Here’s the rundown from tonight’s episode of “The Voice.” There are SO many great vocalists this year, I’m so glad I don’t have to be a judge! The winner gets a recording contract with Universal, so there truly is a lot riding on these auditions.
And Carson Daly is growing on me. He’s not a high-energy type of host, but you can tell he really loves the music business, loves cheering on the contestants, and has built a nice niche in the music industry.
Will Champlin, “Not Over You” (Adam Levine). His dad Bill was a member of the legendary rock group Chicago. Will has a wife and super-cute daughter, and he wants to win it for them too. “This is literally the most important performance of my life,” he says. “Being able to work with one of these four heavy hitters in the music industry … they will help me become the artist I want to become.”
He has a beautiful, strong voice. Blake turned his chair first, then CeeLo and Adam, who said Will has “a really incredible voice.” Blake said, “I love you … that was just some powerful singing…”
Macy Estes, 18, Greenwood, IN, “The Way.” She performed in show choir in high school, but is ready to break out on her own. She loves rap and hip-hop dancing. It always makes me nervous when no one turns around, but the singers always seem to take it really well! Adam said he heard the potential but was looking for that extra bit of confidence to move forward. After the audition, CeeLo asked her to rap, which she did – about “The Voice.”
Stephanie Anne Johnson, 29, Tacoma, WA, “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree” (Christina Aguilera). In high school and college, she studied opera, then got a job singing on a cruise ship in Alaska. Since she’s gone eight months of the year, she misses her friends and family. Her grandma is so cute!
Christina and CeeLo turned around. “You haven’t had a winner yet,” she said, pointing to Christina, “and I’m gonna fix that … I choose Christina.” I like this girl!
Sam Cerniglia, 25, Chicago, IL, “It’s a Beautiful Day” (Blake Shelton). He works for Groupon and has his own band. “If I could in one word encapsulate my family, it would be love.” His family lives in Michigan, and his two sisters each have debilitating diseases.
Blake and CeeLo (finally!) turned their chairs, and immediately started fighting for this guy. “I love your style,” said Blake. “I’m actually jealous of it … what you’re doing took me to a Michael Buble concert.” CeeLo said, “You sounded like the perfect gentleman.”
Jennifer Newberry, Seattle, WA, “Locked Out of Heaven.” She’s Swedish and loved listening to Mariah Carey and Christina Aguilera growing up. She sang in casinos but didn’t find it very rewarding. Carson showed her a video of her family wishing her well from Sweden (Sprint product placement!, so of course, she started crying. Adam said there were a few pitch issues, and Christina said she stuck too close to the Bruno Mars version.
James Irwin, 31, St. Louis, MO, “Losing My Religion” (Adam Levine). He tried out last season and didn’t make it, but Shakira said life is full of second and third chances. He and his wife lost two baby girls right after they were born. Now they have a son, and James does music full-time.
All four judges turned right away. “Somebody came back and made it onto the show!” said Blake. This is the first time someone has come back and had all four chairs turn. “I want to win, I want just ONE win, so please pick me,” said Christina. Blake said, “You’re ready to win this thing now.”
Olivia Henken, Louisville, KY, “Two Black Cadillacs” (Christina Aguilera). Her family is so supportive about her music, and she works in her grandma’s tax office. She looks like Reese Witherspoon! Christina turned around right away, then CeeLo at the end.
Christina said something in her voice just connected with her. “This season, I’m embracing a little country,” said Christina.
Jason Kertson, 16, Seattle, WA, “Lips of an Angel.” He started playing two guitars at once, posting YouTube videos and gaining a fanbase. “I’ve got 90 seconds to make my dream come true, so I’m going to go out there and sing my heart out.”
Blake called it “powerful singing,” and Christina said he’s a great singer with a lot of maturity in his tone for being just 16. “Move forward from here, and come back stronger than before.” “There’s something special about that guy,” said Blake. “I really hope he comes back.”
R. Anthony, 33, Tampa, FL, “Hall of Fame” (CeeLo Green). He was the quiet kid of the family who sang in a gospel trio, but put his music on hold when his baby was born. Now they have two kids. “I know this is what he was sent here to do – to touch lives with singing,” his wife said.
Christina turned around first, then CeeLo at the very end. He kind of reminds me of a female Christina! “I believe in you,” she said. CeeLo said he waited to turn because he wanted to experience his voice, calling it “dynamic.”
Justin Chain, “She’s Country,” (Blake Shelton). This guy is pure country. Blake turned right away, and was the only one to turn. “Your pitch is amazing,” he said. Justin has had a rough few years, after surviving a collision with an SUV, so it’s really great to see him get this opportunity.
Ashley Dubose, 23, St. Paul, MN, “Diamonds” (Adam Levine). She’s a single parent who works full-time as a programmer analyst. She feels spread too thin, because she wants to focus on music and being a parent. “I have to have a breakthrough becuase I don’t want to live a life of constantly wanting something that’s not gonna happen.”
Amazing, unique voice. All the judges turned around for her. “Your voice cuts like a razor through this entire place,” said Adam. CeeLo said she did the Rihanna song justice. Adam said he would love to de-throne Blake and win this year. CeeLo said he’s kept in touch with nearly everyone he’s ever mentored, so she would become part of his life, not just a team member. She went with her heart and chose Adam. She’s probably my favorite of tonight’s auditions. That’s her pictured at the top of this story.