Season 15 of NBC’s singing compeition reality show “The Voice” kicked-off with it’s typical two-night premiere Monday and Tuesday. Also typical is the show has a few tweaks and surprises that were revealed. For the first time ever, there will be a fifth coach on board – Country artist Kelsea Ballerini. All returning coaches this season included Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson (who won last year in her first season), and Jennifer Hudson (season 13).
Another change noticable that was made to the show, is it’s broken through the fifth wall even more! “The Voice” has always let viewers in on what the coaches say while their sittig in their chairs during the Blinds. However, the show is taken it even further by making it feel even more of an interactive experience as if the viewers are really there.
We see a sound crew member fix a mic problem on Jennifer Hudson. Viewers get intimate snippets of contestants preparing for their auditions with outtakes from behind-the-scenes. As well as the enduring yells and call-outs to Jennifer Hudson from studio audience members. Several who called out that they “love” her; one wanted her phone number, and another one said they’d pick her.
The coaches talked about what makes “The Voice” speical. Adam Levine said “The Voice” show is successful because “it’s a really special family” and has a deep rooted in music. Blake Shelton said what’s different this season is it’s “magical” with people that have a lot of respect for each other like season one. Jennifer Hudson said “it’s life-changing” for an artist on stage when she hits that button.
BLIND AUDITIONS NIGHT ONE:
Sarah is from Houston, Texas. She’s 15-years-old and has a physical aligment that allows her to see colors when she listens to music. Sarah is part of a family band. She said blues songs made amazing colors for her. Sarah sang “Ball and Chain” song.
Chair Turns: Kelly, Blake, Jennifer
Adam told Sarah that she has “TWO great choices,” counting Blake out! Kelly commented that Sarah “had stank face for days.” Jennifer said at JHud prodcutions, she’s call that “sass.” Kelly fought for her by saying she did win “The Voice” last season with a 15-year-old. Sarah said she’d like to make a Blues/Rock album. Blake said her scream was full of “grit and passion.”
Coach: Kelly. Kelly said Sarah’s voice is insane and was her first artist of the season! Sarah picked Kelly because she loves her personality and her music.
SNEAK-PEEK at COMEBACK STAGE:
Kelsea will coach an online portion called “Comeback Stage” where six contestants that she will choose who didn’t have any chair turns, she’ll coach them. They’ have thier own Battle Round. Two artists will be chosen, then only one will move-on to “The Voice” live shows.
Tyshawn is twenty-three-years-old and runs a business “Pound 4 Sound” with his mom where he personally delivers pound cake that they make and sings to the customers at their doors. He’s the oldest of ten kids. Tyshawn said it’s rough living in the Projects. He said “The Voice” is the platform that could get his family financial stability.
Chair Turns: Jennifer, Blake
Blake said with Tyshawn’s falsetto, hummingbird whistle he knows he’s in over his head. But, he’s glad he’s on “The Voice.” Jennifer said Tyshawn has “a heavy sound” and a “church base.” Tyshawn told her he wants to bring back R&B. Jennifer added that Tyshawn has Curtis Mayfield and Teddy Pendergrass influences. Blake joked that he’s in there too.
Coach: Jennifer Hudson. Tyshawn brought pound cakes for all the coaches.
He’s 17-years-old from Hawaii. He started playing guitar and singing because he realized that music is a God-given gift. His biggest venue thusfar has been playing at a taco truck. Tyke said “The Voice” is special because it’s “a loving competition.” He said he produces something different as an artist. He sang “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran for his Blind Audition.
Chair Turns: Adam
Adam said he loved his voice and Tyke’s future is someone that everyone is going to fall in love with. Tyke told Jennifer that his head is “combusting right now” when she asked where his head is. Kelly said she was waiting for him to go somewhere else which is why she didn’t turn. But, Adam is a perfect coach for him. Adam said he can’t believe that Tyke was a one-chair turn because he’s a super-star.
