Toneisha Harris on why she chose Blake Shelton as her ‘The Voice’ coach: ‘I just trusted my gut’

During Tuesday’s second episode of “The Voice” Season 18, Toneisha Harris earned a rare four-chair turn and had every coach fighting for her: Blake Shelton, John Legend, Nick Jonas and Kelly Clarkson. This 44-year-old mother from Roswell, Georgia put her singing career on hold eight years ago when her son was diagnosed with leukemia. Now, her rendition of Foreigner‘s “I Want to Know What Love Is” is her big comeback story (watch above). After all four coaches did their best to try to woo Toneisha onto their teams, she made a shocking decision by choosing … Team Blake!

“I just trusted my gut and I really, really feel like Blake and I are gonna do some great things together,” Toneisha explained backstage. As it turns out, she originally was supposed to audition for “The Voice” in 2012 when the coaches were Blake, Adam Levine, Christina Aguilera and CeeLo Green. Toneisha felt a special bond toward Blake since he’s the only judge still standing from that era (see our rankings of all 14 “The Voice” coaches).

Blake didn’t even try to hide the fact that he’s put in his time on NBC’s reality TV show. “I was a coach back then when you were supposed to audition,” he reminded Toneisha. “I’m still a coach now. I’m guessing you know experience goes a long way. It’s so refreshing to me to hear somebody come out here and sing a classic, because a lot of times people avoid those songs. And sis, every line, every movement in the chorus, it took it to a new level. I don’t even begin to pretend to think that I can sing like you can sing, but I know what it’s like to be an artist trying to get the attention of America, trying to win this thing. I’ve done it a lot of times, buddy. I’d like to do it with you again. I’d be proud to be your coach.”

The other coaches gave Toneisha their best pitches, but ultimately she decided to join Team Blake. Will Toneisha soon become Blake’s seventh champion following 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 blog, our recapper John Benutty had this to say about the performance: “Her rendition of ‘I Want to Know What Love Is’ was the best of the night by a large margin. John knew it first, followed by Nick, Blake and Kelly in that order. Nick, bowing to her, called it one of the strongest vocals he’s ever heard and Kelly bonded with her over the emotions of being a mother. Blake appealed to Toneisha’s sense of age and experience, telling her that she took the song to a new level in an oddly personal and passionate pitch from him. John, like Kelly, just told her that any coach would be blessed to work with her.”

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