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Blake’s Struggle is Real on THE VOICE Season 17 Premiere Recap

Posted on September 23 2019 by Editor

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Blake’s Struggle is Real on THE VOICE Season 17 Premiere Recap

NBC’s “The Voice” music reality talent show returned for a 17th season Monday night absent veteran coach Adam Levine. It was the first time since the show aired it’s American version back on 2011 that one of only two original coaches remaining since then was not there.

Taking over Adam’s chair was past two season’s coach Kelly Clarkson. She was seated at the opposite end from other veteran coach Blake Shelton, who was next to, no, NOT Gwen Stefani, his girlfriend, but John Legend, who was next to season 12 returning coach Gwen Stefani.

The entertaining antics from the coaches ensued throughout the night which perhaps allowed for no time to reflect on Adam’s absence. However, Blake Shelton, who is Mr. Champ around “The Voice” show, did have a very slow start this season, not having much luck getting any of the artists to chose being on his Team. Later in the night, things did finally turn around for him.

The first Blind Audition of the night came from a contestant who defined the meaning and spirit of “The Voice” show. No introduction of a video package was played before her audition. Rather, her voice gave the introduction itself and allowed viewers to experience some of what the coaches did during her audition.


Pictured: Katie Kadan / Photo: Justin Lubin, Copyright NBC

Chair Turns: John, Blake, Kelly (Blocked)

Pro singer in Chicago and been singing for only about five years.  John said “you can in here and locked this audience” he said which included “fire” in her voice.  Gwen said “this show is incredible” because she thought she was like a “Cee Lo type,”  and wants to get back to that in music where it’s about the “raw talent.”  Kelly found herself “Blocked” and no one fessed-up to Blocking her.  Blake told Katie sorry that John took the opportunity to work with Kelly from her.  Blake said he was walking around and felt something, it was a connection to Chicago.  “I don’t know how you rock like you do. But, you rock” and thanked her for making the show better for being on it.  Gwen credited it showcasing personality as one factor why people “rise to the top.”

Coach: John Legend.   John said as soon as Katie started singing, there was so much power.


Pictured: Jake Haldenvang / Photo: Justin Lubin, Copyright NBC

Jake is a fan of AC/DC as well as other Rock bands.  He started a band with his dad in Middle School, playing 200 shows per year.  He’s been a musician all his life and calls “The Voice” a “whole new level.”  

Chair Turns: John, Gwen, Blake

Blake said if anyone on their teams need to rock is himself “right here.”  Gwen said she’s really good at “calming nerves.” She stated that her and Kelly thought he was a girl.  Gwen also said, “You have so much range and so many different personalities in your voice.” and added that she thinks his voice can do anything. But, she did here nerves in his voice.  John stated that he loves Jake’s energy.  He said last season was his first season and won with Maelynn.  Blake has never won since he’s been on the show. He offered to continue his winning streak with Jake.  Blake said he’s the only coach who’s ever won with a Rock artist.  Kelly said Jake deserves to be on the show and thinks Jake should “go with Gwen.”

Coach: Gwen Stefani. Gwen said his voice has a lot of style and personality.  


Jay is a 30-year old drag performer and singer.  He said people think he’s a female singer.  “This platform gives you the opportunity to just be you.”  He said he finally found himself “and I am excited to show it.”  Jay sang “Never Enough” from the Greatest Showman, and sounded like a female.  He did an amazing job with belting out high notes. However, didn’t win over the coaches for a chair turn.

Chair Turns: None

Blake said “wait a minute, where’s the singer?”  They were all shocked that the voice came from a female.  Gwen said his voice is so “intense and passionate.”  Kelly said she couldn’t tell if it was out of nerves, he was breathy and could see him on Broadway.  Blake stated that all of Jake’s strength is in the high notes.  He told him to come back and try again.  John said “it just wasn’t enough all together” for them to turn around.


Pictured: Brennan Lassiter / Photo: Justin Lubin, NBC copyright

Brennan said she’s from such a small town and calls “The Voice” the biggest thing she’s ever done. Brennan was raised by her Grandparents.  She said it helped her to become strong and independent.  She sung a Country version of “You are My Sunshine” because her Grandparents are the sunshine of her life.

