The Voice – Live Blog and Recap – The Blind Auditions Part 4 (VIDEO)
Welcome to the live blog and recap for The Voice 9, “The Blind Auditions Part 3”! Coaches Blake Shelton, Adam Levine, Gwen Stefani and Pharrell Williams continue to fill out their teams, as the competition heats up!
Last night’s show set a very high bar, as we got a great mix of country artists, classic rockers, and even a marriage proposal! But will anyone get a four-chair turn tonight? Is the winner among tonight’s auditioning artists?
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 preview of what’s to come, before getting straight to the night’s first artist…
DARIUS SCOTT opens the show!
-Darius eats, sleeps, lives and breathes music. He grew up in the church, so I’m guessing he’s going to be an amazing singer. Seriously, has there ever been anyone on these shows, regardless of color or creed, who grew up going to church, who isn’t an amazing singer? Darius’s parents are adorable, and he’s a really likable guy, so I’m already rooting for him. He even notes how he plays just about every instrument, and even self-produced his own record, so he expresses a tremendous amount of respect for independent artists. Go Darius!
-Darius sings “U Make Me Wanna” by Usher, and it starts off as kind of a bland vocal. But Adam still pushes his button for him. However, before long, Adam is proven right for pushing his button early, because Darius absolutely RIPS into the song as it goes on, nailing one of the most incredible runs I’ve heard in several seasons now. Gwen and Pharrell enthusiastically push their buttons, as this becomes a real race for Darius.
ADAM, GWEN AND PHARRELL TURN THEIR CHAIRS!
-Pharrell talks about how he wasn’t sold at first, but notes that Darius changed his mind. Gwen agrees, stating that he took it to a whole other level at about the halfway point. Adam filibusters, making a real long pitch about how he can help Darius, and how much he loves his artistry. Gwen fires back, and suddenly, Darius has to make his decision. He says when he was 19 years old, he got a lot of tattoos, and one of those tattoos was for Pharrell’s old group, N.E.R.D. (who were BRILLIANT, by the way), so…
DARIUS SCOTT CHOOSES TEAM PHARRELL WILLIAMS!
-Darius states he just had to pick his hero. His family congratulates him backstage, and yeah, Darius could really blow us away with the right song choices. I hope Pharrell does right by him.
KORIN BUKOWSKI is up next!
-Korin says hello by saying, “Hello, Earthlings!” She’s a self-professed weirdo, with even her parents noting how she would dissect bugs just to see how they tick. She admits high school was hard for her, saying that not only were the kids bullies, but the teachers were as well. However, she found solace in chorus, and expressing herself through singing. Korin feels the coaches can help her discover her artistry. She fights tears when saying she never thought she’d make it this far. Aww, I really want her to make it. Please be good! PLEASE!
-Thankfully, Korin is good! She sings “Cecilia and the Satellite” by Andrew McMahon, and her tone is really solid! I wasn’t blown away or anything, but Korin definitely has talent, and she has the potential to grow with the right mentoring. Gwen plans on being that mentor, by hitting her button. And, ultimately, she’s the only one, so she gets to have Korin all to herself. I think if she makes it to voting rounds, America is really going to like Korin.
GWEN STEFANI TURNS HER CHAIR!
-Adam tells Korin how cute and cool she is, prompting Korin to blush. Blake was impressed with the performance, but none more so than Gwen, who asks if Korin sings full-time. She admits she’s actually pre-med, although that doesn’t necessarily mean she makes good grades. Anyway, Gwen is clearly thrilled to have Korin on her team, handing her a Team Gwen t-shirt, which prompts Korin to admit that Gwen is her idol.
KORIN BUKOWSKI IS ON TEAM GWEN STEFANI!
-Gwen then tells Blake he’s sweet, but likely suffers from a severe personality disorder, which is why she never tells him.
-Back from break, as Blake butters up by Gwen by telling her that if a female coach is finally going to win The Voice, he hopes it’s her (shade at Xtina?). But he tells her not to get her hopes up.
