We’re only four nights of blind auditions into season 16 of NBC’s The Voice and things are happening fast. Coaches Kelly Clarkson, John Legend, Adam Levine, and Blake Shelton have wasted no time picking the players who will represent them as the show progresses. In fact, host Carson Daly did a quick count before the performances started and the teams look like this:
Team John – 7
Team Blake – 6 (half his team)
Team Adam and Team Kelly – 5 each
Still, the coaches weren’t backing down as night four of the blinds boasted just as much talent as the three nights before.
What is also boasted was what might be one of the purest rock-and-roll singers of auditions so far. Hailing from Kenosha, Wisconsin, 40-year-old Betsy Ade even looked the part of a rocker chick as she sang Florence and the Machine’s “Hunger,” but it was her edgy and dynamic vocal that earned her chair turns from John and Adam. “I heard so much Florence, but I hear Annie Lennox,” Adam told her. “I hear all of these other things you can for as you progress on the show.” John followed by saying, “I felt your power, I felt your energy, then I turned around and there was this charisma.” He also said, “When you delivered those big notes, I thought I was right—Betsy deserves to be on this show.” Prior to hitting the stage, Betsy’s 10-year-old son told his mom that he wanted John for her coach…and that’s who she picked.
For as much grief as Blake got on night three, his fellow coaches seemed to just give in to his country music expertise on night four. Even though all of the coaches seemed to enjoy the gentle vibrato of 20-year-old Dalton Dover’s cover of Keith Whitley’s “Don’t Close Your Eyes,” the only one to hit his button was Blake. And he wasn’t mad about it. In fact, he told the Aragon, Georgia boy, “This is awesome for me.” After that, the remaining coaches fell in line with Adam telling him, “Man, you were great, but you have the coach you were going to pick anyway,” and Kelly saying, “Here’s the thing. We all knew you were going to pick Blake.” John, on the other hand, was a diplomat telling Dalton, “I’m very, very happy Blake chose you, you’re going to make a great team.”
Maybe Kelly realized she was a little too quick to surrender that country crown to Blake because when Cochran, Georgia’s Rebecca Howell delivered a melodic and precise version of “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia,” Kelly was the first to hit her button, followed by Blake and then John who has expressed an interest in wanting a country act on his team. “I realize I may be an unorthodox choice for you because everyone thinks you’re going to pick the obvious choice, Blake,” John admitted, “But I was enthusiastic to turn around for you.” Kelly then pointed out to Rebecca, “From the beginning, your voice was already so solid. I’m just saying, I hit my button first.” Adam poo-pooed his fellow coaches saying, “I remember when I had hope,” but Rebecca proved him wrong and chose Kelly who declared, “That’s right, Blake, there’s a new sheriff in town.”
Well, wait a second. If John wants a country act, what is to prevent Blake from taking a rock/pop artist? Nothing, apparently. In fact, he landed 19-year-old Kendra Checketts after a smokey version of “Sober” by Demi Lovato. And, surprisingly, he had support from his fellow coaches. “I think this is a beautiful pairing because it’s not what you’d expect,” Adam said, and Kelly agreed, “I think you have a great coach in him because he has no one like you.”
The final performance of the night belonged to 29-year-old LB Crew from Little Rock, Arkansas. Singing “Waves” by Mr. Probz, LB demonstrated a wide vocal range that earned him four chairs, however, Adam spoke first and he pointed out a weakness. “I’m going to say one thing,” he said. “I think one of my best skills as a singer is falsetto, and that’s the one area that wasn’t as good as it could be.” He went on to tell the young singer that he felt, as his coach, he could help him refine that skill. Blake, on the other hand, was a fan of the falsetto. “Your voice, man, you have a charisma about it that we’re all interested in,” he said. “Your falsetto sounds a little bit tortured, and I love it.” But it was Adam’s constructive criticism that drew LB in and, as Kelly said, “I did not see that coming.”
The Comeback Stage and Bebe Rexha also got a new contestant in 28-year-old J.T. Rodriguez. So far, there have been two battles on The Comeback Stage. Duo Nathan and Chesi faced-off with Klea Olsen with Nathan and Chesi taking the win with their version of Don Williams’ “Tulsa Time.” Then newcomer J.T. went toe-to-toe with Kanard Thomas from the March 4 blinds. Kanard took the win in that round singing Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On.” You can see those performances on the YouTube page for “The Voice.”
Remember, the two finalists from The Comeback Stage will battle during the live rounds of The Voice for a chance to continue on in the competition.