Chair Turns: Blake, Kelly, Gwen, John 

Kelly physically stood in front of Blake to block Brennan’s view of him and begged Brennan to give the other three coaches a chance.  Gwen said “it doesn’t matter what genre it is” and she’s got experience in helping “a young girl.”  She added, “you get me, you get him (Blake).”  John said Brennan so much power and beauty in her voice and he didn’t have to grow up listening to Country music, he knows that.   Blake stated that Gwen’s one album has sold them all the coaches combined.  Blake said “these people know as much about Country music as I know about getting a Pap Smear.” Brennan said she’s never done any thing outside of church and it’f the first thing she’s done.  Kelly begged again “all I’m asking is for just a chance,” and “you are great.”   Brennan chose Kelly for her coach. Kelly said Brennan is amazing and she was so desperate, “I think it worked.”

Coach: Kelly


Pictured: Rose Short / Photo: Justin Lubin, copyright NBC

Rose, from Killeen, Texas, is 34-years-old and worked as a corrections officer.  Rose said she was “longing to perform” and quit her job.  “This experience to me means everything.”   She chose “Preach” song by John Legend. 

Chair Turns:  Kelly, Gwen.

Gwen stated that Rose’s voice is “ridiculous,” and said she started low and slow.  She added that because Rose really connected to the lyrics, she had to turn.  Kelly said she doesn’t see a world where no one doesn’t turn around for singers like her.  Kelly told Rose that she should be in the finale.  John said it’s a little weakness of his that when he hears other people singing his song, he over-thinks it.  But thought she “slayed it.”  Blake noted that Kelly stated that she finally heard a good version of that song! Lol.  Kelly replied that she didn’t mean it that way.  Gwen stated that this show is “an amazing crash course” and can help her find her personality.  Kelly said she knows how to navigate through a show like “The Voice.”

Coach: Gwen


Will is 25-years-old from Santa Barbara, Ca.  Will has Asperger syndrome and music helped him to deal with it.  He’s been working at wine breweries.  He chose “Say You’ll Be There” by the Spice Girls  He said he made it a “jazzified” version of the song.

Chair Turns: John, Gwen

Gwen told him he “has so much character” and would love to be his coach.  Kelly said as soon as Will started singing, she thought he should be on Gwen’s team.  John yelled, thanks for the diss.  John stated that he was the first one to turn about because he heard the quality of his voice.  Kelly asked who his influences are.  Will answered that he’s standing in front of them – John, Kelly…  John then asked him to sing “Ordinary People.”  John got on stage and sang the song with Will.  Kelly stated that Will, will make it to the finale.

Coach: John Legend.  John told him he’s so excited to work with Will,  and so impressed with the talent this season.  John said Will reminds him of Bruno Mars. 


Pictured: Alex Guthrie /Photo: Justin Lubin / Copyright NBC

Chair Turns: Kelly, Gwen

Alex is 25 from Marita, Georgia. He got cast in an insurance commercial and got surprised by Jennifer Hudson who’d been telling him to audition on the show. Gwen said she knows how to work with someone like Alex. “I feel like I could help you orgainzie it a little more.” Kelly told Alex has such a chill vibe. He told Kelly that a year and a half ago, he opened for Kelly, who said he has the voice of an angel. So, Alex chose Kelly. John stated that it’s hard to beat that.

Coach: Kelly Clarkson. Kelly said his voice is so versatile and that’s the kind of voice she loves.


Kat is 18-years-old, the youngest of five kids. Kat has done a few gigs in coffee shops and never thought she’d be going to “The Voice” to audition. Her dad said “this came out of left field for us.”

Chair Turns: Blake, Gwen

Gwen said what she wants next is a “little princess girl.” Blake said he was just saying that to John as well. Kat said she’s a big Billy Joel, Beach Boys, Beatles fan. Gwen said Kat simply took a lyric, “I thought you wrote that song,” She’s able to dial into that and thinks she’ll do great on the show. Blake addressed Kat’s parent that they must realize how long he’s been doing the show and he had taken a lot of people into the finale. But, he doesn’t have anyone on his Team. He doesn’t have cool jackets like the girls. He pulled out camouflage trousers with boots, telling Kat that’s all he has and begged her to please choose him! The trousers read “Team Blak” because the printers messed-up. Blake said he go them half-off because of that.

Coach: Blake Shelton. Blake was ecstatic. He said she’s magical and has the talent and charisma to make it into the finale.

John  said he’s looking for singers that sound like a star.  Those are the singers he’s turned for so for. 


Timmy is 19-years-old from Michigan.  Timmy has three sisters and one brother, Josh who’s been in the Marines.  He wished to have Josh there and then, Josh appeared before Timmy went on his Blind Audition at “The Voice.”  Timmy said it meant a great deal to him for Josh to be there.  Timmy said he’s been shy to take a step like that and has only played in front of a few people at a time.   

