We hear a lot of well-known songs during The Voice blind auditions every season. If a singer has a great voice, that can usually be enough to put a fresh spin on a track we all know. But sometimes, contestants go above and beyond to make a song their own.
Whether it’s an acoustic version of a hip-hop song or a slowed-down, haunting rendition of a bubbly pop record, auditions like these have a knack for capturing the coaches’ attention and sticking in viewers’ minds — sometimes for years to come. Check out some of our favorite examples below.
1. Kayla Seeber, “… Baby One More Time”
Kayla auditioned on the current season of The Voice, putting a punk edge on Britney Spears’ classic song. Although none of the coaches turned their chairs, Kelly Clarkson praised her creative song choice. She ended up returning to compete in “The Comeback Stage.”
2. Christiana Danielle, “Hotline Bling”
Christiana’s piano-backed rendition of Drake’s hit in Season 14 showed off her range and turned it into an entirely new song that was all her own. She even threw some scatting into the mix. The performance turned three chairs. As Kelly said, “You just turned this really cool song into a way cooler song.”
3. Travis Ewing, “Say My Name”
It’s always exciting when a male singer takes on a song by an iconic female artist. In Season 8, Travis covered three legendary women — Destiny’s Child. Until you hear the chorus, you might not even realize what the song is. Coach Christina Aguilera turned her chair almost immediately.
4. Michael Kight, “Sugar”
It’s always a bold choice to audition with a coach’s song. In Michael’s case, he also put a totally new spin on it. His understated cover of Maroon 5’s “Sugar” in Season 13 (featuring an awesome falsetto) earned a chair turn from Adam Levine himself. He called it “a cool, interesting take on the song.”
5. Hanna Eyre, “Blank Space”
It might not be that unexpected for a teenage girl to choose a Taylor Swift song for her blind audition. But 15-year-old Hanna’s pretty cover of “Blank Space” in Season 12 did something totally new with the track. Blake Shelton said “it almost sounded like a lullaby” at first, but still showed off her range.
6. Christian Porter, “Sexy And I Know It”
You might not have expected to hear an LMFAO song in a Voice blind audition, but Christian brought it in Season 4. His smooth acoustic version of the party track (including the “wiggle, wiggle” part) got coach Shakira’s attention. “That’s sexy,” she declared when she turned around. (And she knows it.)
7. Judith Hill, “What A Girl Wants”
It’s too bad Christina Aguilera wasn’t a coach in Season 4, when Judith soulfully covered her song “What a Girl Wants.” It was so good that all four chairs turned for her. Adam said she was the first person on the show to perform a Christina song as well as the woman herself.
8. Morgan Frazier, “I Want You To Want Me”
Morgan’s country take on the classic Cheap Trick song in Season 9 turned it into a tender acoustic ballad. She ended up with Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton fighting over her. Ultimately, the country side of her won out and she went with Blake as her coach.
9. Mike Schiavo, “Talking Body”
Here’s another great example of a male singer putting a fresh spin on a female pop song. Mike took Tove Lo’s seductive track and made it a whole new kind of sexy on his guitar in Season 10. He ended up performing a duet of “She Will Be Loved” with Adam Levine.
10. Whitney Fenimore, “Hold On, We’re Going Home”
Whitney took yet another well-known Drake track and made it totally new in Season 13. With the help of her guitar, she added a cool singer-songwriter vibe to the song. Adam brought up the late Christina Grimmie, who also performed the song on the show, and said it was “like her kind of saying hello.”