First Hearing Impaired Singer on THE VOICE Season 23 Blind Auditions Week 2 Recap

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March 14, 2023
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First Hearing Impaired Singer on THE VOICE Season 23 Blind Auditions Week 2 Recap

Pictured: (l-r) Niall Horan, Blake Shelton -- Photo by: Evans Vestal Ward/NBC

The second week of “The Voice” season 23 Blind Auditions had more combative antics from the coaches – Kelly Clarkson, Blake Shelton, Niall Horan, and Chance the Rapper.  More of Blake telling potential team members that it’s his last season in his attempt to sway artists to him.  With Niall Horan imitating Blake’s redundant speech.  

But, what happened this week that was a bit different was the four coaches paired-up to go against each other. Viewers saw Kelly and Chance together going against Blake and Niall.   And, Niall and Blake teaming-up to take-on Kelly and Chance.  This was all over packing their teams with the best artists that they could get.  The first surprise of the night came when the coaches heard a 15-year-old. More surprises followed that included a milestone when the first hearing impaired contestant came onto “The Voice” stage to audition. 

Pictured: (l-r) Kelly Clarkson, Chance The Rapper, Niall Horan, Blake Shelton — Photo by: Evans Vestal Ward/NBC

RYLEY TATE WILSON (Team Niall)

Ryley Tate Wilson, who is 15-years-old, is one of the youngest singers who auditioned this season. He traveled with his family from Montgomery, Alabama, and it was their first time in California.  Ryley has a lot of brothers and sisters, so his parents had an allotment of funds to spread to each of them. All of his brothers play sports and he’s the only one interested in music.  Ryley is self-taught on most instruments.  His mom’s name is Kelly and Ryley hoped that Kelly Clarkson turned for him.  Ryley sang “Dancing on My Own” for his Blind Audition song.  Kelly was the first coach to turn.

Chair Turns: Kelly, Niall, Blake, Chance

After Ryley’s performance, Niall complimented him stating that when he was on a show like this one, he was shaking like a leaf. But, Ryley didn’t have any sense of nerves and it was cool to hear a 15-year-old display confidence.  Ryley said he was really nervous.  Niall also stated that Ryley has a story teller element in his voice.  Kelly pointed out that she pushed her button light years BEFORE the other coaches!  As it’s widely known, Kelly likes working with young talent. She told Ryley, “I think I can be the best coach for you.

Ryley told the coaches that he has a lot or R&B influences such as Frank Ocean.  Chance reacted to his audition that “it was fire” and he liked how Ryley improvised with the runs at the end and “felt the song out.”  Blake said “I know I don’t have much of a shot”  and “I am the Country coach.”  Blake said he’s won with all kinds of artists and joked, “you pick me as a coach” and I will walk away after this season!”  

Coach: Niall Horan.  Ryley said he chose Niall because he was performing at his age and he also went through a voice change llike himself.Kelly said Niall is the king of four chairs now.

JAMAR LANGLEY (Team Chance)

Jamar is 36-years-old and has been singing since he was three-years-old.  Jamar is from Andrew, South Carolina, and growing up, he used to sing with his brothers at clubs.  When he went to college, he had a daughter and had to drop-out of school.  Jamar ended-up working at a call center and in the middle of a call, Jamar quit to pursue his dream.  He sang “Try Me” by James Brown because that song has resonated with him his whole life.  Chance and Blake turned at the same time.

Chair Turns: Chance, Blake 

Blake said that was a perfect example of not to give-up because his blind audition didn’t start off perfect, but he kept getting better.  Blake said he’s putting together the last team that he’s ever putting together on “The Voice.”  Chance said he’d love to have him on his Team and thinks he’ll go far.  He said if he wants to win the competition, he has to “get down with Chance team.”  Kelly said she was nervous about turning for Jamar because she heard nerves and she doesn’t coach nerves well.

Coach:  Chance the Rapper.  Chance said Jamar was “fire” and what he loved the most was his confidence especially when he was done performing.  Blake said “the newbies are killing it” and he added, “thank God I’m retiring because I must be losing my edge.” 

