The Voice recap: Blake Shelton keeps his promise, costing a 'rich and nuanced' contestant a four-chair turn
The other coaches seem to really be dunking on Nick Jonas's choice of team welcome gift this season (team welcome gifts are a thing now and forever, be prepared!). Night four of The Voice Blind Auditions kick off with John Legend hanging out with his Blake Shelton bobblehead and when Nick makes a joke about it, it's John who hilariously rebuts him with "who would want this [bobblehead] when they could have an empty notebook?" Is it a "you had to be there" kind of moment? Probably, but I won't apologize. Inter-Coach banter on The Voice brings me joy and it keeps me young. Anyway, six more singers audition for our coaches this evening. Let's see how they did.
Connor Christian / 23 / Gallipolis, Ohio
"Bright Lights" by Gary Clark, Jr.
Connor's been living that rock-n-roll life — sleeveless jean jacket and all — since he was a baby. Thanks to his father's extensive record collection, Connor's studied all the greats and is bringing that rock energy to The Voice this season. He's got a nice rasp and almost sounds like Ray LaMontagne-does-rock-music. Blake, Nick, and Kelly all want a chance to add Connor to their team. Connor was actually waiting for John to turn because John recently worked with Gary Clark Jr., one of Connor's greatest inspirations. But Blake is super pumped about Connor and his "complete control of the stage." Kelly tells him he's "in a lane all by [him]self" this season, and Nick loves how much Connor "connected emotionally." Connor goes with Team Blake.
Kaitlyn Myers / 17 / Schwenksville, Penn.
"If You Really Love Me" by Stevie Wonder
Kaitlyn loves Motown and is excited to bring her unique sound to the show. She has a voice that sounds beyond her years, but this song is freakin' hard and it gets the best of her. None of the coaches turn. Kelly tells her she has a "cool vibe" but the whole thing "felt a little wild at times." She needs a song "that has some space" to give her room to breathe. John applauds her for taking such a big risk but it just wasn't fully there yet. Next time!
Bradley Sinclair / 22 / Nashville, Tenn.
"Say You Won't Let Go" by James Arthur
Bradley starts off shaky on this James Arthur song, but once he opens up about halfway through, the performance and the vocals improve enough to get both Nick and Kelly to turn around. Nick thought that once he got away from the raspy part of his voice and into the more "pure tone," it "felt good" and like Bradley finally "settled in." John didn't turn his chair, but he was impressed by how big Bradley's range is, starting with his "deep baritone" and then going "up into the stratosphere." Bradley seems to be a big Jonas Brother fan, so Kelly doesn't have much of a chance here — Bradley's joining Team Nick.
Gihanna Zoë / 17 / Redlands, Calif.
"She Used to Be Mine" by Sara Bareilles
This song makes me immediately fold up into the fetal position upon hearing it, so I might be biased on this audition, but dang Gihanna can sing. Kelly and Nick both turn for the powerhouse teen and although everyone agrees that Gihanna was pitchy in the beginning, they also agree that she has a ton of potential. Nick especially loved how Gihanna had the ability to "soar on the high notes," and found the whole thing really moving. Still, a female pop artist with a ton of power in her voice? Gihanna going with Team Kelly.
JD Casper / 28 / Austin, Tex.
"How to Save a Life" by The Fray
JD Casper served in the Navy, where he honed his music skills, and now he's a full-time musician trying to build a career. For his audition, he's rigged a machine so that he can play three instruments at once — he knows it's a risk, but he looks for a way to set himself apart. Kelly is into the performance but is waiting for him to go higher in his range and show them what he can really do. As soon as JD does that, Kelly turns her chair. She's excited because usually "guys like [JD] who look cool never choose her" but now he has no choice! He assures her he was going to pick her anyway because his kids wouldn't have it any other way. Kelly calls JD "a total musician" and "a total package" and she's ready to push him to perform at his best. Team Kelly nabs an Americana artist.
Deion Warren / 28 / Conway, N.C.
"Shallow" by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper
Deion tells us that he's been waiting for this moment "since he was 3," and the guy is emotional. This works out perfectly because this song is done best at peak emotion. The opening bars are gorgeous, and both John and Kelly turn right away. Deion also sounds great as he opens up on the chorus, and Nick decides to toss his hat in the ring, too. Blake tells Deion that the only reason he didn't turn was because of that promise he made to Cam Anthony in the first episode (he's staying true to his lane-clearing word!), which I get, but also Deion probably deserved a four-chair turn here. Nick was blown away by the emotional connection, Kelly calls him the "perfect vessel" for the message of the song and was happy it had more depth to it than simply using "Shallow" to show off range, and John calls Deion's voice "rich and nuanced." John praises Deion's "artistry," which was on full display as he made that song his own. Deion joins Team Legend.
TEAM KELLY: Kenzie Wheeler, Corey Ward, Gean Garcia, Ryleigh Modig, Halley Greg, Gihanna Zoë, JD Casper
TEAM LEGEND: Christine Cain, Victor Solomon, Carolina Rial, Pia Renee, Ciana Pelekai, Durell Anthony, Deion Warren
TEAM NICK: Dana Monique, Devan Blake Jones, Raine Stern, Zae Romeo, Andrew Marshall, Jose Figueroa Jr., Bradley Sinclair
TEAM BLAKE: Cam Anthony, Pete Mroz, Anthony Konzelman, Ethan Lively, Emma Caroline, Avery Roberson, Connor Christian
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