To the River on THE VOICE Season 17 Blinds Week 3 Recap

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To the River on THE VOICE Season 17 Blinds Week 3 Recap

This week’s “The Voice” season 17 Blind Auditions week 3 episode made the show a bit more about the singers who are auditioning by showcasing this week’s contestants in a montage of them stating what they do as a leaving.  “I’m a gym owner…I’m a gas station attendant…I’m a farmer’s daughter…I’m a painter.” And “I’m a singer.”  The largest portion of show was still heavily focused on the coaches – Gwen vs. Blake, along with Kelly Clarkson, and John Legend.

The first singer up was a Sophomore student from Miami, Florida, Joana Martinez.


Joana is 15-years-old from Miami Florida and a Sophomore in high school.  Her dad goes plays the drums and has the “musical genes.” He also accompanies on her auditions.  Joana was voted “Most Likely to win The Voice” at her prom.   Joana stated that she hopes to work with coach Kelly Clarkson.  Joana sang “Call Out My Name” by The Weeknd for her Blind Audition.

Chair Turns:  Gwen, Blake, Kelly

Gwen said when they turned around, Joana wasn’t phased because she’s where she needs to be right now.   Gwen said she was “really instinctive.”  John called it “a near perfect performance.” Blake argued that it wasn’t “near, it was perfect!”   Kelly said Joana closes her eyes a lot and needs to hone-in and feel it.  Blake told her to “please stay connected to the song” and doesn’t have to open her eyes if it keeps her connected.  “You’re God-given talent is already shining through” and advised her to pick the coach who “gets three people into the finale last year.”  

Coach: Blake Shelton.  Blake said Joana laid down a perfect performance and if she can do that during the Blinds when you’re supposed to be scared, imagine what she can be like when they get a chance to work together.

‘Voice Host Carson Daly asked Blake what’s his philosophy this season.  Blake answered that he feels like he’s a better coach that the other three.  “I love all of them. One of them a lot.  But this is a competition and I’m here to win.” Carson asked Gwen about coming back to “The Voice” this season.  Gwen said she was nervous before coming back because of Blake want to “beat her really bad.” She said she feels “fired up”

The next audition started with shots of just the coaches while the contestant sang.


Pictured: Brooke Stephenson — Photo by: Justin Lubin/NBC

Chair Turns: Blake, Gwen, Kelly

Kelly said Patty Griffin is her favorite singer-song writer.  Brooke told the coaches that she grew-up on a mountain in Connecticut.  Her dad said her graduation class had 66 students.  She majored in Business Music.  Brooke said one day, she just quit her job and currently lives in Los Angeles.  Brooke said it’s not easy pursuing music in L.A. 

John said he liked it because her performance “felt very honest.”  Gwen called her voice “soothing and she’s able to use her heart with her song and “it’s incredible” and would love to work with her.  Gwen asked if she was going County.  Brooke answered that she’s “Amerciana.”  Kelly said Brook is gifted at “bringing people in.”  Blake said Hi to her and “You prob don’t know how great of a singer you are.”  He told her she doesn’t “want to be an experiment.  Then Kelly stepped-in and vowed to Brooke that she would totally challenge her. Gwen said she’s worked her way up from her Dad’s garage.  “I’ve had such a crazy long career and want to share that with you.”

Coach: Kelly Clarkson. Kelly said Brooke is perfect at “honoring a song” and “super stoked” that she got her.  Brooke said she picked Kelly because she’s a strong woman in the industry and can learn from her.  The audience cheered “Kelly, Kelly, Kelly…!!”


Zach is 28-years old from Pearl, Mississippi. Zach chose to sing “Ol’ Red,” one of the first songs he learned, which is also a Blake Shelton song for his Blind Audition. He said he was nervous and couldn’t believe he was singing a Blake Shelton song in front of Blake Shelton.  Zach works as an X-Ray tech at a VA hospital which allows him to play gigs after work.  HE grew-up singing in school.  But didn’t pursue until the age of 20.  Zach posted videos on social media and got positive responses.  He loves playing music but doesn’t like be the center of attention.  “The Voice” stage is the biggest stage he’s played on.  Blake recognized the song right away and had a little fun singing to himself before being the first coach to turn.

