7:06pm PT by Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya
'The Voice': Tensions Heighten Between Coaches on Night Four of Blind Auditions
The Blind Auditions continued on The Voice tonight, with season 12 coaches Blake Shelton, Adam Levine, Alicia Keys and Gwen Stefani. Keys and Shelton started the night with five artists each, and Stefani and Levine started with four apiece.
Micah Tryba, who has been training to be a veterinarian and sings in an a cappella group, got the auditions started with a performance of "I'm Every Woman." Tryba admitted that she isn't used to working with bands because of her a cappella background but that she hoped to work with one of The Voice coaches to get more serious about her music career. Shelton turned first, followed by Stefani, and Tryba ended her performance with emotional tears. "I think you can be standing in the winner's circle," Shelton said. Stefani countered his pitch by saying that she could help Tryba bring her personality out in her singing. Tryba seemed like she was going to choose Stefani, but she surprised everyone by joining Team Blake, which she said was her gut instinct.
Troy Ramey, who grew up in a musical household with a father whose music pursuits were cut short by cancer, followed. Ramey has been performing in a band, but he said that he wanted to try doing something on his own. He sang "Wild World" by Cat Stevens, one of his father's favorite songs, and it was a moving performance. Shelton turned early, but his rival Levine joined soon after. Stefani and Keys jumped in, making for the night's first four-chair turn. "What woke me up was your attention to the lyric of that song," said Stefani, adding that he made it his own. "You have lifetimes in your voice, Troy," said Keys. Shelton tried to suck up to the artist by sucking up to Ramey's mother. "You sing like a man," Shelton told Ramey. "I'm such a huge fan of all of you," Ramey said at the top of his decision. He joined Team Gwen.
Full-time mother of four Ericka Corban came to The Voice to pursue her dreams of breaking out of her small-town life with a music career. She sang "Wade In the Water," showcasing a rich, low voice. Unfortunately, she did not turn any chairs. Levine said she made some strong vocal decisions but that there were some control issues.
Jack Cassidy of the famous Cassidy family a.k.a. The Partridge Family came to The Voice as part of his journey to figure out who he is as an artist. He sang "One Of Us" and played piano without a band, which he said goes back to his roots as a worship leader. Cassidy said going into his audition that he was glad that the coaches wouldn't know his name and would judge him solely on the merits of his performance. Levine was the first coach to turn, and Keys joined by the end. Levine connected with Cassidy over his musical influences. Shelton, of course, sided with Keys, saying that he could envision the two of them playing dueling pianos together. Cassidy joined Team Alicia, which was the right choice for a piano-playing singer.
The next artists, Kawan DeBose, started singing in his church choir when he was 5 years old and went on to attend a performing arts high school. He regularly gigs and writes songs in Los Angeles. "Since I was 10, my only job was music, but the industry is hard," said DeBose. He gave a brilliant performance of "Let's Get It On" that showcased his experience. Levine turned first, and with a malicious smirk, Shelton joined him. Stefani also turned, but Keys held out. DeBose deserved the four-chair turn, but at least he had three coaches vying for his attention. Levine compared DeBose's falsetto to that of Prince. Shelton said he lit the whole room up, but Keys advocated for Levine. Levine finally got a hard-fought win when DeBose joined Team Adam.
Saying that today is the culmination of playing shows for 10 years and practicing every day, Taylor Alexander was up next. He remarked that he has been writing songs since he was 11 years old. Starting out in punk music, Alexander eventually moved to classic country, but he auditioned with a pop song, singing his own country rendition of "Believe" by Cher. When Levine figured out what was going on, he turned. The gimmick only worked on Levine though, and Alexander joined Team Adam by default. Levine finally got his country singer. "Clearly anything's possible with that guy," said Levine.
Gaby Borromeo, who has been in vocal lessons since she was 9 years old, moved to New York to pursue her music dreams at just 15. For her blind audition, she sang "Happy" by Leona Lewis. She gained confidence by the time she hit the chorus, and Levine and Shelton turned simultaneously. "I'm very surprised that this was not a four-chair turn," said Levine. "You belong on my team." Added Shelton, "By the end of it, that was an incredible performance." Levine got another win, with Borromeo joining his team.
Multi-instrumentalist and former Beatles cover band member Griffin Tucker auditioned next, singing "Heartbreak Hotel." He had an unexpectedly mature voice, but it felt a bit like a cheesy cover band performance. He didn't turn any chairs.
Missy Robertson said it was crazy to go from watching The Voice with her family for 11 seasons to being a part of it herself. "To have 90 seconds to be able to sing to the world is an amazing opportunity," she said. She sang "Scars To Your Beautiful" by Alessia Cara, and at the very last second, Keys and Shelton turned. "Your voice is so beautiful," said Keys. "Think outside the box," said Shelton, admitting that Keys seemed like the more obvious choice. Robertson joined Team Alicia.
Young YouTuber Aaliyah Rose auditioned next, singing "Rise Up" by Andra Day. Stefani turned right away, finally finding the powerful young female pop star she has been desperately seeking. The other coaches didn't turn, so Rose joined Team Gwen by default. “Yay, I got one!" Stefani exclaimed when Rose said she was just 14 years old. "You have so much style," said Stefani. Rose said she covered Stefani's "Make Me Like You" on her YouTube channel, and Stefani enthusiastically shared that the song was about Shelton.
The last artist of the night was 17-year-old Josh West, who sings in a two-man band with his dad. He sang "Ordinary World" by Duran Duran. He got the second four-chair turn of the night with his dynamic performance. Levine and West bonded over their love for '90s rock. "It's not about what I do as an artist, it's about what I do as a coach," said Shelton, acknowledging that he isn't the go-to team for a rock singer. West joined Team Adam, which was pretty predictable. Levine had a good night.
The blind auditions keep on going with a one-hour episode tomorrow night on NBC.