Ayanna is 29 years old from Yonkers, New York. She began modeling at a young age. Then was part of a band where she opened for Ludicris. Ayanna got pregnant at age 18 when she put everything on hold. She decided to stay at home with her mother to raise her daughter. With her daughter in school, Ayanna began singing again and is a wedding singer. She sang Demi Lavoto’s “Sorry Not Sorry.” Unfortunately, no one turned their chair.
Blake said it was enough out of his lane, but probably “over-thought it.” Jennifer and Kelly said they were waiting for the big notes that never came.
GOOD NEWS! Is that Ayanna will be back as the first “Comeback Stage” artist that Kelsea chose to coach. Kelsea said Ayanna’s tone is so unique and rich which is why she chose her to comeback. Next, Ayanna will learn who her Battle artist will be.
Mercedes is 17-years-old from Miami, Florida. She returned this season from last season where she didn’t get any chair turns. Both Kelly and Adam told her they wanted her to comeback. Mercedes said she trained and has done a lot more performing in the past year and would love for Kelly to turn for her compared to last season where she was hoovering over her button. But, never pushed. Mercedes sang “She Used to Be Mine” by Sara Bareilles. The song tells a story of being so overcome with self-doubt that you become a different person.
Chair Turns: Blake, Kelly
Kelly immediately recognized Mercedes and said she’s so proud of her. Mercedes said her big inspiration is Sara Bareilles. Blake said he hears her heart and those are the types are artists he gravitates towards and helps after the show. She’s unique, and so is he, Blake said. Kelly said she loves the saddness that’s so broken, yet angelic voice. Jennifer told Mercedes that she’d stand-out on Blake’s Team.
Coach: Blake. Mercedes seemed to listen to her mother’s wishes to chose Blake. Blake said nothing makes him more happy than to see an artist comeback. Mercedes’ mother has a crush on Blake, so he gave her a hug backstage.
She is a first generation Filipino American from Jersey City, New Jersey. Her dad used to be in a band when he was younger as a guitarist and now loves singing Karokee. Her first big performance was in a Filipino festival where she won. Radha is a full-time student. Her parents support her music dream. Radha wrote in her yearbook that she was going to be on “The Voice.” Radha belted-out “Momma Knows Best” in her Blind Audition.
Chair Turns: Adam, Jennifer, Blake
Adam Blocked Jennifer from being able to get Radha. Adam said the beginning threw him so far back in his chair he didn’t know if he’d get up again. And, it was difficult to decide who to Block – Jennifer or Kelly. “You emmit this amazing vibe when you sing…I AM your guy.” Jennifer responded that her feelings were so hurt. She commented the Radha “outdid” herself. Blake said they’ve never had an audition where someone “kicked the door down” when she stepped on the stage and was able to carry through to the end of the song. He said she should pick him because Adam took away her chance to work with Jennifer Hudson. They both think she could win.
Coach: Adam. Radha admitted to Adam that she would “probably” have picked Jennifer. Adam assured her that he’s going to kick butt!
Kameron is 21 years old from Kannapolis, North Carolina where he works at a car dealership selling auto parts all day. He started a rock band in high school. He said he realized that he likes Country music from being in the band and it’s 95% of what they listen to. He sang “One Number Away.” Kelly loved his voice instantly. Her and Blake turned at the same time.
Chair Turns: Kelly, Blake
Adam and Jennifer didn’t turn because they didn’t think they’d stand a chance at getting him. Adam gave Kameron his best Blake Shelton impression and asked him if he had a chance. Kameron answered “no.” Kelly got up and stood in front of Blake’s chair to block Kameron’s view from him. Then Blake stood-up. Kameron chose Blake.
Coach: Blake. Kelly was angry at Adam for helping Blake get Kameron. Blake said he liked Kameron’s sound and he hears Chris Stapelton and Luke Bryan in his voice.
