See every contestant who advanced on The Voice season 23 — and which celeb judge's team they're on
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Season 23 of The Voice is upon us! This season we have a few notable developments. First of all, Kelly Clarkson has returned to the coaching panel after taking some time off to relish her season 21 win with Girl Named Tom and focus on her many other jobs. But Kelly isn't the only fresh face sitting in those big red chairs this season: rapper/performer/producer Chance the Rapper and boy bander turned pop singer-songwriter Niall Horan both join the show for the first time. And, if you haven't heard, it's Voice stalwart (and nine–time winner!!) Blake Shelton's final run on the show after 23 seasons and 12 years. This not only makes him the clear front-runner to win once again, regardless of who he nabs for his final team, but also will surely add some heightened emotion to the proceedings.
Now, shall we get down to business? This season, mercifully, each team will only have 10 contestant spots up for grabs — as opposed to last season, which had 14. Less is more, people, especially when you're trying to get to know contestants in a singing competition. How will the teams stack up as we journey through the Blind Auditions into the Battles and Knockouts, all leading up to the live rounds? Well, look no further than below. We'll be updating this post throughout the season as contestants join teams. So let's say we meet back here after each episode to see how things are shaking out.
After three weeks of Blind Auditions, the coaches have selected the 10 artists to fill their teams. Let's meet them:
Holly Brand / 22 / Meridian, Miss.
Audition Song: "Mississippi Girl" by Faith Hill
A big get for Team Kelly, Holly Brand hits all the big, soaring country notes you could want (and tosses in a whistle note for good measure), reminding her now-coach Kelly of iconic country vocalists like Faith Hill and Carrie Underwood.
D.Smooth / 25 / Birmingham, Ala.
Audition Song: "Perfect" by Ed Sheeran
D.Smooth puts an R&B spin on this Ed Sheeran song and makes it feel fresh again. He's emotional and soulful and knows how to work the dynamics of the song — Kelly's excited.
Sheer Element / Los Angeles, Calif.
Audition Song: "Leave the Door Open" by Silk Sonic
Team Kelly picks up a smooth-sounding pop/R&B trio with one very familiar face: Jej Vinson, who made it to the Top 13 as a solo artist in season 16 on, you guessed it, Team Kelly.
Allie Keck / 28 / Nashville, Tenn.
Audition Song: "Paris (Ooh La La)" by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals
Kelly notes the mix of Janis Joplin and Ann Wilson in this "Americana rock music" singer and nabs herself a female vocalist who can really wail.
Ali / 24 / Walnut, Calif.
Audition Song: "Killing Me Softly with His Song" by Roberta Flack
Ali is hearing impaired and wears two hearing aids, which surprises the coaches. They are blown away by her creative note choices and how she made such a recognizable song her own.
Marcos Covos / 30 / Dallas, Tex.
Audition Song: "Tu Solo Tu" by Selena
Marcos Covos takes on the Selena version of this traditional ranchera song and infuses it with so much passion, Kelly can't resist.
JB Somers / 31 / Montgomery, Ala.
Audition Song: "A Case of You" by Joni Mitchell
A stellar song choice leads to one of the more interesting auditions of the season. Kelly snatches up this artist, who's able to exude emotion in a really intimate way.
Rachel Christine / 22 / Delavan, Wisc.
Audition Song: "Uninvited" by Alanis Morissette
Kelly's already coaching this powerhouse vocalist before she joins the team, telling Rachel she was almost too controlled, and wants her to get a little "wild."
Cait Martin / 32 / Atlanta, Ga.
Audition Song: "As It Was" by Harry Styles
Cait Martin easily gets a 4-chair turn with her inspired arrangement on this Harry Styles song. Her mom gets an assist for the Team Kelly win, since she started chanting Kelly's name immediately following her daughter's performance.
Katie Beth Forakis / 25 / Savannah, Tenn.
Audition Song: "Ghost" by Justin Bieber
Katie Beth dedicates this song to her late mom, wowing both Kelly and Niall with her new arrangement and her ability to control her falsetto so well.
Sorelle / 21, 20, 15 / Lexington, Ohio
Audition Song: "Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy" by Queen
Sorelle is a sister trio — Madi, Ana, and Bella — with a big social media following and some interesting harmonies that inspire Chance the Rapper to start producing a remix of "What Would I Do If I Could Feel?" from The Wiz with them right on the spot.
