The final week of Blind Auditions on season 6 of The Voice begins as the coaches scramble to fill their final spots. Usher says that he will “wait for great.” Everyone adds to their squad but they all still have one spot remaining at the end of the night.
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Kat Perkins (“Gold Dust Woman” by Fleetwood Mac)
In her 33 years, Kat has been a member of a country music revue, lead singer of a rock band that opened for Bon Jovi and a nanny. She has also decorated her body with numerous tattoos and piercings.
Right off the bat, Kat owns the song. She has a strong voice and sounds a lot like Stevie Nicks. I didn’t even know this was a Fleetwood Mac song, but I guessed that it was just from how she sang it.
Adam turns around halfway through, followed closely by Shakira, then Usher.
Usher thought she was a country singer. Shakira uses her time to speak about her own accomplishments (did you know she’s written 99 songs?). Adam knew she was a rocker and he loves Stevie Nicks. Kat chooses Team Adam, which is the best fit for her.
Gabi Ramirez (“The A Team” by Ed Sheeran)
Gabi moved to California to pursue his music career after a life spent focusing on soccer.
It’s clear that Gabi is not the strongest singer. He is off-key at a couple points and doesn’t have that “wow” moment in the song anywhere. It’s a lackluster performance.
No one turns around. Shakira says he has a beautiful voice but lacked dynamics.
Paula DeAnda (“The Way” by Ariana Grande)
Paula was signed by Clive Davis as a teenager and released one album to minimal success. She’s looking for a second shot, hopefully from Shakira. They are both bilingual.
Paula is awesome. She has a great range and her performance has sass. Blake keeps looking at Shakira, wondering why she isn’t pouncing. Finally, Paula hits an amazing high note that causes Blake and Shakira to push their buttons.
It seems like Paula is going to definitely go with Team Shakira, but then Blake uses the fact that they have common Texas roots to woo her to his team. Paula to Team Blake.
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Jake Barker (“When I Was Your Man” by Bruno Mars)
Well, this should be interesting. Jake the Bartender has never performed live … ever. He has had some minor success with posting YouTube videos of himself singing, but he suffers from stage fright. At least on The Voice, you don’t have to look at the judges if you’re terrible.
You can tell that Jake is an amateur, because he oversings it in some spots with lots of trills.
But what do I know? He gets three coaches to turn around. Usher turns around first. Adam and Shakira are next, and Blake does not turn around.
Usher says the Bruno Mars song definitely complemented his voice. When Adam hears that this was Jake’s first performance, he says there’s a lot of potential for growth. Shakira tells Jake that he can be vulnerable with her.
“Do you want a mom or a mentor?” Usher asks. Jake picks Team Usher for his coach.
Luke Cooper (“Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons)
Luke is a single dad/psychiatric nurse who is trying to keep his dream of being a singer alive.
He calls this audition his “one last hurrah” with music.
Luke gives it his all, but he is just too nasally. He is another one who tries too hard.
“Nobody’s gonna turn around for this joker,” said my husband. He’s right.
The coaches point out that his complicated stylings took over the song.
Ria Eaton (“Cups” by Anna Kendrick)
Ria is an optimistic teenager trying to hit it big so she can support her family.
I think “Cups” is a difficult song choice, but I love what she does with it. She has a rocker vibe and a strong, raspy voice.
She nears the end of her song with no coaches turning around. Right at the last second, Blake and Shakira turn around.
Despite Adam and Usher’s cheerleading for Shakira, Ria chooses Team Blake.
Cierra Mickens (“Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley)
Cierra grew up singing gospel, but went to college with the intention of being a lawyer. She currently lives in Alaska … not exactly a hotbed for hot, new singers. This audition will help Cierra decide whether to go to law school or concentrate on her singing.
She sings “Crazy,” and I think it’s the first time I’ve heard a woman sing these vocals. Cierra is a “belter,” as Shakira says. The performance is amazing.
I’m surprised that only Blake and Shakira turn around. Oh wait, here’s Usher sneaking in at the buzzer! Only Adam doesn’t turn.
Shakira gets out of her seat and goes up on stage to tell Cierra how much she believes in her.
Blake hears that Cierra is from Alaska and jokes, “That’s where I’m from!” Usher is not very convincing, probably because he knows he doesn’t really have a shot.
Cierra goes to Team Shakira.
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Tyler Montgomery (“I Wish” by Stevie Wonder)
Everybody on this show has a sob story and Tyler’s is that his dad died in a fire. Losing his dad has made him want to be a singer. It’s obvious that Tyler thinks he is a lot better than he actually is.
And … I’m right. He does a Stevie Wonder song and it’s just okay. Nobody turns around. When the song is over and the coaches see what Tyler looks like (tall, white guy, longish curly hair), they all seem shocked. I guess some of them thought he’d be a girl, or possibly African American?
Adam tells Tyler to come back with a different song choice. I would like Tyler to come back with a different hair choice.
Alaska & Madi (“Barton Hollow” by The Civil Wars)
Speaking of hair choices, the folk duo of Alaska & Madi arrive with a picture of a young, mulleted Blake Shelton. Apparently, Blake, like Alaska & Madi, won the “American Kids National Competition” back in the day.
Alaska & Madi are teenage BFFs who must decide whether to break up their duo in order to attend college or not.
I’ve never heard this song “Barton Hollow,” but I imagine that these two are pretty darn near close to sounding as good as the original. The girls are very confident for their age, and their harmony sounds fantastic … however, I will stick with my opinion that duos aren’t fair on The Voice.
Adam turns around first, followed by Blake. They are the only two to turn around, which means it’s a good old-fashioned Adam vs. Blake fight for the singers!
Once the girls tell the coaches they are from Oklahoma and have the American Kids group in common with Blake, Adam knows it’s over. He puts up a fair fight, but Alaska & Madi choose Team Blake.
Ddendyl (“Stand By Me” by Ben E. King)
Ddendyl’s sob story is that her dad used to play the bagpipes in full Scottish garb … in public.
Ddendyl has studied opera singing and currently works as a lounge singer, but she wants more.
She definitely has that lounge singer quality and sounds very folksy like Norah Jones.
Shakira turns first, and I’m expecting the rest to quickly follow. They do not. I have no idea why the guys didn’t turn around! Ddendyl to Team Shakira.
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Josh Kaufman (“One More Try” by George Michael)
Josh is trying to make music his career, but is struggling to support his family of three. He is getting his masters in philosophy, just in case.
I will preface this by saying that I absolutely love this song. I would have pressed my button after the first note. Josh captivates all the coaches and gets the only four-chair turn of the night.
Josh says he likes to sing old soul songs, so obviously Usher thinks he would be a perfect fit for Team Usher. Adam reminds Josh that he was the first to turn around. Josh heads to Team Adam.
“Josh Kaufman could win this whole thing,” says Adam. “It’s nice to know he entrusted me with his talent.”
Team Blake also takes country legacy Cali Tucker.
Team Adam scores soul singer Josh Murley and pop/soul artist Austin Ellis.
Team Usher gets pop vocalist Tess Boyer.
Each coach still must fill one remaining spot.
The Voice airs Monday and Tuesday nights at 8pm on NBC.
(Image courtesy of NBC)