ALLIE KECK (Team Kelly)

Allie, who is 28-years-old, and obviously a fan of “The Voice” was especially excited to see Chance the Rapper as a coach because it’s the first time the show has had a rapper as a coach.  Allie decided to move to Nashville after she saw how everyone pursuing music there performs every night.  To make ends meet, Allie got into being a real estate  agent and while doing that job, she made connections with other musicians.  Allie has stopped doing real estate in order to focus on music full time.  She sang “Paris (Ooh La La) for her blind audition.  

Chair Turns:  Blake, Kelly

Niall didn’t turn his chair, he told Allie that when he saw Blake turn, he thought “this is right up his alley.”  Kelly told Allie that she can project more than anyone else that’s come onto the stage.  She told Allie that she has a Wilson/Heart vibe to her.  Kelly also advised that she would select a song for her that is really quiet then explodes into that and would work with her on dynamics.  Kelly also loved that Allie is in the Rock-n-Roll lane.  
Blake told Allie that they don’t get a lot of people that do what she can do and he would like her to do a vintage rock-and-roll song with a twist.  He would give her a Country song and have her do it in the Rock genre.  Chance’s impression of Allie was that her voice sounded like an electric guitar.

Coach: Kelly Clarkson.  Kelly said she loves a female singer that’s a powerhouse, rock-n-roll vibe.  Blake said his biggest rival is still Kelly Clarkson.

Kelly still had her Block at that point.

JAYDA KLINK

Jayda, who is 23-years-old from Cincinnati, Ohio, is a college drop-out and currently lives in her mom’s basement.  Jayda’s mom is a big supporter of her musical dream.   Jayda pays the bills by working in a baby store.  She sang “No Air” for her blind audition.

Chair Turns:  None

Blake said he didn’t hit his button because he described her performance as being “a little loose” and “not landing in the pocket.” Niall said there was “a bit of a nervous start” and she didn’t turn the corner and get it back around.  Chance told her to “take this along the journey” and wished her the best of luck.  Kelly said “it’s just experience” that she needs to get to get a chair turn.  Kelly advised her to sing every chance she gets, say ‘yes’ to everything and Kelly also encouraged Jayda to find writing partners.     

Niall said he wants to hear a voice that “makes every hair standup on my body.”

WALKER WILSON (Team Blake)

A not incredibly tall Walker Wilson said people are surprised when he tells them that, at 5’10”, he’s a security guard, or “bouncer” at a bar.  He takes full advantage of the opportunity to sing on stage at work every time he’s not working.    Walker described his style as Southern/Rock and Soul/Country   He said he needs “the Voice’ because Nashville is hard. “A chair turn today could change everything.”   Walker sang “Hurricane” for his blind audition which was impressive enough to get one chair turn from Blake.

Chair Turn: Blake Shelton.  

Blake said Walker has a grit to what he does, similar to “God’s Country” (Blake’s own song) and told him he’s on the right track with that sound.  Niall told Walker that he and Blake are a match made in heaven.  After Walker said he saw Chance play in concert,  Chance said he’s big in Tennessee and didn’t want to tell Blake.  

Carson joked that Blake has been on the show 123 seasons. He asked what it felt like? Blake said he’s trying not to think about it and staying focused.  Blake said he’s gotten nothing as a going away gift.  Carson asked what he wants because Blake has everything.  Blake answered “a cake!” Lol. Blake said he’s not there to be Chance and Niall’s friend, he’s there to win this season.

Ali (Team Kelly)

Pictured: Ali — Photo by: Casey Durkin/NBC

Ali, who is 24-years-old,  is from Walnut, California and was born deaf.  Her dad realized that Ali couldn’t hear when she didn’t react to him hitting his drum as hard as he could.  Ali said it was hard being accepted when she was a kid.  She’s thankful that her parents never looked at her like she was “broken.”  Ali said music is something that she loves so much and as much as she doubts herself, she said “I’m going to do it.”  

