We’re back with night two of The Voice‘s Blind Auditions for season 8. I was so excited for Christina Aguilera to come back to The Voice and join coaches Blake Shelton, Adam Levine and Pharrell Williams this season. During the premiere, Blake wound up with Sarah Potenza, Cody Wickline and Joshua Davis, Christina had Rob Taylor and Treeva Gibson, and Pharrell had Lowell Oakley, Meghan Linsey and Sawyer Fredericks. And poor Adam was all by himself. So who will be the first artist to join Adam’s team this season on The Voice?
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Anthony Riley (“I Got You (I Feel Good)”)
Anthony Riley is 27 years old and from Philadelphia. He sang in the school choir and would constantly sing in the house, which may have annoyed his siblings a little bit. He told his dad, a trained conductor, that he wanted to sing professionally, and his dad suggested singing on the train. He’s been a street performer for a few years now and he loves the energy when he starts getting an audience. He actually got arrested for disturbing the peace, but he fought it and won, and even won best street performer in Philadelphia.
The coaches are so excited when Anthony starts performing “I Got You (I Feel Good)” that they all immediately turn their chairs. His performance is absolute perfection. He puts everything into it and totally plays the audience. “I haven’t been this entertained this season,” Blake says, while Christina calls Anthony a “trailblazer” and Pharrell calls his performance “electric.” Finally, Adam says that it’s going to be a challenge to stay hot, but he has a plan. Blake interrupts and says that Adam wants to change him, Pharrell and Christina would be like mixing water and water, and he would be like putting whiskey in water. Adam and Christina even get up to try to get him to pick them, but he ultimately goes with Pharrell.
Result: Anthony chooses Pharrell
Gabriel Wolfchild (“Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright”)
Gabriel Wolfchild is 26 years old and from Seattle. Part of his family tradition is to pick your own name. His parents run a non-denominational church. He used to resent them and call them hippies, but now he likes his alternative upbringing. He started getting into music at art school and realized that he was more into music than art.
Gabriel performs “Don’t Think Twice” with his guitar, which became important to him after a woman broke up with him. And he gets Adam to turn his chair pretty early on. Then Blake turns his chair, exasperating Adam who still has no artists. Then Christina turns her chair. It really is a beautiful performance.
Pharrell says he didn’t turn around because he knew Gabriel wouldn’t pick him. Adam says he and Gabriel are both sensitive and he loves him. Blake, meanwhile, says that Gabriel doesn’t sing to people’s ear, he sings to his heart. And Christina calls him one of a kind. Gabriel would have gone with Pharrell if he had turned his chair around, but Pharrell tells him to go with this spirit. So he goes with Christina, which I find so surprising. Christina is so excited, celebrating with the audience and picking out new names for the other coaches.
Result: Gabriel chooses Christina
While Adam goes to the bathroom, Blake gets the audience to agree to chant Blake’s name if only he and Adam turn their chairs.
Brooke Adee (“Skinny Love”)
Brooke Adee is just 16 years old. Her parents aren’t musical, but her dad took her to see Annie when she was 8, and she was sold. She would always put on shows by herself in her room. She just moved to Florida because her mom was diagnosed with Lupus and misses her friends and hates how the humidity affects her curly hair, but she sings in a restaurant and loves getting tips.
Brooke performs “Skinny Love,” and Adam and Blake turn their chairs around right away. “That’s why I do this show,” Blake says. He and Brooke are both crying. “She amazes me,” Blake says. Brooke says that Adam and Blake remind her of Tom and Jerry as they fight over her. Adam wants her so bad and says losing her will be “the biggest mistake I’ve made this season.” Pharrell even seems like he regrets not turning around. The audience actually cheers for Blake like he told them to and Adam totally calls them out. “Where were you?” he asks his section and starts begging Brooke to pick him, but she picks Blake.
Result: Brooke chooses Blake
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Dylan Dunlap (“Talk Dirty”)
Eighteen-year-old Dylan Dunlap goes to Berklee College of Music. His dad didn’t want to fund it anymore, so he walked around with a sign saying that he was looking to fund his next year at school and someone on The Voice noticed him.
Dylan does his own spin on Jason Derulo’s “Talk Dirty” with his traveler guitar. He just seems so nervous. Ultimately, no one turns around. Adam says he needs to enunciate better and have more control. Pharrell also says he needs to work on discipline and precision, but he liked the arrangement. Christina, meanwhile, suggests he doesn’t use the instrument and just sing instead.
Tonya Boyd-Cannon (“Happy”)
Tonya Boyd-Cannon is 35 years old. She was born in Jackson, Mississippi, and raised in New Orleans and calls herself a “Mississippisouisianinan,” which I love. She grew up singing in the church and got a degree in music education. She also works with a prison and gets to work with the prison choir in the re-entry program. She lost everything in Katrina, including her kids’ pictures, but wants to show her kids never to give up on their dreams now.
Tonya performs “Happy.” It always makes me nervous when an artist performs a coach’s song, but Adam turns his chair around pretty quickly. After an amazing note, Christina and Pharrell turn their chairs around too. She just has such a great energy.
