The Voice Recap: Watch Zach Bridges Sing Blake Shelton’s ‘Ole Red’

Do you have a favorite Voice hopeful yet?

Written by Tammy Ragusa
The Voice Recap: Watch Zach Bridges Sing Blake Shelton’s ‘Ole Red’
THE VOICE -- Blind Auditions -- Pictured: Zach Bridges -- (Photo by: Justin Lubin/NBC)

Can you believe that this is the last full week of Blind Auditions for season 17 of NBC’s The Voice? It seemed as if we just got started, but next Monday will finish out the Blinds and start the Battle Rounds.

As night five of the auditions begin, the coaches are all nearing their capacity of 10 competitors per team, so each is looking at the remaining slots they have left to determine what kind of singer they need to fill it out. The jabs and digs at each other are also becoming more frequent and jokingly acidic. They’re also Here is the count:


JOANA MARTINEZ (15), Miami, Florida – “Call Out My Name” by The Weeknd

  • Won “Most Likely to Win The Voice” at her school
  • CHAIRS: Gwen and Blake simultaneously, Kelly immediately after
  • GWEN: “When you said 15, my eyes, they just… like tears. Like I can’t believe that you just did that.”
  • KELLY: “You have this thing that you do that you close your eyes a lot. I’ve been told my whole career, open your eyes and let people in. I think if you hone in on opening up and performing it as you’re feeling it, it’s gonna be amazing.”
  • BLAKE: “If you’re getting lost in your moment and telling your story, please don’t open your eyes, please stay connected to your song. One of my favorite singers, Kelly Clarkson, closes her eyes and it’s worked pretty well for hers. I’m just saying, whatever you did then, look how you moved us.”
  • Picked: TEAM BLAKE

BLAKE: “I feel like I”m a better coach than these other three. I love all of them, one of them a lot. But this is a competition and I’m here to win.

BROOKE STEPHENSON (28), Bolton, Connecticut – “Let Him Fly” by Patty Griffin

  • Attended Berklee, majoring in music business
  • CHAIRS: Gwen, Kelly, and Blake
  • JOHN: “It felt very honest and that’s a very appealing thing for all of us and that’s why they’re going to fight over you.”
  • KELLY: “You have a beautiful voice, you’re such a storyteller…I talk so much and I’m at a loss for words…I will totally challenge you.”
  • BLAKE: “You probably don’t realize how great of a singer you are. It grabs you.”
  • GWEN: “I had such a crazy long career, to be able to share it, that’s what I want to do. And I want to do that with you.”
  • Picked: TEAM KELLY

ZACH BRIDGES (28), Pearl, Mississippi – “Ole Red” by Blake Shelton

  • X-ray Tech at VA Hospital
  • CHAIRS: Blake, Gwen
  • GWEN: “I wanted to turn around because you’re a really good singer. I’m a huge fan of Blake Shelton, he’s my favorite singer in the whole world. I don’t have a country artist.”
  • KELLY: “I didn’t push my button because I know that’s Blake’s song. I can only take so much rejection. I don’t want to take it when I know it’s coming, have a great time.”
  • JOHN: “I really enjoyed your performance, my only problem was the song selection. You deserve better.”
    BLAKE: “You don’t have to hope that I get on Google and type in the world ‘country songs’ to help you connect with a genre.”
  • Picked: TEAM BLAKE

ELLIEMAE (21), Jerome, Idaho – “Merry Go Round” by Kacey Musgraves

  • Grew up on a farm
  • CHAIRS: Blake
  • KELLY: “I think that you’re really great. I love your tone, I love your song selection and you got the best coach.”
  • BLAKE: “We’re supposed to hear somebody we like and coach them, and I heard enough. I wanted you on my team. Welcome to Team Blake.”
  • Picked: TEAM BLAKE (by default)

CALLIE LEE (27), Atlanta, Georgia – “No Excuses” by Meghan Trainor

  • JOHN: “You picked a really challenging song to try to sing. Because it’s so staccato and jumps around a lot, it’s hard to pin down exactly what your voice is like.”
  • KELLY: “I was so close. My hand was hovering, but I got a little worried because of the breath control. It was almost as if you were out of breath and you would go off-key a little bit.”

