The Voice Season 6 Premiere Recap: The Blind Auditions are Back!
The Voice is back for a sixth season! We couldn’t be happier about that, especially because this season brings our favorite one-named coaches, Shakira and Usher. (No disrespect to Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo Green.) They’ll join reigning champ Adam Levine and three-time winner Blake Shelton in the fight to score the most talented singers from the brutally awesome Blind Auditions.
We’ll be following all the action here, live, so check in often.
Christina Grimmie Sings "Wrecking Ball" by Miley Cyrus
After a performance from the judges where they sing each other’s songs (Blake singing Shakira? Please never again, NBC), it’s time to get down to why we’re really here: the Blind Auditions.
First up, 19-year-old Christina Grimmie, whose 2 million YouTube subscribers should make her a force to be reckoned with. But she’s about to have a few more million fans, because girl can sing! Performing “Wrecking Ball” by Miley Cyrus, she has three of the four coaches turned around before the end of the first verse. Blake Shelton comes around during her powerful final chorus. Way to start things off!
Adam commendsher on how comfortable and engaging she is on the stage. Shakira says Adam is tired after six seasons and she’s rested and laser-focused. Usher wants to unlock her incredible potential (um, feel free to unlock ours anytime, Usher... ahem). Blake puts the focus back on Christina, saying he wants to figure out what she wants to do and help her achieve it.
Though the coaches all put up a good fight, Christina decides to go with current champion Adam Levine. “I believe I’m gonna learn so much from Adam.”
TJ Wilkins Sings "Bennie and the Jets" by Elton John
TJ Wilkins grew up in a rough L.A. neighborhood, but through his family's encouragement of his talents, he avoided getting sucked into a the gang life that surrounded him. Now a college student majoring in music, he's ready to start his career. Singing the Elton John classic "Bennie and the Jets," TJ got the three male coaches interested from the get-go, while Shakira hung back and let the guys duke it out.
"Really sick voice," Adam says, also complimenting TJ's choice to put an R&B spin on the rock classic. Usher loves his creativity and says he heard an incredible R&B record in TJ's performance. Blake put on the Southern charm, and even had the support of Shakira, who says she didn't turn around because she'd being strategic and wants to "save her bullets." However, this guy's similarity to Usher's voice made his choice a total no-brainer. Team Usher gets its first dynamo!
Kristen Merlin Sings “Something More” by Sugarland
29-year-old Kristen Merlin says she's been questioning whether it's time for her to move on and "get a real job," so she's really hoping to get a chair to turn (especially Blaike's) and prove her wrong. Though Blake wasn't moved to turn around, Kristen's rendition of Sugarland's "Something More" catches Adam and Shakira's attention.
Acting like he's already her coach, Adam compliments her choices with the song and begs her to choose him. Shakira leverages her 20 million Twitter followers. (Her competitors' combined fans don't add up to 17 million, according to the social media savvy singer.) Blake says Kristen's rapid vibrato makes him think Shakira was the best coach for Kristen, and the fiery Latin artist promises to get Blake's wife Miranda Lambert to help her coach her way to a win. Surprising even herself, Kristen chooses the Colombian beauty to be her mentor.
Tanner Linford isn't the youngest person every to audition for The Voice, but he's definitely the youngest looking! As he sings Rihanna's "Stay," it's clear to the judges that his voice still has some maturing to do, but we don't think they were expecting to see someone so youthful when they turned around. After getting some valuable advice from the coaches about song selection and nourishing his talent, Tanner promises to come back again after doing some more work on his vocals.
Biff Gore Sings “A Change Is Gonna Come” by Sam Cooke
At 45 years old, Denver native Biff Gore wants to leave a legacy for his five (going on six) kids and make his family proud. Singing Sam Cooke's classic, "A Change is Gonna Come," he gets Adam to push his button almost immediately, followed by Blake and Shakira. Usher seems to seriously consider turning around several times and pulling back before finally putting his hand down.
Turning on the charms, Shakira asks if she can be his date to the Grammys, but Biff shoots her down for his beautiful, expectant wife. Adam and Usher say their piece, and Blake Shelton says he's the guy to help him win. Biff's brother thinks the country charmer has it on a lock, but after a commercial cliffhanger he learns he doesn't know his brother as well as he thought, because Biff goes for Usher.
