The Voice 2016 – Live Blog and Recap – The Blind Auditions, Part 3 (VIDEO)
Welcome to the live blog and recap for The Voice 10, “The Blind Auditions, Part 3”! Coaches Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Christina Aguilera, Pharrell Williams and host Carson Daly set out to find the next great singer!
The Blind Auditions continue, as another group of contestants compete for The Voice Season 10 crown! But what will happen this week? Will we see any four-chair turns? How about familiar faces returning for another shot at The Voice title like Bryan Bautista last week? Could the Season 10 winner be among tonight’s auditioning artists? And which coach will fill his or her team first?
Keep it locked right here, as I’ll be updating with commentary, results, and videos as soon as they become available!
Let’s get this show on the road!
-We open with a recap of last week and a preview of this week. Pharrell Williams has six artists on his team, while Christina Aguilera and Adam Levine have five artists apiece. Blake Shelton, meanwhile, has four artists so far — one for each time he’s won this show. Will Blake’s fortunes turn tonight? Let’s get on with it!
HANNAH HUSTON opens the show!
-Hannah is a “giggly, goofy” pre-school teacher who, at the age of 24, absolutely loves her job. She only recently caught the singing bug, after performing at a party in which two friends got engaged. She spent the next few years singing at coffee shops all over town before friends convinced her to do The Voice, which she describes as “the biggest show on television.” In an emotional moment, Hannah gets a video of encouragement from her students, bringing her to tears. Awwww, I like her already. Please be awesome!
-Hannah sings “Unaware” by Allen Stone, and while it starts out pretty low-energy, the judges are clearly impressed by her, and debating turning their chairs. Blake, in particular, is positively wracking his brain trying to decide whether or not he should turn, while Adam and Pharrell also seem on the fence. But as she gets deeper into the song, her soulfulness really comes out, culminating in one of the best closing lines of the Blind Auditions. It’s so good that Blake, Christina and Pharrell all hit their buttons at the last moment.
BLAKE, CHRISTINA AND PHARRELL TURN THEIR CHAIRS!
-Christina thought the ending was great, which was why she pushed her button. Adam loves that song, which no one knows. He laments that he ultimately missed the ride on this one. Pharrell says he got to push his button for someone he’s really excited about, since so much of her personality came bubbling out. He wants to be a part of her journey. Christina says Pharrell is subtle and sweet and kind, but feels Hannah needs someone feisty who understands her. Blake admits Hannah is not in his wheelhouse, but he couldn’t help feeling drawn to her. Christina vouches for this, doing a cute impression of Blake freaking out. Blake was a fan of Hannah’s “sandpapery sound,” and hopes that — no matter what comes next — the two of them can be friends. Ultimately, the choice is with Hannah…
HANNAH HOUSTON chooses TEAM PHARRELL WILLIAMS!
-Wow, I really thought Blake was going to close the deal there. Christina feels Pharrell deserved it just from bringing such a strong “sweet talk” game. Backstage, Hannah explains that she wants to work with Pharrell because of his R&B vibe. Back in the studio, Pharrell does his ninja poses, which is unexpectedly hilarious.
BRIAN NHIRA is up next!
-Brian Nhira comes from parents who have 10 degrees between them. His father is a traveling minister, so he’s had the opportunity to visit Africa and sing for the children there. He wants to inspire them and show them they can reach their dreams. Since then, music has grown in influence in his life, as he’s become a worship leader who’s gotten to perform at over 400 events. His parents are amazed that he’s getting this opportunity, particularly his mother, who has to pinch herself to believe it’s truly happening. Another super likable kid with an awesome family.
-Brian sings “Happy” by Pharrell Williams, and this is easily the best performance of this song that has ever happened on this show. Granted, how much you like this probably depends on how much you like the song itself. But I get the sense that this is a guy who can sing everything. This is yet another last-minute button-press, as Blake and Pharrell each turn for him (is it just me, or are they seriously spamming the last-minute button-pressing? We get it, it’s good drama. But do you really need THAT long to make a decision? I understood it with Hannah Huston, but not with Brian here).
BLAKE AND PHARRELL TURN THEIR CHAIRS!
-Blake shakes Brian’s hand. He says he has so much respect for Brian that he hit his button despite Brian singing a Pharrell song, which more or less means Blake has no shot at getting him. Adam loves that Blake has no chance here, but everything changes once Brian reveals he’s from Oklahoma, prompting Blake to happily start singing “Happy” himself. Pharrell asks him his life story, and he explains his background with his father’s ministry, and the gospel songs he grew up singing, even performing one a cappella on the stage. His version of “Jesus Loves Me” is even better than his Blind Audition! But he has to pick a coach, so he makes his decision…
BRIAN NHIRA chooses TEAM PHARRELL WILLIAMS!
