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Nick Jonas’ Notebook on THE VOICE Season 18 Premiere Recap 

Posted on February 23 2020 by Editor

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Nick Jonas’ Notebook on THE VOICE Season 18 Premiere Recap 

It’s that time again for ‘Voice fans to rev-up their phones, texting data, and ‘Voice app to join-in on the fun that is NBC’s “The Voice” season 18! This time featuring new-comer coach Nick Jonas who’ll take-over in Gwen Stefani’s place. Nick brings his own much talked about notebook. Season 18 coaches returning are: Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson, and John Legend.

THE VOICE — “Blind Auditions” — Pictured: (l-r) John Legend, Nick Jonas, Kelly Clarkson, Blake Shelton — Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC

The new ‘Voice season delivers in true tradition with fresh, raw talent in all age ranges (though most are on the younger side) from various backgrounds. Some are well versed in singing in front of an audience, while others have never sang in front of a crowd bigger than their own church congregation.


Some stand-out artists viewers will see in the first night of Blind Auditions include Darious Lyles and Joanna Serenko. Darious comes to “The Voice” with a very touching and human back-story. Where, Joana blows everyone away with her unique and undeniable talent.

Although he advised last season on the show with his brothers who’ll be returning this season as his Team’s advisers, as with any new ‘Voice coach, Nick Jonas gets teased plenty by the other coaches and encounters his first “Block.” As well as his first four-chair win.

Pictured: (l-r) Joe Jonas, Nick Jonas, Kevin Jonas — Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC


Todd sang “Why Don’t You Stay” song.  He’s 41 years old from Meridian, Mississippi.

Pictured: Todd Tilghman — Photo by: Mitchell Haddad/NBC

Chair Turns: Blake, Nick, Kelly, John

Todd said he’s been married for 21 years, with eight kids, two of which are adopted.  “I need ya’ll so bad, you don’t even know it,” he told “The Voice” coaches. Todd said “we live in total chaos all the time.”  But, he doesn’t mind.  Before “The Voice,” Todd only sang at church.  

John said he’s at church Thursday night, Friday night, Saturday night.  Blake said it’s singers like Todd why he’s on “The Voice.”  Todd ultimately decided to go with the coach who he feels is the most “relateable.”    That coach was Blake Shelton!  Blake said Todd is special and he won’t be surprised to see him in the finale.


Nelson is from Los Angeles.  In regards to his ‘Voice Blind Audition, Nelson stated “It’s different to perform in front of heroes.”  He randomly played with Stevie Wonder at a venue.   After that, Nelson said he felt validated to follow music as a career.  He sang “Pride and Joy” for his Blind Audition.

Chair Turns: John, Kelly, Nick (BLOCKED), Blake

Nick told him he could probably win this competition.  Then realized he got Blocked!   By this time, Nick made it obvious that he was jotting-down very brief notes about all the contestants in his said “notebook.”   This included “starring” some exceptional ones on his notepad.  This was the competing coaches chance to haze him about it.

John stated, in the words of Nick Jonas, “You’re a Star. Wow!”  John described Nelson’s voice as “honey-dipped vibe” and it rocks, and he can do bluesy kind of stuff, and Stevie Wonder.  John also interjected that Stevie is a good friend of his who sang at his wedding.  He promised to reunite Nelson and Stevie if he chose him as a coach.  Blake called Nelson “flawless.”  He said Nelson runs the gambit of Lead Belly to  ZZ Top.

Nelson said he had to pick a “personal hero.”  That’s why he chose John Legend as his coach.  Also, like John, Nelson is a trained pianist.

TATE BRUSA (Team Nick)

Tate is a sophomore in high school and is 16 years old.  He’s been writing songs about girls since he was 11-years-old.  Tate has performed at the Park City film festival.  He sang “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran for his Blind Audition.

Pictured: Tate Brusa — Photo by: Mitchell Haddad/NBC

Chair Turns: Nick, Blake.

Blake said he was waiting for the last minute to turn for Tate.  Then, Nick turned, so Blake turned sooner.  John said Blake has been there since the beginning of time!  Whereas Nick has good advice for him, and told Tate to go with Nick.

Nick told Tate that he heard the “fight” in his voice.  He then offered to coach him in “real time” when he got onto the stage to show Tate some tricks on how to hone-in on his vocal techniques while playing the guitar.  Blake reacted “I’m at a disadvantage.”  With that, suddenly a puppy was handed to Blake which he must have requested as part of his arsenal to try to win Tate over.  Blake stated that if Tate didn’t choose him as his coach, that the puppy would be going to the shelter!   John asked Tate “do you pick a coach, or a dog?”  Tate chose Nick Jonas.