Ali explained how she’s able to sing.  She said although can’t hear everything, she can feel the music, can decipher what it means, what the lyrics are about and can feel the beat.  As she got older, she started playing guitar and writing her own songs.  Her mom said Ali has never let being hearing impaired define her.  Ali sang “Killing Me Softly With His Song.”   

Chair Turns: Chance, Kelly

Kelly said Ali’s runs were so “intricate, and cool and different.  That’s a gift.” The coaches were shocked that Ali is hearing impaired.   Blake said if you lined up all the singers that they’ve heard so far, and if he had to pick the one that’s hearing impaired, she would be the last one he would pick.  He didn’t turn because he said it’s so far out of his music lane.  Kelly said the changes she made to that song were so her.  Chance was so stunned that Ali is hearing impaired.  He told her about his work with “Definitely Dope” who works with ASL. He said naturally she has an amazing voice and he would love to hear her sing some gospel. 

Coach: Kelly Clarkson. Kelly said Ali is incredible and she is excited to work with someone who experiences music on a different level than her.  Kelly called her feeling the music like Ali’s super power.

MANNASSEH SAMONE (Team Chance)

Pictured: Manasseh Samone — Photo by: Casey Durkin/NBC

This is Mannasseh’s second time auditioning for “The Voice.” Mannasseh was last there on the stage for season 22.  She’s 22-years-old from Dallas, Texas.  Mannasseh said her experience last season of NOT getting a chair turn fueled her to push forward.  She sang “Rise Up” by Andra Day for her blind audition and explained that the song takes her back to not going through to the next round.  It inspired her to get back up.  Mannasseh is classically trained and sings Opera.  A couple of the coaches could hear that in her performance, even though she gave the song some gospel “power.” 

Chair Turn:  Chance

Mannasseh immediately started crying once she finished singing.  Chance said it’s crazy that the other coaches didn’t turn around and “this is the biggest blessing of the show so far.  He said her vocals and the tone of her voice are insane.  He could hear the Opera in her voice, and Kelly could hear it too.  “It’s a gorgeous tone.” Kelly explained to Mannasseh why she didn’t turn.  It was because she could hear the fight between “technique and passion.” Blake told her he couldn’t be more happy for her.  Chance said she reminds him of Jennifer Hudson when she was young.  

JEROME GODWIN lll (Team Niall) 

He’s all about dentistry and singing!  He’s Jerome Godwin lll, 20-years-old, from Montgomery, Alabama.  Jerome is a Junior Biology major who is very focused on Dentistry. A lot of his family is in dentistry and he works at one of their office’s part time.  Jerome has been singing since daycare where he was in a choir! Twenty-year-old Jerome currently  sings in musical theater and at his local church. He’s at a career crossroads and “The Voice” will help him determine where to throw his focus.  Jerome sang “pov” by Ariana Grande.  Niall and Kelly turned at the same time.

Chair Turns: Niall, Kelly 

Chance told Jerome that his voice is amazing, and there were some points where it got pitchy.  But, he loves his lower registry.  Kelly said his runs were so cool and she could feel how excited he was before she turned around. She said she hopes that he never loses that passion and desire.  She offered up a team jacket to him, and “I also have experience winning this show!”  

Niall said “that low stuff is amazing,”  and he didn’t turn immediately because he was waiting for Jerome’s voice to go up there.  Niall thinks the viewers at home are going to fall in love with him. Then Niall offered up his hoodie.  “Get ready for the Battles with Team Niall.”  

Coach:  Niall Horan.  Nial said he was missing someone like Jerome who is “super soulful,” and now he has him!  IKelly said Niall is a threat but she feels it in her heart that she’s about to beat Niall.

EJ MICHELS (Team Blake)

EJ performed on a keyboard while singing “Easy on Me” by Adele for his blind audition.  Chance the Rapper turned very early. And Blake turned at the very end of EJ’s performance.  EJ is 31-years-old from Helper, Utah.  The coaches acted like they didn’t know where Utah was.  EJ told them it’s a ten hour drive to Los Angeles.  

