The months of waiting are over! “The Voice” made its season premiere with the original coaches and blind auditions Monday night, but it was slim pickin’s when it came to country acts.
Blake Shelton is the favorite to win as he defends a three-season winning streak, having dominated season four with Danielle Bradbery. He’s anything but modest about it too. The country star had three peace sign trophies made to shove in the other coaches’ faces – especially nemesis Adam Levine – and to lure potential singers onto his team.
Friendly rivalry aside – Shelton, Levine, Christina Aguilera and CeeLo Green hyped the crowd with a high-powered performance of “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” at the start of the show.
The first audition of the night was also the first country act. Texan Jake Worthington – who has a really thick southern drawl – did a fantastic job singing “Keep Your Hands To Yourself,” but surprisingly, no coach turned around. Shelton somewhat regretted not choosing Worthington, but said “I just really wanted to mix it up this year.”
Shelton felt he “screwed the pooch” when it came to Worthington, so that could have been the reason why he jumped at the chance to nab contestant Shelby Z. The country rocker belted a rousing rendition of Gretchen Wilson’s “Here For The Party.” Blake turned around immediately, as did Aguilera and Green. While Levine didn’t turn his chair for her, he urged Shelby to “be the exception, go somewhere else – just pick anyone other than Blake,” but, as predicted, she stuck with her country roots and chose Shelton.
So far, Shelton has one artist on his team. Team “XTina” and CeeLo each have two. Levine has the most performers on lock with three.
The second set of blind auditions airs tonight at 8/7c on NBC.