7:19pm PT by Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya
'The Voice': Two Judges Form an Unlikely Alliance
The Blind Auditions are almost over, and The Voice coaches Christina Aguilera, Blake Shelton, Adam Levine and Pharrell Williams are feeling the pressure to round out their teams of artists for the season.
Ashley Morgan takes the stage first with Whitney Houston's "I Wanna Dance With Somebody," and Shelton and Pharrell go head-to-head for her. "I'm still trying to figure out who I am as an artist," the full-time freelance musician says. She picks Pharrell as her guide to help her with that process.
Next in the audition lineup, 16-year-old Koryn Hawthorne sings "My Kind Of Love" by Emeli Sande. Her voice — described as "bonkers mature" by Levine — impresses enough to get Pharrell and Aguilera to turn their chairs and duke it out for the first time in the competition. They don't get quite as vicious as Shelton and Levine usually do. In face, Aguilera and Pharrell hug it out before Hawthorne even announces her decision. She follows her heart as Aguilera advises, and it leads her right to Team Christina.
Lexi Davila tries to overcome her shyness in her audition. Singing "Dreaming Of You" by Selena, she gets Levine and Shelton to turn their chairs. And as expected, they don't play quite as nicely as Aguilera and Pharrell. "You are not a country artist," Levine says, as Shelton gets the crowd to chant his name. She goes with Team Adam, and Levine doesn't hesitate to rub it in Shelton's face with a slow clap.
Levine prevails over Shelton again to win Josh Batstone, while Team Christina gains two new artists: Katelyn Read and Ameera Delandro. Shelton begins his comeback by snagging Bay Brooks from Nashville.
Quincy Mumford, who has been singing a blend of reggae, funk and soul with his band for seven years, fittingly auditions with "Dancing Machine" by Jackson 5. It's back to the band for Mumford though, as none of the coaches press their buttons for him.
The news is better for Brenna Yaeger, who bravely sings Shelton's wife Miranda Lambert's song, "The House That Built Me." Levine turns when she sings his name, and Shelton joins him in the final seconds of the song. Having grown up in a log cabin, there's a lot of emotion to her performance, which balances out her nerves. Shelton is the obvious choice for her genre, and even though Levine turns up his charm factor, she joins Team Blake.
Jeremy Gaynor, a vocalist in the West Point Band, sings "Superstar" by Luther Vandross, and Aguilera is the first to turn her chair, but she's joined by the remaining three judges for the first four-chair turn of the night. Every coach throws their hat in the ring, but Aguilera wins Gaynor over with her heartfelt pitch.
Hoping to shake up their strategies, Levine and Shelton decide to make a pact. "We should team up against the other two," Levine tells him. They decide to advocate for one another if they're going up against Pharrell and Aguilera. But a pact certainly doesn't mean Levine and Shelton are pals now. Singing "Ring Of Fire," Jack Gregori ends up on Team Adam by default, and Levine calls Shelton "small-brained" for not turning. He hopes it's his chance to beat Shelton at his own genre.
Levine doesn't really come to Shelton's aid when Briar Jonnee sings Rihanna's "Take A Bow" and Shelton and Pharrell turn their chairs. She picks Team Pharrell.
Jess Gallo, who talks about how music helped her come out to her parents, doesn't turn any chairs with her performance of "Stolen Dance" by Milky Chance. But she shows a lot of potential and will hopefully be back one day.
Levine and Shelton face off again for Brian Johnson, and Shelton wins this round, adding a bit of a different sound to Team Blake. How's that pact working out for you, Levine?
The last artist of the night, Corey Kent White, sparks the biggest coach fight yet. Singing "Chicken Fried" by Zac Brown Band, he gets chair turns from Shelton and Pharrell. Shelton plays his country roots card hard, but Pharrell takes off his sweater and approaches the stage. "He knows country music, but I know all kinds of music," Pharrell says. Levine abandons the pact and endorses Pharrell, pointing out that he'll be able to stand out on Team Pharrell instead of just being another country singer on Team Blake. Shelton is the obvious choice for country singers, but sometimes developing yourself as a standout artist means taking risks. White plays it safe though and goes with Shelton.
Tomorrow night, The Voice revisits the best moments from the Blind Auditions. The Blinds finally wrap up next week, and then the Battle Rounds begin. Which team has your support?