Week 2 of NBC’s The Voice kicked off on March 4 with a level playing field. Coaches Kelly Clarkson, John Legend, Adam Levine, and Blake Shelton had all spent their blocks in the first two nights of Blind Auditions, and John earned the title of the most blocked coach in The Voice history.
With the blocks out of the way, the coaches only had the words they spoke after the performances to help them plead their case, but among those words were ample digs at the most winning coach in the show’s history—Blake. However, this season is proving to be unique in that the competitors all seem to be interested in different coaches for different reasons. And even though John did get blocked 3 times in the first week, he’s making up for lost time.
In fact, the first performer of the night, 20-year-old Jacob Maxwell, had his sights set on the newest coach. Covering Taylor Swift’s “Delicate,” both John and Kelly turned for the silky-voiced singer, and Adam immediately confessed, “I screwed up” for not turning his chair. “I guess my favorite part about your voice is it’s effortless,” Kelly told Jacob. “You moved me and that’s what it takes to get my chair to turn.” Then John told him, “I’m glad you have a biblical name because your voice is heavenly.” It’s questionable if that is the line that pushed him over the line, but Jacob did choose Team John.
Sometimes it seems as if the singers just don’t get enough time to really show the coaches what they have. Fortunately for Karley Moreno, Adam latched onto her ethereal tone and turned for the California girl’s performance of Hailee Steinfeld and Grey’s “Starving.” John admitted, “I thought you sounded wonderful, I thought your tone was really beautiful. The only question was range and dynamic.” Kelly added, “I loved your voice. It was very angelic and beautiful. I think you should stick with that vibe.”
After hearing Carter Lloyd Horne’s introductory package, there’s no doubt that a lot of the viewing audience was pulling for the 19-year-old whose family had just come pulled themselves out of homelessness. But the coaches only had his rich, husky voice singing Midland’s “Drinkin’ Problem” to go on. And while it seemed as if he didn’t quite capture anyone’s attention, on the last note both Blake and Kelly turned. Noting his youthful appearance, Kelly told the Marietta, Georgia native, “I think the most interesting thing about you is you sound like you’re 50. You have this solid, old school sound. You fooled us. I had no idea you were 19.” Blake then explained, “There were a few pitch things, but knowing you’re 19, this is scary as hell. You finally got a solid grip on it at the end and it was undeniable.” With a decided country flair, Carter selected Team Blake.
Poor Kelly. She spent much of the remainder of the night lamenting “Men never pick me.” At one point she even joked that she wasn’t turning for any more men.
And while she didn’t turn for 18-year-old Talon Cardon, she may have wished she had. The Orem, Utah native got John’s attention when he sang James Arthur’s “Say You Won’t Let Go,” and following the performance Kelly told him, “I think you’re going to be a dark horse. I think you’re going to surprise all of us in the battles.”
Just three shows in, it’s already been a season of firsts. We’ve already seen the first trio ever on the show go to Kelly’s team, but during the third night of blind auditions, viewers saw the first father and daughter compete for spots…separately.
First up was dad Patrick McAloon. With a rich musical career as a sideman for Pat McGee, the 40-year-old handily delivered a rich, edgy, rangy rendition of “Runaway Train” by Soul Asylum, earning him three chairs—Blake, Adam, and John. “Your voice is so good, man,” John told him. “You showed us your range…and you navigated all of it with skill, with charm, with presence.” Adam even admitted to a little jealousy saying, “Your voice, especially when it got gritty in that higher range, I wish I had that.” It was a tough decision, but ultimately Patrick went to Team Adam.
As Dad passed the baton to Daughter, it became apparent that 16-year-old Ruby McAloon was much more nervous that her pops, consequently, there were no chairs for her performance of “Back to You” by Selena Gomez. However, she did earn some valuable advice and encouragement. “I love your voice. I knew you were young,” Adam told her. “Think about how long it took your dad to get to this moment.” John also assured the young lady from Rhode Island, “You have a wonderful voice, wonderful range. You sounded a little unsure, but I was unsure at your age, too. You just need a little more seasoning.” He also added, “The future is really bright for you.”
It had been a relatively quiet night for Team Kelly until Detroit’s Alena D’Amico hit the stage. Singing Shawn Mendes’ “In My Blood,” both Blake and Kelly turned for the capable vocalist, but it was obvious that Adam was behind Kelly. “In a nutshell, don’t pick Blake, pick Kelly,” he said. “I think being a strong and powerful female singer requires the same.” That is possible, but it’s what Kelly said that nudged Alena towards her team. “One thing I dig about you is your passion,” she said. “I thought it was really clever to sing a guy’s song and nail it like that.”
Blake, too, had a relatively quiet night until Fayette, Alabama’s Dexter Roberts stepped up to the mic with a version of Randy Houser’s “Like A Cowboy” that earned him a four-chair turn and a standing ovation by the coaches. Kelly, Adam, and John then turned their attention to Blake, who seemed the likely choice for Dexter. “I’m going to keep this brief,” Adam said. “I’m not head of the country state police, but I will say this. Any one of us, we know when something is transcendent enough to be spectacular.” Kelly tried to toy with the young singer’s feelings telling him, “Males never pick me.” But she also said, “We all know that you’re probably going with Uncle Blake…but think about what everyone else does on this show and give me a try.” It was obviously not an easy decision for the young man, but he finally did go with the obvious choice—Team Blake.
The night ended on a high note with a four-chair turn for 22-year-old Jej Vinson’s rendition of Drake’s “Passionfruit.” Dazzled by his precise and melodic performance, Adam was direct with his approach telling him simply, “I would love to be your coach.” Blake, on the other hand, tried to lure him into stepping outside of the box by choosing a country-leaning coach. “Do you want to stand out in this competition or do you want to be like everybody else,” he pleaded. Kelly, on the other hand, went with pure logic and strategic. “I have one male and he’s in a trio with two siblings,” she said. “They all have a plethora of guys. I would really love the opportunity to work with you.” And with that, Team Kelly got her first man.
The Comeback Stage also got a new contestant. Jacksonville, Florida’s Kanard Thomas may not have received a chair on the big stage, but from what we heard in his second chance with Bebe Rexha, he may have the pipes to make it there in the coming weeks.
Currently, the team member count is:
Team Kelly: 5
Team John: 7
Team Adam: 5
Team Blake: 6
The show did end on a somber note. On March 3, longtime fans of The Voice learned that season 13 contestant, Janice Freeman, had passed away at the young age of 33. The March 4 show was dedicated to her memory.