KRISTA HUGHES is up next!
-Krista was raised by her grandparents, since her mother was only 14 when she had her. Krista is from a small town in West Virginia — so small, in fact, that there are only two stop signs and no traffic lights! So this is a bit of a shock to her system, although her grandparents are very confident in her abilities. In particular, her grandfather is awesome, saying that all four chairs are going to turn, and if not, then the coaches can’t hear. Krista breaks down, thanking her grandparents for all their support, telling them that they’re the only reason she’s here now. I don’t think a video package has ever made me want to see someone turn four chairs this badly before. But I NEED to see Krista turn those four chairs! Come on, Krista!
-Krista sings “Angel From Montgomery” Bonnie Raitt & John Prine, and this vocal is as pure and clear as water. I loved it. And so did the coaches. In fact, grandpa turned out to be right on the money — ALL FOUR CHAIRS TURN! And in short order too, as it starts with Adam, and then Gwen, Pharrell, and Blake follow in rapid fire. I love that these coaches are going to go to battle over her, because she deserves it!
KRISTA HUGHES EARNS A FOUR-CHAIR TURN!
-The coaches seriously fight over her, with Gwen really turning on the charm. Pharrell congratulates her for making it here and delivering a powerful, skilled performance. Adam, meanwhile, promises he wouldn’t make her steer away from country music. Of course, Blake has it all locked down, with a single mention of George Jones.
KRISTA HUGHES CHOOSES TEAM BLAKE SHELTON!
-Blake thinks Krista could win this show, and while I’m not sure yet, I’m absolutely certain that, as of right now, Blake has the strongest team so far. And it’s not even close, in my opinion.
JANAE STROTHERS is up next!
-Janae was part of the step team in high school, and joined a choir in college, which has helped her develop her considerable singing talent. However, she’s struggled with her sexuality: as a pastor’s daughter, she felt she couldn’t tell them the truth about her sexuality. But she eventually found the courage to tell her parents, and they surprised her by telling her they don’t judge her — they love her. So Janae has gone on to meet a wonderful woman named Sarah, who supports her in everything she does. This was such a lovely video.
-Janae sings “Uptown Funk” by Bruno Mars, and while it’s clear she can sing well, I think this was the wrong song for this competition. Again, the coaches can’t see her funky dance movements or how she’s working the crowd, even if they can hear that the crowd is into her. In a competition ostensibly about finding the best singer, it’s a bad choice to turn the audition into a big party. Unfortunately, no coaches turn their chairs.
-Blake felt it was clear Janae and the crowd were having a great time, but thought it was too much of a party. Pharrell liked what her voice was doing, but he’s only got three spots left (already?!). Adam echoes these sentiments. Of course, while Janae is sad, her family embraces her backstage, letting her know she did amazing. I don’t know what’s more adorable, this or Pharrell hugging Janae and kissing her hand as she leaves. I’m going to be really sad if/when Pharrell leaves.
CHANCE PENA is up next!
-Chance’s parents have owned gyms, and are a brand unto themselves in Tyler, Texas. Chance admits he didn’t start singing until he was nearly a teenager, performing for his family at first, and then going from there. Chance used to do choir, but he felt too restricted by it, and he’d prefer to be free when he performs music. His dad is his roadie, since Chance doesn’t have a driver’s license, and while some might say he’s not ready, he feels he can do this. I really like his attitude. He also looks like a star, so he’s got that going for him too. If he’s got a voice on him, we could see some chairs spinning.
-Chance sings “I See Fire” by Ed Sheeran, a song I absolutely love. And Chance does it justice, for the most part, save for a few strange vocal inflections. But those are all things that can be worked on with the right coach. In this case, that coach is Adam, who automatically picks up Chance as a result of being the only coach to turn his chair. Good for Chance!
ADAM LEVINE TURNS HIS CHAIR!
