7:07pm PT by Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya
'The Voice': Tension Builds as Blind Auditions Near End
The Blind Auditions are almost over on season 14 of The Voice, so Blake Shelton, Adam Levine, Alicia Keys and Kelly Clarkson were getting more selective with their turns tonight. Heading into the night, Clarkson still had her block left, adding a bit of suspense. Clarkson, Keys and Shelton all had three spots left on their teams at the top of the night, and Levine had a whopping six empty slots.
The first artist of the night was Stephanie Skipper, who sang Clarkson’s own “Piece By Piece” and shared details about how she related to the song’s message. She delivered a powerful lyrical interpretation, and Clarkson was immediately overcome with emotions over hearing her own song. But she seemed torn over whether to turn or not. “Just do it,” Keys told her. But Levine turned instead, and Clarkson thanked him. At the last second, Shelton turned, too. “The fact that you picked that song is cool,” Clarkson told Skipper through tears. Skipper joined Team Adam.
The next artist was Tish Haynes Keys, the daughter of a pastor and a gospel singer. She started singing choir in church and also sings in a band. For her Blind Audition, she sang “Chain Of Fools” by Aretha Franklin. She brought a lot of energy to the performance and had strong ad libs, and Clarkson and Levine turned at the same time. Clarkson rushed the stage to give her a hug. “Y’all, that was insane,” Clarkson said. Levine said he wanted to help push her out of her comfort zone. “I want to be different,” Haynes Keys said before announcing she was joining Team Adam.
Bransen Ireland was up next, singing “Tulsa Time” by Don Williams. The country performance caught Shelton’s ears first, and then Levine turned, too. “Do what you feel, not what you think you’re supposed to do,” Levine said, trying to persuade Ireland away from the obvious choice. Clarkson pointed out that Ireland would have less competition on Team Adam, but Ireland picked the safe option and joined Team Blake.
High school student Teana Boston followed, citing Keys as one of her biggest inspirations. She sang “Unfaithful” by Rihanna. There have not been very many R&B artists so far this season, and she proved to be a strong one. Only Clarkson turned for her, but Keys called her song choice brave, and Shelton hinted that he may have regretted his decision not to turn. She joined Team Kelly by default.
Miya Bass, who turned down a job offer with the NYPD in order to focus on her singing career, auditioned next. She sang “Issues” by Julia Michaels. She exhibited impressive artistry and had a killer voice. Levine was the only one who heard it though, hitting his button for Bass. She joined Team Adam by default. Levine said she made the song hers.
Livia Faith, who has been singing her whole life and plays the ukulele, sang her own arrangement of “Dream a Little Dream of Me,” opting not to bring her ukulele along to the Blind Audition. She had a delicate, throwback sound. Clarkson, Keys and Shelton all turned for her. Clarkson said there was no one else like her in the competition so far. Keys expressed excitement over the idea of working the ukulele into her performances. Clarkson and Keys both serenaded Faith a bit, which pretty much knocked Shelton out of the running. Faith joined Team Alicia.
Accountant and singer Jordan Kirkdorffer put his day job on hold in order to focus on singing. He auditioned with “In Case You Didn’t Know” by Brett Young, giving a solid pop-country performance. Levine turned first, followed by Shelton. “Do I have a chance?” Levine asked him. “You’re different, and you’re special,” Shelton said. Kirkdorffer unsurprisingly joined Team Blake.
Next up was Shana Halligan, who said she is ready to be a solo artist and thinks The Voice is the right platform to be able to do that. She sang “Bang Bang (Baby Shot Me Down),” and her audition really stood out. Her arrangement was original, and her voice was very intriguing. Only Keys turned for her, so she joined Team Alicia by default.
Gary Edwards, who works with kids in a youth choir, auditioned next. He also sings in two cover bands, and for his Blind Audition, he sang “What’s Going On” by Marvin Gaye. It was a beautiful performance, and Edwards’ range was impressive. Levine and Shelton both turned. Edwards brought his grandma, who played an instrumental role in his music career, to the stage as Levine and Shelton bickered. Edwards joined Team Adam, which was the right fit for him.
Mercedes Ferreira sang “All I Ask” by Adele and had a really powerful voice. Clarkson looked like she was about to turn several times but never did. Levine and Clarkson both said it was close for them. “That might be the dumbest thing I’ve ever done,” Clarkson said.
The final artist of the night was soul singer Hannah Goebel. She sang Keys’ own hit “If I Ain’t Got You.” It was a great cover, and her technical skills were some of the sharpest of the night. Clarkson, Shelton and Levine all turned. Clarkson even used her block finally on Keys, who wasn’t all that surprised to discover she had been taken out of the running. Clarkson really fought for Goebel, pointing out that she saved her block for someone she was really passionate about. She joined Team Kelly.
The Blind Auditions conclude tomorrow night on NBC. What did you think of tonight’s auditions?