6:13pm PT by Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya
'The Voice': A Short and Sweet Night of Blind Auditions Keeps Things Moving Along
Night three of season three’s Blind Auditions clipped along quickly on The Voice, which was only on for an hour tonight because of the Presidential Debate. But the night was still packed with diverse talent. Coaches Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Miley Cyrus, and Alicia Keys all fought to land the best of the best.
The first artist of the night was Bindi Liebowitz. “This performance is for me and my mother,” she said after sharing the story of her mother’s breast cancer diagnosis. She sang a soulful rendition of “Bust Your Windows” and showed off some really lovely runs. Levine turned first, and Shelton joined at the last minute. Those two are so predictable. Shelton brought up the fact that he’s the winningest coach, a card he has played pretty much every time this season. Levine seemed especially frustrated by Shelton and relentlessly fought for Liebowitz. She ultimately went with Levine because of his experience in blending genres, which is something she really sees herself doing as an artist. Shelton is undoubtedly less adept at experimenting with genre.
Openly gay country-soul singer Zach Hicks was up next, singing “At This Moment,” and even though he had a “beautifully big, round voice,” as Levine said after, none of the coaches turned. “I feel like it was really, really, really close,” Levine added. Cyrus and Shelton wished he had sang something a little more country in his audition.
Elia Esparza hoped to have a different result. “Elia was never shy,” Esparza’s mother said about the young artist who moved to New York after high school to pursue her dreams of performing professionally but works a day job doing entertainment at kids parties. Esparza decided to sing in Spanish for her audition, hoping it would catch the coaches’ ears and also showcase her identity. She sang “Como La Flor” by Selena, and Levine turned first. Shelton and Cyrus joined at the end of the song. “Thank you for being different,” Levine said. “I want to do pop music in English and Spanish,” Esparza said when Levine asked what her vision is for herself as an artist. Shelton admitted he was probably not the obvious choice but that he can still coach outside of his own genre. Esparza probably should have picked Cyrus, but she joined Team Adam.
Lane Mack, who balances his time between his family’s cabinet finishing business and playing music, auditioned next, singing “Every Day I Have The Blues.” The performance was just fine, but it had some nice momentum, so Cyrus turned once she heard a part she liked. No one else turned, so he ended up on Team Miley by default. “I’m excited to work with you,” Cyrus said. Mack became the first man on Team Miley.
Karlee Metzger, who is a business student but said she always puts music first, came to The Voice because she wants to take the next step toward making a living as a musician. She sang “Samson” by Regina Spektor, and at first, it sounded too close to the original recording, but she brought some of her own sound to it about halfway through. She had a gorgeous voice that could be both delicate and powerful. Cyrus and Shelton both turned. “I feel like I could break you out of that shyness,” Cyrus assured Metzger, who definitely could improve in terms of her presence but undoubtedly has the vocal skills to be a star. Metzger joined Team Miley, which was the right choice for her. “I do think she’ll help me get out of my shell a little bit,” she said.
Josh Halverson has been traveling around Texas as a songwriter but said that The Voice would give him the opportunity to do what he’s meant to do. He closed out the night by singing “Forever Young.” He had an original take on the song and showcased impressive musicality. Keys, Shelton, and Cyrus all turned simultaneously. “I’m stupid,” Levine said, immediately regretting not entering the fray. “I turned around because your voice is striking,” Keys said. Levine uncharacteristically sided with Shelton, which was the most surprising moment of the night. But it didn’t work. Halverson joined Team Alicia. Even Keys didn't expect it, but she was ecstatic.
The Blind Auditions continue tomorrow with a normal two-hour installment. Which team is your favorite so far?