-Adam tells the coaches they screwed up by not turning around for Chance, and Gwen admits she may have screwed up. Blake compares Chance to a model in a catalogue, which flatters the teenager. Gwen doesn’t know why she didn’t turn, since she loved everything about the performance. She hopes Adam will make a mistake, and she’ll steal him during the battles. Pharrell, meanwhile, says he didn’t push his button because he didn’t think he even had a chance (what a polite way to let someone down!). Blake asks Chance if he does this professionally, and he states he plays at bars. Well, you’re on The Voice now, kid!
CHANCE PENA IS ON TEAM ADAM LEVINE!
-As Chance embraces his family members backstage, the rest of the coaches lament not turning for Chance.
VIKTOR KIRALY is up next!
-Viktor has a unique story: he was born in New York, but he lives in Budapest, Hungary. After his parents — who were professional musicians — got married, they went on a honeymoon in New York…and ended up staying there for 20 years. That is, until Viktor’s mother was diagnosed with cancer, prompting them to move back home so his mother could die in her mother country. Luckily, once they returned, she got medical treatment, and she’s now cancer-free! However, Viktor notes the struggles he’s faced in trying to make it as a singer in Hungary, including talent shows (he WON a show that was basically the Hungarian version of Idol!), hit singles, magazine covers, and more. Carson makes a good point when he says that Viktor is potentially jeopardizing the career he has in Hungary if he fails to turn a chair here. But Viktor recognizes the risk he’s taking, and decides to go through with it anyway, because Viktor is a badass (or maybe it’s just the name. Either way, I like him!).
-Viktor sings “What’s Going On” by Marvin Gaye, and it doesn’t take long for Adam to press his button. Surprisingly, Blake is the next to press his button, clearly digging what he’s hearing. Pharrell seems so lost in what he’s hearing, that I’m worried he’s going to forget to press his button. But Gwen hitting hers seems to snap Pharrell out of his trance, and we get all four chairs turning around. And it’s well-deserved, because Viktor delivered one of the most confident, smooth vocals tonight.
VIKTOR KIRALY EARNS A FOUR-CHAIR TURN!
-Blake is stunned that Viktor is white, while Pharrell is impressed that Viktor performed the Donny Hathaway version of the song. Viktor admits being a huge Donny Hathaway fan, saying he has the first five lines of “A Song For You” tattooed on his back. Adam is “Hungary” for Viktor, and tells him he could win this entire thing (but not before giving Blake a hard time about how much he brags about having won the show). Blake asks if Viktor does this professionally, and he admits that he has several successful singles on the chart back in Hungary. But Blake doesn’t care, he thinks Viktor is the whole package, and can even envision the headline if he wins (“The Viktor of The Voice!”). Viktor makes his pick…
VIKTOR KIRALY CHOOSES TEAM ADAM LEVINE!
-Adam is absolutely stoked to have Viktor on his team, and Viktor hopes people in America will want to hear him more and more.
JULIE BROADUS is up next!
-Julie considers herself an academic nerd, and reveals she was recently accepted to Georgia Tech. However, The Voice is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so she can’t pass this up. Julie’s mother tears up when noting that her daughter has what it takes, and she couldn’t be more proud. She admits that she didn’t start singing until eighth grade, thinking it would be a fun extracurricular activity — that is, until her teacher picked her for a solo. Her singing career took off from there, as she started posting YouTube videos. She does, however, state that because she never had formal training, her range is limited. Still, you never know where the gems of this competition will come from, these days.
-Julie sings “Brand New Key” by Melanie, and I LOVE THIS SONG! It was more of a cute performance than a star-making vocal. I think there is a lot that a good coach can do with Julie, since she’s got a voice. Unfortunately, none of the coaches turn their chairs. And while I’m disappointed, I kind of get it. It’s not really a song for a singing competition. Still, I absolutely love that she had the idea to pick this song.