-Brian fights back tears backstage, explaining how this is a chance for him to show his parents how much they mean to him. Man, this guy is likable. I’m definitely rooting for him.
AIJIA is up next!
-Aijia’s grandfather is a jazz pianist, while her grandmother owned the club he performed at, so Aijia has grown up around music. She met Andy Grammer in college…and went on to marry him! Yes, this is Andy Grammer’s wife. She talks about how she’s been singing backup for everyone from Andy to Colbie Caillat. She currently sings backup for Selena Gomez as well. Andy is backstage with her, and says he hates when she’s introduced as his wife, since she’s a talented, gorgeous individual who deserves to be recognized as such. Aijia has her doubts though, worrying that if it doesn’t happen for her now, maybe it wasn’t meant to. She’s hoping to land on Christina Aguilera’s team, and I’m really hoping Christina hits her button.
-Aijia sings “Say Something” by A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera, and while she has a pretty voice, this is 100% the wrong song. It just never hit the right vibe, and came across less like an artist making her stamp, and more like pandering towards Christina. And I absolutely hate saying that, because I like Aijia, and I think she has loads of talent. But this was so far from the right song for her voice in the context of a blind audition. It’s almost too subtle and one-note for the tone of her voice, and she really didn’t do enough to add any color or show any range with it. Sadly, no one turns for her.
-Blake says that everyone was looking at Christina to push her button, and admits that he’d have pressed his if there had been a bit more control. Christina was looking for more tenderness, whereas Aijia offered more power. Adam advises Aijia to use this as a learning experience. Ultimately, she never mentions that she’s Andy Grammer’s wife, which I really respect. Backstage, she expresses that the experience was positive overall, saying that she could use the critiques they offered, since there’s always more she can learn. Honestly, I hope she comes back, because this really all came down to song choice.
BRITTANY KENNELL is up next!
-Brittany is from Montreal, Quebec, Canada, but she now lives in Nashville. She’s a singer/songwriter who’s been at it for years, even co-writing with country star Buddy Owens. However, she just hasn’t managed to break through yet. Naturally, she’s hoping The Voice can be that opportunity. At the risk of being super shallow right now, I find Brittany positively BEGUILING. Seriously, so pretty, you guys.
-Brittany sings “Strong Enough” by Sheryl Crow, and this just might be my favorite Blind Audition of the night so far. Her voice has this lovely, lilting quality that we haven’t got much of this season. Blake is quick to press his button, naturally. But Pharrell joins the party as well, albeit (everyone say it with me now) AT THE LAST MINUTE! Come on, guys, now you’re just trolling.
BLAKE AND PHARRELL TURN THEIR CHAIRS!
-Blake loved the performance, and badly wants her on his team, playing on the Nashville connection. Pharrell, meanwhile, thinks she has a great, classic vibrato. He admits he may not know his way around Nashville, but he has a GPS (great line!). Blake sticks up for himself and asks if she’s been songwriting for a long time, and she admits she’s been writing with Buddy Owens. Blake likes Buddy, but he likes Brittany better. Blake asks the audience who she should pick, and the audience holds up letters spelling “PICK BLAKE”. Adam launches into action by switching out the “L” in Blake. However, he only manages to spell “LICK BPAKE”. But he’s still proud of himself anyway. Hilarious. Oh yeah, the choice…
BRITTANY KENNELL chooses TEAM BLAKE SHELTON!
-I’m excited for Brittany to go far in this competition. I’ll honestly be shocked if she doesn’t make the live shows for Team Blake. Then again, I felt the same way about Blind Joe last season, and James David Carter back in Season 7.
NATALIE YACOVAZZI is up next!
-Natalie is nervous backstage because she has memories of no one turning around in Season 9. I love comeback artists! Natalie is a working single mother whose daughter, Aria, just might be the cutest little girl ever on this show. She wants her mommy to pick Blake because he does the self-pointing (she even mimics it, in an absolutely precious moment). Natalie’s self-esteem took a major hit when she didn’t get picked last season, but she’s been working hard at her craft since then, and she’s hoping things can go differently this time. I’m hoping so too.
