'Voice' coach Blake Shelton creates bizarre cat story
The Voice’s coaches have been known to do anything to recruit a contestant, and Monday, on the final Blind Auditions episode of this current season, Blake Shelton tried to prey on the sympathy of four-chair-turner Celina Babini by telling her his cat had died earlier that afternoon.
“I really think this could really help brighten my day up,” he told her, begging her to join his team in honor of his fallen four-legged friend, Sandy the Cat.
#FAKENEWS. Or, #FAKEMEWS! The thing is… Blake doesn’t -- or didn’t -- own a cat.
When his fellow coaches called his bluff, it was obvious that he was pretending to be in mourning for Sandy, just like he always pretends that he’s not really drinking vodka from his ever-present coffee thermos.
Celia didn’t believe his sob story either, eventually picking Adam Levine as her coach.
“The worst thing about Celia going with Adam is the disrespect for Sandy,” grumbled Blake, later posting a dedication to his non-existent dead pet on Twitter that prompted a furry flurry of #SandyTheCat memes. (and probably some sincere condolence from non-Voice viewers not in on the joke.)
Personally, I am still mourning the abrupt and mysterious departure of Purrfect the Cat from The Voice. Purrfect has not tweeted since 2015; I hope she’s OK. Also, this was the second time on a TV singing show this Monday that someone fibbed about a deceased kitty, the other being “Lady Mapo” on American Idol.
I could see why Blake’s, or Sandy’s, competitive claws came out for Celia. The 17-year-old’s Lorde-like cover of Billie Eilish’s “Idontwannabeyouanymore” was confident and compelling, also drawing comparisons to Fiona Apple and Adele.
But Adam made the better sales pitch by telling Celia, “It is my dream for you to win The Voice. … We're missing a Fiona Apple…. You are the future, as far as I'm concerned.” (Sorry, Sandy. Rest in peace.)
These were the other final successful auditioners of Season 16:
Cecily Hennigan, 16: “Foolish Games”
This theater arts school student went viral last year with a video of her singing in the McDonald’s drive-thru — a stunt inspired by an early viral video by American Idolcontestant-turned-YouTube sensation Todrick Hall. Her Jewel ballad was bit maudlin for me. This performance was missing some special sauce.
Who turned? Just Blake. I guess the other coaches weren’t lovin’ it.
Result: Team Sandy. Um, I mean Team Blake.
Kalvin Jarvis, 29: “A Good Night”
This son of rapper MC Scrap 1 took a risk by covering a John Legend song, but John lit up as soon as Kalvin started singing. I thought Kalvin’s voice was nasal and strained. Maybe he should have rapped the Andre 3000 lines from “Green Light” instead.
Who turned? Adam and Kelly — but not John!
Result: Team Adam. Adam actually admitted that John would have been a better coach for Kalvin. Ouch. Kalvin will be dunzo in the Battles.
David Owens, 24: “I Can’t Make You Love Me”
This was another meh performance. David sounded hoarse, and he wasn’t projecting much. Was he sick? Was his microphone turned down? This didn’t make me love him.
Who turned? Just Kelly. But she seemed into it, even standing up midway through David’s song. Maybe it sounded more powerful in the room than on TV.
Result: Team Kelly, duh.
Presley Tennant, 16: “Stone Cold”
This ATV-riding tomboy badass was clearly not meant to stay in her former tween girl group, Five Little Princesses. I thought the pacing of her Demi Lovato song seemed oddly rushed, but Demi is not easy to emulate, and Presley possessed the proper pipes.
Who turned? Just Kelly. “I am so excited that they are dumb,” Kelly said of her fellow coaches’ missed opportunity.
Result: Team Kelly. Now I want to see Presley and Kelly ride ATVs together.
Rod Stokes, 34: “To Love Somebody”
This construction worker and gospel/country/soul singer described himself as a “male Kelly Clarkson.” His Bee Gees cover was pleasantly husky and sexy, even if his stage presence was lacking.
Who turned? Adam, John, and Blake. But not Kelly. So much for that “male Kelly Clarkson” thing, huh?
Result: Team Blake. Makes sense. Adam might’ve had a chance if he hadn’t misidentified “To Love Somebody” as a James Morrison song.
Andrew Jannakos: “Beautiful Crazy”
This sweet, nerdy kid reminded me of American Idol Season 10 winner Scotty McCreery, in that his resonant country baritone totally did not match his boyish face. His Luke Combs cover was a little nervous, but solid.
Who turned? Adam and Kelly. Blake’s team was full, giving the obvious second choice, country-adjacent pop star Kelly, a chance to finally score a male country singer for her team.
Result: Team Adam! Kelly should have told Andrew her cat just died.
Kayslin Victoria, 16: “Feel It Still”
I was extremely impressed by this teen’s poise and confidence — which seemed natural and easy-breezy, rather than robotic and theater-schooled and stage-mothered. What a likable kid! She could go really far.
Who turned? Kelly and John.
Result: Team Legend. I thought Kelly was on her way to a third consecutive victory with a teen girl contestant, but this might be John’s year.
Jackson Marlow, 18: “Troubadour”
This nephew of Season 13’s fan-favorite fourth-place Team Blake contestant Red Marlow was of course raised on old-school country — just like his uncle. His George Strait cover didn’t exactly reinvent the country wheel, but he was a total pro. Ol’ Red has taught him well.
Who turned? Kelly, the only coach whose team wasn’t already full. Finally, she got her country male contestant. “Kelly found a guy who could not say no,” joked John.
Result: Team Kelly by default… but Jackson told her she was his first pick anyway. (Man. Such disrespect for Sandy!)
Come back next Monday, as the Battle Rounds commence.