The voice Season 23’s blind auditions continued Tuesday with new coaches Chance the Rapper and Niall Horan, and throughout the night host Carson Daly continued to tease “the blind audition craziest ever.”
“Right now we have a performer backstage getting ready for the biggest performance of his life. You won’t want to miss this! Carson said, although viewers had to wait until the episode ended. an hour to see this special surprise performance.
It was worth the wait.
Kelly Clarkson, Niall and Chance all hit their buttons right away for this mystery contestant’s smooth rendition of Michael McDonald’s classic “I Keep Forgettin’,” and it seemed like they were genuinely impressed… untilof course, they turned around and burst out laughing at the sight of NBC’s Jimmy Fallon.
Only Blake Shelton refrained from spinning, so Jimmy naturally broke the rules and strutted around to hit Blake’s button himself. ” You can not do that ! Blake protested, saying he knew it was his pal Jimmy all along. “I was like, ‘I know what’s going on. There’s no way I’m pushing my button,’ Blake laughed.
“I’m across the parking lot doing our show It’s my jam, and I texted Carson and said, ‘I gotta come’,” Jimmy explained. He then kindly congratulated Blake on a historic 23 Voice seasons… before choosing to “join” Team Kelly, because, of course, she turned to him first.
Obviously this was all just a publicity stunt for Jimmy’s musical game show It’s my jamwhich was accidentally created on Tuesday immediately after The voice. But it was a pretty bright Publicity shot. Personally, I think Jimmy would have been a great addition to Team Chance, as Chance the Rapper – as evidenced by his elated reaction to a Hall & Oates cover earlier in the evening – clearly has a soft spot for soft rock. But here are the real, serious auditions that took place on Tuesday:
Transparent element: “Leave the door open”
Technically, only contestants who failed to turn the chairs are usually allowed to try for The voice Again. But former Team Kelly member Jej Vinson, who reached the top 13 in the Season 16 Live Playoffs, did Voice story this week as the show’s first returning semi-finalist, as he found an escape and returned this season as a member of a soul-pop vocal trio called Sheer Element. Personally, I preferred Jej as a solo artist – his band’s arrangement of this Silk Sonic ballad was rough, messy, unrehearsed, and sometimes just plain unpleasant to hear. But when he and fellow USC bandmates/classmates Izzy Kaye and Tabon Ward tweeted individually, their raw talent was evident.
Who shot? Chance, Niall…then Kelly, who waited until the last seconds of the song to press her button, but thankfully recognized Jej shortly after. (If she hadn’t turned around or realized who Jej was, it sure would have been awkwardespecially since Jej was invited to duet with her in Las Vegas after her Voice run.)
Result: The Kelly team. I think Chance, with his production prowess, would have been the best coach to help Sheer Element sort out their vocal parts. (“I see exactly where you could go,” he assured them.) Niall’s harmonic experience in One Direction might have helped them, too. But obviously, Kelly had a “history” with Jej. (“I love Jej’s voice already!” she noted.) And Kelly’s latest Voice earn was with a threesome, Girl Named Tom, to make it all go well for Jej the second time around.
Carlos Rising, 28: “Changing the world”
Kelly was one of Carlos’ early childhood crushes: “I wanted to marry Kelly Clarkson,” he confessed blushing on Tuesday. Kelly is single these days, but now Carlos is married to the woman who inspired his Eric Clapton cover. He certainly had a sexy, velvety tone that could make any ladies swoon – Chance compared him to Jamiroquai’s Jay Kay, and Niall recalled British singer-songwriter James Morrison.
Who shot? Blake and Kelly – the latter again at the very last minute. Kelly explained that she was “waiting for him to climb,” but eventually realized Carlos had “what it takes to be on this show.”
Result: The Blake team. I don’t know if it was because Carlos was put off by Kelly’s mild constructive criticism, or because he didn’t want to make his wife jealous…but I think Team Kelly, stylistically, would have been a better choice.
Magnus, 25: “Sara Smile”
I loved what Chance called Magnus’ “impeccable song choice”. Honestly, Hall & Oates should be covered on every episode of every singing competition. But of course, not everyone can Hall & Oates like this choir singer and self-proclaimed old soul. (Jimmy Fallon might have done a decent job with that, though.) “The pace at which you attacked the song, for a moment, I was like, ‘Man, these races go mad” Chance told Magnus. “And then you just struck this note at the end.
Who shot? Chance, right away, after which he sang: “It’s you…and me…foreverI guess Chance is as big of a Hall & Oates fan as I am. He’s quickly becoming my favorite trainer.
Result: Team Chance, since he was the only coach to have toured. (“You were so excited about that, I didn’t want to take that away from you,” Kelly explained gently to Chance.) But Team Chance is where Magnus belongs, anyway. “I’ve already won the whole show, basically!” Chance proclaimed, grinning Sara from ear to ear.
Kala Banham, 24: “Both sides now”
This former college a cappella singer, whom Chance compared to Joanna Newsom, stunned with her elegant and heartfelt cover of Joni Mitchell. “You did such a great job on it, so snappy and tender in the sweet moments. … You are amazing. You have such a narrative voice, so soft and so beautiful. I just wanna go get a guitar and write a song with you,” Niall gushed.
Who shot? Kelly, Niall and Chance. Kelly was really excited about this one, but unlike how she graciously let Chance have Magnus, Niall got into the “dirty tricks” he learned from his new “dad” Blake, and he blocked Kelly. “It’s so sad. … We would have been beautiful together,” Kelly lamented to Kala. (Side note: I’m glad Blake didn’t turn around, because he didn’t even know this Joni classic! What?)
Result: Team Niall – but maybe not for long. “I’m going to rob you, write down my words!” Kelly told Kala. “You will wear this [Team Kelly] jacket at some point in the competition, I promise you.
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