The Blind Auditions Begin: ‘The Voice’ Season 15 Premiere Recap
The Voice is back for season 15! With Adam, JHud, Kelly, and Blake in the big red chairs, it’s set to be an exciting one. Two former American Idol contestants (including a winner), plus fan favorites Adam and Blake! The talent has to bring it to impress these four. Let’s see if they have what it takes in the season 15 premiere!
The night started out with a bang! Sarah Grace, 15, sang Janis Joplin’s “Ball and Chain.” After an opening montage about singing blues with her family and how she sees colors when she hears music, Sarah’s cute, soft speaking voice was blown out of the water by her powerful, soulful voice. And that stank face! Or as JHud Productions would call it, sass. Personally, I’m a fan of the stank face. Kelly, JHud, and Blake all turned their chairs and Sarah went with Team Kelly! I think that’ll be a great fit for her. And the argument that Kelly just won with another 15-year-old girl is hard to beat.
Tyshawn, the oldest of 10, grew up in Cincinnati, where he runs a musical baked goods delivery service called Pound4Sound. He auditioned with Sam Smith’s “Like I Can” and though I liked his tone, the song choice wasn’t my favorite. Tyshawn could’ve easily gotten another chair or two with the right song. Jennifer and Blake both turned their chairs and the jokes flew about Blake’s qualifications to coach him. Tyshawn explained that he wants to “bring old school R&B back” which made all the other coaches say he would be a good fit for Jennifer’s team. I thought it was interesting he said that he wants to do R&B/soul but auditioned with a Sam Smith song. Anyway, he inevitably chose Jennifer! There’s a lot of potential there I think JHud will be able to bring out of him. And the cherry on top? He brought cake!
And we officially have the first heartthrob of season 15. Tyke is a 17 year old from Hawaii and spends his days in the water and playing shows at a local taco truck? Apparently that’s a thing now. Tyke sang Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect.” His audition was okay but I feel like he sounded young and a little generic. He definitely has strong Sawyer Fredericks vibes though! Adam was the only coach who turned around for Tyke but he seemed genuinely excited to work with him. They’re a pair who I could see doing well together!
Ayanna’s backstory was truly touching. She had her daughter when she was only 18 so she had to learn to grow up and be responsible quickly. Now that she’s been able to raise her daughter and is in a better place in life, she wants to pursue music again. She sang “Sorry Not Sorry” by Demi Lovato. Though she didn’t turn any chairs, I thought she could have with the right song choice. All the judges seemed to agree as well! JHud said she was SO close and Kelly and Adam encouraged her to come back. And that she will! Ayanna is the first artist to join “The Comeback Stage” digital series. She’ll be coached by Kelsea Ballerini in a battle round that will take place entirely online.
Mercedes auditioned for The Voice last season but failed to turn any chairs. Now she’s back with more practice under her belt, hoping to turn a chair this time around. And spoiler alert: she did it! Mercedes sang “She Used to Be Mine” by Sara Bareilles. Last season, she auditioned with “All I Ask” by Adele but this seemed to fit her voice better. At the last second, both Kelly and Blake turned for Mercedes. I didn’t think her performance was the best, but I’m glad she turned a chair! After saying she was back to get Kelly to push her button, she surprised everyone and joined Team Blake.
Radha LIT UP The Voice stage with her commanding presence and voice. From the second the intro to “Mama Knows Best” by Jessie J started, the judges were thrown back in their chairs. And they all made sure to mention it too! Adam turned first, blocking Jennifer, then Blake and Jennifer both turned. The moment JHud realized she was blocked was PRICELESS. How could Adam possibly come for her like that? Oh yeah, because Radha is a powerhouse and would be perfect for Jennifer’s team. Okay, that checks out then. Well Adam’s plan worked! Radha joined Team Adam.
Kameron is the first country singer of the season! Blake’s ears perked up as soon as he heard the song choice, “One Number Away” by Luke Combs. Kameron has a similar voice to past contestants like Barrett Baber, but I like it! He’s a country Gavin DeGraw. Kelly and Blake both turned their chairs for Kameron. While Kelly tried to distract Kameron from Blake, Kameron came out of nowhere and chose Blake, before Blake even got a word in. But it makes sense. Well, that was easy!
Mikele’s backstory was maybe the most tear-jerking of the night. An Iraqi war veteran, Mikele’s best friend from his time serving committed suicide upon returning to the states. Mikele said that when he came back, he had a decision to make to either give into the sadness from everything like his friend did or take the positives from his service and move forward. He decided to do the latter, start a family, and audition for The Voice! Mikele sang “She Used to Be Mine” by Brooks & Dunn and turned Blake and Kelly’s chairs. While it seemed like everything was going in Blake’s direction, Adam coached Kelly in how to win a country singer. Kelly went on to say she has country connections too, including her husband who manages Blake, and her pitch somehow worked! Mikele joined Team Kelly (thanks in part to his family yelling at him to pick her).
Sam is a 23 year old musician from Portland, Maine. He auditioned with “Angela” by The Lumineers but failed to turn any chairs. He actually wasn’t bad by any means, but the song didn’t do him any favors. Sam seemed to choose a safe song that didn’t show off his vocals. For the coaches, that was his downfall. Since there was also no mention of “The Comeback Stage,” I assume this is the last we’ll see of him this season.
Patrique had a fun intro package, talking about his career as a young singer then showing the contrast of him at work and him in a lot of bright, colorful outfits. He definitely seems like a fun guy! Then, he came onto stage in a plaid vest. Respect! Patrique sang “Get Here” by Oleta Adams. This was an amazing song choice because it showed off his range, but also allowed him to display the insane control he has. While putting the pedal to the metal for a whole song can be impressive, this shows off a lot more vocal prowess. Yet somehow, only Jennifer and Adam turned their chairs. WHAT?! Adam said “to not turn for you is an insult to singing” and I have to agree. Of course, Patrique went with JHud anyway, but I’m hoping he keeps his promise to style Adam.
To close out the night, we have 13-year-old Kennedy Holmes. Kennedy talked about how she sang Jennifer Hudson’s “I Am Changing” in her first performance growing up. You can see where this is going. Kennedy sang “Turning Tables” by Adele for her Blind Audition and woah. Such a strong, powerful voice out of such a small body! Kennedy turned all four chairs, and deservedly so might I add. Everyone was in shock when she said she’s only 13. That is insane! But as Kelly said, she “deserved every one of these chairs turning around.”
Then, as soon as JHud started talking, Kennedy started crying. Explaining that she has always dreamed of singing with her, Jennifer offered to come up on stage and sing with Kennedy. This was the moment of the entire show. Their duet, and the look on Jennifer’s face while Kennedy sang “I Am Changing,” was hard to watch without tearing up. Dreams are coming true this season! It probably goes without saying, but Kennedy chose JHud as her coach.
That’s it for the season 15 premiere of The Voice! The coaches will be back for another night of turning chairs and fighting over artists tomorrow night. And if tonight was any indication, this season is going to be unreal.