NOIVAS / 30 / Hutto, Tex.
Audition Song: "A Change Is Gonna Come" by Sam Cooke
This former American Idol contestant (you may know him as Savion Wright) gets a quick four-chair turn thanks to his passionate performance and incredible control over a big range. He's a pro, and thanks to Chance's quick-thinking Blake Shelton block, the freshman coach has a real contender on his team.
Magnus / 25 / Virginia Beach, Va.
Audition Song: "Sara Smile" by Hall & Oates
Chance is pumped when he realizes no one else turned around for Magnus, who has a crazy, controlled range and, according to Chance, "impeccable song choice."
Jamar Langley / 36 / Andrews, S.C.
Audition Song: "Try Me" by James Brown
Jamar gets off to a shaky start, but pushes through and thanks to a great falsetto and a little tenacity, both Blake and Chance are impressed enough to vie for the soul singer.
Manasseh Samone / 22 / Dallas, Tex.
Audition Song: "Rise Up" by Andra Day
This powerhouse vocalist — who is classically trained, by the way — failed to earn any chair turns when she auditioned in season 22, but thanks to her vocals and "insane" breath control, she wins a spot on season 23.
Chloe Abbott / 24 / Detroit, Mich.
Audition Song: "How Deep Is Your Love" by The Bee Gees
Chance thinks it makes perfect sense when he hears that Chloe is a track and field athlete training for the 2024 Olympics because he was incredibly impressed by her "amazing breath control" and her "controlled runs."
Mariah Kalia / 17 / Jacksonville, Fla.
Audition Song: "idontwannabeyouanymore" by Billie Eilish
You can tell both Chance and Niall really want Mariah, thanks to her cool tone and mature musical choices that seem beyond her 17 years, but she's hoping to stay in an R&B and hip-hop lane, so she goes with Chance.
Ray Uriel / 24 / Gary, Ind.
Audition Song: "Glimpse of Us" by Joji
This is a one-chair turn audition that the other coaches are going to regret. Chance notes there were some shaky moments, but a lot of raw potential "to kill any song."
Audition Song: "Maybe I'm Amazed" by Paul McCartney
We don't see much of this audition, but Chance has been waiting for a rock singer to round out his team, and this one-chair turn provides just that.
Nariyella / 20 / Elkins Park, Penn.
Audition Song: "One Night Only" from Dreamgirls
Nariyella sings the hell out of this song for the last 4-chair turn of the season. Chance tells her that "technically, your skill level is way, way, way beyond your years."
Ross Clayton / 33 / McLoud, Okla.
Audition Song: "Blue Ain't Your Color" by Keith Urban
Newbie Niall Horan pulls out all the stops to win over this seasoned folk/country singer with a rock edge — and that includes turning all the other coaches' chairs around so he can pitch Ross privately. It works — even Blake is impressed with Niall's Blind Audition tactics.
Michael B / 29 / Los Angeles, Calif.
Audition Song: "Save Your Tears" by The Weeknd
Michael B doesn't give the most dynamic of Blind Auditions, but it's enough to pique Niall's interest, who is excited to work on song choice with his pop/soul artist.
Kala Banham / 24 / Windermere, Fla.
Audition Song: "Both Sides Now" by Joni Mitchell
Niall sneaks in a block against Kelly a SPLIT SECOND before she pushes her button to snag this young singer who makes excellent vocal choices throughout the song and emotes like nobody's business.
Ryley Tate Wilson / 15 / Montgomery, Ala.
Audition Song: "Dancing on My Own" by Robyn
Ryley Tate Wilson is a 15-year-old who's never been on a plane, but immediately impresses on one of the biggest stages in the world. He earns a four-chair turn thanks to his great tone and controlled, yet emotive, runs.
Jerome Godwin III / 20 / Montgomery, Ala.
Audition Song: "pov" by Ariana Grande
Jerome has a cool lower register, but it's when he soars to a higher note that he gets Kelly and Niall to turn their chairs. Niall had been waiting for a "super soulful" artist to join his team, and he arrives in the form of Jerome.
Laura Littleton / 26 / Dickson, Tenn.
