7:10pm PT by Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya
'The Voice': Blind Auditions End, Battle Round Commences
The Blind Auditions concluded Monday night on season 15 of NBC's The Voice, with coaches Adam Levine, Jennifer Hudson, Kelly Clarkson and Blake Shelton making their final turns of the season. After the first hour, the Battle Round began, bringing on this season’s mentors: Keith Urban for Team Blake, Thomas Rhett for Team Kelly, Halsey for Team Jennifer and CeeLo Green for Team Adam.
Kicking off the final round of Blind Auditions, Emily Hough sang “Big Yellow Taxi” by Joni Mitchell. It wasn’t a pitch-perfect performance, but she showed potential and got turns from Levine, Shelton and Hudson. Hough ended up choosing Team Adam. With that, Team Adam was full.
Next up was Josh Davis singing “Too Good at Goodbyes” by Sam Smith. His smooth and soulful sound caught the ears of Clarkson and Hudson. He chose Team Kelly, filling Clarkson’s team.
Brooklyn-based artist Lisa Ramey followed with a performance of “Beautiful Trauma” by Pink. She did not receive any turns from the coaches.
Katrina Cain got things turned around with her performance of Fleetwood Mac's "Rhiannon." She has had a lot of experience in the industry but came to The Voice to take her career to the next level. She got turns from Shelton and Hudson, and Clarkson was especially bummed that her team was full. Cain joined Team Blake, filling the team.
The last artist to audition for season 15 was Matt Johnson, who sang “Never Too Much” by Luther Vandross. His voice was what Hudson was waiting for. She turned and chose him as the last artist to fill her team.
With season 15’s top 48 selected, it was time to kick of the Battle Round. First up was Team Kelly with the assistance of Rhett. Clarkson paired Sandy Redd and Cody Ray Raymond and had them sing “Cry to Me” by Solomon Burke. Both artists had impressive ranges, and Rhett coaxed some lower notes out of Raymond. The two artists blended well and had great chemistry right off the bat.
In their final performance, the two artists proved to have powerful voices. They also commanded the stage, leaving Clarkson with a very difficult decision to make. Levine said right away that he would steal whoever lost. Clarkson ended up choosing Raymond, leaving Redd on the chopping block. Sure enough, Levine, Hudson and Shelton all swooped in for the steal. Redd chose Team Jennifer and hopefully will have better luck on that team.
Team Blake and his mentor Urban were up next, pairing together Michael Lee and Joey Green for a performance of “A Thing Called Love” by John Hiatt and made famous by Bonnie Raitt. Green seemed the most comfortable in their rehearsals, but Urban and Shelton encouraged Lee to overcome his nerves.
In their final performance, Green showcased his range, and Lee showcased his unique tone as well as his guitar skills. Shelton chose Lee as the winner, and Green was eliminated. No coaches opted to steal him.
The final battle came from Team Jennifer, who paired Colton Smith and Patrique Fortson. Halsey was on hand to mentor, and Hudson had them sing Shelton’s own “God Gave Me You.”
Both artists have impressive range and delicate voices, making this ballad a strong song choice that suited them both. It was sure to be a heated battle. In their performance, Smith and Fortson were indeed very well-matched, blending well while also standing out with their individual runs and tones. Fortson emerged victorious, staying on Team Jennifer, but Shelton kept Smith in the competition by stealing him. So in the end, only one artist was eliminated from the first round of Battles.
The Battle Round continues Tuesday night on NBC.