Chair Turns:  Blake, Gwen

Blake yelled at Gwen “What is wrong with you! Stay in your area!”   Blake asked Gwen if she’d ever been to Pearl, Mississippi. She said “probably, I’ve been around the world.”  Gwen told Zach that she turned because genre wise, it doesn’t really matter.  “It’s about picking songs.”  She stated that she’s a huge fan of Blake Shelton’s.  Kelly said she didn’t push her button because she knew it was a Blake Shelton, and saw rejection coming.  John said he enjoyed Zach’s performance, but this problem was with the song selection and “your voice deserves so much better.”   Blake teased Gwen by telling Zach to hope he doesn’t go to Google and type in genre and Country songs.  Blake then went on to explain why that song “Ol Red” was so important to him and how it became his signature song.   A “timeless song,” Blake stated.

Coach:  Blake Shelton.  Blake said it’s nerve-wrecking to him when an artists sings his song.  But, Zach was so dead-on, so he had to hit his button.


Elliemae is 21 years old from Jerome, Idaho.   She grew-up on a farm with 300 cows, and has had pressure to work on a farm.  She’s hoping for a chair-turn in order to prove she can have her own career and a chance in the music industry.   

Chair Turn:  Blake

Elliemae cried happy tears to see Blake as her coach.  Blake said “I heard enough.  I wanted you on my Team.”  He said she snuck under the radar and glad he got her. Blake called her a threat on the show.


Callie is 27-years-old from Atlanta Georgia, and wakes up at 3:30 am to do work at 5 am to cook biscuts, etc.  She said she’s the happiest when singing.  

Chair Turns:  None

John said she picked a particular difficult song and it’s hard to pin down what her voice sounds like.  Kelly said she was out of breath and went a little “off key.”


Pictured: Jessie Lawrence — Photo by: Justin Lubin/NBC

Jessie is 31-years-old from North, New Jersey.  He works as a manual laborer.  Because his mom wasn’t able to care for him, Jessie said he was moved into a series of Group Homes. He said it set him apart and was true loneliness  Jessie said if a chair turns, it will validate that as long as you believe in yourself and do the work, you’ll be blessed.

Chair Turn: Gwen Stefani.  Gwen said that style of singing she’s “very specific.” And, “his voice is quite raw and untamed.” She said she liked the realness of who he is.  Kelly said she’s waiting for a female for her Team.


Pictured: Brennen Hanson– Photo by: Justin Lubin/NBC

Brennan grew up in Flint, Michigan which was in the new for having lead in water.  He said “people were losing loved ones” and water had to be brought in.  He said it taught him to not take things for granted.  By being on “The Voice”, Brennan said he will able to bring a light to the city.  “I see myself as an Alternative artist” and is excited for Gwen because she can teach him how to be a Rock star.  He sang “Riptide” song.

Chair Turn: Gwen, Blake

Blake turned his chair at the very end of Brennan’s Blind Audition to go up against Gwen.  Gwen asked Blake if he wants to fight. Gwen told Brennan that her Dad is from eight mile.  She said she always looks for someone with character in their voice.  She asked if hes a song writer, which he said yes he loves writing song.  Gwen said she could tell that he’s a song-writer.  John asked what he likes to sing.  He answered, alternative, One Republic. Blake said he’s in a tough spot because if he has him on his team, he’s going to pay for it later.  Blake said Brennan’s probably thinking “this one’s inbred” about Blake, and maybe shouldn’t go with him.  

Coach: Gwen Stefani.  Gwen said Brennan has personality in his voice, he’s unique and can see him doing different things. But, mainly Alternative.  


He said growing-up he was involved in chorus and was classically trained.  He said he’s girlfriend is a big ‘Voice fan and promised her he’s try-out.  Jordan Smith sent Jared a video message to with him luck.  Jared chose to sing “Speechless” by Dan and Shay.  He said it’s a perfect song because the first time he saw his girlfriend thought that she was the most beautiful girl in the world.  

Chair Turns: Blake, John, Gwen

Blake and John turned at about the same time.  Blake was super-annoyed and yelled at John.  John said he showed a lot of range, and versatility and took the audience on a journey.  Gwen said he has so many different sides to his voice and so much personality.  Kelly said he kind of sounds soulful and didn’t know where he was going.  He answered Pop.  Kelly told him she’s waiting for something specific, like a female. Gwen said she’d like a female as well.  But, still pushed her button.  Blake said when he heard Dan and Shay, thought maybe he’s Country.  But a good singer is a good singer and hit his button anyway.  John said he doesn’t want Jared to cause a riff between America’s favorite couple and swayed Jared to pick him.  Gwen said “if you pick me, you get Blake.   A two for one.”  John said if Jared picks him, he’ll get Chrissy [Teigen] and Chrissy cooks dinner!