-Natalie sings “Mr. Know-It-All” by Kelly Clarkson, coming out of the block with straight-up power. SO impressive! She’s got a great voice, and you can tell she’s grown by leaps and bounds from last season. That was just an incredible vocal. And she keeps it at that same high level throughout the audition. Adam pushes his button, and then spends the rest of the audition fretting on the possibility that other coaches will too. And one does: Christina hits her button. But, in a Voice first, it doesn’t count because the song is over!
ADAM TURNS HIS CHAIR!
-Natalie holds back tears as she introduces herself, and Blake immediately recognizes her from last season. Adam expresses his anxiety at the possibility of the other coaches turning for her, because he wanted her all to herself. However, he’s proud of how she’s improved, and said the opening to that Blind Audition was insane. Christina admits she pressed her button for Natalie, but it was too late. Ah well, backstage, Natalie admits that the coach she wanted all along was Adam, so it all worked out in the end. But back in the studio, Blake theorizes that she might have chosen him if he’d pressed his button. And he’s probably right, since that’s who Natalie’s daughter wanted her to pick, and parents might trust in the sixth sense of their children. Or not. The hell do I know? I don’t have kids of my own!
NATALIE YACOVAZZI lands on TEAM ADAM LEVINE!
-Congrats to Natalie. She’s proof that rejection doesn’t have to be the last word.
MALIK HEARD is up next!
-Malik has been pursuing music with all of his dedication, even passing up on a partial college scholarship to work on his craft and audition for The Voice. His parents are equal parts proud of him and nervous as well. Malik will be singing “Chains” by Nick Jonas, and while he’s worried about singing such a popular song, he’s going to give it all he’s got. Well, you gotta trust in your talent, no matter what. So here’s hoping Malik brings the goods.
-Malik delivers the best version of “Chains” I’ve heard on a singing talent show. He quickly gets Pharrell and Christina’s chairs turning, and he only grows more confident in his performance from there. This was impressive, very much the performance of a pure R&B vocalist. I have no idea which direction he’ll go, but if it were up to me, I’d take a chance on Christina.
PHARRELL AND CHRISTINA TURN THEIR CHAIRS!
-Both Adam and Blake are interested by seeing the fight Christina and Pharrell are about to have over Malik, and I’m right there with them. Malik admits he loves Christina, and Christina loves him too. But he also is a huge fan of Pharrell. Pharrell says he wants to be a part of Malik’s journey, but if that’s not in the cards, Christina would be a great coach. Adam is weirded out by how nice they’re being. As if on cue, the knives come out: Pharrell admits he’s produced records with Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears, and Christina snaps back that she worked with both those artists on the Mickey Mouse Club before Pharrell even met them. Pharrell says he’s produced records since he was 19, and has worked with artists who are 19, while Christina insists that she’s lived it since that age. Pharrell tells Malik he can either choose the growing plant (Christina) or the greenhouse (himself). BURN CITY! Christina then lashes back by saying she’s the tree that grows so large it breaks the greenhouse. This is WAR! Malik makes his decision…
MALIK HEARD chooses TEAM CHRISTINA AGUILERA!
-Christina proudly declares, “The greenhouse is broken!” Pharrell then chides Adam and Blake for trying to stoke the flames between himself and Christina in a funny moment. Christina greets Malik and his family backstage.
PEYTON PARKER is up next!
-Awesome name, like a secret superheroine in a comic book. Peyton talks about how she grew up wanting to be a cheerleader, winning a ton of awards and accolades throughout her cheerleading career. However, she tore several ligaments, which put an end to that pursuit. She was lost until she picked up a guitar. Before long, she decided to leave Georgia and seek her fortune in music elsewhere. Her mother has been extremely supportive, helping her with her photos and her website, while her father found a new job working six days a week to make ends meet. Peyton tries to contribute as much as she can, but sometimes she only makes $50 busking. She wants to do this so her father doesn’t have to work so hard anymore, and says that The Voice is the only show where this is possible.
-Peyton whips out her guitar and sings “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac, and Blake is already feeling the song choice. But it’s Christina and Pharrell who hit their buttons first, followed by Blake. This isn’t a vocal gymnastics display, but it’s the kind of confident, clear vocal we need more of in this competition. Just a beautiful vocal, sung purely. She absolutely deserved three chair turns, in my opinion.
PHARRELL, CHRISTINA AND BLAKE TURN THEIR CHAIRS!
