And we’re off!!
Before I get into last night's performances though, I want to talk about the coaches.
THE CHEMISTRY BETWEEN THEM WAS ON A DIFFERENT LEVEL LAST NIGHT!!
There was flirting, fighting, name calling (my favorite was Adam calling Blake, “Cowboy Dimples”), and lots of laughs. As always, Adam and Blake are hilarious but Gwen and Alicia bring something unique to the show, that I haven’t seen from any other coaches. They both seem genuinely happy to be sitting in those red chairs offering whatever advice they can to the aspiring singers they encounter. Gwen seems SUPER comfortable this season (not that she wasn’t comfortable during her first season as a coach, but there is something different. Maybe it’s her new relationship status!) and Alicia is the female version of Pharrell Williams. She always says the right thing in the most unique way at the perfect time!
Watching the four judges interact throughout this season is going to be something special.
As soon as the theme music came on, I was instantly taken back to the night my blind audition aired. My family had a big party at the house and I sat nervously on the edge of the couch waiting for my audition to come on. Obviously I knew the result, but I was still nervous! I know exactly how each contestant is feeling as they watch their blind audition.
Let's dive in...
JChosen - “Sexual Healing”
JChosen got the party started with his performance of the Marvin Gaye classic “Sexual Healing”, a song that I had the pleasure of singing for my top 8 performance. I can confidently say that JChosen blew my rendition of the song COMPLETELY out of the water. His voice was smooth like a warm stick of butter and that growl that he was throwing in made Alicia Keys blush and leave her seat. By the end of the song all four coaches were standing on their feet fighting to work with him. Ultimately, JChosen picked Gwen as his coach, a pairing that I didn’t see coming. I had him joining Team Alicia and honestly so did Gwen!! It will be cool seeing the two of them work together this season. JChosen is definitely someone to watch!
Lauren Duski - “You Were Meant For Me”
The tone of her voice is incredible. I loved how she was effortlessly switching from her falsetto to chest voice. Gwen even said, “There’s not a lot of singers that use every single part of their voice. I feel like I don’t get to hear that often.” I felt like she was performing her own original song and am now a HUGE Lauren Duski fan! Adam, Blake, and Gwen turned their chairs for her and both Adam and Blake confidently said that they would love to see someone like her win The Voice. Lauren chose to begin her Voice journey with Blake Shelton as her coach.
Johnny Hayes - “Try a Little Tenderness”
Johnny returned to The Voice stage for a second time after not receiving any chair turns during his season 11 blind audition. Right out of the gate his voice caught my attention. There’s such a power behind it and he poured so much emotion into his performance. Johnny mentioned that him and his wife fell in love to his audition song and we even saw them share a special moment when he looked over to her from the stage. He looked so comfortable on stage and really embodied the words and melodies he was singing, saying that he just wanted his wife to like it. Gwen with the help of her boyfriend Blake fought against Adam for Johnny but Adam prevailed and Johnny joined the Team Adam family. Welcome to the family Johnny!!
Anatalia Vilaranda - “Runaway Baby”
How did that big voice come out of her little body? She had SOOO much energy and I’m fairly certain she didn’t hit one bad note. Anatalia brought some major sass to her performance and was projecting all kinds of confidence on that stage. Alicia was impressed by how unafraid Anatalia was to express herself. If she goes into every performance with that much confidence and attitude she is going to destroy the competition. After seeing her energetic performance, I’d love to see her perform a ballad. All four coaches turned around and Adam even tried to bribe Anatalia with cake that he had backstage. Don’t worry, Blake was the first to comment on how creepy his offer was! Also, her family was AWESOME! Her little brother was crying as he said how proud he was of Anatalia. Alicia’s heart melted. Ultimately, Anatalia chose Alicia to be her coach. I can’t wait to see what Anatalia does next.
Stephanie Rice - “Piece by Piece”
Stephanie has a great story and an even greater voice. She started out by receiving a degree in Biology but then quickly realized she had to pursue music. Stephanie has an airiness to her voice that makes it extremely easy to listen to. She has a beautiful falsetto and is able to effortlessly switch to a heavier belt while still retaining that airiness. At this point in the competition, she definitely has one of the more unique voices. Blake turned his chair first but Gwen was quick to follow. Stephanie chose to begin her life changing journey on The Voice by teaming up with Gwen! Also, the fact that Alicia and Adam pushed for her to pick Gwen, made Stephanie’s decision a little easier! Sorry Blake!
Mark Isaiah - “Mercy”
Mark’s voice sounds WAY too similar to Shawn Mendes’s voice. However, he still made the song his own. Although he may have sounded similar to Shawn, his take on the song definitely had some variations from the original. All of his runs were clean and hist pitch was right on point. Adam and Gwen turned their chairs for Mark with Gwen saying that his voice sounded like radio. She couldn’t believe he wasn’t already signed. Adam believes this kid is going to be a star and I couldn’t agree more. Mark chose fellow pop star Adam Levine to be his coach. Did I mention this kid’s from my home state, Pennsylvania?!?!? REPRESENT!!
Brennley Brown - “Stupid Boy”
First of all. She is 14 years old. Second of all. Her voice has the maturity of a 30 year old. I can’t even imagine trying out for a show like The Voice at 14 years old. I’m fairly certain my voice was two octaves higher than it currently is, plus I would’ve crapped my pants because of how nervous i’d be! No need to fear, her audition was great and her voice was crazy unique. Blake and Alicia turned their chairs for her. After stating her inspirations (Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, and Faith Hill), it was pretty easy to tell that Brennley was going to choose Blake. Guess what...she picked Blake! Congratulations Brennley! Buckle in because it’s going to be a CRAZY ride!
Felicia Temple - “All I Could Do Was Cry”
Felicia has one of those powerhouse voices singing runs that are so clean and crisp. Her story was inspiring, given the fact that at one point it looked like she would never be able to sing again after receiving a cancer diagnosis last June. I had to agree with Adam when he said that her voie reminded him of Alicia Keys voice. After hearing that comment, Felicia said that when she performed in school talent shows kids would call her “Felicia Keys”! Of course, when Alicia heard that she had to get up and sing “Fallin’” with Felicia. Felicia and Alicia. Maybe they’ll be the next big musical duo?!?!?!? If you guessed that she chose Alicia as a coach you are wrong….just kidding. How could you NOT choose Alicia after singing a duet of one of her biggest hit songs!
So, what do you think about the first episode? Who's your favorite? Let’s get the conversation started!
Unfortunately, I won’t be live tweeting tonight’s episode because I’m playing a show with Youtube star Leroy Sanchez. You can still get tickets, if you are looking for something to do tonight! My set starts at 8pm and I’ll be playing some NEW music. Maybe I’ll see you tonight. If not, we can chat in the comments!