-Gwen wanted to peek so badly, while Adam really loved the song choice. However, both judges felt like she was missing something, although Adam states the good parts were really good. All the coaches encourage her to come back, and I hope she does. With a different song, I think she could surprise people.
COLE CRISKE is up next!
-Cole is just 16-years-old, and hasn’t been doing music that long, really, since he only first picked up a ukulele at age 10 after a trip to Hawaii. His father was his best friend, and meant the world to his family. However, in 2009, his father was killed by a drunk driver on the day before Father’s Day, devastating his family. Cole struggles to even finish the story, he’s so overcome with emotion, as are his mother and sister. I hope Cole can turn a chair.
-Cole sings “Dreaming With a Broken Heart” by John Mayer, the first song he listened to after his father passed away. So it’s unsurprising to discover that he pours a lot of heart and soul into this. He quickly impresses Gwen, earning her button press. By the time the first chorus is over, he’s got Blake too. As the second verse picks up, Pharrell joins the list of people who badly want Cole on their team. And I don’t blame them. Maybe it wasn’t the most blowaway vocal, but I got goosebumps from how heartfelt this was.
GWEN, BLAKE, AND PHARRELL TURN THEIR CHAIRS!
-Adam is blown away at how Cole can sing in perfect pitch at such a young age. Gwen, meanwhile, is impressed that Cole could lock eyes with her and sing right to her like that. Blake claims this is against the rules, and is completely indefensible. Adam sticks up for Gwen, saying he shouldn’t bother with the other dudes when his choice is clear. Pharrell thought Cole did a “splendid” job, before asking for his story. Gwen responds to his story by sharing that she wrote every song off of her classic Tragic Kingdom album, which came from personal loss and tragedy. Blake brings up Xenia, which is absolutely freaking ridiculous, since Cole noted in his video package that he met Xenia. There’s no way Blake came to that Xenia mention organically. Still, I love his pitch to Cole, saying that he makes real friendships and connections with his team members. They’re also from the same hometown! So yeah, while it might have seemed obvious he’d pick Gwen, that Blake pitch is where it’s at…
COLE CRISKE CHOOSES TEAM BLAKE SHELTON!
-Gwen is furious to lose Cole, and throws her shoes at Blake, telling him, “I HATE you!” Her outrage is positively adorable. I love Gwen.
ALEX KANDEL is up next!
-Alex is a nurse who sings with the kids she babysits all the time. “Riptide” is a particular favorite (I swear, kids love that song! My niece and nephews love when I play it, although I doubt I do it anywhere near as well as Alex probably does). Anyway, she was eventually approached by the band Sleeper Agent to become its new lead singer. As part of the band, she played Letterman, Kimmel, and even Coachella. However, the band sort of drifted apart and decided to go their separate ways. While she’s happy not to be living in a van anymore, she does want a career in music, and she thinks this show is an awesome platform.
-Alex sings “Bright” by Echosmith, and…this might be the first audition of the blinds that I didn’t like one bit. This song requires a much lighter touch, but Alex’s voice is a bit all over the map. She’s also not hitting most of the notes. Granted, it becomes clear she was thrown off by Gwen turning around for her, since the performance was perfectly okay before then. And she just never recovered. But it doesn’t matter, since Gwen and Adam both turn around.
GWEN STEFANI TURNS HER CHAIR!
-Gwen liked the audition, but gets honest with Alex when she says that there were some really weird tuning issues as it went on. Gwen seems to pick up on how Alex was thrown off after she hit her button. Alex admits that this is the first time away from her band, so she’s still getting used to performing as a solo artist. Gwen, however, thinks she can help Alex a lot. Adam feels he can do the same, saying that even when the performance fell off, he thought all she needed was a little push. But when it comes time for Alex to make her choice…
ALEX KANDEL CHOOSES TEAM GWEN STEFANI!
-Alex admits that Gwen is her idol, and I find myself wondering why none of them say that when they’re actually up there. While I didn’t like this audition, I don’t think Alex is untalented. She just needed a better song. I’m confident she can bring it in the battle rounds.
