‘The Voice’ Season 15 Blind Auditions, Part 5 Recap
So far, Season 15 of The Voice has been one of the better seasons in recent history, in my opinion. The chemistry between Adam, Kelly, JHud, and Blake is amazing and the talent is on another level! Each team is going into this week with five spots left to fill. But we’ll also need two more artists for Kelsea Ballerini’s “The Comeback Stage” team! It should be an exciting one.
Let’s see if the next round of auditions can live up to the first two weeks.
The Voice kicked the night off with the first duo of season 15! And actually, the first duo since Whitney & Shannon in season 11. Adam Bastien & Jerome Bell are a couple from New York City. They started their Blind Audition with some synchronized choreography, singing “Could It Be I’m Falling in Love” by The Spinners. Almost a minute and a half into the song and after hitting some insane high notes in perfect harmony, Blake, JHud, and Kelly all turned their chairs. I honestly think they all would’ve turned sooner if they saw that dancing! These two are the whole package.
JHud said the duo “took [her] to the rafters” with their notes. In a rare moment of support for Blake, Adam points out that he did take the Swon Brothers farther than any other duo ever on the show. Then, the coaches invite their family onto the stage for a cute moment. Kelly holds back tears as she talks about what a “beautiful thing” their family is in such a divisive time. Jennifer agrees and points out the togetherness, saying she “wants to be in the family.” Blake holds his hand up to speak, but JHud takes the stage and hugs their family. When Blake finally gets a chance to speak, he brings up his track record with duos and says “You need a cowboy!” But after conferring with their families, OneUp went with…Team Kelly! They liked that she understood their message of uniting people and spreading love and acceptance.
Natalie Brady was hoping to make her kids proud by auditioning. She chose an extremely difficult song to cover, Heart’s “Barracuda.” I’ll admit I was worried. But Adam clearly wasn’t! He turned very quickly after she hit every note of the first two lines with her rough, gritty tone. Natalie is a true rocker! She reminds me a lot of Kat Perkins, who was on Adam’s team in season 6 and made it to the semifinals. Natalie has more control than Kat did though, at least in her Blind Audition. The real surprise here is that JHud turned her chair around just before the end of the song!
Adam started by saying she deserved four chairs to turn. JHud echoed that, directly to Kelly and Blake. Kelly said Ann Wilson is one of her favorite singers of all time and that Natalie has her range. That’s an insane compliment! Then Blake gave her a hard time for not turning too (even though he didn’t turn either). Natalie goes on to explain that she’s rooted in country music! She lives in Nashville and performs on Broadway (the street in Nashville, not the theater district in NYC). But it’s no surprise she ended up on Team Adam.
Up next was Hannah Blaylock. Hannah is a country girl from Arkansas who comes from a musical family. As part of a band growing up, Hannah toured with groups like Rascal Flatts and The Voice‘s own Blake Shelton! She sang Alison Krauss’s version of “Baby, Now That I’ve Found You” by The Foundations for her Blind Audition. I thought it was a pretty solid showing but nothing outstanding. Unfortunately the coaches agreed. She didn’t turn any chairs or earn a spot on Kelsea’s team, which was surprising to me. I would’ve loved to see Kelsea coach her!
Mike’s short introduction package was a sob story about how he was an all-star football player but lost all his scholarships because of his lousy grades. Losing all that made him go into the construction business and pushed him to pursue music. Mike auditioned with Ne-Yo’s “So Sick.” It wasn’t looking promising but at the last second, JHud turned! And what a reaction from Mike when she did! Adam said it was the “single best reaction I’ve ever seen in my life.” Because JHud was the only one who turned her chair, Mike ended up on Team Jennifer.
Joey Green from Texas is a t-shirt maker. He dedicated this performance to his late sister, who had always encouraged his musical aspirations. Joey sang “Baba O’Riley” by The Who for his Blind Audition. This was an interesting song choice, especially considering he says he wants to do country music. Near the end of the song, both Jennifer and Blake turned their chairs. JHud talked about how passionate she was and how it didn’t matter which genre he wants to sing, she would be excited to work with him. Blake didn’t have to say much, but he did argue that Joey was more “in his lane.” Blake genuinely seemed to think JHud had a chance with this one, but Joey ended up choosing Team Blake.
Zaxai is a first generation Haitian-American. His intro package talked about how close he is to his family and how his parents come to America to give him a better life. He then tells a story about working at Radio City Music Hall and getting kicked in the head by Kelly Clarkson at her concert there! We can feel a confrontation coming.
Zaxai sang “Come and Get Your Love” by Redbone. It had been built up for the rest of the episode and it finally happened during this Blind Audition. The last block of the season was used on Kelly! After the inevitable confrontation with Kelly, Zaxai got a hug from the coach. Both women complimented him and his runs. Since Jennifer was the only other coach to turn, Zaxai ended up on Team JHud.