Chair Turns: None

Timmy said it was only his second time performing live.  John said that explains it, and just needs more experience.  Kelly encouraged Timmy to come back.


CJ is a father of two.  CJ said it’s been years, and years of practice for him and “The Voice” is the chance for him to pursue his dreams.  He sang “Tired of Being Alone.”  

Chair Turns: None

Gwen said it takes confidence to come out that and to get the crowd going.  John said it’s clear that he’s a very good singer, but didn’t feel like he was connected to it at all. But, he can learn that.  Blake said don’t worry about getting the crowd into the song.  


Marina, who is 37-years-old, said, “The Voice is my American dream.”  She’s from the former Soviet Union Republic.  She said what was lacking was freedom. Marina was 11 years old when her parents moved her to New York. “It was eye-opening”  but challenging.  Marina said she learned English from listening to Mariah Carey.  She said her parents worked push carts.  In 2007 she was signed to Bad Boys Records.  Marina said she thought she had made it, but it just didn’t happen.   Marina sang “Walk Me Home.”

Chair Turns:  Blake, Kelly

Gwen said she didn’t turn, because it was such a Kelly song. Blake was offended that she was favoring Kelly.  Blake was drawn to how powerful Marina’s voice is and how connected to the song she was. Then reminded Kelly that she had no one in the finale last season.  Kelly thought it was smart how Marina showed-off her range in the song.  Marina said she had to go with her gut, which was telling her Blake Shelton.

Coach: Blake Shelton.  Blake said Marina is “powerful and very unique.”

John joked that the strategy should be to Block Blake.


Pictured: Kyndal Inskeep / Photo: Justin Lubin, NBC copyright.

Kyndal is 22-year-old and lives in Nashville. Her favorite coach is Blake.  Kyndal plays four-six times a week and is a Nanny by day.  Kyndall said she suffers from depression. Her mom got divorced when she was 18 months. Then her mom re-married when she was five.  Unfortunately, her Step-dad favored his biological kids over her.  She found therapy in music.  Gwen turned right away.

Chair Turns: Gwen, Blake (Blocked), Kelly

Blake turned, but was Blocked.  John said she’s personally responsible for breaking-up one of America’s favorite couples (Gwen & Blake).  Blake said it’s never fun when your girlfriend Blocks you.. on National Television!!  Gwen said her favorite thing about her voice is her bravado and style.  She doesn’t sound like anyone one.  She sounds like herself.  Gwen said she’s so inspired. She hasn’t been there for a while.  Where Kelly is busy with kids and a talk show.  John said Gwen presents very nicely, but she’s an assassin.   Kyndal chose Gwen.  Gwen said she felt that she can relate to Kyndal’s voice.  Blake said he can’t wait to see that headline -“Blake Gets Blocked By Girlfriend” on the tabloids.



Pictured: Shane Q / Photo: Justin Lubin, NBC copyright

Shane is from Sacramento.  John told Shane that he has a lot of “gospel” in his voice. Gwen, who got Shane’s origin city wrong, San Francisco,  said every time you thought your voice was one thing, you changed it.  Blake kept-up with the wrong city comments by stating Shane’s from San Diego.  Lol.  John said, no, Santa Barbara.  Shane played along by saying it’s all in California.    Blake tried to win-over Shane by quoting an article out loud about himself.  This article included calling Blake “the greatest of all time,” and mentioned that “in the past 16 seasons, Shelton has coached a staggering 24 to the finale.”  Kelly asked Shane, “do you want it to be about the coach, or about you?”  Kelly said the most beautiful part of Shane is that he doesn’t categorize himself.

Coach: Kelly Clarkson.  Kelly said Shane Q is one of the best she’s heard on “The Voice.” Shane said his heart lead to Kelly, and it’s great crossing genres. “That’s what I want to do with my music.”


Max is the youngest of six kids and admits to being spoiled.  He used to perform as a child. As he got older, he was self-conscious as a singer.  He sang “Wayfaring Stranger,” which is about uncertainty of what’s to come. Max said he can relate to the song because there’s a lot of uncertainty with his life right now,  

Chair Turns:  John, Kelly (Blocked)

Kelly said he is good, and should have been on HER Team.  John told Kelly “sorry” and said he knew that Kelly would be his biggest competition.  Kelly took it as a compliment.  John called it “a daring performance.”  Blake said he was going to hit his button but knew it would be better for him to go with one of the other two coaches.
Coach: John Legend.  John said Max makes “bold choices with his voice.”


