7:22pm PT by Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya
'The Voice': Artists Continue to Fight for Remaining Spots on Season 9's Teams
The Blind Auditions phase of The Voice tends to be the most repetitive part of the process, and it’s hard to get a good picture of who these artists are when the performances are cut so short. It was yet another solid night of performances without any one artist really standing out, but the teams are getting closer and closer to being complete. Adam Levine went into the night with seven artists, and Gwen Stefani, Pharrell and Blake Shelton all began the night with eight artists.
Freelance stylist Darius Scott wants to start putting music first, and The Voice is his first step toward that goal. He sang “You Make Me Wanna...” by Usher. Levine turned first, followed by simultaneous turns from Stefani and Pharrell. “I am the most experienced,” Stefani said, pointing out that she has the longest career of any of the other coaches. But as a lifelong N.E.R.D. fan, he went with Pharrell.
The next artist, Korin Bukowski, considers herself offbeat. But she caught Stefani’s attention with her performance of “Cecilia and The Satellite.” She joined Team Gwen by default.
Bukowski was followed by young country artist Krista Hughes, who got her first turn not from Shelton but Levine. It didn’t take long, however, until the rest of the coaches joined for the first four-chair turn of the evening. As usual, the other coaches really tried hard to move her away from going to Shelton, but she didn’t fall for it and joined Team Blake.
Janae Strother auditioned next and sang “Uptown Funk,” but none of the coaches turned for her due to some slip-ups in her vocal control. She was followed by Chance Pena, who sang “I See Fire.” Levine was the only coach who turned, and he landed his first artist of the night.
Next, Viktor Kiraly, who lives in Budapest and has found moderate success in Hungary, went into his Blind Audition with Pharrell as his top choice for a coach. He kicked off the performance with some falsetto, and naturally, Levine pressed his button. Shelton joined, and then Stefani and Pharrell got in on the action near the end of his audition. Stefani immediately got out of her chair and ran up to Király to make her pitch. The very experienced artist picked Team Adam, which definitely seems like the right fit.
Self-proclaimed overachiever Julie Broadus auditioned next and admitted that she has limited range since she has never had any formal vocal coaching. She sang “Brand New Key,” and even though she said she didn’t want to settle for anything less than a four-chair turn, she failed to get the coaches to press their buttons.
Cole Criske auditioned with “Dreaming With A Broken Heart” by John Mayer next, and Stefani turned first, followed by Shelton and then Pharrell. Criske had a soulful and beautiful sound, and it’s surprising that Levine didn’t turn around considering the fact that he’d be a perfect fit for Team Adam. “I heard this honest voice,” Stefani said, which has been one of her focuses this season as she searches for emotionally authentic artists. Criske chose Team Blake, even though Stefani probably could have done more for him.
Alex Kandel used to be a part of the band Sleeper Agent, but when they plateaued, they all decided to break up. Now, she’s ready to go solo. Stefani and Levine both turned for her. Stefani noted that there were some pitch issues later on in the performance, but she’ll have a chance to work with her on that, as Kandel joined Team Gwen.
Singing “Love You I Do” by Jennifer Hudson, Celeste Betton auditioned next and caught the ears of Pharrell with her incredible range. She joined Team Pharrell by default.
Twin sisters Andi and Alex auditioned together with Dido’s “Thank You.” Their harmonies were lovely, and Stefani turned first, immediately followed by Levine. By the end, Pharrell and Shelton had turned, too, closing out the night with a four-chair turn. It certainly was one of the night’s only unique performances. “I’m the only person that has taken a duo to the finale,” Shelton said. The twins joined Team Adam and will likely be a crucial anchor for his team as the season progresses.