The Voice recap: A four-chair turn comes to a surprising conclusion
Night two of the season 21 Blind Auditions includes things like a truly excellent four-chair turn performance, Blake Shelton and Kelly Clarkson fighting about country music for so long that John Legend and Ariana Grande simply leave and grab a snack, and Ariana's soul leaving her body (emotionally). The Voice is back in full force, people! Let's get into the performances.
Lana Scott / 28 / Chesapeake, Va.
"hole in the bottle" by Kelsea Ballerini
You know, I really thought Kelly had a fighting chance against Blake to grab country vocalist Lana Scott for her team; Lana considers herself more of a country/pop artist and notes in her pre-package that Kelly Clarkson would be a great coach for her. But her dad loves Blake and she is a tried and true country girl when it comes down to it. Both Blake and Kelly turn their chairs. Kelly loves that "stylized country voice," and even though Blake describes it as "whiny," he thinks Lana's more nasally sound is a perfect country voice. He loves her stage presence, too. And then Kelly and Blake proceed to argue about who is country and who is not for so long that John and Ariana actually leave to get a snack. And you thought Blake and Adam's in-fighting was bad. Anyway, Lana does one for her dad and joins Team Blake.
Samuel Harness / 26 / Fort Wayne, Ind.
"Here Without You" by 3 Doors Down
Samuel shows off his skills by selecting this 3 Doors Down song and making it completely his own. He slows it down, infuses it with his vibrato, and tops it off with a whole lot of genuine emotion. John, Blake, and Ariana all turn their chairs. Kelly wanted him to open up his voice a little more, which he didn't really do until the very end. But Ariana was very impressed: She loved that his voice had a grit to it but also somehow stayed clean and clear the entire time. John is jealous that someone with such a rasp has so much range. And then Blake and Kelly fight some more about country music. Sure, why not? Samuel decides to join Team Legend.
Carolina Alonso / 23 / Reno, Nev.
"El Triste" by Yuri
Carolina is a biochemistry major but really wants to pursue music. Follow your dreams, guys, but come on — biochem feels like a much better path. She sings regularly with her dad at a local Mexican restaurant and wants to use this audition to pay homage to her Mexican heritage, so she sings Yuri's version of this big ol' song. As soon as Carolina starts singing, Kelly, who loves a bilingual singer, gets so excited. And guess what? She fishes her wish. She is the only chair turn, so she doesn't need to fight to get Carolina on her team. John says the higher notes sounded "a little squeezed," and that made him nervous, but both he and Ariana compliment her big, round alto range. Kelly is "obsessed" with Carolina's tone, which she calls "really present and round." With a big voice like that, it makes a lot of sense to have Carolina join Team Kelly.
Chavon Rodgers / 23 / Ada, Okla.
"drivers license" by Olivia Rodrigo
Yes, Chavon — who hails from Blake's hometown of Ada, Okla., and brings him an Ada brick from the early 1900s as a gift — knows that this song is everywhere, but he's hoping that by putting his own spin on it, he'll stand out. He has a very distinct tone and real range. By the time he goes into his falsetto, both John and Ariana have turned their chairs around. Ariana was moved by the storytelling aspect of Chavon's voice and how there was a real "arc" to the arrangement. John compares Chavon to Jeff Buckley: His voice is "inviting and "mysterious," and the song really built to a strong finish. Chavon goes with Team Ariana, and Ariana points out to Kelly and Blake that two coaches can fight for one artist in a very civilized manner, thank you very much.
Serenity Arce / 14 / Jupiter, Fla.
"I See Red" by Everybody Loves an Outlaw
Aw, Serenity is such a little nugget. Unfortunately, this is a case when the coaches can hear how young the artist is, and no one turns around. They all agree that she has a "cool tone," but she went off-key a lot and simply needs more experience to get to know her voice better. She's close but not ready just yet.
Joshua Vacanti / 28 / Lockport, N.Y.
"Into the Unknown" from Frozen 2
Ariana Grande calls this a "kooky" song choice (in the best way), but you know what? Joshua sings the hell out of it. He's not hiding his theatrical background and gets to demonstrate his huge range, showing off some real confidence. It's a smart pick to stand out in auditions. John Legend blocks Ariana, knowing they'll bond over musical theater, and again, that ends up being a smart choice. Ariana turns, and it's clear that theater connection would've most likely led Joshua to Team Ariana, but John knew he wanted to work with a vocalist with that kind of range and confidence. Joshua joins Team Legend.
