The Voice season 17 blind auditions begin with returning coaches Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson and John Legend. In the wake of Adam Levine’s abrupt departure from the show, Blake gal-pal Gwen Stefani takes a seat on the panel. Carson Daly returns as host.
My favorites yesterday were Kyndall but she better work on her vocal control because it wasn’t great but I’m trusting her because she’s got one special voice
The last artist of the night looks like an obvious Team Blake recruit. Cory Jackson grew up on a farm in Arkansas and is a country music enthusiast. He’s singing “Galveston” by Glenn Campbell and although his voice is just okay on this song, Cory has some serious charisma. This is just a bit of an awkward audition song, but I can hear potential. This almost sounds like something from a Broadway musical, but Blake, Kelly and Gwen all end up turning their chairs. Despite being appreciative of Kelly and Gwen’s kindness, obviously Cory chooses to join Team Blake. And that’s a wrap for tonight!
Elise Azkoul – Million Reasons by Lady Gaga – 28 – Atlanta GA – Elise is proud to be Middle Eastern and Lebanese. Congrats girl. That admission will probably cost you votes from certain US regions. She comes from a big musical family. Her paternal grandfather write “Last Dance” and “It’s Raining Men.” He recently died, and Elise is still mourning. The nervous singers are auditioning tonight. Her lower register is shaky. But when she finally hits some high notes, Gwen hits her button. Kelly loves her retro sixties style (so do I!). Gwen loves her tone. “You just got to get the confidence,” she says.
Royce Lovett – 30 – Tallahassee FL – Royce’s got his name because his mother “really wanted a Rolls Royce.” Huh. He grew up in the sticks. “I grew up singing and rapping to the wind.” Lauren Hill playing the guitar changed his life. “Black boys didn’t play guitar!” He LOVES reggae. He’s married, with a young son named Levi. C’mon Gwen hit that button for your reggae boy! He’s got a great voice, very unique and is a solid guitar player. Gwen turns! Oops. Blake hits his button. She mad! Heh. She dances around the stage as he finishes his song. Kelly says, “One being the obvious choice!” John thought there were pitch and control issues. Gwen didn’t know his gender and adds, “This is my lane!” She calls his voice “animated.” Let’s mix it up. I think Blake hit his button to troll his girlfriend. Blake notes his lake playlist…but then admits “Oh screw it!” Yep. Trolling. Royce Picks Gwen.
Next to the stage is 16-year old Emily Vass. Aside from singing, she’s also a talented sketch artist but has a rare disease that causes her to believe injuries are worse than they actually are. After months of physical therapy, she’s back to singing and ready to audition for the coaches. Performing “Blank Space” by Taylor Swift, Emily just doesn’t have the confidence to convince the coaches to turn their chair. They assure Emily she has potential and encourage her to return next season.
Hello Sunday (Duo) (13 & 14) – This is Me from The Greatest Showman – Hm. Why aren’t we seeing this singer at first. OH BECAUSE IT’S A DUO. They are very young, and frankly aren’t nearly ready. Pitch issues EVERYWHERE. Practice more girls. Come back in a few years. WHAT??? After a girl screeches out a high note Kelly hits her Button. Uhm…. It turns out, they met at summer camp. Chelsea, one of the singers, has been in performance arts schools all her life. STAY THERE GIRL AND PRACTICE MORE. Kelly loves harmony singing. She thinks she can help them. That’s good, because they need it. Blake chimes in to say it’s a good match. Kelly can’t believe Blake is giving her a compliment.
Max Boyle – Wayfaring Stranger – 23 Toledo OH – He’s the youngest of six kids and is a “little spoiled.” His family loved to watch him performed. But he became more self-confidence as he grew older, until he joined a gospel choir. He just quit college and isn’t sure where his life is going. He starts the performance a capella, which is always a risk. But his intonation is really good (much better than Shane before him, to be honest). He sings the entire first verse without instruments, before a soulful band kicks in. He has a nice falsetto! RHU RHO. John turns and BLOCKS Kelly She’s screaming, she’s so upset. Hope Max didn’t have his heart set on Kelly! I still don’t like the block, to be honest. And…John gets Max all to himself. “You should have been on my team,” says Kelly. John notes that he blocked Kelly, but didn’t lie about it like Blake did. “You showed us how you could command the stage…it was a daring performance,” says John.
Up next is Max Boyle, a singer-songwriter from Ohio who is the youngest of six kids. He kept his singing to himself through most of his childhood until joining a gospel choir in high school. Max is singing “Wayfaring Stranger” by Johnny Cash and as he belts it out A Capella, John and Kelly spin their chair. As the music kicks in Max begins to work the stage and show off his falsetto. It’s not until halfway through the performance that Kelly looks down and realizes John has blocked her! Neither Blake or Gwen turned their chair so Max automatically joins Team Legend.
Shane Q – Tennessee Whiskey by Chris Stapleton – 28 – Sacramento CA – NBC released a preview of this audition earlier today. Shane works as a special needs driver by day. He was a shy kid, but broke out of his shell after he started singing. Shane receives a 4 chair turn and uhm. It’s a little surprising. He sings with a sweet, high tenor. But, his runs are undisciplined and he hits some sour notes. But the coaches go crazy here nevertheless. John notes his “gospel flavor.” Gwen mistakenly namechecks San Francisco as his hometown. Oops. Blake says he made “San Diego proud.” Har har har. He goes on to rather bizzardly recite a hyperbolic review from God-knows-where, hyping his skills as a coach. It reads like it was written by Blake’s publicist. Maybe it was! “That’s a lot of arrogance from somebody that just lost The Voice,” snarks John, who happens to be the reigning winner of the show. “I love going in and out of genres,” Kelly says, explaining why she believes she’d be good for him as a coach “You’re going to be in the finale,” she declares. Hm. But in the end Shane Picks Team Kelly. Girlfriends gotta stop predicting people are going to win. But it was the “cross genre” remark that got to Shane. “That’s exactly what I want to do,” he says.