Coach: John Legend.  Jared told John that he’s been wanting to work with for a while. He’s so energetic He has such a cool range and cool voice. 

John said it’s fun seeing Gwen and Blake go at it.   Gwen thought John was “playing a little dirty on that one” because he used her and Blake’s relationship against them.


Clayton said “The Voice” is special because “it’s a life-changing moment.”  He’s 27-years-old from Hampton, Virginis who works as a tattoo artist.  He’s been tattooing seven years and started in his college freshmen year.  He said the correlation with music is the art creates a story.  Clayton has sung at weddings and small events.  “The Voice is a chance for me to purse my dreams at music” said Clayton.  He sang “Just Friends (Sunny)” by Musiq.

Chair Turns:  None

John said “I’m sorry that none of us turned for you.” He said it’s a hard song to sing for this show because it doesn’t give him all the chances to showcase his voice and flourish. He advised him that with the right strategy he could come back and audition successfully.  Kelly told him he’s a gifted singer.  John said he’s range is really impressive and he has a great voice, a great gift.  Gwen reassured him that just being to this point is a big deal and they all think he’s a talented singer.  Kelly said she’s waiting for somebody with a passion that he had but with “a little bit more control.”


Lauren is an super ‘Voice fan who’s watched every season.  She stated that every time there was a commercial break, she’d run to the bathroom to practice her audition song.  She’s 25-years-old from West Hollywood, Ca.  She’s been auditioning for real for seven years and it’s the first time she’s made it past the open calls.  She plays soccer, and found it difficult to balance music and soccer.  Finally she decided that she didn’t want to be the soccer player who sings. She wants to be “the singer.”  Her dad and eleven siblings moved from Honduras to the United States when he was nine-years-old.  She said knowing that her dad has worked for everything he’s had his entire life.  Dad said him being at “The Voice” with his daughter is “surreal.”  Lauren sang “One and Only”by Adele.  Kelly turned upon Lauren singing her first note.

Chair Turns:  Kelly 

Lauren cried after her performance.  Blake joked that he knows it’s devastating that she doesn’t have anyone else to choose from besides Kelly.  Gwen said “being blind to it” she sounded so much like Kelly.  Kelly told Lauren that she loved her song selection.  She advised her to lay into the vocal and have fun with it.  “She has a really cool rasp” and predicted that they’ll have fun together.


Matt is 29-years-old from Texas.  His girlfriend became pregnant when he was 18-years-old. He said he put his dream of making music on hold to provide for his family.  He said the first 2 years of marriage was tough because they were children.  He said it was rough and he was doing a bunch of random jobs.  Currently, he and his friend opened a gym which has freed-up his schedule to pursue music.   Matt’s wife said her greatest fear is for them to turn old without Matt pursuing his dream.  She said she can take care of the family while Matt goes after his dream.  Matt got choked-up stating that she’s his best friend.  Matt sang “Sunflower” from Spider-man: Into the Spider-Verse soundtrack.

Chair Turns: Kelly, Gwen, John

The coaches invited Matt’s five-year-old son up onto the stage.  His whole family joined him on stage.  Gwen said there was something really cool about his voice where it kept going to different genres.  She asked which genre is his sound.  He answered Pop, Soul…  She’s said there’s some things they can do together to make his personality come out.  Kelly said she’s a “huge fan” of his voice.  John said Matt was so good, but often he takes so long to turn around.  He loved his tone and “was a really enjoyable listen for him and can’t wait to have him on his Team.”   After yelling at Kelly that this isn’t her talk show and stop asking the tough questions.  Blake said he’s sorry he didn’t turn around especially now that his family is up there!

Coach: John Legend.  Matt said he’s been listening to John’s music since he came out.  John said he can see Matt doing Pop, and folk songs.  


Blake said this show is different  because you don’t know what they look like, you don’t know their story.  Kelly said the coolest part is turning around and being shocked because you saw something different in your head.  Gwen stated you can tell a lot about a voice like their heart and their passion.  John Legend stated, “you really don’t know what you’re going to get when you turn around. It’s about the voice and that’s a powerful idea.”  


Monty sang “Remedy” song by the Black Crowes for his Blind Audition.  Monty is from Nashville, Tennessee. 

Pictured: Monty Montanaro — Photo by: Justin Lubin/NBC

Chair Turns: None

Blake said he expected to see a long-haired dude.  “It felt a little bit wild” and the singing wasn’t as controlled as it could be is whey Blake said he didn’t turn. John said his concern was a “control issue” and he needs a little finesse. It didn’t have the right balance for him.  Kelly advised if he could have shown a little bit more dynamic, one of them would have turned.   John said Monty didn’t show them a complete set of tools to make them want to turn.


