‘The Voice’ Recap: Blake Shelton Prances Down Memory Lane in Final Premiere Episode
The Voice kicked off its 23rd season with yet another hilarious sketch. Appropriately, the beginning sketch featured new coaches Chance The Rapper and Niall Horan, finding out about Blake Shelton’s obsession with the show, along with his home away from home.
Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson Reignite Their Friendly Rivalry
After the show premiered their typical comedy skit, it got right into the first audition. The first auditioner of season 23 was Neil Salsich, a 34 year old from St. Louis, Missouri. This singer brought a strong country tune to the stage, which led Shelton to block Kelly Clarkson right off the bat.
As soon as her chair turned, Clarkson knew Shelton hit the block button. She was so sure that she didn’t even question it. Although she argued with Shelton about it, the country artist denied the allegations, saying he didn’t remember hitting it. Eventually, Neil decided to join Team Blake over Team Kelly.
Not letting the block go, Clarkson asked Shelton “Did you feel like you had to block me to win him?” before the next singer went on. Shelton, in response, said that she always follows in his lead, since she doesn’t really know country music. Honestly, there’s nothing quite like the Shelton-Clarkson rivalry, so I was really happy to see it in full force tonight.
the final #teamblake starts with NEIL SALSICH!!!! pic.twitter.com/1A0X013unf— The Voice (@NBCTheVoice) March 7, 2023
Blake Shelton Doesn’t Turn For His Former Opener
One of the most surprising moments of the night was Holly Brand’s audition. In Holly’s package, she talked about how the biggest stage she’s been on was actually Blake Shelton‘s. Immediately I questioned whether it was fair for her to audition for the show, but she explained that she was only 10 years old when she performed on Shelton’s stage. After her time on his stage, she realized her potential in music and went on to compete in pageants. One of said pageants was last year’s Miss America competition.
Holly came to the stage singing “Mississippi Girl” by Faith Hill. Clarkson turned her chair first, followed by Horan, and finally Chance The Rapper. Surprisingly, Shelton didn’t turn for this singer. After the song was over, Clarkson ran over to Shelton’s chair, asking what was wrong with him. I agree with Clarkson on this one, Holly’s tonality was beautiful.
Even though Shelton didn’t turn, Holly showed off the photo of them together. It’s not a surprise that Shelton didn’t remember Holly, since it had been quite sometime. Now, at 22 years old, she’s ready to prove herself as more than just a pageant queen. In the end, Holly picked Team Kelly.
ooooooh the fire in Holly Brand is amazing !!! pic.twitter.com/gm20vOOU9i— The Voice (@NBCTheVoice) March 7, 2023
Singer From Ada, Oklahoma Brings Shelton’s Demo
Later in the episode, singer Emily Rhyne took the stage singing “The First Cut is The Deepest” by Rod Stewart. Ahead of her audition, Emily talked about how everything in her life as led her to Shelton. She grew up in his hometown, Ada, Oklahoma, shares a similar passion, and even performs at his Oklahoma bar.
Even though none of the coaches turned for Emily, she was given the time to discuss her past with Shelton. She brought the country singer a shirt that’s signed by local singers. After giving it to him, Shelton made a joke, saying that he probably went to high school with her grandfather. This ended up being somewhat true, since Shelton totally recognized Emily’s grandfather’s name.
Although the short trip down memory lane was fun, the best part was Emily pulling out Shelton’s demo tracks. For the country artist’s 13th birthday, he was given the opportunity to create a demo, which Emily got her hands on, thanks to her grandpa. The coaches listened to the track together, everyone was in awe of Shelton’s dedication to the genre, at such a young age.
The Voice continues its auditions on Tuesday, March 7 on NBC. Be sure to tune in at 8 p.m. ET so you don’t miss any of the action, or the surprise celebrity guest.