Pictured: Hello Sunday / Photo: Justin Lubin, NBC copyright

“Hello Sunday” was introduced to viewers as how the coaches first heard them.  Staring out what sounded like a single voice, turning into two.  The two girls sang, “This Is Me” from “The Greatest Showman.”

Chair Turn: Kelly Clarkson

Chelsea and Myla who are 13 and 14, are not sisters.  John said he likes that name.  It means “new beginnings” which is why they’re going on “The Voice.”  They met at summer camp.  Myla has been singing since pre-school and Chelsea has been singing all her life.  They were both the only children, and said they’re sisters in music.  Kelly told them that she grew up singing in choir, and really good with helping them stay in sync.  Blake said he’s been working his whole life to say “hello Sunday”  He told them it’s good to have Kelly in their corner because it will test their limits, but will also pay off.


Emily is 16-year-old.  Emily likes to sketch when she’s not singing. She sketched drawings of ‘Voice hos Carson Daly, and the coaches.  She started singing around 5 years old, She has a disorder where her brain tells her body that her injury is worse than it is.  It took seven months of a lot of physical therapy.  Emily said even though she’s so young, everything in her life has lead-up to this.  She sang Taylor Swift song “Blank Space.”

Chair Turns: None

Gwen said she was “so close” to turning her chair and loves Emily’s tone. John said her voice has potential but needs a little bit more polishing. Kelly told Emily that if she shows how big her voice can get and comes back, she’ll get a chair turn.  Blake told her that he hopes that she does come back.  Emily then presented the coaches with her sketches of them. They loved them of course.

Gwen said she’s looking for something that she’ll connect with.


Pictured: Royce Lovett / Photo: Justin Lubin, NBC copyright.

Royce said his mom named him that because she wanted a Rolls Royce.  He’s from Tallahassee, Florida.  It changed for him when he saw Lauren Hill playing the guitar and rapping.  He fell in love with Bob Marley.  Royce said being a father has made him a better creator.  He calls “The Voice” life changing.

Chair Turns:  Gwen, Blake

Kelly nudged that out of the two coaches who turned, “one being the obvious choice.”  John said there were control and pitch issues with his voice, which can be worked-on.  Gwen fought for Royce by stating that this is her lane, and not “his” (Blake) lane.  She said she can hear the undertone of Reggae, mixed with Rock.  Kelly thought it was such a perfect match for him with Gwen.  Blake stated that he has a “Blake playlist” that consists of Bob Marley and James Buffet.  Realizing how ridiculous he sounded, then said “screw it.”  

Coach: Gwen Stefani

Gwen said about Royce that “he’s doing the style of music that I really like, but he’s doing it in a new way.”  Royce said about Gwen, that “you see all different colors is Gwen’s music” and he has always admired her because of that.


Elise is Lebanese. She said she got her love of music from her Grandpa.  Music is part of her family.   Wrote “Last Dance” by Donna Summers.  Grandpa passed in 2013 and Elise was heart-breaking because she was so close to him.   Elise sang “Million Reasons” by Lady Gaga.

Chair Turn:  Gwen Stefani

Gwen said she loves her style and tone. She showed more side to her voice is why she pushed her button.  Blake said vocally, he thinks it’s a good match with Gwen.  Gwen said with Elise, “it’s a rare tone that she has.”


Cory is from Arkansas.  He said his first guitar laid the foundation to him wanting to perform.  He’s getting married to his fiance after the Blind Auditions. “Galveston” by Glen Campbell. About a guy leaving his girl behind for something he has to do.  He said he could relate to the song.

Chair Turns: Blake, Kelly. Gwen

Blake was super annoyed when Kelly turned, and even more so when Gwen also turned her chair.  Gwen said she’s shocked that Blake turned because it was such a theatrical song.  She didn’t know it was a Country song!  Blake said “I’m going to wait for these other people to talk, then I’m going to come back.  Gwen stated if he wants to take a risk, he can go with her.  Then, when Corey said he does want to be Country, she responded, “Ewee.”  Kelly fought that she’s doved in Country and loves Glen Campbell.   She complained that it’s hard to fight with Blake because he’s seated “so far!”

Coach: Blake Shelton.  Blake said he’s not afraid of any of the coaches because he’s the “Senior coach.”  Blake said Cory has a smooth voice and great song selection.  He cant wait to see how far he goes.  

“The Voice” airs Mondays, Tuesdays at 8/7 c on NBC.


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