7:08pm PT by Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya
'The Voice': Artists Continue to Impress on Third Night of Blind Auditions
The Blind Auditions continued on The Voice tonight, with coaches Christina Aguilera, Blake Shelton, Pharrell and Adam Levine all fighting to land the best artists for their teams.
First up was preschool teacher Hannah Huston, who sang “Unaware.” It was a powerful performance, and Huston had an interesting rasp to her voice, but the coaches took their time, listening to hear if she would do something special. Pharrell, Aguilera and Shelton all pressed their buttons on the very last note. Shelton praised her falsetto, and Aguilera said she was a fan of the raspy sound. Ultimately, Huston went with Team Pharrell.
Also hoping to catch Pharrell’s ears, Brian Nhira, who considers himself a pop singer, sang “Happy” for his audition. Both Pharrell and Shelton turned near the end of the performance. Pharrell went so far as to say that Nhira sings the song even better than him. Even though Nhira lives in Oklahoma, where Shelton is from, the choice was was an obvious one: Nhira joined Team Pharrell.
Aijia, who works as a backup vocalist and currently sings with Selena Gomez and is married to singer-songwriter Andy Grammer, auditioned next. Going into her audition, Aijia said she would want to work with Aguilera the most, which probably informed her song choice: Aguilera’s own “Say Something.” She had a beautiful voice, but she didn’t really add anything new to the song. None of the judges pressed their buttons. Shelton said it was too inconsistent for him, and Aguilera said she was looking for more tenderness than just sheer power.
Brittany Kennell, who’s from Montreal but lives and gigs in Nashville, turned things back around with her performance of “Strong Enough” by Sheryl Crow. Kennell had a country folk vibe, and Shelton turned early, but he was joined by a late button push from Pharrell. Shelton told Kennell he heard something unique in her. “You definitely have a different one, and your vibratto is one of those crispy, classic vibrattos of the past that we don’t really get to see these days,” Pharrell said. Kennell went with the safe choice and joined Team Shelton.
Natalie Yacovazzi, who auditioned during season 9 but did not turn any chairs, returned to The Voice for a second chance. Yacovazzi was especially hoping for a turn from Levine, who she really wanted to work with after he encouraged her to keep working on her skills last season. This time around, Yacovazzi sang “Mr. Know It All” by Kelly Clarkson and had a very strong start. She got her wish: Levine turned almost immediately. Yacovazzi was able to sustain the power and control for the whole performance, and Aguilera tried to turn at the last minute, but it was too late. Levine landed Yacovazzi. “You made it,” Levine said, telling her that he could hear some of the anxiety in her voice but adding that he’ll work with her to get over it.
Nineteen-year-old Malik Heard grew up in a sports family, but he eventually found music on his own, getting his start by singing music in church. His family supported him, and he ended up deciding to postpone college in order to try to launch his music career. He sang “Chains” by Nick Jonas, and the second he hit his first run, Pharrell and Aguilera both turned. Heard had impressive range and stage presence. Heard cited Sam Smith, Bruno Mars and Justin Timberlake as his influences. He would have been a great fit on either Team Christina or Team Pharrell, but he ultimately chose Aguilera.
Peyton Parker, who lives in Nashville, auditioned next. She sang “Dreams” and played the guitar. Aguilera and Pharrell turned first, followed shortly after by Shelton. Levine looked like he was thinking about pressing his button, but she didn’t quite get the four-chair turn. Parker didn’t come off explicitly as a country artist, but she definitely had a bit of country in her, so the other coaches immediately used their pitches to try to dissuade her from choosing Shelton. “You will be so special on my team,” Aguilera said. It didn’t work though, and Parker joined Team Blake.
Indie jazz singer Kristen Marie sang “Mad World,” and her stunning tone brought something special to the song. Aguilera turned first, followed by Shelton. Despite the fact that Marie is from Oklahoma, it was immediately clear that Marie should pick Aguilera. Marie didn’t seem to clearly fit into any particular genre, and Aguilera makes more sense in that case than Shelton. “I heard a little Adele in there. I heard a little Sia,” Aguilera said, and Marie noted that that’s exactly what she’s going for. Marie made the right choice and joined Team Christina.
Evan Taylor Jones auditioned next, singing “Homegrown” by Zac Brown Band. Jones considers himself a soul-rock artist, but he wanted to show off his versatility with a country song. Jones played guitar and gave a really engaging performance. Even though he put on a great show, Jones didn’t get any turns from the coaches, who encouraged him to sing something more true to who he is as an artist. “I definitely think you should com back,” Pharrell said.
Nate Butler, who works as a busboy but came to The Voice hoping it would change his voice, sang “The Walk” by Mayer Hawthorne, saying that it exemplifies who he wants to be as an artist. Right away, Butler showcased impressive falsetto. Shelton, Pharrell and Levine all turned in the final seconds of the song. Shelton said he pressed his button because of Butler’s chest voice. Butler joined Team Adam, which was definitely the right fit for him.
The last artist of the night was 25-year-old Ryan Quinn, who lives at home with his whole family and works as a teacher for children who have experienced trauma. Quinn sang “Can’t Find My Way Home,” and Aguilera turned right away. Quinn had really beautiful tone, and it didn’t take long before Pharrell and Levine heard it too. Then Shelton pressed his button, giving Quinn the only four-chair turn of the night. All four fought hard for Quinn, but he decided to join Team Adam.
What did you think about tonight’s Blind Auditions? More are on their way tomorrow, and the Battle Round begins next week as season 10 of The Voice heats up.