Mikele lives in Greensville, North Carolina. His job was to clear bombs in Iraq. He said he couldn’t have made it through if he had not had his guitar with him. His friend Chuck became one of the twenty-two soliders per day to commit suicide. Upon coming back home, he became a father. He plays Country and Western. He said if a chair does turn, he dedicates it to Chuck because he was a big fan of his music. He sang a Brooks and Dunn song.
Chair Turns: Kelly, Blake
Kelly and Blake pushed their buttons at the same time. Adam told Kelly that it was a “rookie move” to press her button for a Country artist at the last minute.
Blake called Mikele “rough around the edges” and him singing that song is going to “hit America in the guts.” Kelly said Ryan Dunn and Travis Tritt are her favorites. She loves 90s Country Music. Kelly told him that she has connections. Her husband is past contestant Kaleb Lee’s manager. She begged him to give other coaches a chance. “We love that (Country) genre.”
Coach: Kelly. Kelly was estatic and couldn’t believe it. Blake said “Kelly may have gotten me this time. But, I’m not going to let that happen again this season.” Mikele said his daughter loves Kelly.
His mom has always been supportive of his music. He said he’s always played with his head to the side and is nervous. This is the first time he’s coming out as a musician. His biggest crowd he’s played for was forty people. Unfortunately he didn’t get any chair turns. Blake told him to do something with a little bit more range so that they can see what he can do. Kelly agreed and loved his tone.
He’s from Atlanta and started singing when he was four years old. He was signed as a Gospel reording artist at age six, and made his first album at age seven. The label he was with went down after that. He said he’d like to get back the success he got at such a young age and needs it to happen on “The Voice.”
Chair Turns: Jennifer, Adam
Kelly told him he has a beautiful gift and “it’s such a blessing to hear it.” Adam said he HAD to turn. Because not turning is an insult to singing and he needs this right now. Patrique told Adam that if this doesn’t work out, he’ll style him. Jennifer said his performance blessed her spirit. Patrique said wants a coach that sees he’s already great and wants to branchs off of that. Adam said he’s won the show three times and thinks Patrique can win. Jennifer pointed-out that she’s done theatre, etc, and can help him. Adam said he can make things happen for Patrique.
Coach: Jennifer. Jennifer said she appreciates his well-roundedness as a vocalist. Patrique said he went with his gut and felt like she would get him the most.
The last Blind Audition of the night came from 13-year-old Kennedy Holmes from Saint Louis, Missouri. She was shy when she was younger. Her mother asked her to sing every time she saw a friend to help her get over her shyness. She said she danced to help get her comfortable on stage. She sang Jennifer Hudson song “I Am Changing” for her first school performance. Her dad said he looks-up to Kennedy and he’s proud to be her father. Kennedy sang “Turning Tables” by Adele. She said last season Kelly won with the youngest on the show, and she wants to make her dreams come true.
Chair Turns: Adam, Blake, Jennifer, Kelly
Kelly jumped out of her chair when she found out Kennedy is 13. Blake told her she has the best voice on the show yet this season. He bragged about working with people from all genres and has done “pretty well.” Kelly said the most beautiful part of her voice is her falsetto, and deserves all four-chair turns. Kennedy told Jennifer about her fist performance singing “I Am Changing” song. It’s her dream to sing with Jennifer. Then, Jennifer made it happen by singing “I Am Changing” song with Kennedy on “The Voice” stage. Jennifer told her she is so gifted. Adam said he’s going to pretend…”very rarely does someone come around that reignites thier passion.” He said she’s going to become the biggest thing to ever come out of the show and wants her on his team.
Coach: Jennifer. Jennifer said the game is over because she just won “The Voice” with Kennedy. Blake said Jennifer just turned out to be “the ultimate threat.”
BLIND AUDITIONS NIGHT TWO:
Blake still had his Block left when Keith, who’s a 30-year-old Park Ranger in Memphis, Tennessee, onto the stage for his Blind Audition. Blake turned for him while Adam teetered on the idea. However, when Adam finally decided to push his button, he was Blocked.
