By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com
Last night, The Voice kicked off its eleventh season as Adam and Blake welcomed new coaches Alicia Keys and Miley Cyrus!
Tonight during the Blind Auditions, a recording artist who had a big break during the early 2000s came to audition for the coaches! Did they catch the attention of the coaches? Read on to find out.
As the veterans confronted the newbies on the way to their seats, Chicago native and single mom Se’Rayah kicked off night two of the Blind Auditions. She channeled the struggles that she faced in the inner city projects and channeled it into her cover of Ray Charles’ “Drown in My Own Tears.” Her powerful and soulful vocal range caught the attention of both Miley and Alicia! After Se’Rayah had called Adam out for not pressing his button, Miley loved that Se’Rayah “brought hope and love into the room.” Meanwhile, Alicia stated: “I Love You!” to the Chicago native and wanted to take her to the galaxy and back! After deciding to do something different, Se’Rayah chose Miley to be her coach.
While Miley met Se’Rayah’s family, it was 26-year-old Ethan Tucker to take the stage. The Olympia, Washington musician has opened for legendary musicians such as Buddy Guy and Ziggy Marley. He dedicated to his Blind Audition for his grandmother, and he tackled The Police’s “Roxanne,” a song that has not been sung on The Voice since Juliet Simms covered the track back in Season Two. It was very hard for me to disassociate the song from the Team CeeLo runner-up, but I enjoyed Ethan’s husky Reggae twist to the track. I also found it surprising that only Adam and Blake was interested in Ethan. While Adam tried to get him to join his team, Blake used the Gwen card and Ethan picked him!
Last month, we met We McDonald, and she opened the preview with a bang with her take of Nina Simone’s “Feelin’ Good.” I thought I was listening to Nina Simone’s reincarnation. Her vocals blew me away, and I got the goosebumps! The 17-year-old received the night’s first standing ovation and was also the night’s first four-chair turn! Miley called her a total star, while Alicia praised her vocals and asked her family to join her on stage. Blake tried to use her family and to his leverage, while Adam wanted to throw a party if We chose him. However, We decided to join Team Alicia.
25-year-old Andrew DeMuro came from a family of teachers, but after three years of teaching special education students, Andrew decided to pursue music. Andrew and I share a music hero: the one and only Billy Joel. While I have seen him perform in concert in Kansas City, Andrew performed “Only the Good Die Young” with the Piano Man when the Kennedy Center Honoree visited his college. I hoped that Mr. Joel watched Andrew’s performance, because he gave one of the best covers of “Vienna,” I have ever heard! Adam instantly bonded with Andrew for their mutual love of Billy Joel and Andrew became the second artist of Team Adam. Welcome to Team Adam, Andrew!
Earlier, I wrote about the return of the reappearance of an artist from the 2000s who was going to audition for the coaches. Well, it turns out that the artist was former country singer Billy Gilman. When I was attending Indian Valley Elementary School and Oxford Middle School, Billy’s song, “One Voice” peaked at number 20 on the Billboard Top 40. He also worked a diverse group of artists such as Charlotte Church and the King of Pop himself. Tonight, Billy auditioned with a cover of Adele’s “When We Were Young.” His magnificent voice gave me chills and so far this season, he is the only male artist that I have downloaded from iTunes. Billy caught all the attention of all four coaches, and all of them began to fight for him. Blake and Miley tried to use their experience with him in their respective pitches, while Adam declared him one artist that could win Season 11 and Alicia added that she was inspired by his performance. After the commentary, Billy chose Adam to be his coach!
While Miley teased the coaches with her surprise trick up her sleeves, Sophia Urista sat down with host Carson Daly at her NYC burlesque club. However, she brought rock to the stage for the first time this season with her amazing cover of “Come Together.” She reminds me of both friends of the blog, Amanda Brown and Kimberly Nicole, whose powerful rock vocals took the NBC singing competition by storm during their respective seasons! Sophia also caused the second Alicia-Miley fight of the evening. Alicia compared her to a hybrid of Tina Turner and Janis Joplin and declared her “the future of music.” Miley called her a rock version of her dear godmother, Dolly Parton, who on a video clip stated that she should pick Miley! She listened to Dolly and picked Miley!
26-year-old Brooklyn bartender Branden Fletcher hoped to leave the martinis for a music career with his fresh interpretation of Bob Dylan’s “Jolene” that caught the attention of Adam, Alicia, and Miley. While Alicia tried to play the New York card and Miley offered him the opportunity for the world tour, Branden picked the first coach to turn around: Adam!
56-year-old Dan Shafer traveled across the country to Los Angeles to appear on The Voice. After years of writing jingles and working in the soft drink industry, Dan stepped out on the stage and blew me away with Train’s “Marry Me.” His cover gave me the chills, and he sounded 100 times better than some of the male artists on the Top 40 radio. Dan instantly became a member of Team Blake when Adam, Alicia, and Miley failed to recognize his talent.
The final artist who auditioned for the coaches this evening was 24-year-old vocal teacher Lauren Diaz. She was inspired to pursue a career in music from Alicia Keys. I was so happy when Alicia turned around for Lauren when she sang “If I Ain’t Got You.” In addition to Alicia, both Blake and Miley turned around. I got goose bumps gave me chills when Alicia gave Lauren a hug and it was meaningful that Lauren got to have the honor to be mentored by her hero. Plus, it was amazing to hear Alicia sing a few bars of “If I Ain’t Got You” and as Alicia walked back to meet her family, her husband proposed!
Next week, “The Voice: Season 11” Blind Auditions continue!