EJ’s background is that he played in an alternative band with his brother, whom he also wrote his first song with.  Their band got to play with the Ex Ambassadors and just as they were taking-of, EJ had a crisis of sorts.  He was struggling to love himself, he explained.  EJ said coming from conservative surrounding, there was much negatively thrown on the LGBT community and it took a toll on his mental health.  He was courageous enough to finally come out and EJ now has a loving partner who was at his blind audition with him.  

Chair Turn:  Chance, Blake

Chance was impressed how well EJ did with the Adele song, and suggested that he’d like to hear him sing some Maxwell, D’Angelo.  Blake had no words for that because he had no idea who those artists were!  Blake said “I know where Utah is!”  He said EJ’s voice is so “raw and honest.”  He added that sometimes there’s imperfections that make you feel more of a connection.  

At times his voice started breaking up which created an angst, and had him on the edge.  Blake said “If you can make me feel that, I can’t wait to see what you can do to America.”  He said we don’t know Chance as a coach and he doesn’t want to be an experiment.  Kelly urged EJ to go a different route than what people expect, alluding to EJ choosing Chance.

Coach:  Blake Shelton. EJ’s partner was shocked that he picked Blake.  Blake said he loves how open, and honest and raw his voice is. He has the ability to connect with the lyric in a way few artists do.

SOPHIA HOFFMAN

Sophia is another very young artist who auditioned this season.  At only 18-years-old, she said she had been dreaming of coming onto “The Voice” since she was four-years-old.  Sophia said she had a hard time in school making friends and getting good grades.  Her mom decided to put her in a theater group and that’s when she started to blossom.  Sophia said she “ran with it” and realized that music was her passion.  Sophia sang a song about losing someone you love and “every Latino knows this song.”   She sang “Amor Eterno” for her blind audition.  Unfortunately, she didn’t get any chair turns.  

Chair Turns:  None

Kelly, who likes Spanish singers, was close to turning.  Blake said he’s never heard that song and when he doesn’t know a song, he doesn’t know where it’s supposed to go. Niall said “it got to the end, and time was out. I’m so sorry.”  Chance said it felt Jazz inspired at times and “it was fire.” He encouraged her to keep going.  Kelly told her she has an incredible tone and with Spanish, it tells the story itself.  She advised Sophia to pick a song that shows the lows and highs of her voice. 

Chance said he’s looking for a vocalist who can do anything.

LAURA LITTLETON (Team Nial)

Pictured: Laura Littleton — Photo by: Casey Durkin/NBC

Laura has some roots in Bluegrass music.  She’s 26-years-old from Dixon, Tennessee.  She got her musical sense from her dad who was in a Bluegrass group that would meet-up at his tire shop.  She used to perform with her dad and his band sometimes.  Laura said Blake Shelton has actually been there to her neck of the woods.  

After Laura graduated from high school, all of her friends moved away and Laura found herself in a deep depression.  Music was the thing that lifted her up.  She said music was a friend when she needed one. She wants to create that for other people.  She sang “Sign of the Times” by Harry Styles with a bluegrass spin on it for her blind audition.

Chair Turns:  Kelly, Blake (BLOCKED), Niall

Kelly said Laura’s energy matches her and she couldn’t tell if she was a Country person doing a twist on it.  She’s from Tennessee, and thought “I should have Blocked Niall.”  Blake, who was upset about being Blocked from Laura, told her “I wish I could have had you on my Team.” Laura told Blake that she was so honored to be there for Blake’s “step away.” And speaking on behalf of artists like herself, Laura said, “you walk away from this more confident’ whether you get a chair turn or not.  Blake told her that it’s very nice of her to say.  Then, said he passed the baton on to Niall.  

Blake said “remember who took this opportunity away from us.”   Kelly said she’s so stoked about her song selection.  But, feels that Laura will attract people from different genres.  She’s like Dolly meets Florence and the Machine.   Niall said when that song came out, it’ wasn’t your obvious Pop song, and he can hear her sing all sorts.

Chance said if he could have gotten to see some of her stage presence and stage performance.  Obviously you have the vocal talent and is exactly where she’s supposed to be. Chance hugged Laura for being so sweet after she praised the coaches for sharing their knowledge.  