Pictured: Ricky Duran — Photo by: Justin Lubin/NBC

Ricky said he chose for his ‘Voice Blind Audition a song that he heard shortly after his mom passed away. He’s 29 years old from Westberg, Massachusetts.  Ricky moved to Nashville.  He said to him, music is family and feels that every time he performs it brings him closer to his family. Ricky was 6-years-old when his dad bought him a guitar and he didn’t put it down since.  Ricky’s dad committed suicide when Ricky was 22-years-old.  In his suicide note, it said that he wanted Ricky to live his best life.  Ricky’s mom became sick on and off for three years and passed away last year.  His mom also told him to live his best life, so that message is something that Ricky carries with him. Ricky sang “Take Me to the River.”  

Chair Turns: Kelly, John, Blake, Gwen

All coaches, except Gwen who turned later, turned at the same time, giving Ricky a four-chair-turn.  Blake addressed the song, stating at his place in Oklahoma, he has a river there which he offered to take him there.  Blake told Ricky that he has a great stage presence and a strong voice when he needs it.  John complimented Ricky stating he “elevated the song.”  He can see him doing all those different genres and knows he has the ability to do great on the show.  Gwen said his voice can do so much and is really tasteful in his performance.  Kelly said the reason she turned is she loves anyone with character in their voice because it’s like their tone is telling the story.  She said there’e no one like him on her Team and he will be very successful.  

Ricky said the first concert he went to was “No Doubt” when he was ten. But, he wants to go to that river and picked Blake.

Coach: Blake Shelton.  Blake said no one is more surprised than he is that Ricky picked him.  Blake stated that Ricky has a great tone and there’s no reason he can’t win.  



44 years from Los Angeles.  When she was 19, she worked at “the best soul food ever” she said Philip Bailey from “Earth, Wind and Fire” heard her sang and from there, she got to tour with him. Then, her substance abuse created a set-back for Myracle.  She took a break from music and started working with high-risk students.  Her mom overcame drug usage and was at her ‘Voice blind audition to support her.  Myracle stated that she’s “a survivor” and ‘this is my second chance.”  She sang “When I was Your Man” by Bruno Mars.

Chair Turns:  Blake, Gwen

After Myracle’s performance, Blake told Gwen that she’s “going down.”  Blake said he was “completely wrapped-up in that performance” and she sounded like shw was “going to loose it.”  He said that is “a gift.”  John thanked her for sharing her gift and he loved “the brokenness” in her voice.  He said she sounded like she was crying and the best thing about her performance was her connection with the song.  Gwen stated “you’re using your pain in your voice to tell that story.” She said every song she’d written before Blake was about heartache.   Gwen told Myracle “all of those broken things that happened “are just stepping stones to the place you’re going to be.” 

Coach: Gwen Stefani. Gwen was shocked that Myracle chose her.  She said she’s always looking for someone unique.  Her Team is almost full and she said she’s just looking for someone who sings from the heart.  


Ricky is 36 from Nashville, Tennessee.  He said growing-up he was a church boy and was always there weather it was leading worship or singing.  He said it has to change because he recently came-out as a gay man.  Ricky said being part of the church in the South, a lot of people don’t understand.  Ricky chose to sing “The Story” by Brandi Carlile.  Ricky said coming-out at 36 is an “incredible freeing feeling” and super excited to finally sing “as my real authentic self.”  

Chair Turns: Blake, John, Gwen

John said his range was so exciting. He asked what type of music he likes to do. Ricky answered Gospel.  John said he could hear “the spirit” in his higher notes and said he also sang in the church.  Gwen said “there’s a bit of theatrical side to you and I love the drama.”  Gwen said it’s a big deal that she turned since she only has one more space on her Team.  Kelly advised that Ricky should do theater because he would “slay any role.’  Blake said he moved to Nashville in 1994 and is really “plugged-in” to the music scene.  He said they should give Gwen the opportunity to keep “looking for artists” because “she’s not that sold on you.”  Lol.  

Coach:  Blake Shelton.  Blake said Ricky has “a ton of personality in his voice, a ton of range, a ton of power.” Blake  thinks Ricky will go deep in the competition.  


Damali is 16-years-old from Norwalk, Ca.  She went to Military high school because most schools in her district are good.  Damali said she didn’t want to go because there’s no music program there.  But, she has her own studio inside her room.   Damali sang “Ocean Eyes.”

