The Voice is back with Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani, John Legend and Kelly Clarkson. The Blind Auditions kicked off during the Sept. 23 premiere with a performance from Katie Kadan, who sings “Baby I Love You” by Aretha Franklin. She gets all four coaches to turn their chairs around, and Kelly is blatantly the most excited about the performance — until she realizes that Blake BLOCKED her! Blake, Gwen and John are left to fight it out, and Katie eventually picks last season’s champ, John, as her coach.
Next up, Jake Haldenvang performs “Wish I Knew You” by The Revivalists. Right after the first verse, Blake, Gwen and John all immediately turn around. They all give their pitches, and with some coaxing from Kelly, Jake picks fellow rocker, Gwen, as his coach. The next artist to take the stage is drag performer, Jay Miah. He sings “Never Enough” from The Greatest Showman, but unfortunately, doesn’t get any chair turns. However, the coaches urge him to come back and try out again in the future.
Brennan Lassiter is up next. She’s a country singer and performs “You Are My Sunshine.” All four coaches are beyond impressed and push their buttons. Blake is the obvious choice, but Kelly, John and Gwen do their best to persuade Brennan not to give in and pick the country star. Gwen even uses some dirty tactics to get Brennan to choose her over her boyfriend, Blake. “Blake’s my best friend,” she tells the rising star. “If I ever have to tap in for an emergency, he’s going to help me! That’s just a fact! If you get me, you get him. It’s two for one!” Then, she even gets OUT of her seat, goes over to Blake’s chair, and begs him, “I really want her!” while giving him a hug. The whole thing is as adorable as can be, but in the end, it’s Kelly’s pitch that wins Brennan over!
Next, Rose Short takes a major risk by singing one of John’s own songs, “Preach,” during her Blind Audition. Kelly and Gwen both turn their chairs around. They both beg Rose to choose them, but Rose goes with Gwen in the end. Will Breman is up next. He has Asperger’s and performs a jazz rendition of “Say You’ll Be There” by the Spice Girls, which catches John and Gwen’s attention. Will reveals that he considers John to be one of his biggest influences, and John makes his dreams come true by performing a rendition of his song, “Ordinary People,” with Will. Unsurprisingly, Will picks John as his coach.
The next contestant is Alex Guthrie, who sings “Love & Happiness” by Al Green. The performance convinces Kelly and Gwen to turn around. Alex reveals that he actually opened up for Kelly in concert one year earlier, and even though they didn’t get to meet at the time, the connection is clearly there, and Alex picks Kelly as his coach. Kat Hammock is the next artist to hit the stage. She sings “Vienna” by Billy Joel, and when Blake and Gwen turn around, it’s a battle of the lovebirds! Blake uses his successful stats on the show in his pitch, and Kat chooses him as her coach.
Up next, Timmy Hood sings “Make It Rain” by Ed Sheeran. He’s only performed in front of an audience ONE time prior, and his inexperience holds him back just a bit, as he gets no chair turns. Next, CJ Washington performs a rendition of Al Green’s “So Tired Of Being Alone,” but unfortunately, he’s also left without a chair turn.
Hoping to have better luck is Marina Chello. She previously had a record deal that didn’t work out, and she’s ready for a second chance. Marina sings “Walk Me Home” by Pink, and Blake and Kelly turn around. Blake is not happy when his lady, Gwen, advocates for Kelly, but despite her pitch, Blake lands Marina on his team!
The final audition of the night is from Kyndal Inskeep. She’s a country singer who recently moved to Nashville, and Gwen makes sure Blake can’t nab her for his team by BLOCKING him when she turns around. “You’re personally responsible for breaking up one of America’s favorite couples!” John jokes, while Blake adds, “It’s never good when your girlfriend blocks you. This is a whole new level! This is on national television!” Getting back to business, though — Kelly also turns her chair around, so the ladies are left to battle it out. Gwen gives a good pitch, and Blake even jokes that she “put [their] relationship on the line” just to get Kyndal on her team. It works, because Kyndal chooses the No Doubt singer as her coach.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing the headline ‘Gwen Blocks Blake on National Television,” Blake says, jokingly. “That’s going to be a lot of fun. I can’t wait to see that headline.” You’re welcome, Blake!
Here’s where the teams stand after night one of the Blind Auditions:
John – Katie Kadan, Will Breman
Kelly – Brennan Lassiter, Alex Guthrie
Blake – Kat Hammock, Marina Chello
Gwen – Jake Haldenvang, Rose Short, Kyndal Inskeep
The Blind Auditions on season 17 of The Voice will continue with another episode on Sept. 24 at 8:00 p.m. on NBC. The show will air Mondays and Tuesdays.