'The Voice' recap: Blake Shelton goes up against Christina Aguilera on third night of blind auditions
With the Blind Auditions coming to an end, it was time for The Voice coaches Christina Aguilera, Adam Levine, Pharrell Williams and Blake Shelton to get serious about filling the final spots on their teams.
The first artist to audition tonight was Tamar Davis, who was an original member of Girl's Tyme, the group that later went on to become Destiny's Child. Davis' parents pulled her out of the group, not thinking she was ready for a music career at such a young age. Davis currently does demo work and came to The Voice hoping to step out of the background.
She sang "Chain Of Fools," and she immediately had the kind of powerful voice that caught Aguilera's ears. But at the last minute, Shelton pressed his button to go up against Aguilera in the fight for Davis. "You don't know what to do with that," Aguilera taunted Shelton. Even though Pharrell and Levine didn't turn, they praised her range and choices. "It's time for a female to win," Aguilera added. She won the battle: Davis joined Team Christina.
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Jessica Crosbie from England auditioned next. She cited Maroon 5 as a major inspiration and said she hoped to work with Levine. She sang "Viva La Vida" and made significant changes to the arrangement, but like Davis, her choices were very strong. She made the song sound like her own, and Pharrell, Aguilera and Levine all turned at the same time. All three coaches appreciated her artistry. Even though Crosbie initially wanted to work with Levine, she ended up changing her mind and joining Team Pharrell.
Country singer Justin Whisnant auditioned next, singing "Ain't Worth The Whiskey." Levine turned first, hoping to land a country artist on his team. But to his dismay, Shelton also turned later in the performance, and it became another Shelton-Levine face-off. "I turned around like 10 seconds in, because I thought you were ridiculously good," Levine said, hoping to play the first-turn card to beat Shelton. It didn't work. Whisnant joined Team Blake.
Jackie Lipson, who considers herself a blues singer, sang "Ex's & Oh's" and put a bit of a blues twist on it. Pharrell looked like he was going to press his button, but he decided against it. She had too many pitch issues to convince the coaches, so she didn't turn any chairs.
Daniel Passino, who has been listening to Aguilera since he was a young kid, auditioned next. He sang "Marvin Gaye" by Charlie Puth, and he had really beautiful tone. Aguilera turned early on, but she was joined at the last second by Shelton. Passino would have been a strong fit on Team Pharrell, but he didn't press his button. Puth joined Team Aguilera.
Owen Danoff sang "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right" and accompanied himself on the guitar. Danoff had a very interesting wobble to his voice, and he sounded like a very good folk artist. Aguilera, Pharrell and Levine all turned at the same time. Shelton joined by the end, making for the first four-chair turn of the night. Levine described Danoff as heartbreaking and sensitive, saying he has a very clear identity. Aguilera noted that Levine would be good for Danoff because of his guitar skills, but she said she knows the emotional place Danoff is coming from. "Music is music no matter what genre it is," she said. Danoff ended up joining Team Adam, which did seem like a good fit for him.
Maya Smith said she has been a fan of Pharrell since she was a teenager, but she also expressed interest in working with Aguilera heading into her audition. She sang "Do Right Woman, Do Right Man." Smith showcased a lot of power and control, and Pharrell turned, joined on the last note by Aguilera. "I hear some Beyoncé in there," Aguilera said. Smith joined Team Pharrell, which was a good choice.
Nolan Neal, who gigs and produces in Nashville, came to The Voice to take his music career to the next level after several setbacks and personal tragedies, including his father's suicide. He sang "Drive," and Levine whispered to the other coaches that it was the wrong song choice. None of the coaches turned. "It was so close," Aguilera said. Shelton said he wanted the other coaches to turn, but he thought Neal's genre was too far out of his realm. They encouraged him to come back.
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Cheerleading coach Brittney Lawrence, who wanted to be a singer ever since she listened to the Dixie Chicks as a 4-year-old, sang "Warrior" by Demi Lovato. Lawrence has auditioned for The Voice seven times, but this was the first time she secured a Blind Audition in front of the coaches. Aguilera turned early on, and Shelton joined with yet another very late turn. Pharrell praised her tone but told her to try and work on showing some more vibrato, which gave Aguilera the chance to show off her own vibrato. Lawrence made a strange choice and joined Team Blake.
Next, Matt Tedder, who lives, busks and teaches music in Nashville, sang "I'm Your Hoochie Coochie Man" by Muddy Waters and showed off his bluesy voice and impressive slap-guitar skills. Levine was the only coach to turn, so he easily landed an artist that would have probably been swayed toward Team Blake had Shelton turned. Levine had Tedder showcase his guitar abilities again for the other coaches, and Pharrell gave him a standing ovation. "You just come from a completely different era," Pharrell said. Levine noted that his team is really coming together with so many diverse artists.
The last artist of the night was Joe Maye, who first auditioned during season 9 but didn't turn any chairs. He sang "I Put A Spell On You," and this time he didn't dance around too much, which had been his issue last season. He exhibited impeccable breath control this time around, and he just seemed more experienced overall. Aguilera turned first, later followed by Shelton with his signature last-second turn. "I heard it first," Aguilera said. "You put a spell on me," Shelton added. Aguilera decided to truly seal the deal and hop up on stage to sing a duet with Maye, and it did the trick. Maye joined Team Christina.
The Voice will revisit some of the season's highlights so far in a special episode tomorrow night, and the Blind Auditions finally wrap up so the Battles can begin next week.
This article originally appeared in THR.com.