Monday night on “The Voice,” Ricky Duran received a rare four-chair standing ovation from coaches Blake Shelton, John Legend, Gwen Stefani and Kelly Clarkson. Ricky’s performance of Leon Bridges‘ “River” was one to remember, as this 29-year-old from Massachusetts dedicated it his deceased mother and father. After each coach made their pitches for why they should be Ricky’s mentor, he surprised everyone by joining … Team Blake! Did you see that twist coming? Watch “The Voice” blind audition video above.
“Ricky, I was listening to you singing there and I want you to know that on my place in Oklahoma, I have a river,” Blake said with a wink. “I would love to take you to it, if you want to go.” Jokes aside, Blake then added, “That was a performance that clearly had us all from the beginning. As these chairs turned around, it just gave you even more confidence, like ‘Man, I’m just gonna let it fly.’ Your tone is great. You have the aggressiveness when you need to have it. Great stage presence. I’d love to be your coach, dude.”
Despite Ricky revealing that No Doubt was the first concert he’d ever been to, he shocked the crowd when he went with the country star as his coach. “I think I want to go with the river. I pick Blake,” Ricky proclaimed. In doing so, Blake won his first four-chair turn of Season 17.
“Nobody is more surprised than I am that Ricky chose me as his coach,” Blake later said backstage. Could Ricky be the next Team Blake artist to win “The Voice”? Six have already prevailed: Jermaine Paul (Season 2), Cassadee Pope (Season 3), Danielle Bradbery (Season 4), Craig Wayne Boyd (Season 7), Sundance Head (Season 11) and Chloe Kohanski (Season 13).
In his “The Voice” live bog, our recapper John Benutty had this to say about the performance: “For Ricky Duran his song choice of ‘River’ by Leon Bridges was very personal as it represented coming out of the dark place of his parents’ deaths. Within seconds all four coaches had hit their buttons, making Ricky the first and only four-chair turn of the evening. The coaches all agreed that he was tasteful and that his voice is good enough to do a lot on the show. With good pitches from each coach, Ricky surprised everyone by going with Blake!”