The Voice recap: 'The Blind Auditions, Part 4'
Season 13 keeps building an impressive array of artists
The crop of contestants for The Voice this season is pretty well rounded. We’ve got the usual lot of country crooners, some soul artists, and even some pop singers with unique persuasions. Tonight, the array of artists continues to widen as the coaches collect a few more recruits for their teams, ranging from a jazzy musical-theater type to an R&B singer.
Let’s take a look at the latest auditions for season 13.
Anthony Alexander (17 – Fontana, California)
“Redbone” by Childish Gambino
There’s nothing false in this guy’s falsetto. Even though he’s a high school senior, Anthony’s music career has already become a family affair: His brother shoots his videos and his sisters designed promotional materials. Best of all, his dad-slash-bandmate was once a cameraman for The Voice, so he knew just where to go to try and take his gigging to the next level.
Although three coaches turn for Anthony, he feels the best connection with Adam Levine. And it’s not just because he’s been in the rafters of The Voice for years watching his dad work with him; he also shares that saccharine soprano style and is willing to learn from the Maroon 5 frontman what he needs to do to get those notes just right. Anthony has already got echoes of Michael Jackson and Prince, but it’s his eagerness to take instruction that’ll really give him a shot at this competition. Who better to help him refine those impossible high notes than Adam?
Sophia Bollman (18 – Norco, California)
“Invincible” by Kelly Clarkson
We’ve already had a few pop singers join the fold this year, so where does Sophia Bollman rank among them? Well, in the first few refrains, it’s not good. Her voice trembles, though it’s still pretty enough to keep the coaches listening. But she manages to iron out the wrinkles pretty well once she gets to the chorus and keeps the positive energy going with some bold note choices, finishing with a very convincing belt.
Whether or not she can maintain that element of surprise going forward remains to be seen, but for tonight at least, her slip-ups in the beginning of this number make her eventual ability to collect herself that much more impressive.
(Recap continues on page 2)
Jessica Rowboat (28 – Queens, New York)
“Imagine” by John Lennon
This season is chock full of human interest stories, and Jessica Rowboat’s is a timely one. She details the fears she faced growing up as an undocumented immigrant. Jessica has since married a citizen, but as she sings this classic piece, it’s clear she’s speaking for many who are not as fortunate. The problem is that her performance is so withdrawn that even her shiniest moments at the mic are hard to hear, so the coaches advise her to come back with something a little more alive next time while still maintaining the authenticity of her message.
Karli Webster (20, Santa Clarita, California)
“You’re So Vain” by Carly Simon
All the flower children flock to Team Miley. Karli Webster here was named after Carly Simon, so she’s beyond prepared to perform this number, and perform she does. Her voice is textured and yet consistently pretty all the same. I’d be interested in hearing her sing something by The Cranberries, Evanescence, or maybe Alanis Morissette next time so that she can really shake that tinge of twang and broach another generation of rad female singers, but she’s definitely got the pipes to do whatever she wants.
And despite Adam’s insistence that she’s his favorite contestant so far and can take her all the way, Karli has a shared energy with Miley…and Team Adam is just having trouble bringing in the ladies for some strange reason (Adam thinks it’s all about the wedding band, which makes the subject of this song inadvertently on point).
Stephan Marcellus (26 – Englewood, New Jersey)
“Take Me to Church” by Hozier
It’s rare for singers to have this shaky a start and still recover well enough to earn a chair turn from a coach. In Stephan’s case, his opening moment is a mess, but once he gets to the chorus, he finds his footing and gets back on track well enough for Jennifer Hudson to hear something she likes in his soul-heaping sound. She admits that she’s been there before — blanking at the start of a song — so she sympathizes and believes there’s some potential here with the right coach. He said he needs a break to get back into this business, and, well, this could be it.
Emily Luther (24 – Woonsocket, Rhode Island)
“Summertime” by Billie Holiday
A self-proclaimed music nerd, Emily Luther looks distinctly like a cross between Cheryl Hines and Charlize Theron and sounds like someone generations older than either of those actresses. Before coming on The Voice, she was basically a wedding singer by trade, but now she’s ready to break into the next level, and judging by the clear case of whiplash all the coaches get from gauging each other’s reactions during her performance, she’s got something going for herself.
Her tones are pretty husky for such a dainty young lady, and while she’s not pitch perfect throughout, she does have an interesting way of escalating through her notes with calm confidence. Adam claims he was mesmerized, which is why he waits ’til the last minute to turn. But he strongly believes she’s got a “syrupy jazz” tone he can work with right now. And besides, Adam needs some more girl power on his squad. Jennifer Hudson might seem like a more suited match for her, considering she’s also got some considerable experience in the musical theater department, but Emily still opts for Team Adam.
- Team Adam: Dave Crosby, Brandon Showell, Dylan Gerard, Hannah Mrozak, Adam Pearce, Anthony Alexander, Emily Luther
- Team Miley: Janice Freeman, Brooke Simpson, Ashland Craft, Shilo Gold, Addison Agen, Moriah Formica, Sophia Bollman, Karli Webster
- Team Jennifer: Chris Weaver, Shi-Ann Jones, Lucas Holliday, Maharasyi, Davon Fleming, Kathrina Feigh, Alexandra Joyce, Eric Lyn, Stephan Marcellus
- Team Blake: Mitchell Lee, Esera Tuaolo, Keisha Renee, Red Marlow, Adam Cunningham, Noah Mac, Anna Catherine DeHart