The Voice 2019 Season 17 Blind Auditions Live Blog
The Voice season 17 Battles continue with coaches Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson, John Legend and Gwen Stefani featuring special celebrity mentors who will help the teams prepare for competitive duets.
Destiny Rayne Battles Katie Kadan, performing "Tiny Dancer" during The Voice The Battles
Destiny Rayne vs Katie Kadan – Team Legend – Tiny Dancer by Elton John – Welp. Teasers have already spoiled a steal, so… Katie admits a crush on Usher as a teen. “I came to coach winners but I’m happy I’m working with legends,” Usher quips. Blake blocked Kelly during Katie’s blind. Destiny works two jobs in Nashville is newly engaged. John is surprised by her ability to belt. Usher is also impressed by her ability to go there.
But Katie has a huge voice, he acknowledges. This is kind of a weird song choice for both. Probably why both struggle a little in rehearsal. Usher is expecting a moment. During the stage rehearsal, John is pumping his fist. This is another odd match up. Destiny sings pop, while Katie belts blues. Both are doing their best to come together there. But. Nope. Katie’s voice is too bellowy for my taste. Destiny reaches for notes that are just a bit beyond her. Both will probably do better with songs that suit them. Gwen felt Destiny held her own against the big voiced Katie. Kelly felt both singers made room for each other. Blake also compliments Destiny for rising to the occasion. John Picks Katie. Blake steals Destiny. At the last minute, so of course, right on cue and most annoyingly, Gwen Steals Destiny too. “This is going to be so fun!” says Kelly. No. No it’s not. Blah blah blah blah blah blah, Destiny Picks Gwen. Hm. I would have gone with Blake. His track record is so much better.
Matt New Battles Max Boyle, performing "Let Me Love You" during The Voice The Battles,
Elise Azkoul Battles Myracle Holloway performing "breathin" during The Voice The Battles
Breathing by Ariana Grande – Myracle has been around for while, she shared about drug addiction and childhood abuse. Elise is a vocal coach and covered Lady Gaga in her Blind–a one chair turn. Will is really impressed with Elise. Gwen turns a few of the harmony parts into solos. Gwen and Will bring up Myracle’s background. She tears up about her “childhood stuff.” This is going to be a running theme, obviously. And Will and Myracle are about the same age and grew up in the same LA neighborhood. He wonders why he made it in the business and she didn’t.
There wasn’t much vocal mentoring in that segment! Before the performance, Gwen does a style segment with the singers. Never forget Gwen’s cow outfits for the American Idol contestants way back when. Elise will lose this battle. She’s obvious fodder. But I like her dusky tone a lot. She makes some creative choices here. Myracle brings experience and pro instincts to this battle. Kelly was impressed with Elise’s control. But she wants a record from Myracle. Blake thought both had great moments. He felt Myracle’s pain–he’d go with her. John also liked both. He wants more vocal risks from Myracle. Gwen Picks Myracle. Elise is Eliminated.
Alex Guthrie vs Injoy Fountain – Team Kelly – Home by Marc Broussard – Kelly felt that two soulful singers would be a perfect match. Injoy toured with Rent. She has a young daughter. Not said: She auditioned for the American Idol judges last year. Alex plays in a blues band. The song choice seems tailor made for him. He’s been playing the song for years, Injoy has never heard the song before. In rehearsal, though, she sounds pretty good. And Injoy helped Alex move without a guitar. Kelly and Normani tell him more eye contact and movement. And for Injoy–trust yourself, watch your pitch. And for both: Bring attitude! Create a great moment. Kelly will pick the singer who brings the boldest moment. Ha. In the performance, Alex has no idea what to do with his hands. Injoy is bringing a growly performance. I think she’s dominating. But Alex is bringing it as well. Blake feels Alex could have been more aggressive. He calls Injoy infectious. John agrees, He didn’t get a sense of Alex’s personality. He loved Injoy. Gwen disagrees, she felt Alex took charge of the stage. The pairing was a mismatch in the end. Injoy’s big voice was going to dominate by default. Kelly Picks Alex. Really? Injoy is Eliminated Obviously Injoy was cannon fodder from the get-go. The song pick made that obvious. Injoy still killed it, but Kelly’s mind was already made up, methinks.
