The first week of blind auditions is in the bag for Season 13 of “The Voice,” and returning coach Miley Cyrus is back with a vengeance. The “Malibu” singer fought hard to snag two of the best and most exciting artists of week one, taking home three singers in total. Rookie coach Jennifer Hudson proved she is no slouch by pulling four artists to her team including the first four-chair turn of the season. Blake Shelton finished out the opening week with four artists of his own, while Adam Levine currently has three.
Hudson effectively silenced any skeptics who questioned if the Oscar and Grammy-winning singer would fit in at the Emmy-winning NBC series. With sass, wit and that powerful voice, she was the breath of fresh air this season needed. The “Dreamgirl” showed no hesitation hamming it up with the other coaches while fighting to bring the best artists to her team. It is no surprise she won the British version of “The Voice” on her first attempt. Can she achieve the same feat in the USA?
Take a look back at our live blogs from this week with minute-by-minute analysis from Monday night and Tuesday night. And here are my power rankings for the 17 artists who have performed so far this season.
1. Brooke Simpson – “Stone Cold” (Age: 26; Hollister, NC)
This standout closed night one of the blind auditions with the most impressive vocals of the week. She has everything it takes to win “The Voice” as long as she chooses the right songs and is led in the right direction by her coach. Chair turns: 4. Team: Miley.
2. Ashland Craft – “You Are My Sunshine” (Age: 21; Piedmond, SC)
The spunky country singer has a rock edge and will attract a broad audience. She’s young, fun and should be a perfect match for her coach. Chair turns: 3. Team: Miley.
3. Lucas Holiday – “This Woman’s Work” (Age: 26; Lansing, MI)
The “singing cashier” may have given an uneven performance, but the vocals were there. He simply needs direction. Besides, blind auditions like this are the reason people watch this show. Chair turns: 1. Team: Jennifer.
4. Chris Weaver – “Try a Little Tenderness” (Age: 29; Long Island, NY)
The preacher by day, drag queen by night was the first to walk out on the blind auditions stage this season. He got all four coaches on their feet with his soul-stirring vocals. Chair turns: 4. Team: Jennifer.
5. Shi’Ann Jones – “Drown in My Own Tears” (Age: 15; Bowling Green, KY)
It seems like every season there is at least one big-voiced teenager who makes a run toward the finale. Keep your eyes on this little powerhouse because she could surprise everyone. Chair turns: 2. Team: Jennifer.
6. Xaris – “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright” (Age: 17; Gulf Breeze, FL)
This young folk singer has an old soul and a beautiful voice. With just her banjo, she wowed me, but the coaches rejected her. It won’t stop me from putting her near the top of my rankings. She was robbed! Chair turns: 0.
7. Dave Crosby – “I Will Follow You Into the Dark” (Age: 30; Seattle, WA)
Dave has a nice voice but it remains to be seen if he can transform himself into a charismatic artist. Honestly, the most memorable thing about his audition was his daughter joining him on stage. Can he stand out on his own? Chair turns: 3. Team: Adam.
8. Esera Tuaolo – “Rise Up” (Age: 49; Minneapolis, MN)
A big man with a big voice. This former NFL player has been performing for years, but now hopes to take his music career to the next level. He showed a lot of power, but not a lot of range. I would have liked to have seen him choose Jennifer as his coach, but it wasn’t meant to be. Chair turns: 2. Team: Blake.
9. Red Marlow – “Swingin'” (Age: 40; Dickson, TN)
As soon as he said he was “as country as cornbread” I knew viewers would love this guy. He is a straightforward country singer with a lot of potential if he comes out of his shell on stage. Chair turns: 2. Team: Blake.
10. Keisha Renee – “I Can’t Stop Loving You” (Age: 30; Inglewood, CA)
This back-up singer for Nicki Minaj is an aspiring country singer who had a memorable audition. That is important, but her voice didn’t wow me as much as it did the coaches. Perhaps Blake can pull more out of her? Chair turns: 4. Team: Blake.
11. Janice Freeman – “Radioactive” (Age: 32; Compton, CA)
This seemed like an awkward song choice for this fierce, deep-voiced diva. It was a little all over the place, but I feel like she could turn this competition on its head with the right song choice and guidance. Not a great audition, but keep an eye on this one! Chair turns: 2. Team: Miley.
12. Mitchell Lee – “Hold My Hand” (Age 29; Charleston, SC)
Mitchell is the handsome, all-American boy who sings light rock/country music in a totally forgettable fashion. He’s charming and has decent stage presence, but I didn’t care for his performance. Chair turns: 3. Team: Blake.
13. Maharasyi Hansa – “Tell Me Something Good” (Age: 27; Los Angeles, CA)
This Chaka Khan song was just to big for this aspiring singer. She held back on the most powerful parts of the song and lacks confidence. She is stunningly beautiful though, so if she can work through her nerves and deliver more consistent vocals she could make a solid run this season. Chair turns: 2. Team: Jennifer.
14. Brandon Showell – “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back” (Age: 26; Virginia Beach, VA)
This song choice did nothing to showcase his vocals and I’m surprised he got three coaches to turn around. I thought this was one of the least memorable auditions this week. Chair turns: 3. Team: Adam.
15. Marlo Wells – “Love Me Now” (Age: 61; Fontana, CA)
The oldest contestant this week, Marlo was fun to watch but just didn’t quite have what it takes to win over the coaches. I wish we could have seen him continue his journey a little longer, but it wasn’t meant to be. Chair turns: 0.
16. Dylan Gerard – “Say You Won’t Let Go” (Age: 28; Macclenny, FL)
I was not a fan of his voice or his stage presence. Following his performance, Jennifer mentioned he was singing in the wrong key and she was correct. This was another completely forgettable audition and at least two better performers went home this week instead of him. Chair turns: 2. Team: Adam.
17. Odiseas Georgiadis – “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag” (Age: 20; Brooklyn, NY)
This young singer was tough to watch. He first auditioned at age 15 and was unsuccessful at turning any chairs. Five years later he seemed confident to return. But his performance didn’t feel genuine and the coaches were confused by his vocals. Once again, he was sent home early. Chair turns: 0.
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