but his upper range is good, very gritty. John goes towards the end, when he starts to hit some big notes, then Blake. Three chair turn. John says he likes the gravel, and clarity in the high notes. Adam says it was very special, jumped out at him right away, effortless, soulfulness. He has God given ability, Adam wants to be a part of it. Blake tells him his voice is shocking, has personality, shreds. Now let’s talk about accents. John chimes in he’s from Ohio, and he understands everything. Rod says 90’s country is his love. Rod picks Team Blake! (no surprise). Blake says Rod is a great addition to his team.
Blake’s team is full! Team Blake is the GOAT!
Bebe says she was honored to coach the Comeback Stage. She works in all genres. She was excited to collaborate for “Right Here, Right Now.”
Calista Garcia, 17, Arlington, VA – “Wishing Well” by Terence Trent D’Arby
She likes to pretend that she’s in the 70’s. Her Mom’s an Attorney, and her Dad is the Asst. Secretary of the Navy. So it’s strange that she wants to sing about peace and love. She’s been singing since she’s 3. She wants to carve out a path in her field, like her parents. Lots of young ones tonight. She’s dressed like a hippy with an acoustic guitar. Singer/songwriter vibe. She has a good voice, audience gets into it when she hits a high note but still no chairs. This is a little boring, enunciation is lacking, doesn’t do enough to showcase her voice. Think she’s trying too hard. No chair turn. Adam says he loves the song, loves the spin. She wasn’t in the pocket and that’s why he didn’t push. Kelly said her strength almost became her weakness, reign it in a bit.
Andrew Jannakos – “Beautiful Crazy” by Luke Combs
He’s nervous cause the teams are filling up. Coaches tease Blake the next one will be an amazing country singer and he can’t turn around. We don’t see the artist, just hear his very country voice sounds like a guitar. Adam turns about 15 seconds in and so does Kelly. The low notes aren’t very good, but overall this is a solid country performance. He is wearing a plaid shirt, ripped jeans, and has glasses. Two chair turn. Blake says my team is full man. Kelly tells him his voice sounds old school country. Adam says I love your presence, genuinely rich beautiful voice. Adam says he would be the only country singer on his team. Blake says there’s a blaring obvious reason that Adam doesn’t have country singers. Kelly urges him to take the last spot on her team, Blake pulls hard for her. Andrew picks Team Adam! (His Mom was screaming for him to he listened to Mama). Adam liked his voice, thinks he’s an awesome country singer. Kelly is really upset that she lost a male country artist to Adam.
Adam’s team is full! He can’t wait to work with his diverse, eclectic team!
The Comeback Stage is a recap of the three remaining artists and never before seen footage of BeBe Rexha. Go to the Voice official app and YouTube.
Only Kelly and John have spots left.
Kayslin Victoria, 16, Claremont, FL – “Feel It Still” by Portugal the Man
Started singing at 9. Her Mom is a singer, so she has inspired her. Kayslin volunteers at a horse barn. Her parents are supportive. She loves Kelly and she thinks John is amazing. She’s excited to chase her dreams, she’s ready. She has the right amount of energy and in the first 10 seconds both Kelly and John turn. She is handling the song well, playing the stage but also hitting the notes. Really big notes at the end, that was good. John and Kelly both standing. John said she’s outstanding. Adam says he would have pressed, but his team is full. Kelly says she was confident that she didn’t seem nervous. John said he turned around early because he loves the song, and he would be so excited to have her be the final member of his team. John thinks they can win together. Kayslin says she’s been a fan of Kelly since she was a little girl, and John is so amazing and incredible. She picks Team John! (Wow, I am a little surprised!) John says her voice is special and good for pop music.
For the first time in Voice history Team Legend is complete! He thinks he has the best team!
After the break who will be the final member of Team Kelly?
Maddi Frasier, 24, La Canada, CA – “Get it While You Can” by Janis Joplin
She works in a children’s bookstore and sings in a band. Growing up there was always music playing. She learned piano with her twin sister. Her parents got divorced when she started High School. Both her parents came to her audition. She likes the nostalgia of 60’s and 70’s rock. She’s wearing a 70’s vibe red pant suit. She has a grit to her voice, a little too gravelly maybe. She jumps around the stage, sounding a little desperate. At least she did a different song, but it was probably a bit much for Kelly. No chair. Kelly said she heard pitchiness which is why she didn’t turn, as it’s often nerves and she’s not a good coach for that. She digged the vibe. Kelly hates being the last one, she’s so stressed.
Montage of all the people Kelly didn’t pick.
Jackson Marlow, 18, Rogersville, AL – “Troubadour” by George Strait
Works for municipal water department. He has worked at it since he finished High School. Music is his passion. He’s Red Marlow’s nephew (from season 13). He plays with his family members, and some small shows. He has big shoes to fill following his Uncle Red on the show, (Red placed 4th on season 13). He said for all he knows there’s only one spot left. He’s really good, good country singer. Kelly is on her feet dancing that she’s going to get a country male. She presses her button with gusto! Smooth voice, and plays guitar the audience will like him. I think he’s a better singer than Red, which means he probably won’t go as far. Kelly said she was waiting for her George Strait. Kelly said she knows she had to wait for everyone to fill up, but she’s so excited. Team Kelly! (Interesting that they didn’t have Blake talk about Red).
Team Kelly is full! Streamers are coming down!
Preview of Battles…
Charlie Puth will be Adam’s advisor. Kelsea Ballerini will work with Kelly. Khalid is John’s advisor, and Brooks & Dunn will work with Blake’s team. The coaches decisions will be the toughest they’ve ever made!
It all starts next week! See you then!
Join me next week for the battle rounds!