JESSIE LAWRENCE (31), Newark, New Jersey – “All Or Nothing” by O-Town

  • CHAIRS: Gwen
  • GWEN: “What I liked about your voice is you could do all the stuff, but there was something kind of just genuine about it. And now you’re on Team Gwen.”
  • Picked: TEAM GWEN (default)

BRENNEN HENSON (20), Flint, Michigan – “Riptide” by Vance Joy

  • Seeing his city’s struggle with water has made him not take anything for granted
  • CHAIRS: Gwen, Blake in the last second
  • GWEN: “I pushed first. You’re so cute. I’m always looking for someone who has character in their voice, that is going to stand out on the radio…You felt like a songwriter, too and I relate to that.”
  • BLAKE: “I’m in a tough spot here. If I got you on my team then she’s going to pissed off at me and I’m going to pay for that later on. You’re a great singer and you’re a great artist. Anytime I hear a great singer, I push my button. I know you’re looking at me going, ‘This guy is inbred and I’m probably not going to go with him.’ I get it. I haven’t done my geneology, I could be. I love you.”
  • Picked: TEAM GWEN

JARED HERZOG (21), Niceville, Florida – “Speechless” by Dan + Shay

  • Went to college with season 9 winner, Jordan Smith
  • CHAIRS: Blake, John, Gwen
  • JOHN: “The beginning was really cool, it was really breathy, but still really under control, you showed a lot of range and versatility. You take the whole audience on a journey and that’s what this is all about.”
  • GWEN: “You have so many different sides to your voice, so much personality. To be able to tell the story from your heart, that’s the most important thing.”
  • KELLY: “I’m just waiting for something specific and I’d like it to be a female, so you didn’t fit that category.”
  • BLAKE: “When I heard  you were doing Dan + Shay I thought, ‘Maybe he’s country.’ I don’t care either way, I’ve got to hit my button, I’ve got to go in on this guy, great singers are great singers.”
  • Picked: TEAM LEGEND

CLAYTON COWELL (27), Hampton, Virginia – “Just Friends (Sunny)” by Musiq Soulchild

  • Tattoo artist
  • JOHN: “I’m sorry no one turned for you. However, I think that’s a tough song to sing for this kind of show. It doesn’t give you the chance to showcase your voice in all the ways that lets it flourish. You really have a great voice, you have a great tone and with the right strategy, you could come back and do well.”
  • KELLY: “I wanted to hear longer notes so I know where you could go versatility wise.”
  • GWEN: “Just getting to this point is big deal and we all think that you’re a really talented singer, just know that.”

LAUREN HALL (25), West Hollywood, California – “One and Only” by Adele

  • Auditioned for The Voice for seven years, plays competitive soccer
  • CHAIRS: Kelly turned in the first few notes
  • BLAKE: “I kept waiting to see what John was going to do. You sounded like a John artist. If John had gone in, I would have gone in.”
  • JOHN: “It was soulful, it was earnest. I was very close but I think you’re going to be in good hands with Kelly.”
  • KELLY: “I love the song selection and people don’t realize, you could be the greatest singer on the show, but if you choose poorly, people are not going to get into it, they’re not going to connect.”
  • Picked: TEAM KELLY (by default)

MATT NEW (29), Midland, Texas – “Sunflower” by Post Malone

  • CHAIRS: Kelly, Gwen, John in the last second
  • GWEN: “There was something really cool about your voice where it went to so many different genres. I kept hearing more alternative, then pop, then soulful with those runs.”
  • KELLY: “I’m a huge fan of your voice. I love that you’re super passionate.”
  • JOHN: “What got me from the very beginning was your tone. It’s just really lovely. You show versatility and you have power. It was just a really enjoyable listen for me and I’m really excited to have you on your team.”
  • BLAKE: “I’m sorry I didn’t turn around. Especially now that your family is up there staring at me.”
  • Picked: TEAM LEGEND

MONTY MONTANARO, Nashville, Tennessee – “Remedy” by The Black Crowes

  • BLAKE: “It felt like it was a little bit wild. It felt like the singing wasn’t quite as controlled as it could be.”
  • JOHN: “There was a good energy, you were electric, you felt it. My concern was also the control issue. Whenever you’re singing something with that edge to it, I think there’s still room for more finesse sometimes.”
  • KELLY: “I think the song called for you to be full on a lot, but if you could have shown more dynamics, it would have made one of us or more than one of us turn around.”

RICKY DURAN (29), Worcester, Massachusetts – “River” by Leon Bridges

  • Dad was a musician who committed suicide, mother passed away last year
  • FOUR CHAIR TURN in seconds
  • BLAKE: “That was a performance that clearly had us from the beginning and as these chairs turned around, it just gave you even more confidence…your tone is great, you have the aggressiveness when you need to have it. Great stage presence, I would love to be your coach.”
  • JOHN: “I heard immediately what a beautiful tone you have, what beautiful control you have. I love that song, personally. I love Leon and you elevated the song.”
  • GWEN: “I think this show is perfect for you because your voice can do so much. You were so tasteful in your performance and when someone is just that good it’s about trying to find who you are and what your story is, and I do feel that I know how to connect to people through music.”
  • KELLY: “The reason I turned around is because my favorite artists are storytellers. I love anybody with character in their voice. It’s almost like their tone is telling you the story and I think that that is very rare and it’s obviously a natural gift you have because I would pray for that kind of rasp and never get it. I have no one like you on my team, I would love to be your coach. You’re going to be successful on anyone’s team.”
  • Picked: TEAM BLAKE