Coach:  Niall Horan.  Niall said Laura was incredible. She has so much energy and she sounded like she’s a performer. He likes the shake in her voice like Joni Mitchell and she can sing anything.  Niall is predicting that “Chance and Niall are going to win this.”   Kelly was upset that she wasted her Block.  
Blake said if he doesn’t win, “the next best thing is Kelly not getting what she wants.”  Lol

 

BLINDS TUESDAY NIGHT:

Pictured: (l-r) Niall Horan, Blake Shelton — Photo by: Evans Vestal Ward/NBC

At the top of the show, Blake pranked Kelly taking the lid off of her water cup and getting her chair wet.  Of course, Kelly guessed it had to be Blake! 

KATE COSENTINO (Team Niall)

Pictured: Kate Cosentino — Photo by: Casey Durkin/NBC

Kate described her colorful family as being “my big fat Greek wedding” only it’s Italian instead of Greek.  She’s 23-years-old from Kansas City and lives in Nashville.  Kate displayed her colorful sense of style at her blind audition.  Kate has a small business where she creates custom guitar straps called “Big Chick Energy.”  She sang “I Say a Little Prayer” by Dionne Warwick at her blind audition while playing her electric guitar.  

Chair Turns: Kelly, Chance, Niall

Chance said she has a full voice and there is a lot of joy that comes out.  He predicted that she’ll do great things in this competition.  Kelly said she loved what she did with the song, and she has the coolest guitar that looks like it’s from Wayne’s World. She told her she could go to so many places and feels like she’s a good coach for her. Niall said she sang a famous hit that’s tough to sing and she’s not afraid to take a risk. On team Niall, they’ll be risking every week.   She said she had to go with her ancestors. The Italian and the Irish are friends.

Coach: Niall Horan.  Niall said Kate is going to be the most fun to work with and she’s a great character.  An amazing sense of music taste and the country is going to fall in love with her.  

AL BOOGIE

Al Boogie has a last name that Blake Shelton said is the greatest last name he’s ever heard!  But, unfortunately he didn’t know his last name until after his audition which didn’t garner any chair turns.

Al is 37-years-old living in Gonzales, Louisiana with his wife of fourteen years and three children.  Al said music for him is like oxygen.  His band isn’t gigging as much as they used to and he works as a sales guy for a crane company. At almost 40 years of age, Al wants to chase his dream and show his kids that anything is possible.  Perhaps a Dirks Bently fan because Al’s son’s name is Dierks.   Al said getting people to get up and move around is what it’s all about.l  He sang “T-R-O-U-B-L-E” song by Travis Tritt.

Chair Turns: NONE

Blake told Al that he has the greatest last name he’s ever heard in his life. Both he and Kelly are Travis Tritt fans.  Blake was waiting for some of the things that Travis Tritt does on his record to see if vocally Al could or would go there.  He backed off of some of those things and that’s why he didn’t turn.  Chance said he’s never heard that song, and thinks that’s so funny that they all know the song.  

Chance said he’s looking for someone with vocal strength and that texture that can go to the very end. 

CHLOE ABBOTT (Team Chance)

The most impressive thing about Chloe, who is 24-years-old, is not only her voice, but that she’s training for the 2024 Olympics in Paris for track and field.While in school at a young age, Chole was doing a lot of musical theater and in 8th grade, she tried out for track and it stayed with her.  Chole has managed to maintain both of her talents in music and athletics.  The discipline required in music, she feels she learned from competing in track and field.,  Her mom and coach were both with her during her blind audition.  She sang “How Deep is Your Love.” 

Chair Turn:  Chance.

Chance said she has amazing breath control and called her Anita Baker/Nora Jones.   Blake joked that he’s been training for the U.S. curling team. Kelly said a lot of lies come from Blake.  Then Carson Daly brought out a lie detector machine that he hooked up to Blake’s arm.  Blake answered “yes” that Kelly is his favorite coach, but it was a “false” result.  This was an obvious skit the show had fun with and not a real lie detector test.  It was a fun way of calling out Blake for all of his many untruths.  

