The fourth round of blind auditions on The Voice UK just ended, and Olly Murs is in the lead. He finished the episode with seven singers on his team, the most of any coaches. Does Olly have a good ear for singers, or do singers just want to be on Olly’s team? You decide.
I’ve said before that the “bad” auditions only come in the middle of the show, since the producers want to start and end with a bang. Imagine my surprise when the first auditioner of the night, H Boss, failed to get any coach to turn around.
H Boss sang and rapped a sort of mash-up of Don’t Mind by Kent Jones and Antenna by Fuse ODG. He also did some pretty good breakdancing — which, of course, the coaches couldn’t see. After time was up, the audience chanted “Bring him back,” but it didn’t happen. However, Will.i.am actually left his chair and went backstage to talk to H Boss. “I just had to come and show you respect. You’re really, really talented.” A nice moment.
Next up: Some real talent. 17-year-old Kirby Frost has a vocal quality and confident stage presence well beyond her years, sort of like a British version of Zhavia. Olly, Will, and Tom Jones all turned for her. Jennifer Hudson was the lone holdout and even she said Kirby’s voice was “made for radio.” I agree. Once Kirby started talking, her shyness came out, which was very charming and perfect for The Voice UK — we all hate talented singers who are too smug. Kirby chose Olly’s team.
The next audition was a duo, Loaded Sista, made up of Keisha and Sally — one black performer and one white, like Team Jennifer’s Ant and Ox. They sang Black Widow by Iggy Azalea featuring Rita Ora. Lots of fire and energy. Will and Tom turned; Olly’s chair malfunctioned and didn’t turn for a while. Could it be sabotage? Will could then tell the duo that he actually turned first. It worked: Loaded Sista chose to join Will’s team.
Next, The Voice UK blind auditions added some drama with two teenage friends auditioning “against” each other, and each cheering the other on. Anna Willison Holt was first, covering Never Forget You by Noisettes. The song is fun and bouncy, and Anna sort of reminded me of Lily Allen. The coaches weren’t too impressed, though; only Will turned around. Tom and Olly agreed they should have turned. So, with no debate, Anna joined Will’s team.
Her high school (do they call it that in England?) friend Eliza Gutteridge auditioned next, with Wild Horses by Birdy. She has a low alto that I personally found grating. “Everyone says I sound like a boy,” she said afterwards. No one turned until Tom at the last minute. Jennifer looked pained not to turn, but Eliza wasn’t that great. Will worried about breaking up the friendship, which I guess is maybe a real danger? Tom said he wanted a male voice because he already had so many women on his team. The joke’s on him!
The middle of the show means one thing: Singers who don’t advance. This week, Jordan James and Zac Archer got that honor. No turns.
The coaches made up for that with the next singer, Holly Ellison. Will pushed his button about three words into her slick version of Demi Lovato’s Sorry Not Sorry. Olly turned as well, mentioning that he has worked with Demi. Will pointed out that he turned “two notes in.” Tom was less impressed, saying after the performance that she was stretching too far on the high notes. Once again, Jennifer didn’t turn. She wasn’t in the right mood that night, I guess. Holly chose Olly.
The last performance of the night was a strong one. 16-year-old Gayatri Nair covered Powerful by Major Lazer while accompanying herself on a keyboard. She hit amazingly high notes like a pro. It didn’t take long for Will and Jennifer to turn. Tom eventually did as well. Gayatri is perfect for The Voice UK — she doesn’t have the traditional pop star look, but her voice is fantastic. The episode was almost over so there wasn’t much time to get to know her or for the coaches to make their cases. She chose Jennifer.
At the end of the fourth round of blind auditions on The Voice UK, here are the numbers:
Team Olly: 7 singers
Team Tom: 6 singers
Team Will: 6 singers
Team Jennifer: 5 singers
See you next week as we continue the blind auditions and the coaches assemble their teams.