The Spring 2023 cycle of “The Voice” marks the end of the road for country superstar Blake Shelton, who’s been with the program since Season 1. As such, he’s also the winningest coach with nine overall triumphs for Jermaine Paul (Season 2), Cassadee Pope (Season 3), Danielle Bradbery (Season 4), Craig Wayne Boyd (Season 7), Sundance Head (Season 11), Chloe Kohanski (Season 13), Todd Tilghman (Season 18), Cam Anthony (Season 20) and Bryce Leatherwood (Season 22). Now that the Season 23 blind auditions have begun, can Blake prevail yet again on NBC’s reality TV show and retain his status as G.O.A.T. (Greatest Of All Time)?
Tour our gallery below for a closer look at Team Blake Shelton on “The Voice” Season 23, including photos, bios and artist rankings. Also see our features for Team Chance the Rapper, Team Kelly Clarkson and Team Niall Horan.
Neil Salsich (4-chair turn)
Hometown: St. Louis, MO
Resident: St. Louis, MO
Neil’s first memory around music was when his father made a mixtape for him. He listened to it relentlessly to the point of wearing it out, but growing up, Neil never saw music as a career. During high school, he gigged in coffee shops around St. Louis for fun when he wasn’t playing sports or in class. In college, he majored in English with a minor in music and ended up failing his minor. Thankfully, he didn’t let that stop him from pursuing something about which he was passionate. In 2014, Neil quit his day job to pursue music full-time with his band, the Mighty Pines, and is still with his band today. Now, he wants to use “The Voice” to see if he can make it as a solo artist.
Tasha Jessen (3-chair turn)
Hometown: Faisalabad, Pakistan
Resident: Colorado Springs, CO
Tasha started singing at 3 when her parents, who were both recording artists at their church in Pakistan, handed her a microphone. But then, at 12, Tasha and her family left Pakistan and immigrated to Thailand to escape religious persecution. It was a huge culture shock and forced music into the backseat until they found a church community where Tasha became involved in the worship team. In 2016, Tasha met her now-husband, Maverek, who had been a missionary for nine years. Last year, Tasha moved to Colorado Springs, where she lives with her husband and his parents. She and Maverek sing in church and at home, but she rarely gigs, which is why “The Voice” is such a milestone.
Kylee Dayne (3-chair turn)
Hometown: Carrollton, TX
Resident: Carrollton, TX
Kylee has dreamed of being a pediatric surgeon ever since she was a young girl. In high school, she became a registered medical assistant after entering a program provided by her school. Once she got to college, Kylee put music to the side to focus on her studies. She was taking 18 hours worth of science classes during her first year and didn’t think she had the time for any music lessons. She eventually hit a wall and started to pick up songwriting as a distraction. After her freshman year, Kylee decided to take a gap year from school to focus on music and give it all she has. She knows that med school is going to take up 12 years of her life, so it’s now or never to pursue her musical dreams. For her performance, Blake used his big foam finger.
Alex Whalen (2-chair turn)
Hometown: London, UK
Resident: Indian Rocks Beach, FL
Before getting into music, Alex spent 18 years working as a “tube driver” in London. Alex and his wife, Erica, moved to the US to start a new life in 2015 after she was offered a job in South Carolina. When they first arrived, Alex couldn’t legally work without a work visa, so he threw himself fully into his music. Then, in 2020, they moved to Florida where Alex has been gigging six nights a week at bars along the beach. He’s already conquered a massive hurdle by moving to America and now that he’s settled here, he’s ready to do something bigger than beach-bar gigs.
Carlos Rising (2-chair turn)
Hometown: Cleveland, TN
Resident: Wilmington, NC
Carlos’ musical journey began at age 11 when he picked up the bass to play in the church where his father was a pastor. After years of playing, he eventually branched out by performing covers in coffee shops around his hometown. He earned a bachelor’s degree in music business with an emphasis in guitar performance from Lee University and in 2017, while playing at a church conference in Prague, Carlos met his future wife. Together, they moved to Seattle where he got a job as a music director at a church. In 2020, both he and his wife lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic and were forced to move back to Carlos’ hometown in Tennessee. Luckily, Carlos had a great support system of family and friends there and could finally focus on his own music. Now, he’s a full-time musician based out of Wilmington N.C., where he is continuing to grow his solo music career.
Mary Kate Connor (2-chair turn)
Hometown: Ashburn, VA
Resident: Ashburn, VA
Mary Kate’s affinity for music started when she was a baby. Her parents quickly learned there was no other way to get her to fall asleep in her car seat without playing hymns. Mary Kate auditioned and landed the role of Young Cosette in a local high school production of “Les Misérables” when she was 8. The show went on to be nominated for a National Theater Award and the cast had the opportunity to perform on the Kennedy Center Stage. Since then, Mary Kate has continued musical theater and even won a National Youth Arts Award for Best Lead Actress for the role of Ariel in “The Little Mermaid.” Now, Mary Kate is more interested in being a singer-songwriter than being on a Broadway stage.
EJ Michels (2-chair turn)
Hometown: Draper, UT
Resident: Draper, UT
EJ grew up learning to play classical piano with the Suzuki method, learning by ear instead of reading music. In high school, he started singing and writing songs and eventually formed a band with his brother called Foreign Figures. They toured the country together and even played in front of 20,000 at a festival headlined by Kesha. Each band member is currently pursuing different career opportunities while still making music and playing shows together. EJ grew up in a conservative, religious town, which caused him to suppress his feelings of being attracted to men. After college, he married a woman. After a year or so, the marriage fell apart and EJ came out to his family and friends. EJ now lives as a proud gay man with his partner and Cavapoo, making his living as a vocal coach and music artist.
Kason Lester (1-chair turn)
Hometown: Lebanon, TN
Resident: Lebanon, TN
Kason, a singer and strawberry farmer, started performing later in his life. He and brother Mitchell have owned and operated their farm since they were kids, but music is his true passion. On a typical day of work, he helps customers at the farm’s market and then spends time writing and recording music in his home studio. The farm is a family business and he has the full support of his family to pursue his dreams on “The Voice.” He has a rock sound and hopes to bring more of that to Nashville, which is only 30 minutes from his hometown.
Walker Wilson (1-chair turn)
Hometown: Alcoa, TN
Resident: Nashville, TN
Before moving to Nashville, Walker was working as a CNC machinist. It didn’t pay much, but he liked the job because it allowed him to gig in the evenings and on weekends. Walker decided to move to Nashville and pursue music in 2021 and now works as a bouncer at a downtown bar. After being hired, he quickly realized he could use this job to network with other musicians. The best part of the job has been getting to know the house band. They’ve asked Walker to sing with them a couple of times when he’s not working, giving him a unique foot in the door in a city known for being tough to find a break.
Keep watching “The Voice” Season 23 on Mondays and Tuesdays on NBC to see how the teams shape up for Niall Horan, Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson and Chance the Rapper.