-We then get a montage of people who didn’t make the cut. Have they ever done a montage of people who’ve failed? I honestly don’t remember. Still, this montage makes it apparent why none of the coaches turned. I wasn’t impressed, personally.
CELESTE BETTON is up next!
-Celeste grew up in a military family, as her parents wanted to prepare her to choose her own path. Gospel is her passion, although she got sidetracked when she got pregnant after coming out of high school. Wait, didn’t someone else who auditioned this season have the exact same back story? I’m getting a weird sense of deja vu. Anyway, she’s got a pretty great life, it seems like, with a loving husband, a beautiful child, and a lot of talent to offer. So I hope she gets through. I mean, hey, she has short hair. The less hair a woman has, the better the singer she usually ends up being, it seems like.
-Celeste sings “Love You I Do” from Dreamgirls, and it’s really impressive. I mean, it’s not exactly anything new, but she’s got a great energy, and her tone is strong throughout. She impresses Pharrell enough to get him to turn his chair (albeit not enthusiastically, it seems). I think Pharrell could do great things with Celeste.
PHARRELL WILLIAMS TURNS HIS CHAIR!
-Adam, Gwen and Blake praises Celeste on her vocal abilities, although Pharrell admits he almost didn’t push his button, since he has so many soul singers already. But he thinks she’s got ambition and talent, and he was simply compelled to press his button.
CELESTE BETTON IS ON TEAM PHARRELL WILLIAMS!
-I think she was a bit thrown off by nerves. Hopefully, she hardens for the battle round, since I think she could surprise people with the right song.
ANDI & ALEX close the show!
-Andi and Alex are 23-year-old twins from Wisconsin who are beautiful and bubbly. They’ve also been performing for practically their entire lives, as their mother taught them their first harmony line at age five. “There’s something very magical that happens when they sing together,” their mother says. Together, they would go on to form an indie-folk band, working to record an album. However, the band ultimately fell apart. This is their last chance to make a music career together, since one of the sisters just got married, while the other is moving to Vancouver to be with her boyfriend (I feel awful for already forgetting which sister is which!).
-Andi & Alex sing “Thank You” by Dido, and it’s actually a bit of an upbeat version, despite being slower and more mellow in its acoustic arrangement. Listening to this makes me think of sunlight breaking through the clouds and creeping through your window on a sad day, to brighten things up and suddenly make you happy. I absolutely loved this, and so did the coaches, as they not only turn their chairs for this, all four give them a standing ovation.
ANDI & ALEX EARN A FOUR-CHAIR TURN!
-Adam felt that whether they were in unison or not, they could all hear them being compassionate towards one another, vocally. He’s astonished at how good that was. After Adam throws Blake under the bus by saying he isn’t a fan of the Packers (disappointing the girls), Blake fights back by saying he’s the only coach who’s ever taken a duo all the way to the finale. Gwen says they made the coaches hear “Thank You” in a whole new way. Pharrell admits he might seem like the odd one out, he states that he coached a folk singer to the win last season, and adds that it wasn’t because of his coaching that Sawyer Fredericks won, but simply that he had the freedom to be himself on Team Pharrell. The girls talk it over onstage as Adam makes one last pitch.
ANDI & ALEX CHOOSE TEAM ADAM LEVINE!
-Adam is so happy, he falls to his knees. He promises not to do them wrong, and says Andi & Alex had the best harmonizing he’s ever heard in his life. Backstage, Andi & Alex can’t get over the fact that they turned four chairs. Ultimately, they picked Adam because of how he was vibing with them. Blake admits that Adam is on fire this season. “I hope he burns up.”
WATCH AND DISCUSS: Twins Turn Four Chairs With Awesome Dido Cover on The Voice 9 (VIDEO)
-And that’s a wrap on tonight’s show? What did you think? Did the coaches make the right choices? Did the contestants? Sound off in the comments!
Until tomorrow night, thank you for hanging out and reading!