The final week of the Blind Auditions is here! It has only been three weeks, but it feels longer. Thank goodness they aren’t like American Idol, and show us a bunch of bad auditions too. This is the week where the coaches get very picky, as they only have two spots left. It is slightly frustrating, as some clearly talented people get passed over. Sometimes it is because the coach they would appeal to has a full team already, or sometimes it is because coaches are holding out for a specific type to complete their team. This year that was clearly Alicia Keys.
It might be me and my real life distractions, but I didn’t have any particular artist just immediately jump out at me and make me go “HOLY CRAP!” However, there is potential in this season, and this weeks’ artists are no different.
Enid Ortiz: Tampa, Florida Song: All I Ask
Turns: Blake Team Blake
I know it is weird that I am picking someone that only had a one chair turn (more about that below), but I was impressed by this woman. I didn’t even think “Oh, an Adele song” right away. Her voice had a quality to it that I don’t think we’ve heard from someone new in a long time. She reminded me of old school seventies female ballad singers like Debby Boone (You Light Up My Life) and Olivia Newton John.
Valerie Ponzio: El Paso, Texas Song: Ring of Fire
Turns: All Four! Team: Blake (duh)
I don’t believe there should be “sacred cows” in song choices on these shows, but if there were, Ring of Fire would be right up there in the top 5. If you are going to do this one, you damn well better do it justice. Yes, it has been covered by others, but unlike American Woman (also performed tonight) no cover has matched the original (there are probably some out there that think Lenny Kravitz was the first to sing it). It is doubly difficult to “make it your own” since the song was written by June Carter Cash for Johnny, and was so obviously their love story. Valerie added a lightness to it, a definite Americana folk feel to it that made me think of June with a little dash of Stevie Nicks. Seriously, look up June Carter Cash on YouTube singing this and I think you’ll agree with me on the comparison.
Chris Blue: Knoxville, Tennessee Song: Tracks of My Tears
Turns: Alicia Team Alicia
Holy crap… Smokey who? Chris Blue has some amazing vocal tricks up his sleeve that he showcased in this iconic song by Smokey Robinson. I’m not sure Smokey could do those vocal runs. The ONLY reason he wasn’t a four chair turn was because Blake, Gwen, and Adam had already filled their teams. Alicia has been mentioning since last week that she was looking for someone specific, and she clearly found him in Chris. His mother and fiance were also adorable too. I usually don’t like it when someone puts ALL their vocal tricks into one song, but he had a nice balance of that and it is wise to maybe do slightly too many on a blind audition than too few.
Dawson Coyle: Dawson, a homeschooled kid from Williamstown, New Jersey, didn’t particularly wow me with his voice, but I think I know why Blake turned for him (and was the only one). Blake’s team is primarily female, with only two other men. Those men have very distinctive styles and are 29 and 40. Dawson is 17, and has that young fresh voice that might appeal to the young teen population. I also really noticed him because his dad is a big ol’ crybaby. Seriously, I think the guy sobbed at one point. Please note – I don’t judge men on that at ALL. .
Jozy Bernadette: I just thought she had a really interesting song choice for her voice. Jozy sang American Woman, but really without any of the gravelly whiskey rock and roll gravitas that the Guess Who and Lenny Kravitz gave to it. She’s one I’ll be keeping an eye on.
COACHES AND GOSSIP
Did Blake cheat? No, not that kind of cheating – although I believe he was still married to his first wife when he met and fell in love with Miranda. Ooopsie. But did Blake really cheat during Enid Ortiz’s audition? During her audition singing “All I Ask” no one was turning around, to my surprise. Gwen was looking to Blake during the performance, mouthing and saying stuff like “she deserves to be on”, but NOT hitting her button. Adam and Alicia were enjoying the performance I think, but did not seem inclined to press their button. She was very good, but she wasn’t what I thought of as in Adam’s wheelhouse. Alicia was, I think, being cautious and selective. She definitely has vision of what she wanted her team to be.
So, Blake just flashed his dimples throughout the performance, not pressing his button. At the end of the song, Blake pressed his button when Gwen looked at Adam for a brief second. She was so surprised, she lost her last second opportunity to press her button. She even asked if that wasn’t cheating. No sweetie, that is called make up your own damn mind about an artist and stop relying on your boyfriend’s opinion and coat tails. It plays cute on the show, but afterwards I was irritated by it. So much for strong ska chick vibe.
It has created a little bit of controversy and heat on social media.. Those of us who think Gwen is following Blake’s lead to much are simply “haters” and need to shut the fuck up. So apparently Gwen has a rabid, asshat fanbase. Anyone know if they have a nickname?
I also now believe that Alicia’s rocking out in her seat for almost every performance was an intentional head game – that if Gwen or the others think she was going to press her button, that THEY would press their button. It might have worked, as Alicia was the last one to fill her team and she got an amazing singer to fill that spot! I’m enjoying this competitive Alicia a little more than last season’s kumbaya “I feel your soul” Alicia!
FINAL TEAMS (NAMES ADDED THIS WEEK IN BOLD)
It should be noted that we didn’t see some of the auditions of artists who were ultimately picked for a team.
TEAM ADAM – Johnny Hayes, Mark Isaiah, Jesse Larson, Julien Martinez, Kawan DeBose, Taylor Alexander, Gaby Borromeo, Josh West, Malik Davage, Hannah Eyre, Nala Price, Sheena Brook
TEAM GWEN – JChosen, Stephanie Rice, Savannah Leighton, Brandon Royal, Troy Ramey, Aaliyah Rose, Johnny Gates, Caroline Sky, Kenny P, Davina Leone, Sammie Zonana, Jozy Bernadette
TEAM ALICIA – Anatalia Villaranda, Felicia Temple, Autumn Turner, Lilli Passero, Quizz Swanigan, Jack Cassidy, Missy Robertson, Lauryn Judd, RJ Collins, Hunter Plake, Vanessa Ferguson, Chris Blue
TEAM BLAKE – Lauren Duski, Brennley Brown, Aliyah Moulden, Ashley Levin, Casi Joy, Micah Tryba, Josh Hoyer, Enid Ortiz, Andrea Thomas, TSoul, Valerie Ponzio, Dawson Coyle
Tonight’s episode is simply a recap, a glimpse of some things we didn’t see (coaches banter and probably a couple of the performers whose audition we didn’t see), and a sneak peak of the Battle Rounds. As an FYI, you can see those auditions on YouTube. But BEWARE, that is a time suck. You might find yourself clicking on some of the international versions of the Voice, and before you know it you are a fan of Sister Christina, the Sicilian nun who won The Voice of Italy in 2015! Of course, if you in danger being awake at 3 AM watching some Croatian dude sing Ring of Fire, you can always catch up by reading my previous Voice blogs!
NEXT WEEK, ITS ON TO THE BATTLE ROUNDS!