Tayler is from New Jersey, and currently lives in North Hollywood, California where she works at her brother’s luxury shoe repair shop.   She’s been writing music since she was 14 years old.  Tayler sang “Issues” song by Julia Michaels for her Blind Audition. She sang the song in a different arrangement for “a chance to be an artist and to be real.”

Pictured: Tayler Green — Photo by: Mitchell Haddad/NBC

Chair Turns:  Kelly, Nick

John called her performance “daring.”  Nick said she’s from his home state and could see her winning.  He also added that he doesn’t go for the whole “coach” thing.  Instead, “we can build a good friendship.” A partnership, and be good “team mates.”  Kelly said she has control.  She knows how to teach her big head voice used to sing Opera.  Then, Kelly tried to sway Tayler to her team by holding-up her Team Kelly jacket.  Tayler chose Kelly Clarkson.  Kelly said Tayler is really talented and cool.


Ashley is from Middletown, New Jersey.  She plays at local bars with her band by night and is a meter reader by day in her 9 to 5 job.  Ashley said her ‘Voice audition is the first time she’ll be on stage completely by herself.  She sang “Baby It’s You” song which is a 1960s song.  She chose this song because it’s bluesy with a Country vibe which is what she wants to do.  Also, this particular song has never been done on “The Voice” before.  

Chair Turns: None

Kelly told Ashley that she has a huge range.  There were a lot of perfect moments.  But, no consistency in her performance.  Nick told Ashley that her control is “incredible” and she has phenomenal range.  John said she was so close.  But, she was nervous in the beginning.  He told her to come back.

After Ashley left the stage, Nick said no one prepared him for the heart break of being a coach.


Darious is 30-years-old from Chicago.  He is from a church background.  He took vocal lessons when he was very young.  By age 18, he found out that he was adopted.   It shook his whole world up.  His parents didn’t want to interrupt the focus he had on

Pictured: Darious Lyles — Photo by: Mitchell Haddad/NBC

accomplishing his goals at that time which is why they chose not to tell him.  Darious’ biological mother is in his life now.  Unfortunately, he lost both biological parents in the last four years.  Darious chose to sing “How Do You Sleep at Night” by Sam Smith.  He dedicated the song to his parents, stating it must have been hard for them to keep that secret from him.  But, he understands why they did it.  

Chair Turns:  Kelly, John

Blake said he didn’t hit his button because he knows there’s a home for Darious with either Kelly or John.   John told Darious he had low, tight runs, and “hopeful you’ll pick me as your coach.”  Kelly said most singers’ runs go down.  But, Darious’ go up like Whitney Houston.  She called him a very tasteful and very talented singer.  Darious chose John Legend.  

John said Darious brings so much love and passion.  He’ll do well on the show.  Darious said John and Kelly were the two people that he wanted to turn the most.


Megan works at a restaurant where her mom is her boss.  She’s 17-years-old and from Douglasville.  Megan said her mom is her role model.  She sings open mic nights at home and chose to sing “Remedy” for her Blind Audition.

Chair Turn:  Kelly

Kelly said it’s like Adele and Country and asked who are her influences.  But, as Kelly kept talking, Megan answered that Kelly is her influence.  Kelly didn’t hear her, then was super flattered once she told her again.  Kelly said Megan’s tone is incredible.  Megan said she listens to Country and was disappointed in Blake for not turning.   

She added that Kelly was her first choice, and Blake her second.  Nick said her tone is incredible.  He advised her to take every moment and enjoy it.  He was on “Camp Rock” and touring at the age of 17.  He warned that he was super busy with not enough time to enjoy more of his youth.   John teased that Nick is being the Debbie Downer in the room. Bake said she sounded like someone who thinks he’s second best.  He added that she’ll do great on the show.  


Chrissy is 32 years old from Brooklyn.  Her dad plays the guitar and inspires her to do music.  Her parents are from Haiti and immigrated to the U.S. in the 1980s.  When she was 12-years-old, Chrissy’s father left and moved to Atlanta and started a new family.  She sang “Don’t Let Me Down” by Sia for her Blind Audition.  Chrissy said if she got a chair turn, it would make her feel like she’s made it.

Chair Turns:  None

Kelly said there were parts that were pitchy which is why she didn’t turn.  Nick said she need that time for her voice.  Too many runs, and nerves.  John said she has a powerful voice.  But, pitchy in the lower parts.


Todd’s audition started with his on-stage Blind Audition from the coaches perspective without showing his back story first.  He belted-out “Jukebox Hero.”  

Pictured: Todd Michael Hall — Photo by: Mitchell Haddad/NBC

Chair Turns:  John, Blake

Todd told the coaches he’s 50-years-old from Saginaw, Michigan.  Nick said there were many moments in Todd’s performance where he thought he hit his highest range.  Then, he went higher.  Blake said the reason he didn’t choose to sing Rock in he career is because “I sound like this.”  

