Please know that I begin every one of my recaps singing “This is The Voice!” It’s so catchy, how can you not? Anyway, this is The Voice and these are the Blind Auditions (not as catchy). The coaches are being extremely picky and some contestants that may have skated by in an earlier audition won’t even be considered. It’s harsh but true!
Myracle Holloway, Los Angeles, Calif.
Song: “When I Was Your Man” by Bruno Mars
I know we’ve only been together for a short time, but I feel like it’s obvious friends: Myracle brought me to tears. All four of the coaches comment on the brokenness in Myracle’s voice — it almost sounds like she’s about to cry throughout her entire performance. There’s so much pain in her vocals — she talks about substance abuse and surviving domestic abuse — she could sing anything and we’d probably be moved. We get another Blake versus Gwen head-to-head, and Blake really goes for it: He tells Myracle that he just wants to sit in the rehearsal room and hear her voice over and over. Yet, that sincere pitch is not enough. Myracle and Gwen connect on a spiritual level, and thus, the 11th spot on Gwen’s team is filled.
Chair Turns: Will Gwen and Blake ever let the other one get away without a fight?
Coach: B-A-N-A-N-A-S, it’s Gwen.
Ricky Braddy, Nashville, Tenn.
Song: “The Story” by Brandi Carlile
WHAT IS THIS EPISODE DOING TO ME? As soon as Ricky Braddy, a former gospel/Christian singer who, after coming out at 36, wants to branch out of church music, says he’s singing “The Story” I braced myself. Kelly did, too. She knows the exact spot where this song lets a talented singer SOAR, and that’s what Ricky does. Kelly doesn’t turn, which is confusing, but the other coaches duke it out. They love the theatrics and personality in Ricky’s voice and are excited to see where he’ll take it with the right song.
Chair Turns: Blake, John, and Gwen
Coach: Blake nabs a real goldmine here
Damali, Norwalk, Calif.
Song: “Ocean Eyes” by Billie Eilish
Damali, a teen at a military school, makes it to the very last note without a chair turn until Kelly makes her move at the last second. Blake doesn’t even realize it and starts apologizing to the girl for crushing her dreams, but surprise! She’s going home to mama Kelly. Gwen points out that you can tell Damali hasn’t had much training — there isn’t much control — but there’s a lot of potential. That’s what Kelly’s after. We’ll see if it pays off! She’s got two spots left.
Chair Turns: The Kelly Clarkson
Coach: THE KELLY CLARKSON
Steve Knill, San Francisco, Calif.
Song: “Up to the Mountain” by Patty Griffin
This 37-year-old Kelly Clarkson stan chooses her version of the Patty Griffin song and basically shows off every tool he has in that ol’ vocal box. He’s got runs, he’s got power, he has a falsetto that kills. Even Kelly, his sole chair turn (dreams do come true, Steve!) thinks he’d be better served if he dialed it all back a bit, but as John notes, “the raw material” is strong. Another solo chair turn for the one true and forever American Idol.
Chair Turns: It’s Kelly!
Team: Miss Clarkson, if you’re nasty.
Destiny Rayne, Coral Springs, Fla.
Song: “Make You Feel My Love” by Adele
Performing the Adele version of this song is a tall order, but Destiny has such power and control, it is actually the perfect song choice to show off what she can do. Plus, this singer-songwriter puts her own spin on it and the arrangement is excellent. So excellent, in fact, that both Gwen and John want her on their teams. Gwen, once again, talks about how connected Destiny was to the lyrics, but John really hones in on the technical prowess Destiny displayed, which seems to win her over.
Chair Turns: Gwen and John
Team: Honestly, how can you say no to joining Team Legend?
Jo James, Austin, Tex.
Song: “It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over” by Lenny Kravitz
Poor Jo! He’s here after a big weight loss and encouragement from his wife pushed him to finally see himself as a frontman. Unfortunately, the judges are extra-picky at this point in the Blinds — I could see a few chairs turning for him if he had gone earlier — and like Blake says, he’s waiting for someone to “blow him away.” John thinks Jo has the “raw talent” but needs to work on cohesive storytelling. In short: It’s a no go for Jo.
Chair Turns: Don’t make me say it again, there are no chair turns!
Khalea Lynee, St. Petersburg, Fla.
Song: “Best Part” by H.E.R. featuring Daniel Caesar
This is how you end an episode, with one of the most well-deserved four-chair turns of the season. Khalea is a divorced mom of two precious daughters who ask big questions like, what if water came from cows? I’ll be thinking about that all night, thanks. More important, Khalea, who side-tracked a music career to become a wife and mother at a young age, walks on The Voice stage and DESTROYS IT. There is nothing left. She is soulful and smooth, and the coaches love how deliberate she is with her choices throughout. She doesn’t need to go for broke at any point, she knows exactly what she’s doing. Has John Legend ever fought this hard for a contestant? He even sings her some Anita Baker, Khalea’s favorite artist, for good measure. Was she ever going to go with anyone else?
Chair Turns: YOU BETTER ALL BE TURNING FOR THIS
Coach: Team Legend picks up another heavy hitter
One more round of Blinds, you guys! And we’re heading into them with just one spot available on each team. A true battle to the death! Or, you know, to the Battle Rounds. See you there!
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