-When Blake hears Peyton lives in Nashville, while Adam admits that he was hoping Peyton had changed up the song more, which is why he didn’t press his button. That said, he did like the performance while also praising her for the song choice, which is one of his favorites. Pharrell talks about how Peyton would be great on his team, even though she lives in “Blakeville”. This prompts Christina to argue that Nashville isn’t “Blakeville,” and that she should ignore Blake’s snake-charming way. She makes an excellent point when she asks Peyton if she’d rather be part of another Blake speech, or if she’d rather be the only artist of her kind on Team Christina. Blake, meanwhile, tries to lure Peyton away by comparing her to Ashley Monroe, and then argues that the coaches are trying to take country artists away from him. Pharrell takes issue with this, saying that Peyton is special, and that it’s about recognizing that talent. He does a funny bit in which he says that, far too often, contestants become zombies for Blake once he works his charm about how they’re both from the south. Christina then takes out a cowboy hat and places it on her head as a display of how badly she wants Peyton on her team. However….
PEYTON PARKER chooses TEAM BLAKE SHELTON!
-Blake gives it up for Christina pulling out all the stops, but he still gloats afterwards, pointing at his fellow coaches and laughing — even Adam, who didn’t turn. Backstage, Blake hashes it out with his fellow coaches, saying he’s trying to do the right thing out there and get the country artists to come home.
-The montage this time focuses solely on two artists Team Blake picked up: GINA CASTANZO, who sang “Cecilia and the Satellite” by Andrew McMahon In the Wilderness, and TREY O’DELL, who sang “Geronimo” by Sheppard. Neither seemed that spectacular, but then, we didn’t see that much of either of them.
KRISTEN MARIE is up next!
-Kristen looks like she could be sisters with Brooke Adee from Season 8. She wants to be on Team Blake, but she’s prepared herself for this possibly going the wrong way, since it’s about being realistic. Of course, she had the same struggles with her father, who wanted her to pursue law. That said, he supports her here, saying this is a better experience than she’ll get in four years of college — “Which you WILL finish!” (Really? With the student debt crisis reaching an all-time high and degrees being about as useful as an EZ Pass when you don’t live near any toll roads?)
-Kristen sings the Gary Jules version of “Mad World,” and I LOVE her voice. However, I think her voice is a bit too affected. It just feels a bit like theater in certain places. However, I can’t front on this vocal at all. She has such a gorgeous tone, and she absolutely nailed every run she went for. I really enjoyed this, and I hope Kristen is here to stay.
BLAKE AND CHRISTINA TURN THEIR CHAIRS!
-When Blake learns Kristen is from Oklahoma, he says it isn’t a “Mad World” but a “small world,” noting that “Okies have a thing.” Adam is frustrated, saying that it shouldn’t matter that much where a person is from. He praises Kristen on her performance, and says he’ll sit back and watch the battle between Blake and Christina unfold. Pharrell more or less says the same thing, noting what a beautiful voice Kristen has. Christina isn’t interested in tearing Blake apart in order to rise above, she’s interesting in building Kristen up. She would be honored to have Kristen on her team. For his part, Blake shouts out to Kristen’s parents backstage and tries to get her to convince Kristen to pick him, in a funny little moment. Blake even offers to have Thanksgiving with Kristen and her family this year if she picks him, adding that Okies have to stick together. Christina heard a bit of Adele in Kristen’s voice, and Kristen states this is exactly the type of route she wants to go with her music. But she still has a choice to make…
KRISTEN MARIE chooses TEAM CHRISTINA AGUILERA!
-Blake blames Christina for ruining Thanksgiving, and says Kristen broke his heart a bit (“Any time an Okie turns me down, I have to take a little bit personally,” he jokes). Christina says Blake needs to understand that she’s back now, and that he can’t woo artists with his accent and his dimples anymore. Back in the studio, Blake and Christina mend fences, and I find myself really starting to feel like this might be the season where Christina breaks the curse of the female coaches. I’m not necessarily saying it’ll be Kristen that does it, but I do think Christina has the strongest team thus far, from a vocal standpoint.
EVAN TAYLOR JONES is up next!
-Evan talks about growing up in Inglewood, California, and recalls the racism his family experienced, and the values she instilled in him. Sadly, she passed away when he was 13, just three months after learning she had cancer. In the process of grieving, he went through his mother’s old music, and it was something that helped him through the pain. His stepfather bought him a $75 guitar, and he hasn’t put it down ever since. Today, he’s doing this with his mother in his thoughts.
-Evan sings “Homegrown” by Zac Brown Band. It’s a good vocal and Evan has great energy. It’s not a blowaway performance or anything, but I think he’s leagues better than some of the people who have gotten chair turns. Unfortunately, no one turned their chairs.
