“The Voice” returns for a new season with returning coaches Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson, and John Legend. Blake’s paramour Gwen Stefani is replaced this season by Jonas Brother Nick who makes his debut on “The Voice” set. Carson Daly also returns to host the singing competition.
Season 18 gets started with Nick coming down in a parachute…and a four chair turn as the blind auditions begin.
A 41 year old Todd Tilghman took the stage and not only received some rousing applause and cheers from the audience; he got all four of the coaches to turn their chairs beginning with Kelly. The father of eight even got to sing with Nick when the rookie coach gave him an impromptu lesson. Saying that he had a relatable personality, Todd chose Blake to be his coach.
Nelson Cade III is a full time musician who had music legend Stevie Wonder asking to play with him. Performing “Pride and Joy” for his audition, John wasted no time in turning his chair on the way to a four chair turn but Kelly blocked Nick. Nick said that he thought Nelson could probably win the competition and Blake noted that Nelson can run the gambit musically. Saying that it was a hard decision, Nelson chose a personal hero and picked John to be his coach.
A 16 year old songwriting Tate Brusa chose the Ed Sheeran song “Perfect” for his audition and had to wait a while before he got a chair turn when Nick pushed his button and was followed by Blake. A busy Nick took to the stage to give the teen a quick music lesson. Someone brought a puppy out to Blake and Blake noted that if Tate doesn’t choose him the dog goes to the shelter. Tate chose Nick to be his coach.
During the auditions Nick has a note pad where he makes notes…often single words. Blake was adding to Nick’s notes.
Tayler Green performed her own arrangement of the Julia Michaels song “Issues” and got Kelly to quickly push her button; