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Heading into tonight’s third round of Blind Auditions, coach Gwen Stefani led the pack with six artists, followed by Blake Shelton with five. Pharrell and Adam Levine both had four artists on their teams at the top of the night.
Morgan Frazier, who recorded her first album when she was 9 years old and moved to Nashville on her own at age 16 to pursue music, kicked off the night with some country, making her an obvious contender for Team Blake. She sang a country version of Cheap Trick’s “I Want You To Want Me,” which was a creative choice, and Stefani turned her chair instantly. It looked like she might land Frazier until the last second, when Shelton turned. “Team Gwen all the way,” said Levine. Frazier gave an out-of-the-box performance, but she didn’t make the out-of-the-box choice: She joined Team Blake, like nearly every country artist does on this show.
Frazier was followed by another impressive young artist. Seventeen-year-old Amanda Ayala joined her first rock band when she was only 12 years old and has been watching The Voice since season one. As a female rocker herself, she said going into her audition that she’d like to work with Stefani. She sang “Mississippi Queen,” and unfortunately, Stefani didn’t turn, but the other three coaches did. She picked Team Adam.
Jeffery Austin’s audition was his first performance in six years, but his rendition of “Lay Me Down” was beautiful. Stefani was the only coach to turn, but the rest of the coaches regretted not pressing their buttons in time. “I think we may all be regretting that later on this season,” said Shelton.
Pharrell still hadn’t picked up any artists at this point, but the next artist, Lyndsey Elm, indicated that she probably would pick him as a coach if he turned for her. Elm sang “Lips Are Movin” by Meghan Trainor and brought a stripped-down acoustic sound to her version of the pop song. Stefani turned first, shortly followed by Levine and then Pharrell. Shelton pressed his button near the end of the performance, so Elm secured the first four-chair turn of the night. The coaches all made compelling cases, but Elm ultimately went with Team Gwen.
Joe Maye auditioned next, singing “Word Up” by Cameo. He gave an electrifying performance, but none of the coaches turned their chairs. Shelton suggested that there may have been a little too much dancing, since Maye sounded somewhat out of breath during the performance.
Freelance and commercial photographer Manny Cabo was up next. He explained that his day job is photography but that he really wants to focus on his music now. He sang “Here I Go Again,” and Levine turned immediately. Shelton followed, joined by Pharrell and Stefani in the night’s second four-chair turn. All of the coaches noted that he seemed experienced. He joined Team Adam.
The next contestant, 16-year-old Madi Davis, was born with fluid in her ears, and ever since, she has suffered from hearing problems. She had reconstructive eardrum surgery and ended up finding a love for singing. Davis sang Carole King’s “It’s Too Late,” and she got turns from Stefani and Pharrell. “I did win last season, and I want what’s different,” said Pharrell. Stefani followed Pharrell’s lead and got on her feet with him to walk up to the artist and pitch to her up-and-close. It was Pharrell’s move though, and in the end, Davis chose him.
Caleb Lee Hutchinson, a 16-year-old country artist, auditioned next, singing “The Dance” by Garth Brooks. He had a strong voice for being so young, but none of the coaches turned during his performance.
Chris Crump left his own wedding reception early with his now-wife when they heard that The Voice was doing local auditions in Austin, Texas. Tonight, he sang “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran. Levine turned first, and the other coaches joined. Crump found himself having to decide between all four teams. He joined Team Blake.
Tyler Dickerson, who moved to Nashville, Tenn., when he was 13 years old to make music, auditioned next. He got signed when he was 15, but his label closed down, and he was dropped, so he came to The Voice looking for a second chance. “There is no backup plan,” he said. He sang “Hard To Handle,” and Shelton turned early, giving him his second chance.
Closing out the night, Jubal Lee Young and Amanda Preslar shook things up by auditioning as a couple. Together, they sang “Seven Bridges Road,” and Young played guitar. Pharrell and Stefani turned for the couple. “There is a lot to work on because it was a little pitchy,” said Pharrell, but he made it clear that he’s willing to do the work with them. And before they got a chance to choose their coach, Young proposed to Preslar, who said yes. The newly engaged pair picked Team Pharrell. “This is officially the oddest day I’ve ever experienced on this show,” said Shelton.
What did you think of tonight’s auditions? Sound off in the comments, below. The Blind Auditions continue tomorrow night on NBC.
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