In the third week of blind auditions, the four coaches of The Voice were looking for "better than the best," and tonight's new crop of contestants rose to the challenge, and then some.
The singers took it to the next level, energizing the judges with their talent and personality, with one musician even inspiring Cee Lo Green to jump up on stage and sing along with him!
Here’s what The Voice had for us at the start of the final week of blind auditions:
A bank teller by day and a singer by birth, Michelle Brooks-Thompson spends most of her days juggling a full-time job and a full-time family. Though her husband had already had a taste of stardom after making the St. Louis Rams, her family’s dreams were cut short when he was subsequently cut before making it on the field. And now it was Michelle's turn to pursue her passion in order to support her family.
Singing a near flawless version of Tina Turner’s “Proud Mary” the mother of twins wowed the audience from her first note, with a powerful voice that caught the ear of judges Adam Levine, Cee Lo Green, and finally Christina Aguilera. Calling her talent almost “supernatural” and “seamless,” the three fawned over her voice and rightfully so. After hearing their best sales pitches, Michelle had to “go with her heart,” and chose Adam. That’s where our hearts are too, honey.
The next artist found his way to The Voice stage by way of Lima, Peru. At age eight, Diego contracted a disease that caused his bones to disintegrate, relegating him to a wheelchair. With nothing to do but sit in the hospital, he found music, a talent which he shared with other sick children to this day.
The South American sweetheart came to the stage with a light bilingual version of Neon Trees’ “Animal” that still had a bit of growl. While judge Cee Lo Green was the only one who turned his chair, the victory was short lived, because [spoiler alert!] Christina let it slip that there would be some twists and turns in the season, which might allow her to poach Diego from Cee Lo’s team! Well that certainly changes things....
Hopeful Lauren Brooke has been singing her whole life, but only now was ready to finally bring her talent out in the open. Having grown up with dyslexia, Lauren was shy and embarrassed about her voice, but learned to move out of the shadows after the unexpected death of her uncle who introduced her to songwriting.
It seemed only natural that the singer who moved to Nashville to pursue music tried her hand at Carrie Underwood’s “Cowboy Casanova.” But, Lauren fell short of the American Idol alum’s former glory, ultimately receiving no button love from the judges. The judges called it a “pitchy” performance, but then seemed to regret their decision with judge Blake Shelton admitting after the fact that she probably deserved to be on the show.
As a music teacher, Suzanna Choffel was looking to disprove the theory that “those who can’t do, teach.” The soft spoken singer came on the show with little to say, but a lot to sing. With a subtle, breathy take on Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide,” Suzanna immediately grabbed the attention of Adam Levine, and then Blake Shelton. Reminding them of Stevie Nicks and a country singer respectively, Suzanna sounded “refreshingly unique” to Adam, who Blake then called the “biggest jackass.” Well that somehow worked, because the low key artist went with Blake.
And so began a winning streak for the potty mouthed coach, adding singers Michaela Paige and Ryan Jirovec to his roster.
This former Yale football player dropped out of school to follow his passion and audition for The Voice last season. After failing to turn anyone’s chair last round, Dez certainly played up his strengths this time around, sauntering on stage, surrounded by soft lights, crooning a sultry, seductive tune. If his own smile wasn’t enough, then his rendition of Hall & Oates’ “Sara Smile” certainly was.
And this time his smooth voice pushed all kinds of buttons, with Blake, Cee Lo, and a very smitten Christina turning around. After listening to them praise his voice and pop star looks, we think Adam had it right when he said that all three of them seemed like “they wanted to date him.” In the end, Dez went with his first love Christina who was so jazzed that she squealed like a teenage girl and broke into her #happydance.
With a cute smile and an earnest demeanor, this California music teacher hoped to pay homage to his favorite swaggy singer, Cee Lo Green by singing his mega hit "Forget You." They were big shoes to fill, and VJ sort of fell short, but managed to make us, and the judges smile right along with him despite the rejection.
So much so that the original singer got up out of chair to show a stunned VJ how it was done, even with the original “F*** You” lyrics. And the short singing lesson made a difference, because VJ actually did get a bit of that grit when he tried it again, even if he was a little too late.
A New Orleans native who spent her time touring and singing with bands in her city had gone through a lot in the last few years to get to The Voice tonight. After losing her home in Hurricane Katrina, Alexis turned to music to help her through the traumatic experience, putting her family and community’s frustrations. And you could hear that spunky spirit as she sang, Fleetwood Mac’s “Go Your Own Way.” Cee Lo took a liking her voice and turned his chair, and then took a liking to her look, saying that “rocker chicks turned [him] on.” Well we guess it’s a good thing he got her?
The rest of the coaches then picked up a singer, with Adam scoring indie rocker Sam James, Christina grabbing fellow Latin firecracker Laura Vivas, and Blake getting guitar strumming Lelia Broussard.
Then we had a breath of fresh air in form of Brandon Mahone. A young singer with an old soul, Brandon grew up on the soul classics of The Temptations and Gladys Knight. Though he hailed from Chi-Town, gang violence lead his mom to move to Indianapolis to give her son a better life.
Hoping to make his mother proud, Brandon took to the stage with The Temptations’ “I Wish It Would Rain,” singing the tune with a smooth control and emotional tone that exceeded his 17 years and got Cee Lo, Adam, and Christina all to turn their chairs. They loved his soulful quality, with Adam noting that it sounded like he was “next in line” to take the soul crown, which sealed the deal for the adorably humble kid who went with Levine.
Quirky and adorable to a fault, Jeffrey James was the next artist up to the plate. Though he lived in the music capital of Nashville, his singing had taken a backseat to his day job as a valet, but he was looking to put things into overdrive tonight. Coming out swinging with Elvis' "A Little Less Conversation", he had the raspy vocals and swiveling hips to go toe to toe with the King. But, alas, the judges somehow disagreed, and failed to turn around. James was noticeably upset despite the coaches’ compliments, as he left the stage to head back to the valet stand.
So began a losing streak for the next few artists, as a string of talented offbeat singers somehow missed the mark going home coachless.
Hoping to break that pattern was someone who already knew what it was like to be a star, but was ready for more. 21-year-old Jordan Pruitt used to be a Disney product, rubbing shoulders with favorites like Vanessa Hudgens and The Cheetah Girls, but a year after leaving her label, she was looking to make some more mature music. Singing Katy Perry’s “The One That Got Away,” Jordan looked like a natural on stage, hitting her notes, getting the crowd and Christina Aguilera to sway along with her, the latter of which was ready to coach her to pop stardom.
Last, but certainly not least, was Terisa Griffin who had enough personality and confidence to take up the whole episode. Though she had packed up her car after college to follow her singing dreams, 20 years later, the diva in training was still chasing after it.
Coming out with a powerful rendition of “Someone Like You,” Terisa certainly left it all on the stage, soaring through the Adele tune. After a bit of prodding by Blake, Christina pressed her button, after which Blake wised up and pressed his own. But after a lengthy interview (read: inquisition) by the fiery singer, it seemed like Christina may have been rethinking her choice, probably remembering the fact there was only room for one diva on her team. Lucky for her, Terisa defied expectations and went with Blake, in what Adam called a “match made in hell.”
Well that’s it for tonight, but we’re back tomorrow for some more! What did you think of tonight’s singers? Sound off in the comments below!