Christina loves how versatile and fun she is, but she thinks this is going to Pharrell. Tonya does seem to be leaning that way. She seems pretty excited about Adam too, though. He counted 58 seconds between when he pushed his button and the others pushing theirs. That has to count for something, right? Adam says there are so many reasons why she should pick Christina or Pharrell. It makes no sense that she should go with him, but that’s why she should. Blake thinks it’s a pretty weak argument, but apparently she buys it and goes with Adam! He finally gets someone!
Result: Tonya chooses Adam
Blake’s Next Prank
Blake goes up to Christina and tries to get her to get under Pharrell’s skin. They don’t want him to get away with trying to win people over the way he does. Then he goes to Pharrell and warns him. “You’re screwed,” he says. Pharrell’s just too nice.
Joe Tolo (“To Love Somebody”)
Twenty-one-year-old Joe Tolo talks about being Samoan in America. He’s the youngest of eight children, who all also play music. His parents filed for divorce when he was 11 and his dad went back to Samoa, so his mom had to raise all eight kids herself. Music was a real escape for him. Joe went on Extra and ultimately won an audition on The Voice. At the end of the day, despite everything, Joe’s glad that his whole family’s there for each other.
Joe performs “To Love Somebody,” and Christina turns her chair around right away. The other coaches keep looking at each other, and Blake finally turns his chair around. People in the audience absolutely lose it for him too.
Adam and Pharrell think he should choose Christina. To prove how great they’d be together, Joe and Christina even sing a high note together and Adam has to high five Christina for it. Christina really goes after Blake, but he finally gets his turn and simply says that Christina has never won The Voice. Unsurprisingly, Joe goes with Christina.
Result: Joe chooses Christina
Drew Parker (“Workin’ Man Blues”)
Twenty-three-year-old Drew Parker grew up in a really small town. He wanted to be a baseball player, but as he started playing music in churches, he realized how much he loved it. He also works as an X-Ray technician. His brother has asthma, and his experience made him want to help people.
Drew performs “Workin’ Man Blues.” I like it, but nobody turns around. Blake calls him a “solid country singer,” but the performance didn’t have the emotion it was supposed to. It sounded like a party song when that song is about the blues. Drew should have paid attention to the meaning of the song. Christina, meanwhile, was looking for something more unique, and Pharrell agrees with both of them.
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Mia Z (“The Thrill is Gone”)
FIfteen-year-old Mia Z is in a band with her family, which is adorable, and wants to work with Christina.
Mia performs “The Thrill is Gone.” Blake turns his chair first, but then after an incredible high note and some thinking, Pharrell pushes his button. Blake’s so upset. Christina completely regrets not turning around, especially since Mia’s from Pittsburgh, but it’s between Blake and Pharrell now. “I’ve never heard a performance like that,” Blake says. Adam, meanwhile, says it doesn’t need all the sauce, but Blake calls for “extra sauce.” Pharrell talks about the range and says, “The thrill is right here.” In the end, Mia goes with Pharrell.
Result: Mia chooses Pharrell
Blaze Johnson (“How to Save a Life”)
Blaze Johnson is originally from the Bahamas, but they rebuilt their lives in Columbus, Ohio. His dad was a janitor at his school and kids used to make fun of them. He tried to audition for a solo in a school play, and they didn’t take him because of where he was from, but his dad encouraged him to keep trying. His family moved back to the Bahamas, but Blaze is staying with his pastor and leading the music there. “I’m a big guy with a big voice and a big dream,” he says.
Blaze performs “How to Save a Life” and gets Adam to turn his chair around, followed by Blake. They love his name and he calls himself “Little Blaze” because he’s Blaze Jr., which is amazing. He ultimately goes with Adam, which seems perfect.
Result: Blaze chooses Adam
Bryan Pierce (“Rocket Man”)
Bryan Pierce’s dad was in the military and his parents split. He grew up poor and lived in tents at some point, but he could always sing. He kept doing it and hosted karaoke.
Bryan performs “Rocket Man,” but he doesn’t turn any chairs. Blake has issues with Bryan’s transitions and Adam agrees. Christina says he has a talent, but there were some problem areas. Pharrell, meanwhile, was trying to be selective, but he kind of regrets not turning around.
Deanna Johnson (“All I Want”)
Deanna Johnson is a returning artist to The Voice. She auditioned in season 5, but didn’t have a lot of experience before that. She was devastated and got really insecure afterwards, but her dad talked to her and convinced her to sing again, so she started singing in church. Her dad even set up a studio for them to work together in.
Deanna performs “All I Want” and manages to turn all four chairs! “There is nobody in the world to compare you to,” Blake says. “You don’t want to go with the little people.” They all want her so bad, and Pharrell gets up and walks to the stage. “I just want to see how tall she is,” he says. He points out that he wasn’t on the show when no one picked her. Adam admits that there are some things that need work, but he’d work with her. He says that the ones who can take that criticism go the distance, and she agrees! Deanna goes with Adam and he totally rubs it in Blake’s face.
Result: Deanna chooses Adam
In the end, Adam finally got three artists, Blake added one more, and Christina and Pharrell each added two.
Team Adam: Tonya Boyd-Cannon, Blaze Johnson, Deanna Johnson
Team Blake: Brooke Adee
Team Christina: Gabriel Wolfchild, Joe Tolo
Team Pharrell: Anthony Riley, Mia Z
The Voice airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8pm on NBC.
(Image courtesy of NBC)