Trae Patton/NBCThe blind auditions continued on NBC's The Voice Tuesday night. Christina Aguilera, Adam Levine, Blake Shelton and Pharrell Williams once again sat in their rotating chairs as they listened to more singers and continued to build their teams.
Tuesday’s show included the competition’s oldest contestant so far this season, a 56-year-old former executive chef at the famed Improv comedy club in Los Angeles.
At the conclusion of Tuesday's blind auditions, Blake added three more artists to his team, for a total of seven. Pharrell added three more, bringing his total to eight. Christina tacked on two more artists, bringing the total number of members on her team to seven. Adam picked up five more artists, for a total of eight.
In a lighthearted moment, Adam pretended to deliver a blind audition by singing Elton John's "Tiny Dancer." He got all three coaches to turn their chairs around. He selected Christina. Blake joked that the only reason he turned his chair around was because he "wanted to see what the freak looked like."
Here are the highlights of Tuesday's blind auditions:
Kentucky native, Kelsie May, a 15-year-old with a throwback sound, noted that she lost one of her friends to cancer. She credits watching his brave battle as her inspiration to pursue her dream of being a country singer. She got Blake, Pharrell and Christina to turn their chairs with her version of Loretta Lynn’s “You’re Lookin’ at Country.” Christina had started singing at the age of seven and she used that experience to try and get the young singer. Pharrell called Kelsie special because she was already so clear on what direction she wanted to take with her music. Blake, predictably, dropped names of The Voice winners he’s coached to victory, including last year’s champ, Craig Wayne Boyd. Kelsie made the obvious choice and went with Blake.
Kimberly Nichole earned the nickname “The Rock Ballerina" for her custom-made tutus. After putting her singing career on the back burner to pursue a career in the fashion industry, she returned to music, landing a hosting gig at a trendy New York City club. She belted out Ike and Tina Turner’s “Nutbush City Limits" and convinced Blake and Pharrell to push their buttons. Pharrell said he felt her soul when she sang, adding her voice was “amazing.” Blake, at a loss for a strong pitch to counter Pharrell’s, noted he’s “not a soul singer,” but “has a soul,” and that he loved her. It wasn’t enough, as Pharrell nabbed Kimberly for his team.
Next up, was Fargo, North Dakota, native, Michael Leier, singing Pearl Jam’s version of the J. Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers’ classic, “Last Kiss.” Blake and Adam turned their chairs, leading to a “charm fest” starting with Adam, who noted that even though Leier was influenced by Pearl Jam’s lead singer Eddie Vedder, he added his own touch to the song. Blake answered by saying Levine’s pitch seemed to be more about Vedder than Michael. It was futile, as Michael picked Adam. Michael admitted later that before the audition, he was hoping to land on Adam’s team.
Travis Ewing is a professional one-man band from Lafayette, Louisiana. His love of music started in the seventh grade when a teacher helped him overcome his shyness and encouraged him to sing. The teacher then surprised Travis with a taped message to cheer him on. Travis sang Destiny Child’s “Say My Name” and immediately got Christina to turn her chair around. Blake and Pharrell eventually followed suit. Aguilera loved the “silkiness” and “texture” of Ewing’s voice, as well as his arrangement of the song, noting it was “outside the box.” Shelton fired back that he had a good track record coaching non-country artists. Pharrell told Travis that he would be a fan, as well as a mentor and would love a shot at “mixing it up.” Ewing chose Team Pharrell.
Sonic, 23, got a record deal when she was 14 years old, but it never panned out for the San Francisco native. She also revealed that she’s deaf in one ear, but refused to let that become a disability. Her version of Sam Smith’s “Money on My Mind” convinced Aguilera and Levine to push their buttons, even though both acknowledged that the performance “fell apart” somewhere in the middle. However, Adam noted that Sonic recovered quickly and hit some difficult notes. Christina applauded Sonic for taking on a “huge challenge” with the song. Sonic elected to join Christina’s team.
Taking the stage next was 18-year-old Jacob Rummell, who’s been singing his entire life. He’d love to pursue it as a career, but admits he “doesn’t know what doing.” Learning from a coach, he adds, would be “an amazing opportunity.” Rummell tackled Bruno Mars’ “Count on Me” and got Levine and Shelton to turn their chairs around. Blake confessed he thought Jacob was a girl before he turned his chair, and added that that's what he likes about the show the most. Adam argued that he had more in common musically with Jacob and compared him to a young Michael Jackson. Rummell surprised all the judges by choosing Shelton.
Barry Minniefield, 52, was an executive chef at the Improv comedy club in Los Angeles who eventually opened up his own catering company called No Laughing Matter. Barry said he became chummy with some of the comedians at the club, and counts Jay Leno among his famous friends. Leno even sent Barry a taped message to wish him good luck. Barry eventually retired from cooking to pursue music. His version of Billy Paul’s “Me and Mrs. Jones” got Adam to turn his chair around at the last second. He joins Team Adam.
The final act of the night was Brooklyn, New York, native and current UCLA music student India Carney, who took on Billy Joel’s “New York State of Mind.” She got all four coaches to turn their chairs around and received a standing ovation from all of them. An intense battle between the coaches began with Christina noting she needed to have the singer on her team because Carney is a “vocal beast.” Shelton said he fell in love with India’s voice and was a fan, as well as a potential coach. Pharrell begged Carney to join his team, and vowed to try and steal her away from whoever did wind up with her. Adam, noting that even though his team was nearly full, he had to push his button for her Carney, adding, she was “going to the end of this thing and I want to be on that train." India picked Christina.
The blind auditions on The Voice will continue Tuesday night at 8 p.m. Eastern time on NBC.
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