The Voice recap: The Blind Auditions, Part 4
Blake was all about pushing some buttons tonight, alright
The blinds are about to shut down, but there’ll still be plenty of daylight coming through on The Voice as Christina Aguilera, Pharrell Williams, Blake Shelton, and Adam Levine’s teams are rounding out and readying for battle.
In the fourth and final round of season 10’s blind auditions, Team Christina comes in with some extra ground to cover to catch up to her fellow coaches, but Blake’s bound and determined to drive her batty with his oh-so-irritating series of last-minute button crunches whenever she’s this close to recruiting someone she likes.
“I’m making this season the season that I mess with you,” he teases her. “It’s about what singers you want that I want to get from you.” Unlike a lot of politicians, the Mayor of Blakeville follows through on his promises. He’s even caught practicing his quick-draw in an obviously scripted but still super-cute, behind-the-scenes moment.
New recruits: Támar Davis, Daniel Passino, Chelsea Gann, and Joe Maye
Despite Blake’s best efforts, Team Christina walks away with the loadshare of tonight’s talent.
Támar Davis: This 35-year-old songstress can’t be steered away from her rightful path to Xtina’s squad because it seems that’s where most of the already semi-famous stars-to-be are finding their home. Like Alisan Porter from the first round of blinds, Támar’s got a childhood history within the industry, having come up as one of the six members of Girl’s Tyme, which would later develop into Destiny’s Child. She’s made her peace with being pulled from the girl group by now — mainly because she’s since gone to college and gotten to work with Tyler Perry, who’s there on the sidelines to lend some star power to her audition (cue the Madea Goes to The Voice sequel pitch). But she hardly needs it. Her “Chain of Fools” rendition has Christina convinced “it’s time for [her] to step out of the background,” and while Blake tries by waggling his win with Jermaine Paul circa season 2 as a reminder that he can roll with soul, too, Christina shuts him down (“She’s too good for you,” she snaps, “You don’t know what to do with that”) and gets her gal.
Daniel Passino: In a second episode of Blake failing to stifle Team Christina’s team-building progress, this 21-year-old Michigan native is an operatic pop singer who counts Justin Timberlake, Michael Jackson, and, whaddya know, Christina Aguilera among his idols. His “Marvin Gaye” performance might be a virtual carbon copy of the Charlie Puth original, but Xtina loves that he’s got opera, pop, and soul in his bones. And even though Blake puts on the charm (he actually says to him, “Dude, let’s get it on, man”), Daniel can’t pass up the chance to work with one of his life-long faves. Done and done.
Chelsea Gann: This 27-year-old country singer may be from Blake’s home state, but after she belts out Martina McBride’s “Wild Angels,” her “super strong, powerful voice” gets Christina’s attention all the way.
NEXT: Christina finally decides to duet…
Joe Maye: Team Xtina’s final talent win of the night is by far her most enthusiastic bit of pitching yet this season (and you might recall that one time she literally groveled at a girl’s feet last week). Joe Maye, a season 9 send-away who’d danced his way into a breathy performance and didn’t earn a turn, came back and put a spell on Christina with the Screamin’ Jay Hawkins classic, “I Put a Spell on You.” The song just so happens to be one of her favorite anthems to belt out ever, and since Blake’s hellbent on making things difficult for her, he’s not only pulled a last-minute button push but he’s also ready to make her earn this by suggesting she and Joe duet to seal the deal. Joe’s audition version of the song might’ve sounded like he was “pissed,” per Christina, but in the second, they’re basically having an epic run-off, gamely playing off of one another’s energies and shared love of extreme note extension. It’s a match made in pop heaven.
New recruits: Justin Whisnant, Brittney Lawrence, and Teresa Guidry
We should probably break out our calculators to make sure there aren’t some numbers being fudged on Team Blake because it sure seems like he’s been handing out an awful lot of spaces lately, doesn’t it?
Justin Whisnant: Despite the slick suspenders, use of shoelaces, and the fact that his tattoos are “not crappy” (which is kind of a mean point Adam makes to distinguish him from Blake), Justin’s still an Okie at heart. And the fact that he’s crooning country with “Ain’t Worth the Whiskey” means even Adam knows it’s all said and done from word one (“Why bother. WHY BOTHER?! Doesn’t matter what I say, nothing will work. Just go,” he squeals). And go he does. “It never ceases to amaze me how mad Adam gets when he doesn’t get his way,” Blake jokes of Adam’s resulting pout.
Brittney Lawrence: This Jacksonville, Fla., native was raised on the Dixie Chicks, so of course she’s got a propensity for the country road. She may have been repping Demi Lovato’s “Warrior” — a nod to her seven prior fruitless auditions — on the stage, but when Blake says her voice “just has that quality,” she’s sold. Christina’s pretty bummed by this one — especially since it means Blake’s quick slip-in maneuver at the tail-end actually can work — but as long as Blake keeps his “cooties” away from her cup, she’ll be alright.