Chair Turns: Blake, Adam
Adam said Keith had a little bit of all of the coaches in his voice. Blake said America is going to love Keith’s voice.
Claire is 17-years-old from Dallas, Texas Her mom put her in muscial theater Jazz class at a young age which created her love for music. Claire now coachs small kids on theater and dance. She sang “Hurt Somebody” country song for her Blind Audition. Blake turned right away. Then, Kelly turned at the very end, creating a stir from Blake.
Chair Turns: Blake, Kelly
Kelly was thrilled when she learned Claire is from Dallas, Texas because she’s from Fortworth, Texas. Adam advised Claire to go with Kelly. Blake said Claire is the kind of artist that rarely comes around. The folk side, and Pop, and the fact that she can blend the two. He said Taylor Swift did that. Kelly told Claire that she would be “really stoked to work with her.”
Coach: Kelly. Kelly was glad that she “found a Texan.”
Franc is 38-years-old who started singing as a child while in church and finshed his mom’s song when she started choking. He joined the Navy in which he was 21 when he left, then became a dad at age twenty-four. Franc said he’s “a dream chaser.” He wants his son to follow his passion just as he’s following his. Franc siad “The Voice” could change is life. Franc gave a souful performance of “Sittin on the Dock of the Bay” for his Blind Audtion.
Chair Turn: Jennifer
Blake said his voice sounds “so accomplished and seasoned.” Franc said he found his new love for music when he joined the military. Then gave them a sampling of a marching song he sang. Jennfier said he has a smokiness and rasp in his voice. Franc said “Jennifer Hudson saved my life!”
Michael has a love of Brizillain jest and his from Fortworth, Texas.
Been playing since the age of 18-years-old. His background is playing rock in clubs. He currently plays 200 shows per year. Michael is hoping to have a chair turn which would be “the greatest wedding gift” for him and his fiance. He sang a very soulful “The Thrill is Gone” song while plaing his guitar for his Blind Audition. He didn’t look how he sounded.
Chair Turns: Adam, Jennifer, Blake
Blake said Michael beat him to death with that vocal. Then decided, “screw that…I can coach him.” Adam said that song choice says a lot of what they’re about and what they want to accomplish. Adam argued that he’s played and worked with guitar artists where Blake has not.
Coach: Blake. Blake yelled to Adam “the thrill is gone to you!”
Ele is from Nashville, TN. She works in artists relations which lets her be around music and keeps her motivated to keep pursuing her music career. Ele sang “Jump” while playing a keyboard for her Blind Audition. Unfortunately, no coaches turned.
Adam said it’s mostly all there. Jennifer said it took Ele a minute to find her pitch. But, Adam asked her to promise to comeback. Jennifer also asked that Ele comeback.
GOOD NEWS! Ele is the second artist selected for the Comeback Stage. Kelsea said her voice is “angel like.”
DeAndre is 22-years-old who started singing at age seven. He plays the keyboard and the drums. Hurricane Harvey hit his hometown. DeAndre got emotional talking about being caught in the floods of the Hurricane and his family’s home was destroyed. Luckily, all of his family members made it out alive. But, since then, DeAndre said he’s been sleeping on people’s couches. He sang “When I Was Your Man” by Bruno Mars. Adam was the first chair turn.
Chair Turns: Adam, Jennifer, Blake, Kelly
Adam fought for DeAndre from the start, stating “I heard the greatness in your voice early”, and pressed his button before anyone else. Jennifer said he has range, depth, soul and a good look. She’s going to let him be the artist that he wants to be. Blake told DeAndre that he has so much skill. Blake fought to get DeAndre by stating – Kelly is the current champion, Adam was the first coach to hit his button, or he can go with him who is the coach that’s won the most. DeAndre went with “whoever turned first” which was Adam.
Coach: Adam. Adam said he’s been looking for a DeAndre for a minute.
“The Voice” returns next Monday and Tuesday on NBC.