Chair Turns:  Kelly

Kelly turned at the very end.  Blake started to apologize, then Kelly shouted-out that she turned.  Blake said “I’m so excited for you about this!”  Gwen said she has only one spot.  “Some places sound wild,” but thought she sounded like Rihanna, and other cool tones.” Gwen could also tell Damali doesn’t have a lot of experience.  Kelly said she tricked the other coaches by waiting until the last second to turn.  She said she loves her voice and thought she was tasteful with all her selections.  


Steve sang “Up to the Mountain” for his Blind Audition.  Kelly was the first to turn her chair.  Steve is 37 from San Francisco. Kelly loves the song and she also did a version of that same song.  Kelly said it was so beautiful and “so telling,” his “range is incredible.”  John told Steve if he “dials it back a little” then his message would come through more strongly.

Chair Turn: Kelly

Kelly said he has an amazing range and thinks Steve will be a dark horse.  Steve said he’s been doing music for 15 years, it’s his passion and Kelly is the coach that he wanted.


Destiny is 23-years-old from Coral Springs, Florida.  She grew-up with a single mom who remarried when Destiny was nine-years-old.  Destiny sang at their wedding.  She just moved to Nashville.   Destiny works as a waitress and recently got engaged.  Kelly Clarkson and John Legend are her favorites.  Though she currently lives in Nashville and would love to join Team Blake as well.  Destiny sang “To Make You Feel My Love” by Adele.  

Chair Turns:  John, Gwen

To try to win over Destiny, Gwen stood-up so she could look at her sparkly outfit.  Then John Legend stood-up to show-off his colorful jacket.  Gwen told Destiny that her voice is “so gorgeous” and she said she can take the lyric and feel it.  Gwen said she can teach whatever she’s learned to her.  John said that was a compelling pitch from Gwen and thought he’d be the most colorful when he picked the jacket.  He said he loved that Destiny didn’t try to shoot for the moon. “You invited us in” made them feel like she had a real point-of-view on the song and it was “a really special rendition.”

Coach:  John Legend.  John said he loved her performance and “she executed it really beautifully.” John needs only two more artists to complete his Team this season.  


Jo said he would not have felt coming onto “The Voice” ten years ago.  His heaviest weight was 300 lbs.  Jo is 31 from Austin, Texas.   He started playing bass at age eight.  Jo said he started gaining weight in Middle School. He was pushed to lose the weight from his girlfriend (now wife) who said he looked unhealthy.  He said she also encouraged him to try-out for “The Voice” which is why he decided to audition.  “If I could turn a chair for my wife, that would mean the world” said Jo.    He sang “It ‘Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over.”  

Chair Turns:  None

Gwen said it’s a crazy part of the show where they don’t have that many spots left.  Kelly said she has one spot left and she’s being super picky. John said Jo tried to put a lot of ideas into the performance which didn’t feel like a cohesive story.  “That’s all fixable,” John told him.


Khalea is 36-years-old from St. Petersburg, Florida.  She has two daughters – 14 and 12, who she said sometimes they look at her more as a big sister.  “Music was always a passion of mine.’  Khalea said she got married at a young age and music wasn’t a priority.  When she divorced in 2014, all the emotions “makes for good music” and was an outlet for her.  She started writing and performing in the Tampa area.  Khalea said being on “The Voice” can change her life in ways she doesn’t even know yet.  “It want my daughters to see there really is no expiration date on your dreams” said Khalea.  She sang “Best Part.” 

Chair Turns:  Blake, Kelly, John, Gwen

John told her her “tone was so beautiful” and every chose she made was “spot on” and she has so much passion and discipline.  He said he’s like her to be on the team of the defending ‘Voice Champion, which is him. Gwen said her favorite thing was watching her afterwards. She was so thankful in the moment. Gwen asked who’s her favorite artist.  Khalea answered Anita Baker.  Gwen freaked because she said she knows it sound weird, but that’s also one of her favorites and he dad bought her an Anita Baker album.

Blake said Rapture is one of his all-time favorite albums.  Blake went on – I’m the Senior coach here. The only one who’s been doing it every season. Because he’s worked with all different types of artists,  he’s the coach for her.  John said he truly believes Khalea has a chance to win the show and, John sang – ” America’ is going to love you….and I’m going to give you the best that I’ve got Khalea!”

Coach: John Legend.  John said Khalea showed so much range. It was  fantastic performance.  He said she has everything you need to be a  great soul singer and is excited for her to sing more for America who’s going to love her



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