-Blake is surprised Evan sang a country song. Evan admits he doesn’t always sing country, but he believes he can. Christina says there’s a tone in Evan’s voice that sounds like Adam, but there’s a depth that sounded like John Legend. She wanted to get a better sense of who he is before she could push a button for him. Pharrell admits to being confused by who Evan is as an artist, and suggests he come back with a new song choice that better showcases his artistry. I expect we’ll see Evan again. At least I hope so. He has too much talent for this to be the end of the road.
NATE BUTLER is up next!
-Nate auditioned for the Philadelphia Boys Choir as a kid, and he thought it was really cool. But kids were really mean about it, and that hurt him a lot. However, in high school, he decided to audition with some friends for the spring musical. He went on to earn a leading role in every show his high school did, and it only strengthened his resolve to pursue a career in the music industry. He just graduated high school and works as a bus boy, but he really wants this. Granted, he’s understandably nervous, since these coaches are superstars. He’ll be singing “The Walk” by Mayer Hawthorne, a song that has never been done on the show before. But he’s hoping to show the coaches who he is as an artist with this track.
-Nate’s rendition of “The Walk” is TERRIFIC! How have I never heard this song before?! SO freaking good. How the coaches don’t immediately turn for this is beyond me. Hell, they even seem impressed while listening from their seats, debating on whether or not to turn. And, because OF COURSE, they all wait until the absolute last moment to hit their buttons, with all but Christina turning.
ADAM, PHARRELL AND BLAKE TURN THEIR CHAIRS!
-Christina thought it was two people up there, since he had two distinct tones to his voice. She congratulates him on making it on the show. Pharrell thinks it’s awesome how confident Nate is in his vocal ability at just 19, and he’s hoping to work with him. Adam is impressed that Nate has a great falsetto and a wonderful regular voice, but says the transition was a bit strange. Blake thinks Adam is wrong for saying so, but Adam states that he believes in constructive criticism. He thinks he can work with Nate. Blake says he hit his button because of Nate’s chest voice, noting how cool it was. He admits that while he didn’t nail the falsetto, it was so good that it showed Nate’s incredible potential. Blake knows that all the coaches are complimenting Nate, but he says no one means it more than he does. Nate makes his choice…
NATE BUTLER chooses TEAM ADAM LEVINE!
-Adam thinks Nate has a lot of potential, delivering some incredible runs. In a cute backstage moment, Nate’s dad says that if they look up “pride” in the dictionary, it’s a picture of them looking at Nate.
RYAN QUINN closes the show!
-Ryan is living at home with his family, but he admits that while he started his own band at 15, his dad is the better musician of the two of them. He helps teach music to traumatized children, while also struggling with his battle against Lyme Disease. He plans to go out there and make the most of these 90 seconds. Well, he certainly has a story behind him, but what sells me on him is the Will Champlin-esque look. He just seems like a classic Voice contestant. Here’s hoping he sounds like one too.
-Ryan sings “Can’t Find My Way Home” by Steve Winwood, and it’s easily the best audition of the night. It’s a beautiful, clear vocal without any of the crazy runs that are typical of this show. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a time and a place for those runs. But there’s a time and a place for a more classic style of singing as well. This is just great, as he hits an amazing high note towards the end of the song, delivering a gorgeous tone with every note. Naturally, all four coaches turn their chairs. They even throw in a standing ovation!
RYAN QUINN EARNS A FOUR-CHAIR TURN!
-Adam talks about the music teacher that inspired him to sing, and how he thought his voice was high-pitched. However, Ryan’s voice is on a whole other level. Christina thinks Ryan is an artist whose voice needs to be heard worldwide. Blake joins Adam in gushing over the high notes, and pleads with Ryan to pick him. Pharrell would love to have Ryan on his team, as these coaches are practically falling all over themselves to get this guy to themselves. And I don’t blame them. This is looking like a potential winner right now.
RYAN QUINN chooses TEAM ADAM LEVINE!
-Adam is thrilled whereas Christina is heartbroken. But she says if Adam drops the ball, she’ll be there to pick Ryan up. Backstage, Ryan’s mind is blown that he turned four chairs, since he was only really looking to turn one. Back in the studio, Adam gloats by doing ballerina twirls. Well, that was kind of unexpected.
-And that’s a wrap! What did you think of tonight’s artists? Sound off in the comments! Until next week, thanks for reading and hanging out!