The Voice is back, and not only is the show bringing fans some of the most intense competition they have ever seen, but they are also banking on the personal chemistry between lovebirds Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton to bring in the ratings as the show heads into night two of its season 12 Blind Auditions.
Alongside Alicia Keys and Adam Levine, the coaches are ready to be wowed by the latest crop of contestants to hit the stage in their quest to become the voice of season 12. But will they find the competitive edge they’re looking for as the season commences? Let’s find out in this recap.
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Autumn Turner (“Last Dance”)
New Jersey native Autumn Turner works with kids at her local ice skating rink as a figure skating coach, where she teaches her students the boldness and take-charge attitude she learned from her mother, who raised her as a single parent. Autumn joined an all-girl singing group in high school and later had to let music go because she felt her career wasn’t flourishing the way she wished it would. To work with some of the greatest talents in the world, as she calls the coaches, is her dream.
Adam quickly turns his chair for Autumn, followed by Gwen. They both seem to be really into the retro feel of her singing style and her soulful rendition of the popular Donna Summer song. They are quickly followed by Alicia and Blake. Adam tells Autumn that she could win the whole competition, but Alicia slam dunks Autumn a permanent spot on her team by relating to her on a personal level.
Result: Autumn chooses Team Alicia
Jesse Larson (“Jealous Guy”)
Singer and songwriter Jesse Larson plays the guitar for his debut on The Voice that he has built and shaped with his own hands. Jesse worked full-time in a hardware store and played gigs on the weekends until he received an offer that would change the direction of his life. This Minneapolis, Minnesota, native got a call from music legend Prince in 2015 to play guitar and sing for season 4 Voice contestant Judith Hill, whom Prince was working with at the time. Although the gig only lasted four months, it brought Jesse to the realization that he has to pursue his music dreams after struggling through the illness and eventual death of his father, who was his biggest supporter.
Adam is the only one to turn his chair towards the singer/songwriter and says to the other coaches, “There is no one with ears that shouldn’t have turned their chairs around towards him.” Adam is confident that he will win with Jesse on his team.
Result: Jesse picks Team Adam
Aliyah Moulden (“Hound Dog”)
Aliyah Moulden is only 15 years old and has already had the opportunity to perform at the BET Awards and has opened for singer Jesse McCartney. Aliyah’s mother raised her as a single parent after her father died unexpectedly when she was one month old. She feels she got her musical talent from her dad and feels that he is a driving force in her determination to succeed. She also hopes that Alicia will be the one to turn her chair first.
Blake is the first one to turn his chair towards the end of her amazing and focused set, followed by Alicia and Gwen. Blake pushes hard for Aliyah to join his team by citing his success with two younger artists on the show. Alicia wants to push Aliyah towards her best self, as does Gwen, but in the end she chooses Blake due to his success rate with his younger winners.
Result: Aliyah picks Team Blake
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Savannah Leighton (“Unconditionally”)
Spring Garden, Alabama, native Savannah Leighton says that she has had to grow up fast after her father left her family when she was a young girl, leaving her mother to work three jobs to support both herself and her young children. Her step-father, whom she calls “the light at the end of the tunnel,” helped make things better for their family, but Savannah knows her dreams are bigger than her small town. Savannah calls music her salvation since there is no opportunity to move forward in the business in the town where she’s from.
Blake turns his chair around for the 16-year-old singer, and in a last-minute turn of events, Gwen turns her chair around as well. Gwen is looking for a young artist to mentor, and she goes head-to-head against her boyfriend to get Savannah on her team. Adam tells Blake he will likely be “sleeping on the couch” after Gwen pitches towards the young singer.
Result: Savannah picks Team Gwen
Nick Townsend (“Writing’s on the Wall”)
Nick Townsend played every sport while in high school in his small town in Nebraska and wanted to express himself as a singer, but it wasn’t a part of his small-town life. Nick became part of The Young Americans performing arts college, whom he toured with around the world, teaching children how to sing. None of the judges turn their chairs for the talented singer.
Adam says that Nick has a great voice, and Alicia calls Nick a wonderful technical singer. Nick admits that it “stings” that he wasn’t chosen, but he’s not giving up his dream of pursuing music professionally.
Result: No one turns their chairs for Nick
Lilli Passero (“A Love of My Own”)
Lilli Passero is a singer and actress who is also a waitress in California. She says she grew up in a musical family where her creativity was always encouraged by her parents. Lilli says she finds it difficult to balance her singing career and her full-time job, but she is motivated by her desire to make it in the business and stand out from every other waitress who sings and acts in the city of dreams.
Blake is the first to turn his chair, followed by Gwen and Alicia. Blake wants Lilli on his team, but she plays him off with a “maybe” when he asks her to join him. Alicia asks to work with Lilli and hopes to create magic with her. Gwen also lobbies hard for Lilli to pick her as her coach. Alicia serenades Lilli to come and join her on her team, which seals the deal as Lilli picks Alicia as her coach.
Result: Lilli picks team Alicia
Who was your favorite performer of the night? Do you think Gwen has an edge over Blake, Adam and Alicia in the competition already? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
The Voice airs Monday and Tuesdays at 8/7c on NBC. Want more news? Like our Facebook page.
(Image and videos courtesy of NBC)