By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com
New coaches Alicia Keys & Miley Cyrus have arrived on The Voice, and they are slowly starting to change everything surrounding of the NBC singing competition!
During the 30-minute preview of The Voice: Season 11, they were able to snatch two artists away from three-time winning coach Adam Levine and four-time winning coach Blake Shelton.
The 30-minute preview also showcased how younger artists such as Team Alicia’s We McDonald (who might be one of the Season 11 frontrunners) and Miley’s first recruit, Girl Meets World actress Darby Walker, are eager to follow in the footsteps of previous winners Danielle Bradbery and Sawyer Fredericks. Could the younger singers be the ones to watch this year?
As the second round of Blind Auditions aired, did the ladies continue their lead in the recruitment drive or did the Voice stalwarts managed to get the upper hand? Read on to find out!
21-year-old Chicago native Jason Warrior kicked off the season! Jason hoped to escape the Windy City and pursue a career in the music industry. He picked Stevie Wonder’s “Living for the City,” because it perfectly fit his life. While it was a questionable arrangement, I enjoyed listening to Jason’s husky, soulful take on the R&B classic. His performance caught the attention of both Adam and Alicia. Alicia was moved by Jason’s performance and hoped that she could help him on his journey. With the support of both Blake and Miley, Jason landed a spot on Team Alicia.
33-year-old Dave Moisan had one of the most intriguing stories of the evening. The former swimmer turned medical device salesperson also had a past with one of the coaches: Adam Levine. For his audition, Dave tackled one of Adam’s favorite songs: Marcy Playground’s “Sex and Candy.” This self-taught singer charmed all four coaches with his superb vocal range, which includes an impressive falsetto! Miley kicked it off with a hug, while Adam noticed that Dave reminded him of himself. Despite Adam’s best attempts of keeping him, Blake and Miley yet again helped guide another artist to Team Alicia.
As Adam dressed down Blake and Miley for letting Alicia steal another artist from him, 17-year-old Courtnie Ramirez hoped to make her family proud with her Blind Audition. She brought an exciting twist to former Voice Australia and Voice UK coach Jessie J’s “Mamma Knows Best.” I loved her raspy vocals, and her great vocal belts caught the attention of the new guns. Miley was impressed with her swag and rocker style, and she became the first member of Team Miley surprising everyone including Courtnie’s family.
When I saw Sundance Head on my TV, I instantly remembered that he was on American Idol: Season Six. He made it to the Top 24 but was unable to make it to the live shows. Sundance became the first contestant of the night to give me the chills. His excellent cover of “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” shook the Universal Studios Hollywood soundstage and he made me smile. Adam and Blake were the only two coaches that turned around for Sundance, and while the Maroon 5 frontman had his chance, his kids advised him to pick Blake, and he listened to his children.
28-year-old NYC native Ali Caldwell gave me some serious Fantasia vibes when she performed a cover of Ariana Grande’s “Dangerous Woman.” After last season’s electric duet between Ms. Grande and the legendary Queen of The Voice, Christina Aguilera, I thought that no one would give that song justice. Ali surprised me with her bombastic vocals and the fact that she held my attention for that insane 90-seconds. Ali caught the attention of all four coaches and Miley just stated that “she just won the show.” Adam brought up the first time he heard both Jordan Smith and Alisan Porter and added that he was “blown away” with Ali’s performance. Meanwhile, Blake brought up Alicia’s ex-backup singer and Season Two winner Jermaine Paul and stressed that the mismatch combination of coach-and-artist might lead her down victory road. Miley wanted to get to know Ali and wanted to find songs that “no one would expect” for her to sing. Things got more interesting as Alicia and Adam ran up on stage to talk to Ali one-on-one. While the “No One” singer was impressed with hard work and called her “so special” and gave her a hug, Adam wanted to drive Ali “all the way to the top.” After heeding her mother’s advice: “dare to be different,” Ali decided to enlist with Team Miley!
As Miley celebrated with Ali and her family, 16-year-old crooner Riley Elmore sang one of the Great American Songbook’s greatest anthems, “The Way You Look Tonight.” His pitch-perfect Sinatra-esque performance caught the attention of both Adam and Blake. Before the veterans began their bickering match, Miley stated that she amazed with Riley’s passion for the swing genre at his age. Adam said to Riley that he sang the standard almost every week, while Blake stated that he wanted to come back as Dean Martin and brought out the Michael Buble card. However, Adam began the coaching process and got up and sang the song with Riley. Riley and Adam’s impromptu duet was one of my favorite moments of the evening, and Riley chose Adam to be his coach.
15-year-old Gabe Broussard is one of the youngest artists in the competition, but he had a lot to offer. He sang a groovy version of “Lonely Night in Georgia” and his voice not only peaked my interest but both Blake and Miley. While the former Hannah Montana star was very interested in what he listened to, Blake said that he would get along with him musically and Gabe picked Oklahoma’s favorite son to be his coach.
The final artist of the evening was 20-year-old Christian Cuevas! The Guitar Center employee pursued music after a major football injury. He made his family and late father proud with a stunning take on Michael Bolton’s “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You,” which got the attention of Adam, Alicia, and Blake! The four-time champion was hypnotized by his voice and personality and stated that he “was a fan.” Alicia bonded with Christian and declared that he “got it.” Meanwhile, Adam loved Christian’s sincerity and liked how he empowered the audience. He became the third artist of the night to select Team Alicia!
Tomorrow night, the Season 11 Blind Auditions continue!