It’s night six of The Voice‘s blind auditions (yes, there is still more of this ahead), which means the coach’s teams are starting to fill up, and some are starting to get pretty picky.
Caeland Garner (31 – Coleridge, NC)
“Dancing in the Moonlight” by King Harvest
You might think that since he’s from a small town and rubs elbows with Red Marlow that Caeland Garner would sound as country as chicken-fried chicken, but that’s not the case at all. Instead, his voice is almost completely devoid of twang as he offers a fresh and perky spin on this old favorite. His voice is breezy, especially when he breaks into a timely run with the head voice, and what results is an exceedingly original rendition of the song that trades in its swampiness for something a little sunnier, and both Blake Shelton and Jennifer Hudson are digging it. Blake seems to have been transported by the tune because he can’t stop talking about listening to Garner’s voice by the lake. He also seems to firmly believe the guy belongs on the radio, and since Garner’s besties with a major Team Blake alum, it’s an easy choice for this contestant. The only thing unexpected about the decision is when Blake breaks out his wonky version of the floss to taunt JHud. Oof.
Team: Blake Shelton.
Madison Cain (24 – Los Angeles, CA)
“You Oughta Know” by Alanis Morissette
Being the daughter of an accomplished musician — that is, Journey’s keyboardist Jonathan Cain, who wrote “Don’t Stop Believin'” — doesn’t mean things will always be easy peasy. But Madison Cain doesn’t want to skate by on family legacy alone, which is why she’s chosen to try out for The Voice where her last name and lineage are completely irrelevant. Unfortunately, her song choice here is all wrong. Although she does have an intriguing stormy voice, it’s rendered pitchy and hectic by the speed of this tune. It’s one of those pieces you wouldn’t dare pick at Friday Night Karaoke unless you wanna resort to incessant screeching and burst all the eardrums. To her credit, Madison doesn’t sound like most would here, but her talents are still too veiled to earn a turn. However, Kelsea Ballerini has heard enough “oomph and fire” in her to award Cain the final spot on her comeback competition lineup, so if she can match her gnarly vocals with something a little simpler, she might just be back.
Lela (15 – Miami, FL)
“Havana” by Camila Cabello
There are a lot of people with different cultural backgrounds who come and go on this show, but it’s always especially fun when an artist decides to pay homage to his or her heritage with a bilingual beat. Lela’s family comes from Colombia, so she’s ready to incorporate her background with her Americana influences in the R&B genre. The depth and sultriness of her voice totally betray her age, too, because she sounds strong and has rich tones well beyond her years. Kelly Clarkson and Jennifer Hudson both turn for her and are impressed by her full-package appeal — she’s young, she’s fun, she has great hair, and she can dance, all on top of being a solid singer. And although Kelly Clarkson is especially interested in her multiculturalism appeal, Lela opts for “Team JHud” to take her to the next level.
Team: Jennifer Hudson.
Cody Ray Raymond (26 – Seattle, WA)
“Born Under a Bad Sign” by Albert King
He’s got a military service background and a hippie style, but Cody Ray Raymond has a lot of spirit going on, too. His voice is meant for smooth rock, but he also knows when and how to throw in a growl. There’s a very ’80s mood music vibe going on with this guy, even as he brings it with the blues, and all that genre-bending he’s done tonight is probably owed to his scattered influences growing up. As a kid, he was first drawn to the grunge music scene, but he also credits R&B favorites with influencing his tastes. Once Adam learns of his myriad influences, he’s disappointed in himself for not turning but notes that he’s looking for something specific to round out his crew. Both Kelly and Jennifer are taken enough by his vocals and distinctive melody to turn. Fortunately for him, Cody came here hoping to sign up for Team Kelly, so that’s exactly what he’ll do.
Team: Kelly Clarkson.
Jake Wells (23 – Kansas City, MO)
“When the Stars Go Blue” by Ryan Adams
No Adam Levine team is complete without at least one wild card soul singer on deck, and this year, Jake Wells is it. He’s got that haunted artist aesthetic going for himself, but he also leans into a few key high notes that prove his range is something to be explored. Tonight, his voice is pretty and perhaps a bit too subtle for the others, but Adam Levine has heard enough to know that he can pull the solo singer out of this family band man yet. “This dude is different, and I love that about him,” the coach explains of his sole chair turn. “To not reward that on this show would be the antithesis of what this show is about.” Since he and Adam are in some kind of predetermined detente this season, even Blake Shelton gives the guy props, promising that he’ll keep an eye and ear out for him in the coming weeks.
Team: Adam Levine.
Abby Cates (17 – Cincinnati, OH)
“Scars to Your Beautiful” by Alessia Cara
She might moonlight as a singing birthday party princess, but there’s more to Abby Cates than costume gowns and crowns. After overcoming a serious back injury earned while horseback riding, the pint-sized singer is ready to walk a step further onto this stage to see what else she can accomplish. Luckily for her, her coach of choice, Kelly Clarkson, quite likes how well she imbues an angelic head voice with her achy midrange. There are still some imperfect note reaches that’ll need to be worked on by both, but Kelly’s nothing short of delighted when, by the end of the songs, hers is the only chair facing forward.
Team: Kelly Clarkson.
Funsho (28 – Lagos, Nigeria)
“Finesse” by Bruno Mars
Closing out the evening with a three-chair turn is Funsho, a Nigerian-American who has worked hard to secure his family’s blessing to pursue a future in this business. And although it might be safer to stick with the secure desk job, Funsho’s clearly got enough gifts to get him far in this realm as well. His melty vocals are enticing enough alone, but when you add in his control and gift for those insane falsetto notes, Adam Levine is beyond interested in besting the ladies for Funsho’s allegiance. He’s not yet broken the mold with his music, but with Adam on board to help coach out the most invigorating moments of his performance, Funsho’s in good hands.
Team: Adam Levine.
Adam Levine – Tyke James, Radha, DeAndre Nico, Steve Memmolo, Anthony Arya, Reagan Strange, Fousheé, Natalie Brady, Jared Matthew, Jake Wells, Funsho.
Blake Shelton – Mercedes Ferreira-Dias, Kameron Marlowe, Keith Paluso, Michael Lee, Dave Fenley, Rachel Messer, Chris Kroeze, Joey Green, Kayley Hill, Kirk Jay, Caeland Garner.
Kelly Clarkson – Sarah Grace, Mikele Buck, Claire DeJean, Chevel Shepherd, Delaney Silvernell, Kymberli Joye, Sandyredd, OneUp, Erika Zade, Cody Ray Raymond, Abby Cates.
Jennifer Hudson – Tyshawn Colquitt, Patrique Fortson, Kennedy Holmes, Franc West, Audri Bartholomew, Natasha Greycloud, MaKenzie Thomas, Mike Parker, Zaxai, Colton Smith, Lela.
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