Audition Song: "Sign of the Times" by Harry Styles
Kelly hears a mix of Dolly Parton and Florence and the Machine in Laura's bluegrass-y take on "Sign of the Times." Assuming she's a country artist, Kelly uses her block on Blake — forgetting that Laura picked a song by Niall's former bandmate. It's a waste of a block and Laura takes her fun vibes and interesting song choices over to Team Niall.
Kate Cosentino / 23 / Kansas City, Mo.
Audition Song: "I Say A Little Prayer For You" by Dionne Warwick
Kate Cosentino has quirky style (she calls it "clown couture"), great taste in guitars, and, according to Kelly, a "pretty alto register" that is really versatile.
Tiana Goss / 28 / Los Angeles, Calif.
Audition Song: "Emotion" by The Bee Gees
Tiana Goss auditioned in season 22, but was told she needed to find a song that did her voice justice — so find it, she did! Niall turns as soon as Tiana nails some of the big falsetto runs in this song.
Gina Miles / 18 / Paxton, Ill.
Audition Song: "The One That Got Away" by Katy Perry
Gina Miles has a whisper of a speaking voice, but when she sings, it becomes a big, booming instrument full of character, and that is what really gets Niall interested.
Talia Smith / 29 / Queens, N.Y.
Audition Song: "Don't You Worry 'Bout A Thing" by Stevie Wonder
Intel Analyst for the U.S. Army Talia Smith wins Team Niall's last spot by tackling a huge Stevie Wonder song. Smith even kicks off the performance with a few bars in a cappella — not to, like, make the task even more difficult or anything.
Neil Salsich / 34 / St. Louis, Mo.
Audition Song: "Honky Tonk Blues" by Hank Williams
This blues/folk four-chair turn has a lot of vocal tricks up his sleeve — everything from a throaty rasp to great falsetto, with a little yodel in there to boot.
Tasha Jessen / 20 / Colorado Springs, Co.
Audition Song: "River" by Leon Bridges
Tasha, whose family had to flee Pakistan because of religious persecution when she was young, gives a chaotic audition in which she's trying to do a little too much, but her tone and range impress all three male coaches.
Alex Whalen / 43 / Indian Rocks Beach, Fla.
Audition Song: "Help Me Make It Through the Night" by Sammi Smith
This London-bred country singer (?!) has an incredible beard, an affection for leather, and a great lower register. He feels at home on Team Blake.
Carlos Rising / 28 / Wilmington, N.C.
Audition Song: "Change the World" by Eric Clapton
Carlos Rising has a real singer-songwriter vibe about him — Blake says he turned especially because of the guitar playing — but his audition feels like it may have been hindered by nerves; Kelly's right: Carlos will need to push himself a little more to stay competitive.
Walker Wilson / 24 / Nashville, Tenn.
Audition Song: "Hurricane" by Leon Everette
Blake is the only to turn for this southern rocker and his gritty vocals, but the veteran coach really is the perfect fit for Walker. Niall calls it "a match made in heaven."
EJ Michels / 31 / Draper, Utah
Audition Song: "Easy On Me" by Adele
A male vocalist nailing an Adele song — and playing the piano to boot — is hard to ignore, and Blake is especially moved by EJ's ability to connect emotionally with the song.
Mary Kate Connor / 17 / Ashburn, Va.
Audition Song: "Stars" by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals
Blake loves the Americana/Appalachian twist to Mary Kate's otherwise angelic, ethereal voice and easily wins the teen over in a head-to-head with Kelly.
Kylee Dayne / 19
Audition Song: "Falling Water" by Maggie Rogers
Blake pulls out all the stops (a giant foam finger that comes down from the rafters) to win this singer, who he says has "an incredible voice" and who can clearly "put together a killer performance."
Kason Lester / 33 / Lebanon, Tenn.
Audition Song: "It's Not Over" by Daughtry
Kason Lester is a strawberry farmer and a former contestant on American Idol season 17. Blake is excited to finally have a full-blown rock artist on his team.
Grace West / 19 / Canton, Mich.
Audition Song: "Maybe It Was Memphis" by Pam Tillis
Grace is the final artist Blake will ever push his button for, and it feels fitting that she's a country vocalist with a story — from songwriter in Nashville to performer — just like Blake's.
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