Dawn & Hawkes Sing “I’ve Just Seen a Face” by The Beatles
Talk about a meet cute! Not just a singing duo but a romantic couple, Dawn and Hawkes met playing the same venue and started performing together between sets. Adam and Shakira light up with excitement when they realize they have a male-female duo on their hands and slap their buttons. Usher and Blake seem charmed, but don't push their buttons.
Calling it his favorite performance ever on the show, Adam begs the couple to choose him. Shakira agrees it was special and can tell they are in love. Blake, lobbies for Shak, and Usher hops on her bandwagon as well. Wow, way to gang up on Adam! Though it was three against one in the red chairs, Dawn & Hawkes pick Adam for their coach.
This 26-year-old Los Angelean is a dancer first, but he definitely has some chops, too. Unfortunately, the judges can't see your footwork in the Blind Auditions, and it ends up hurting his vocal performance a little. However, he did get a chance to show off his amazing footwork for the judges once they turned around at the end. Adam advises Leo to hold off on the dancing a bit more when he comes back — and he should come back — assuring him he can do whatever he wants once he gets a chair to turn.
Sacramento singer Jeremy Briggs works for the California unemployment office and gigs at night. The 26-year-old feels fortunate to have a job when he works with so many who don't, but he's ready to chase his dream of singing. His take on "Bad Company" first grabs the attention of Blake, who's a sucker for a good classic rock song. Self-proclaimed rock chick Shakira quickly follows suit. After being allies for the last several chair turns, Shakira and Blake put their friendship aside to fight over Jeremy.
Shakira tells Jeremy that he might not know about her rock roots, but they have that in common, and says her hunger for success will help him to the top. He's more convinced by her argument than Blake's shared affinity for plaid shirts, so Jeremy makes an unexpected decision to go with Team Shak.
Jake Worthington Sings “Don’t Close Your Eyes” by Keith Whitley
We love a good redemption story! Jake Worthington appeared on Season 5, but the coaches told him he needed to work on his breath work. With “Don’t Close Your Eyes” by Keith Whitley, Jake has picked a slower song, the first he learned on guitar, and hopes the coaches will see he's improved. Adam is the first to turn and shoots a look at Blake, who shortly after turns his chair and shouts, "He's back! He came back!" Shakira, who wasn't around for Jake's first attempt is the third to turn, and Blake tells her to turn right back around.
Stoked about his return, Blake feels he's got this on a lock, but Adam argues that sometimes you need an unexpected juxtaposition that makes the perfect coaching combination. Shakira tries to turn on the sympathy when Blake says she's a "crappy coach." But country is as country does, so it's no shock that Blake wins the battle for Jake, who throws Adam one small bone: "My aunt think you're the sexiest thing alive." Yeah, so does People magazine, dude!
Karina Mia started out playing violin, but found singing and went to school for music. Considering herself more of an indie artist, Karina says she doesn't have a Christina Aguilera voice, but she has a unique voice. With the sort of rasp and yodel that usually gets Blake and Adam excited, sadly, Karina doesn't get a single chair turn. Blake loves her middle range and her tender, quick vibrato, but she lost him on the higher notes. However, he loves her sound. Usher agrees that she has a great voice but was looking for more, and Shakira says she was waiting for goosebumps. Adam encourages her to work on what they've talked about and come back.
Bria Kelly Sings “Steamroller Blues” by James Taylor
17-year-old Bria Kelly has a big voice for her age and shape, but the love and support she gets from her family is even bigger Stating that Adam is her first choice for coach, she certainly will get the opportunity. Both Adam and Blake turn around on the first worst. Shakira and Usher eventually give in to Bria's gritty, bluesy vibe.
The coaches are astounded that someone with that voice is 17, and Bria says she often thinks she was born in the wrong generation. But Usher says it was absolutely the right generation, because it brought her to him. Such a silver tongue. Blake tries to leverage his country roots, while Shakira makes the bad choice of comparing Blake to the Yankees. Then Usher plays the Grammy card, pulling one out of nowhere and promising it to Bria if she chooses him as her coach. Well, it works, because Bria, formerly convinced she wanted to be Team Adam was compelled to choose Ush.