Hailey Green / 15 / St. Martin, Miss.
"Home" by Marc Broussard
Hailey auditioned during season 19 but didn't earn any chair turns — the coaches thought she was about a year away from being ready. So, Hailey has spent the past year honing her skills and figuring out her style. She certainly seems much more confident on stage, and this song really fits her voice. Blake waits until the very end and makes sure no one else is turning before he presses his button. Kelly thought it sounded a little "wild," which makes sense for someone her age but tells her she has "so much soul for 15." Ariana didn't turn but loved Hailey's "growl" and "full, rich belt." Blake thinks the "wildness" is an asset, and they can work on that part together — the rest of it is already there. Hailey's happy to be on Team Blake.
Jim and Sasha Allen / 57 and 19 / Newtown, Conn.
"Leaving on A Jet Plane" by John Denver
It's a father/son duo! Jim is a music teacher, and Sasha grew up singing and playing guitar, so taking this operation pro feels right. They also tell a lovely story about how Sasha came out as trans, and Jim talks about how "it's a parent's job to listen to your child even when it's hard to understand," and the two seem genuinely so happy to be performing together. They also sound pretty great. Like our other group, Jim and Sasha have a very '70s folksy vibe going for them. Ariana, who turns along with Kelly, says they make her feel like she's "at Woodstock" and that their pitch was practically perfect. She wants a little more range and would love to push them vocally. Kelly admits that she has a group on her team already, and that kind of sinks her chances before she even starts. Jim and Sasha Allen join Team Ariana.
Paris Winningham / 32 / Jacksonville, Fla.
"Superstition" by Stevie Wonder
When someone takes on this Stevie Wonder classic, you know they have some real confidence in their vocal ability. Paris was in the Navy for 10 years and, after an injury, was honorably discharged and saw it as an opportunity to finally go for his music career. You can tell he just loves performing, and it spills through in his vocals. John and Ariana both turn and are up on their feet in no time. Ariana loves Paris's personality and thought the performance felt "effortless." John is also pumped about Paris. He tells him he "lit this stage on fire" and especially notes the high notes he somehow managed to mix in with a growl. It was "beyond excellent," he says. Perhaps that's why Paris decides to join Team Legend.
Camryn B / 21/ Mount Shasta, Calif.
"Hometown Glory" by Adele
Camryn shares a moving story about helping take care of her older brother when he became paralyzed during a football game and how he pushed her to pursue music. Camryn seems very nice, and she really handles the rejection of zero chair turns unbelievably well. The coaches thought she was doing too much of an impression of Adele rather than letting her own voice shine through. Camryn vows to work on it and return in the future.
Gymani / 23 / East Point, Ga.
"pov" by Ariana Grande
It's so interesting to see how different coaches handle artists covering their own songs. Most seem to be tougher on the vocal performance but Ariana Grande is so flattered here she can't wait to push her button. Of course, that could simply be because Gymani turns in an insanely good version of "pov," who wouldn't be flattered? Gymani's take on this song is full of so much emotion, there's a cool little raspiness in parts of her voice, and she knows how to work an arrangement to the best effect. It's no surprise Gymani earns a four-chair turn. Ariana tells her that this song is hers now. "I just left my body emotionally," she says. While it may seem like Ariana is a lock, the other coaches don't give up: Kelly thinks she has an "incredible ear" for song selection, and the way she changed up the song to make it her own shows some real smarts. "Your voice is why this show exists," Kelly tells her. John compares her to Jill Scott and says the performance was "executed with such flawlessness." Surprising all the judges, Gymani decides to go with Team Kelly. That's a tough loss for Ariana, but this seems like it could be a great coach/artist pairing.
TEAM KELLY: Girl Named Tom, Kinsey Rose, Carolina Alonso, Gymani
TEAM LEGEND: Jonathan Mouton, Jack Rogan, Samuel Harness, Joshua Vacanti, Paris Winningham
TEAM ARIANA: Katie Rae, Katherine Ann Mohler, Vaughn Mugol, Chavon Rodgers, Jim and Sasha Allen
TEAM BLAKE: Peedy Chavis, Wendy Moten, Lana Scott, Hailey Green
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