John said there’s so much Todd can do in rock.  “It’s magical.”  Blake said the first records he bought were Twisted Sister.  “You like to rock.  I like to party.”  The other coaches weren’t buying Blake’s story.  John told Todd that music defies boundaries.  “Blake has never beaten me,” he told Todd.   Blake went on,  “the third album I bought was Ratt, Round and Round.  He said Todd is the only one on the show that can introduce those songs to a new generation.
Todd went with Blake Shelton for his coach.   Blake said Todd is the “most exciting artist I’ve gotten on my Team in a while.” 


Emily is 16-years-old and she’s a sketch artist.  She blind auditioned for the show last season and brought drawings she had done of all the coaches.  She didn’t make it through last season.  This time, she chose a song that showed off her voice more.  Emily sang “Love Yourself” by Justin Bieber.  This song, she said, allowed her to show her range.

Chair Turns:  None

John advised Emily to spend more time honing her craft until she’s ready.  Also, could tell when it’s a young singer.  Emily’s sister brought her out a drawing she did of Nick Jonas to give to him.   Nick told her she has a raw talent and drew her a smiley face in return.    He told her she needs time to grow.


Joanna is 18-years-old from St. Louis.  Her mom and grandmother both are nurses.  They support her dream.  Joanna has a band that does covers at Blueberry Hill, a venue where Ed Sheeran and John Legend have performed.  She sang “All My Loving” for her Blind Audition in a striped-down acoustic version.

Pictured: Joanna Serenko — Photo by: Mitchell Haddad/NBC

Chair Turns:  Kelly, John, Nick, Blake

John said he’s never heard such an effortless, powerful vocal.  She’s so talented that he had to hit his button.  He said she gave them chills.  He’ll show her how to show-off different abilities as her coach.  Kelly said she’s been there for five seasons now and has never heard anyone like that.   Just as she was ready to make her choice as a coach, Nick decided to give it another try to fight for her.  

Nick told Joana, “I know I’m not the logical choice.  But, I’m going to fight for you.”  She chose Nick Jonas as her coach.  Thus, Nick won his first four-chair-turn.  John told Joana, “you made a bad decision.  But, it’s okay.”


AREI MOON  (Team Nick)

Arei Moon is from West Africa. She sang a Kelly Clarkson song for her Blind Audition. A dead give away as to whose Team she’d like to be on!

Chair Turns: Nick, Kelly (BLOCKED)

Pictured: Arei Moon — Photo by: Mitchell Haddad/NBC

Nick used his Block on the woman who made that song, Kelly Clarkson.  John said Nick is  “willing to burn a bridge.”  Kelly was super bummed to be Blocked,  She told Arei that “the fact that you chose that version of the song means you are fire!”  John said his favorite part was the higher notes and she “electrified the whole room.”  Nick said he’s excited to see who inspires her. 

Arei said her family kept her grounded while still allowing her to explore her culture.  The coaches requested her family to come out and meet them which they ecstatically did.  Nick said as soon as he heard two notes, he had to Block Kelly.  Arei said she’s very flattered that Nick used his only Block to get her.


“The Voice” didn’t show Levi’s backstory first.  Viewers got to experience his Blind Auditions the same way the coaches did.  First, only hearing his vocal.  Before we knew this contestant’s name, they said the fact that the coaches won’t see her is to her advantage since she expresses more emotion with her voice vs physically.

Pictured: Levi Watkins — Photo by: Mitchell Haddad/NBC

Chair Turn: Blake

Blake was over the moon with joy to had scored Levi on his Team!  Thought Levi SOUNDED like a female, in fact he’s a male.  Blake said when he turned around to NOT react was the hardest thing he had to do.

Levi is 14 years old, but as Kelly expressed it best, sounded like a female in her early twenties.  Levi told John that both his mom and dad are both musicians.  In his backstory, Levi said he doesn’t really perform a lot.  Using the money he’s earned mowing lawns, he was able to build a guitar with his Uncle.

Blake told Levi “that was an incredible vocal.”   Blake told the coaches that when they didn’t turn around it was the worst move of their ‘Voice careers.  John said Levi has a new God Father in Blake who’ s won “The Voice” six times, and is sure he’ll remind Levi multiple times per day.  Blake said he should win an Oscar for not reacting when he turned around.  He said “Levi is a gift.”

John said he wants his “socks to be knocked-off” by an artist before he turns.


Cassidy said she loves writing music and sharing it.  When she was 12 years old, she got a guitar and sang for the first time at a bon fire.  Her dad supported her talent by announcing her singing engagements at various places like movie theaters, shopping centers, etc.