Melinda Rodriguez v Shane Q – Team Kelly – Too Good at Goodbyes by Sam Smith – Kelly says that she’s never “done something like this” with another singing show alum. Erm. She was Jennifer Hudson’s mentor the season before she came a coach? Hm. Normani, Kelly’s mentor, was a teen when she competed on X Factor USA as a member of Simon Cowell’s manufactured girl group, Fifth Harmony. They went on to great success. She says the experience prepared her for the “real world.” Both singers have big ranges, so she picked a big song. Normani worked with Sam Smith! Shane works with disabled people by day, and hits the clubs at night. He was a four chair turn. Melinda is a jazz singer, finishishing her masters degree. Her brother is waiting for a heart transplant. She sang an Eva Cassidy inspired version of “What a Wonderful World.” Kelly feels Melinda has to get out of her head. Normani mentions they have to be in the same pocket. They work with Shane on his breath control–Normani suggests he use falsetto. We see the pair at stage rehearsal. Kelly is so impressed, she’s crying.
They are both good! So it’s good one of them gets stolen, telegraphed before the break! Shane’s voice is strong and rangy. Melinda’s voice is jazzy and soulful. She has more finesse. I prefer her. Shane lays it on a little TOO thick at times. He could learn a thing or two about control from Melinda. Blake says Shane has a great “scream.” Hm. That’s one way to put it. He’d pick Shane. John loves them both. But he’d also pick Shane. I DISAGREE. Gwen liked Melinda’s confidence, she calls Shane a phenomenon. Kelly Picks Shane but Saves Melinda. John Steals Melinda. John says Melinda has the “opportunity to upgrade.” But he would have picked Shane too, so… I’d stay with Kelly! John mentions he arranged music in college. Kelly says while he was in college, she was winning a singing show. Har. Melinda Stays with Kelly.
Josie Jones vs Kat Hammock – Team Blake – Take Me Home Country Roads by John Denver – This is Darius’ first singing show appearance ever! He’s watched the show for years. Blake pitted two old school teens together. Blake Shelton mentions losing a Grammy to “Wagon Wheel.” Josie lives on a farms and loves singers like Dolly and Tammy. Kat loves Billy Joel and…Bread. BREAD? She plays piano, covering Billy Joel for her Blind Audition.
FUN FACT. Bill Danoff father of The Voice alum Owen Danoff co-wrote this song. Blake wants Kat to project more. Darius agrees. He reminds her that she needs to sing like it’s Madison Square Garden. Both need to loosen up on the chorus–including their body language. Josie and Kat are both putting their own twist on the song. Kat seems a little out of her element, though. Her voice is feathery soft, while Josie’s twang dominates. John calls it “sweet.” He finds Kat’s voice more intriguing, but Josie gave the better performance. Gwen thinks Kat would make a great record. She’d pick her. Kelly loved Josie’s controlled high harmony. She calls Kat’s voice “Angelic. Blake Picks Kat. I’m a little surprised! He appreciates her unique voice. He claims she has a shot to win. Hmmm. Josie Jones is eliminated.
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.
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.
Alex Guthrie – Love and Happiness – Age 25 from Marietta, GA plays guitar and was in a commercial with former The Voice coach Jennifer Hudson. It takes a bit, but Kelly and Gwen eventually turn. Kelly’s waiting for a glory note. She finally gets one, sorta. Alex has a solid blues voice, but it doesn’t pop. He does voice work and background singing for a living. He’s used to blending into the background. Gwen says she knows how to work with someone like him–she can help him organize his versatility. Alex Picks Team Kelly. Alex also opened for Kelly a few years ago (they didn’t meet) so he had to pick her. After, Kelly chats with Jennifer on the phone, who seems to remember him very well. She says hi to the rest of the crew.
Will Breman was up next for his chance at joining a team. Living with Asperger’s has made the social aspect of life hard for Will, but music, as it does for a lot of artists, helps him get through that. He decided to rearrange the Spice Girls classic “Say You’ll Be There” into a chill vibe rock song that caught the attention of John first, followed quickly by Gwen. Both Kelly and Blake sat this one out. All the coaches loved his take on the song that everybody knows, but it was basically a done deal once Will proclaimed John as one of his major influences and then sang his song “Ordinary People” with him! Yep, so Will easily chose to join Team John.
Rose Short – Preach by John Legend – Age 34 from Killeen,Texas. Rose was a correction officer for 8 years. At times, she was in dangerous situations. The job was hard. She quit! She’d rather perform. She’s close to her family. They’re all here to LOUDLY support her. She’s not afraid to cover John and is confident she’ll do it justice. Kelly and Gwen turn. Kelly tries hard to get her. Blake makes a joke that she sits in Adam Levine’s old chair, which is possessed. When Rose hits the chorus, Kelly hits her button. The singer has a big voice, but it’s generic and a bit paint by numbers. Gwen calls her voice “ridiculous” yet “tasteful.” Gwen thinks she’d learn a lot from HER. Kelly says she “annihilated” the original singer, and then remembers who she was covering. oops. “You could win this show,” Kelly says, TOTALLY overselling this woman’s talent. John assures her she slayed the song, but overthinks anytime a hopeful covers his songs. Blake jokes that she’s in Adam’s old chair which is “possessed.” Gwen promises to help her “find” her personality. That’s actually a good pitch. Rose needs to find something unique. And…”I’ve been rocking with this lady, she didn’t even know it,” says Rose. Rose picks Team Gwen.