To start the second half of the episode, we had 20-year-old Erika Zade from Miami. Her dad is a classical guitarist and she has always been surrounded by music. She goes to Berklee College of Music and has a pretty good Shakira impression? By her own standards. Erika sang “New Rules” by Dua Lipa for her Blind Audition. She talked about the sass in the song in her intro package but I didn’t see much of it on stage to be honest. Erika had a great voice though! There was definitely some potential there. Adam said she “could have a song on the radio tomorrow.” JHud was waiting to hear more from her. With the right songs, she could be a threat.
Then came the best part. Erika revealed that she met Blake once before! At the CMA Fest, she gave him a demo CD, he signed it and handed it to another fan. Adam and Kelly did an awesome reenactment of the moment too, which I’m sure was almost exactly how it happened. Only Kelly turned so, by default, she joined Team Kelly.
Jarred Matthew is an astrophysicist from San Diego. No, actually. He went on and on about a lot of nerd stuff I didn’t understand before his audition then talked about his long-distance relationship with his wife. Music helped him get by through that hard time. Jarred sang a smooth cover of “Tired of Being Alone” by Al Green. Adam turned early then Blake turned later in the song. Blake said the excitement in his voice was “contagious.” Adam’s convincing argument was that he could help Jarred perfect his falsetto. Well that seemed to be enough! Jarred joined Team Adam.
The next artist was 21-year-old Sam Robbins. He started a punk band with his friends in junior high and played the drums before learning he could sing. Sam said he plays around 200 shows a year while in school for music. That is insane! Sam sang Jim Croce’s “Time in a Bottle” for his audition and displayed some impressive guitar skills. He failed to hit the higher notes though and his performance was one-dimensional. Because of that, Sam didn’t get a chair to turn. While he didn’t turn any chairs, he did earn a spot on Team Kelsea for “The Comeback Stage!”
Colton started what seems to be the new montage strategy, which is showing some backstory, about 30 seconds of a performance, and some coach feedback. Hey, it’s better than the 10 seconds and one coach comment we got before! Colton has struggled being gay in Alabama, where he lives and grew up. He came to The Voice hoping to turn Jennifer’s chair. Colton Smith sang “Alive” by Sia for his Blind Audition. He tackled a big song but it didn’t seem like he was going for it fully in the bigger parts of the song. Maybe that was montaged though? From JHud’s reaction, I expected more to be honest. Adam also said that he “loves him” and Jennifer said he “gave her life.” Well “”JHud Productions was the only one who turned so Colton is on her team.
Kayley also got the new montage treatment. She lives in Nashville and spends her time doing gigs there and building things. Kayley auditioned with “Gold Dust Woman” by Fleetwood Mac and turned Blake’s chair. She has solid vocal abilities and showed some awesome control in her runs. She also seems to know how to use her vibrato to her advantage, especially in the higher, sustained note toward the end. Kayley could be a dark horse from what we’ve heard! By default, she is on Team Blake.
In true “save the best for last” fashion, Kirk Jay was last up. Kirk is a 22-year-old from Alabama who grew up poor, sleeping on a couch. He grew up on country music and sings full-time in a country band! Kirk sang “Bless the Broken Road” by Rascal Flatts for his Blind Audition. I thought it was a boring, overdone song choice, but Kirk actually sounded amazing. And he added something to the song I’ve never heard before! Unsurprisingly, Blake turned first. But after turning all four chairs (for only the fourth time this season), it was a battle between the coaches to win him over.
Adam started by saying he and Blake are the only options, since JHud and Kelly turned so late. He also compared Kirk to CeeLo Green singing country. Is that a compliment? I still don’t know. The bromance was strong though! Adam said if Kirk doesn’t pick him, he should pick Blake. When Kelly asked what he wants to sing, he said “country ’til the day I die.” After all the back and forth (and with encouragement from Adam), Kirk joined Team Blake! Surprise, surprise.
That’s it for Monday’s episode! Here’s where the teams stand after the fifth episode of Blind Auditions:
Team Adam: Tyke James, RADHA, DeAndre Nico, Steve Memmolo, Anthony Arya, Reagan Strange, Fousheé, Natalie Brady, Jarred Matthew
Team Kelly: Sarah Grace, Mikele Buck, Claire DeJean, Chevel Shepherd, Delaney Silvernell, Kimberli Joye, SandyRedd, OneUp, Erika Zade
Team JHud: Tyshawn Colquitt, Patrique Fortson, Kennedy Holmes, Franc West, Audri Bartholomew, Natasia Greycloud, MaKenzie Thomas, Mike Parker, Zaxai, Colton Smith
Team Blake: Mercedes Ferreira-Dias, Kameron Marlowe, Keith Paluso, Michael Lee, Dave Fenley, Rachel Messer, Chris Kroeze, Joey Green, Kayley Hill, Kirk Jay
Team Kelsea: Ayanna Joni, Ele Ivory, Lynnea Moorer, Wyatt Rivers, Sam Robbins