Chance said Chloe is the artist he was looking for and her voice has a softer coffee shop vibe and would have stood out on anyone’s team.  Chloe said Chance will pull out the best in her. 

MARCOS COVOS (Team Kelly)

Pictured: Marcos Covos — Photo by: Casey Durkin/NBC

Marcos was another Dallas, Texan auditioning this season.  He’s now 30-years-old, but things weren’t always so bright for him.  He explained that his blind audition on “The Voice” is the first time he’s performing as himself, knowing who he is.  Marcos said he came out of the closet during the summer before his Senior year in high school.  Prior to that, he used to play music with his family.

As a result, his family reacted negatively.  After that, pursuing music for him was a painful memory of his old life.  Since then, he and his family have repaired their relationship.  Although they couldn’t be there with Marcos during his blind audition, his parents sent him a loving message of their support.  Marcos performed “Tu Solo Tu” for his Blind Audition.  Kelly was immediately intrigued and pressed her button.  Blake turned at the very last second and Kelly let him have it by hitting him with her Team jacket.

Chair Turn:  Kelly, Blake

Kelly told Marcos that she loves it when people come out and sing in Spanish.  “It was so gorgeous” and she’s a fan of his.  Marcos is a fan of Kelly’s and had been singing along to her since he was little.  Blake siad “just seeing the audience reaction,” was “damn good” and he wanted to be a part of it.  Blake later admitted to mostly turning his chair to annoy Kelly!

Coach: Kelly Clarkson.  Kelly said she loved his voice and his range is incredible.  Kelly did a happy dance.  Blake said it made him happy to see Kelly get that mad at him for a second!

TIANI GOSS (Team Niall)

Tiani was the second returning artist thus far auditioning for another shot to get a chair turn.  Tiana is 29-years-old from Los Angeles, California.  She last auditioned in season 22.  Tiani said being in front of the coaches and on stage is “intimidating.”  But, that didn’t discourage her.  In July 2020, she was diagnosed with epilepsy.  She didn’t let this stop her either.  Tiani sang “Emotion” for her Blind Audition, and Niall was the first and only coach to turn his chair.

Chair Turn:  Niall  

Niall said he couldn’t wait to turn around. He said Tiani’s falsettos and runs were good.  He said she picked the perfect song that showcased all the best parts of her voice.  Tiani told Niall that she was hoping to get him as a coach and her sister is a big fan of his.  Of course, she was asked to come out on stage to meet Niall so he could make her day!   Niall said Tiani was “so smooth and cool,” and  “she’s a game-changer on Team Niall.”

MARY KATE CONNOR (Team Blake)

Pictured: Mary Kate Conner — Photo by: Casey Durkin/NBC

Mary Kate is another big ‘Voice’ fan who came to audition this season. She literally was influenced by the show because she chose a song that she first heard while watching “The Voice” when she was a little girl.  BTW, at 17-years-old, not much older currently!  At a young age, starting out singing, Mary Kate was invited to perform at the Kennedy Center and it was an all time high for her.  After that, she became focused on musical theater in school.  Mary Kate sang “Stars” by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals.

Chair Turns:  Blake, Kelly

After meeting Mary Kate when their chairs turned, the coaches learned that she’s from Ashburn, Virginia and they were shocked by her young age.  “It’s nuts” that she’s 17-years-old.  Kelly said she loved how beautiful and tender her performance was, like a young Brandi Carli, and she “nailed it.”  
Blake said he ran into Kelly at a Brandi Carli concert.  Then, Blake said there’s a thing “that happens up there” referring to North Carolina, Kentucky, Virginia, it’s an Americana thing and you can hear it in her voice.   Maybe Blake was tired of saying it himself (about it being his last season) so he asked Niall to do it for him with his impersonation of him. No one can be sure on how Blake managed to score this contestant, but he did! 

Coach:  Blake Shelton.  Blake was ecstatic and gave her a T-Shirt.  Blake said Mary Kate is probably not fully aware of what she’s capable of and America is going to love her. 

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