The Voice kicked off its 12th season Monday night with two hours of blind auditions.
Adam Levine, Blake Shelton and Alicia Keys are back as coaches. They’re joined this season by returning coach Gwen Stefani, who nabbed a couple of artists.
Here are the highlights of Monday night’s episode:
Albany, Georgia native JChosen — aka Joshua Hunter — kicked off the blind auditions. The former basketball player had dreams of playing in the NBA, but when he shattered his knee his hoop dreams were shattered as well. His version of the Marvin Gaye classic “Sexual Healing” convinced all four coaches to turn their chairs around, but Gwen had the winning pitch, noting that she could offer him a not only a “female perspective” and a male perspective, thanks to her experience fronting No Doubt, a band with other men.
Season 11 hopeful Johnny Hayes, a 29-year-old Mobile, Alabama native who failed to get a coach to turn around, got a better reaction on Tuesday. Johnny covered “Try a Little Tenderness” by Otis Redding, convincing Adam and Gwen to hit their buttons. Adam praised Johnny, insisting that you can’t sing Otis unless you do it right, and Johnny pulled off the impossible and convinced Johnny to join his team.
Temecula, California 16-year-old Anatalia Villaranda once came close to a record deal as a member of a singing and dancing group. The four-foot-nine-inch powerhouse sang Bruno Mars’ “Runaway Baby,” earning a four-chair turn. Fellow Californian Stefani pointed out their obvious similarities, including staring out young and singing in bands, but Alicia won out by noting that Villaranda has more than a voice and is an artist who is not afraid to express herself.
Stephanie Rice is a gay preacher’s daughter who was shunned by her family after coming out to them. She went on to earn a degree in biology and went on to use her education to conduct HIV research. Rice sang Kelly Clarkson’s “Piece by Piece,” convincing Blake and Gwen to turn around. Despite Stephanie’s country roots, Blake didn’t stand a chance when Gwen said she was “moved” by the singer, adding that she was on the show for a reason and that reason was to work with Rice. Stephanie joined Team Gwen.
Felicia Temple is a 28-year-old nurse and cancer survivor. However, music is also in her blood — her father was a member of The Sugarhill Gang, who had a big 1980 hit with the pioneering single “Rapper’s Delight.” She blew Alicia, Blake and Gwen away with her version of Beyoncé’s “All I Could Do Was Cry (Church Bells)” There was never really any contest as to which coach Felicia would pick, especially after Alicia joined Temple for a duet on Keys’ “Fallin’.”
The blind auditions continue with a one-hour episode airing Tuesday night at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.
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Source: Mix News