7:17pm PT by Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya
'The Voice': Blind Auditions End
The Blind Auditions finally drew to a close for season 16 of NBC's The Voice on Monday.
Coaches Blake Shelton, Adam Levine, Kelly Clarkson and John Legend made their final picks for their teams ahead of next week’s Battle Round. At the top of the night, Team Adam and Team Kelly still needed three more artists to complete their teams. Team Blake needed two, and Team John only needed to fill one.
Celia Babini, at just 17 years old, got things started with a riveting performance of “idontwannabeyouanymore” by fellow young artist Billie Eilish. She had the right kind of voice to sing Eilish, low and warm. Babini got quick turns from Shelton, Clarkson and Levine, and by the end, Legend turned, too. She started the night with a well-deserved four-chair turn. Shelton called the performance “captivating.” Babini joined Team Adam.
Another young artist, 16-year-old Cecily Hennigan, followed with a performance of “Foolish Games” by Jewel. She had impressive range and power behind her vocals, but only Shelton turned for her. Shelton suggested that he will help her unlock more parts of her voice. She joined Team Blake by default.
Kalvin Jarvis bravely chose Legend’s own song “A Good Night,” but he sang it very well. He put on an entertaining, soulful performance and got turns from Levine and Clarkson. Legend jokingly praised the song choice. Clarkson praised his runs, but Jarvis went with Team Adam.
The 13-year-old artist Ava August did not turn any chairs with her performance of “House of the Rising Sun,” but the coaches encouraged her to come back.
David Owens got things turned around with his standout take on “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” which he filled with soulful runs and emotion. Only Clarkson turned for him, though, probably because teams were filling up. He joined Team Kelly by default.
A 16-year-old artist named Presley Tennant gave a stellar performance of “Stone Cold” by Demi Lovato. She showcased range and vocal strength, and Clarkson turned early for her. It was another surprising one-chair turn for an artist who probably would have had more turns had she gone earlier in the auditions. Tennant joined Team Kelly by default.
Rod Stokes gave a country-rock performance of “To Love Somebody” by The Bee Gees, playing guitar and showcasing a slightly raspy voice. Levine turned first, but he was followed by Shelton and Legend. Shelton seemed to have it in the bag, though, and sure enough Stokes joined Team Blake, which was officially full.
Andrew Jannakos followed with a performance of “Beautiful Crazy” by Luke Combs. He showed off strong country singing, but Shelton’s team was full, hurting his chances. However, Levine and Clarkson turned, so he was in play. Jannakos joined Team Adam, which was full.
Kayslin Victoria, who is 16 years old, gave a very fun performance of “Feel It Still” by Portugal The Man, full of some effortless ad-libs and a lot of personality. It would have likely been a four-chair turn if two teams weren’t full. Clarkson and Legend both turned, and Victoria joined Team John, which was a bit surprising since young women in the competition usually go with Clarkson.
With first-time judge Legend filling his team, it was all down to Clarkson. Maddi Fraser failed to get Clarkson to turn, and she was followed by a montage of other artists who didn’t quite have what Clarkson was looking for in a final team member.
Then an unexpected artist stepped up to fill the spot. Jackson Marlow sang “Troubadour” by George Strait, and Clarkson started freaking out about the prospect of landing a country male artist since Shelton was out of the running. Marlow turned out to be former The Voice finalist Red Marlow. He joined Team Kelly as her final artist.
With the teams full, the Battle Round kicks off next Monday.