Unfortunately her Dad passed away from cancer.  Cassidy said she’s glad to be on “The Voice.”  But, hard at the same time to think of her Dad.   She sang “Gold Dust Woman” by Fleetwood Mac.

Chair Turns: None

Cassidy said she is a big fan of the Jonas Brothers.  Nick advised her to pick a song and tell a story with it.  Kelly told Cassidy that she has “a really cool tone.  So talented.”   Nick got on stage to give Cassidy a huge before she left.  

ZACH DAY (Team Legend)

Zach’s audition started with just his audition without a backstory first to let viewers experience his audition in the same way as “The Voice” coaches.

Pictured: Zach Day — Photo by: Mitchell Haddad/NBC

Chair Turns: John

Zach sounds like a young, very soulful R&B artist.  In actuality, he looked more like someone who would be in a hair band.   When Kelly turned, she couldn’t help but not to react with widened eyes and mouth while throwing her arms in the air.

After Zach’s performance, Kelly reacted, “Whoa!  You’re white!”  Then, came his backstory.  Zach is 25-years-old from Kentucky.  Zach said he was born and raised in Kentucky on a farm is a small town of less than two thousand people.  When McDonalds opened there, all the kids skipped school.  He said his friends have fun with him being gay.   “Gaylor Swift” is one on his nicknames.  

Kelly said she loves his voice, his runs are very smooth and he was “very impressive.”  John told her these are not the adjectives that should be used to describe Zach’s talent, ie. “impressive.”    John went on, throwing-out the words “mind-blowing, unworldly, amazing,  flawless.  It was like liquid, flowing.”

Blake joked that Zach blew one shingle off the place.  He thought his performance was amazing, and John thinks he blew the roof off.  Zach chose John Legend.  John said Zach is exactly who he was waiting for  He’s a special singer. 

CHELLE (Team Kelly)

Chelle is 18-years-old who collect rocks for her hobby.  She said she’s an introverted person who’s totally okay staying at home for one week.  Chelle said music was a release. She found a new found confidence when getting off stage after singing.  Chelle sang “Idontwannabeyouanymore” by Billie Eilish because she said, “you just have to be you and learn how o love yourself.” 

Chair Turns: Blake, Nick, Kelly

Pictured: Chelle — Photo by: Mitchell Haddad/NBC

John said he was stupid enough to not turn around, “I’m an idiot.”   Nick told Chelle, “you’re the kind of singer I would die to write songs for.”  Nick pointed-out that some coaches have done this for “an eternity,” looking at Blake.  He told her he is excited to teach her.
Blake told Chelle she has perfect pitch that you’ll never hear unless he sings and they Auto-Tune it.   In Blake’s argument to help win over Chelle, he told her how he looked-up Nick on Wikipedia to learn he started-out in movies.   Blake said he started in music, where Nick started in movies, and Kelly is now a talk show host.  He told her to choose a coach who’s won the show six times and lives and breathes music. 

Nick said Blake would have seen on his Wikipedia page that he started on Broadway  He said Chelle is an artist who needs uplifting, and encouragement.  He would be proud for be part of her Team.  John was impressed by Nick’s pitching.   Chelle went with Kelly Clarkson.  Then, before leaving the stage Chelle presented each coach with a thoughtful rock that she got for them.  Blake’s was “fool’s gold.”  


Pictured: Toneisha Harris — Photo by: Mitchell Haddad/NBC

She was 24 when she put her first single out.  Eight years ago, when her son was diagnose with leukemia, Toneisha put a hold on everything including her audition for “The Voice” at the time.   Her son, Trenton,  is now doing better and in college.  Trenton was there with her at “The Voice.”    She said this entire journey is for Trenton.  Toneisha told him if its meant, it will happen again when he told her from his hospital bed to go on “The Voice.”  She’s now 44-years-old.  Toneisha sang “I Want To Know What Love Is.”  All the coaches loved the song as soon a she started singing and John was the first to turn.

Chair Turns:  John, Nick, Blake, Kelly

Toneisha said she resides in Rosewell, Georgia.  Nick said it was one of the most powerful vocals he’s ever heard, not only on the show.  She told the coaches her journey of getting there.  Kelly told her she may have taken some time off but her voice didn’t and she was able to move them.  Blake said she must be singing in the shower because for not singing for eight years and coming out here sounding like that is amazing.  He said it’s refreshing to hear her sing a classic and she “took it to a new level.”  Blake finished with “I’d be proud to be your coach.” 

John told her she’s already amazing, she already should be in the finale.  John said what they are asking is “an opportunity to work with her.”   Toneisha chose Blake. John and Kelly were blown-away that she chose Blake!  John reacted “of all people, Blake!?”  Toneisha said she just trusted her gut and feels like her and Blake will do some great things together,.


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