Monday night during the Season 15 premiere of NBC’s “The Voice,” 15-year-old Sarah Grace performed Janis Joplin‘s “Ball and Chain” and caused three coaches to turn their chairs around: Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson and Blake Shelton. Since Kelly just won last season with Brynn Cartelli, a 15-year-old pop singer, Sarah — or as Kelly called her, “Stank Face” — didn’t have to think too hard about whose team she wanted to join. Watch “The Voice” blind audition video above and read Kelly’s comments below.
“My favorite part is you had stank face for days,” laughed Kelly. “It’s a compliment! It’s like, my girlfriends and I are always like, ‘Oh she has a stank face.’ Like, I love it. I will not call you that if you don’t want me to. I really do wanna say, I did actually win ‘The Voice’ last year with a 15-year-old. I’m just saying, I can do it. I’m a big fan, man. I was surprised you were so little with a such a big old soul voice.”
When Kelly asked Sarah what kind of a record she wants to make, Sarah responded, “Probably a blues/rock/roots album pulling from Etta James, Janis Joplin.” That puts Sarah in a unique lane to be sure, but since Kelly was able to work wonders with Brynn last season, that makes Sarah one to watch out for as Season 15 continues on NBC.
In his “The Voice” live blog, our recapper John Benutty had this to say about the performance: “The first artist of the night was Sarah Grace, a 15 year old from Texas. For her blind audition she took on Janis Joplin‘s ‘Ball and Chain,’ showing off a register so deep that it’s impossible it came out of someone so young. By the end of the song, Adam was the only coach that didn’t turn his chair. Kelly turned her chair early and so got to watch most of Sarah’s performance and became drawn in by her ‘stank face.’ Jennifer didn’t make much of a pitch to Sarah and though Blake hurled a ton of compliments her way, Sarah ultimately went with Kelly. I’d say with her goal of making a blues and rock album inspired by Joplin and Etta James that Sarah made the right choice!”