Teresa Guidry: Little Big Town’s Grammy-winning “Girl Crush” is a perfect match for this pop country vocalist, who also gets a push from Adam Levine that becomes irrelevant once Blake joins the fray. “If I hadn’t turned around, he wouldn’t have,” Adam pleads…to absolutely no avail. Again.
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New recruits: Owen Danoff, Lily Green, and Matt Tedder
Even though Adam’s visibly frustrated for a very large portion of this round of blinds, he doesn’t walk away empty-handed at all. In fact, he seems to find a trio of vocalists who make a lot of sense being a part of his squad, and he certainly seems satisfied by his latest team draftees.
Owen Danoff: When you’re the son of a Grammy-winning artist, it’s hard not to ride on coattails just a little bit, and Owen Danoff (son of Starland Vocal Band’s Bill Danoff) doesn’t seem to mind much. Hey, that genetically inherited skill set’s just gotten him the night’s first four-chair coaching bid, after all, and it’s Adam who’s most excited about his potential. Adam dotes on his performance of Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” with a number of complimentary adjectives, including: heartbreaking, crushing, sensitive, powerful, vulnerable, and exciting. “Seeing you play after listening to you was even better,” he gushes. Sure, Blake sings a nice tune about wanting to work with fellow lyrically driven artists and how folk music and country are kin, but Owen finds that he and Adam have much more in common style-wise, so that’s who he’s rolling with.
NEXT: Adam sure loves him some slide guitar…
Lily Green: This 16-year-old Brooklyn native leaves Adam “speechless” with her performance of Fleetwood Mac’s “Songbird.” “Angelic is the first thing that leaps to mind,” he raves as he welcomes to her to Team Adam.
Matt Tedder: Stunner No. 3 comes along in the form of this bluesy street artist who literally lives in a basement in Nashville just to be a part of the music scene. His Muddy Waters’ redux turns just one chair, but Adam’s really glad for that (“That is really good news to see that these people are stupid,” he boasts). Adam’s always said he’s a guitarist first and a singer second, so he’s especially impressed with how sick Matt’s slide skills are right now. He even requests an encore that brings Pharrell on his feet. “I’m so blown away, it’s a joy to have you, so so stoked, Matt. You’re awesome,” Adam tells his final Team Adam-enlisted member of the day. He’s not jump-tapping his feet like last time over his final addition, but pretty close.
New recruits: Jessica Crosbie and Maya Smith
Team Pharrell’s been pretty stacked from the start, so he’s got room to be choosy in the fourth round of blinds and quietly adds two ladies to his list.
Jessica Crosbie: This English transplant, who got her start on the small-town pub scene, puts on a pretty, albeit imperfect, variation of Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida” and earns three coach turn-arounds. Christina wants to help her go with some higher notes while Adam respects her as a “really tremendous, individual vocalist,” but it’s Pharrell’s pick that piques her interest the most.
Maya Smith: Maya’s been a postal worker for 10 years, and she’s officially ready to stop stuffing magazines into boxes all day and then moonlighting at the mic all night at local sports bars. Her soulful “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man” rendition’ll do the trick to get her coaching bids from both Pharrell and Christina — both of whom she’s had on her wishlist. Tough call for sure (“Oh no, the plot thickens,” Adam kids). Xtina tries to woo her by saying that her appreciation of soul singers like herself is singular — a point which Pharrell took issue with obviously — but Maya’s all about Team Pharrell because of the different genres he brings to his producer plate. Isn’t everyone?
- Team Pharrell: Caity Peters, Nick Hagelin, Abby Celso, Joe Vivona, Emily Keener, Jonathan Bach, Hannah Huston, Brian Nhira, Jessica Crosbie, and Maya Smith
- Team Adam: Mike Schiavo, John Gilman, Caroline Burns, Laith Al-Saadi, Katherine Ho, Natalie Yacovazzi, Nate Butler, Ryan Quinn, Owen Danoff, Lily Green, and Matt Tedder
- Team Blake: Paxton Ingram, Mary Sarah, Adam Wakefield, Angie Keilhauer, Brittany Kennell, Peyton Parker, Gina Castanzo, Trey O’Dell, Justin Whisnant, Brittney Lawrence, and Teresa Guidry
- Team Christina: Bryan Bautista, Alisan Porter, Shalyah Fearing, Lacy Mandigo, Kata Hay, Malik Heard, Kristen Marie, Támar Davis, Daniel Passino, Chelsea Gann, and Joe Maye