(LOS ANGELES) — The Voice kicked off its 14th season Monday night with two hours of blind auditions.
Adam Levine and Blake Shelton are back as coaches, joined by returning coach Alicia Keys and new coach Kelly Clarkson, who nabbed three artists.
Host Carson Daly also announced a new twist for season 14: “The Block,” which gives the coaches one chance each to block one of their rival coaches from getting an artist.
Here are Monday night’s highlights:
Matt Damon lookalike Britton Buchanan, 17, is a Sanford, North Carolina native. Blake and Alicia turned their chairs for Britton’s version of Ray LaMontagne’s “Trouble.” So did Adam, who unfortunately fell victim to the night’s first block, courtesy of Blake, leaving him out of the running. Alicia said she picked Buchanan because his voice “has honesty.” Blake declared Buchanan’s voice was “so intense” and had a “little bit of country.” Shelton’s strategy backfired when Britton chose Alicia.
Brynn Cartelli, a 14-year-old from Longmeadow, Massachusetts, convinced Clarkson and Shelton to turn their chairs with her take on “Beneath Your Beautiful,” by Labrinth featuring Emeli Sandé — touching off one of many battles between the two coaches. Kelly explained her choice by noting that Brynn had a lot of different elements to her voice, and Kelly could help her showcase them, while Blake touted his success with young female artists on the show. Kelly countered by pointing out that Blake chose her as an advisor for season two. Cartelli picked Kelly.
Kyla Jade is a session singer who’s backed the likes of Carrie Underwood and season-13 Voice coach Jennifer Hudson — who cheered Jade on in a video message. Kyla’s version of Aretha Franklin’s See Saw.” had Blake and Kelly going at it again. Kelly admitted she was “a rookie,” but added that her victory on another talent competition — American Idol — would be an asset. Blake noted that he won the second season of The Voice with Alicia Keys’ backup singer, Jermain Paul. It seemed like Kelly had this one in the bag, but Kyla surprisingly chose Blake.
Kelsea Johnson, 21, scored a three-chair turnaround with her powerful rendition of “Like I’m Gonna Lose You,” by Meghan Trainor featuring John Legend. Kelsea dedicated to her grandfather, who passed away shortly before her blind audition. Adam, Kelly and Alicia fought for Kelsea, with Adam calling Johnson’s voice “stunning.” Kelly revealed her plan for Kelsea should she choose her, which was to “focus on songs to take her further.” Alicia declared Kelsea has “a gift.” Johnson chose Team Alicia.
Buffalo, Texas native Justin Kilgore hid the fact that he was gay for many years, but decided to use his The Voice audition to show everyone who he “really is.” Justin sang Chris Young’s “Tomorrow.” Adam, Alicia and Kelly all turned their chairs, as did Blake, only to be blocked by Alicia, who said she “had a vision” for Justin, promising to bring the best out of his “beautiful voice.” Kelly insisted she’s “a country girl” and reminded Justin that his favorite singer, Reba McEntire, happens to be her mother-in-law. Kelly won the battle, and her third artist of the night.
The blind auditions continue with a one-hour episode airing Tuesday night at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.
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