‘The Voice’ Week 1: The Coaches Play Dirty As The Blind Auditions Start

Jill O'Rourke
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"The Voice" coaches in Season 18Trae Patton/NBC

Season 18 of The Voice kicked off this week with the start of blind auditions. It’s only been a couple of months since Jake Hoot took home the trophy for Season 17 on Team Kelly, but the coaches are back and ready to go.

All the coaches except Gwen Stefani, that is. She’s been replaced by new coach Nick Jonas, who joins Kelly, John Legend, and Blake Shelton in the spinning red chairs. In the first two nights of auditions, Nick has proven himself to be a formidable opponent.


This week, Blake used an unusual method to bribe a contestant, Kelly got blocked on an audition to her own song, and a whopping four artists turned all four coaches’ chairs. Check out the first batch of contestants below.

‘The Voice’ Week 1 Auditions

Todd Tilghman (Team Blake)

Talk about kicking things off on a high note. This father of eight kids performed “We’ve Got Tonight” by Bob Seger, earning a four-chair turn. “Thank you for giving me that experience,” Nick said of Todd’s performance. Todd ultimately chose to join Team Blake.

Nelson Cade III (Team Legend)

This full-time musician has performed with Stevie Wonder. He turned all four coaches’ chairs with his performance of “Pride and Joy” by Stevie Ray Vaughan. However, John blocked Nick from taking Nelson for his team. John described his voice as “honey-dipped,” and Nelson chose to join his team.

Tate Brusa (Team Nick)

This 16-year-old Jonas Brothers fan has been writing songs about girls for years. He performed “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran on the guitar. Both Nick and Blake turned around. Nick took a moment to coach Tate on the stage, so Blake brought a puppy out to compete! It didn’t work, as Tate still chose Nick as his coach.


Taylor Green (Team Kelly)

This performer has been writing music since she was 14 years old. She auditioned with a unique rendition of “Issues” by Julia Michaels. Both Nick and Kelly turned around. Kelly thought Taylor would go with Nick, but she ended up choosing to join Team Kelly.

Darious Lyles (Team Legend)

This singer shared the story of finding out he was adopted and reconnecting with his biological mother. He performed “How Do You Sleep?” by Sam Smith in his audition. Kelly and John both turned around for him, but Darious chose to join Team Legend.

Megan Danielle (Team Kelly)

This 17-year-old waitress had never even been on a plane before auditioning for The Voice. She performed a country-tinged rendition of “Remedy” by Adele. Kelly turned around, and questioned why she was the only one. It worked out, because Kelly was who she wanted as her coach.

Todd Michael Hall (Team Blake)

This 50-year-old singer impressed the judges with a powerhouse cover of “Juke Box Hero” by Foreigner. John was the first to turn around, followed by Blake, who called his performance “a direct path to the finale.” Todd chose Blake as his coach.

Joanna Serenko (Team Nick)

This 18-year-old singer is a fan of older music thanks to her mom. She chose to perform a unique version of “All My Loving” by the Beatles. Joanna’s performance turned all four coaches’ chairs. Kelly said she’s never heard anyone on the show sing like that. Nick came in with a last-minute plea, and Joanna chose his team.

Arei Moon (Team Nick)

Arei’s parents came to the United States from Cape Verde. She took a risk by performing Kelly Clarkson’s “Miss Independent” for the woman herself. Both Kelly and Nick turned around, but Nick blocked Kelly, who didn’t even notice until the end. That means Arei is automatically on Nick’s team.


Levi Watkins (Team Blake)

This 14-year-old from a musical family auditioned with “Hey, Soul Sister” by Train, and turned Blake’s chair. The coaches were shocked when they turned around, with Kelly saying she thought he was a woman in her twenties. Since Blake was the only one to turn around, Levi automatically joined his team.

Zach Day (Team Legend)

This Kentucky native says he was made fun of for being gay when he was a kid. He performed “Weak” by SWV in his audition. Both John and Kelly turned around. Kelly said she was shocked that Zach was white. Ultimately, Zach chose to join John’s team.

Chelle (Team Kelly)

This young rock collector is shy, but she gains confidence when she performs. Chelle sang Billie Eilish’s “idontwannabeyouanymore.” Black turned around after just a second, and was eventually followed by Nick and Kelly. Blake said she had perfect pitch. However, Chelle chose to join Team Kelly.

Toneisha Harris (Team Blake)

This singer was supposed to audition in a previous season, but canceled when her son had leukemia. Her son got healthy, and Toneisha is back for another chance. She performed Foreigner’s “I Want to Know What Love Is.” All four coaches turned their chairs for her. The coaches were shocked when she picked Blake.

What did you think of the first week of auditions? Do you have a favorite team so far? Were you surprised by any of the outcomes? Let us know in the comments.

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