Brennan Lassiter – You Are My Sunshine – Age 20 Country singer from South Carolina sings in church and was raised by her grandparents. Her parents were young and “unfit” to take care of her. She sings a countrified version of the song. It’s a four chair turn. Blake hit his button first. I SHOULD HAVE BLOCKED says Kelly after hitting her button. Brennan sings a slow, bluesy, country tinged version of the song. She’s got an incredible range and a lovely tone. She’s Danielle Bradbery, with maturity and soul. Kelly BEGS Brennan to pick her while waving her artist around.
She reminds her that she won with Chevel Shepherd, a country artist. If Brennan chooses Gwen, she’ll get her and boyfriend Blake, she says. John doesn’t try that hard–“I can help you fulfill your potential” he says. Blake talks up his fellow coaches and says, “They know as much about country music as I do a pap smear.” Hm. Brennan admits that she’s never performed outside of church. MORE BEGGING FROM KELLY. Gwen tries to sweet talk Blake into giving her up. But in the end Brennan picks Team Kelly.
Jay Miah – Never Enough from The Greatest Showman – Age 30 from Tampa, Florida. Jay is a drag queen and does drag bingo on the weekend. However, here, he does not perform in drag. His natural singing voice is higher than most males. But he feels that The Voice is a place that will accept him. He has a pretty falsetto, but he seems very nervous.
He doesn’t have a strong chest voice. This song requires the ability to hit that GIANT GLORY NOTE and he misses. There are pitch problems everywhere. Nobody hits their button, unsurprisingly. Oh. When Kelly discovers this singer is male, she begins slapping her button. “You have an incredible gift,” she says. Gwen is sorry as well. Blake notes that the song’s range pulled him apart. True. The song pick was too ambitious. They urge him to come back – NO TURNS
Jake HaldenVang – Wish I Knew You – Age 24 from Charlotte NC. He’s played rock music all of his life. A guitar player, he used to be in a band with his dad and they played all over the country. They played for 3 or 4 years together. Then he went solo and played in a blues rock band. Right off the bat, he hits the guitar strings. He’s a skilled guitar player and a good rock singer, if old fashioned. He starts off in a high high falsetto.
Grab attention right off the bat-smart! Jake’s got great range, beautiful tone. Gwen, John and Blake turn. Blake thanks him for rocking. Kelly and Gwen thought he was a woman at first. She heard his nerves, as a fellow rock singer, she can help him, she says. John reminds him that he’s the current winner. Blake LOVES his growly chest voice. He’s country, but has won the show with a rock artist. Kelly, who didn’t turn, advocates for Gwen. Jake picks Team Gwen He was clearly enamored with her, so no surprise.
Katie Kadan performs "Baby I Love You" during The Voice Blind Auditions.
NBC released this Blind Audition as a preview. Of course, because she’s a good singer–Katie sings with a strong, muscular throaty alto. She’s like a force of nature. But it’s a first pick because she’s a four chair turn AND Blake blocks Kelly, who is the obvious choice for the singer. It’s the usual thing–Kelly doesn’t notice at first.
Then she freaks out when she finds out. Blake blames John, of course. “I’m going to take you down, Shelton,” Kelly cries, indignantly. We’ve seen this narrative before! John calls her performance raw, thrilling, and full of fire. “You’re perfect for this show,” he says. Gwen compares her to CeeLo. Kelly calls her a revamp of “actual talent.” Blake’s pitch to Katie is pretty weak, “I’ve been to Chicago!” Gwen says, “I can help you be you.” Kelly urges her to choose either Gwen or John.
And in the end, Katie picks John. Smart choice. Kelly promises to block a talented country singer from choosing Blake.
SEE: The Voice 2019 Season 17 Contestants List
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The Voice 2019 Season 17 Judges
Love Kelly!! I love Gwen, but wish Jennifer Hudson was back! I really enjoyed Jennifer and Kelly together!
Marlene Castaneda I Love Gwen, and I Love Blake, I just Hope that they keep their Own Romance out of the equation….It's the show itself that we're watching, NOT their lives together.
Lindsey Barnett I'll miss Adam and Blake's bromance but I'm happy Gwen is back!
LOL at the people shook because others like something different than them.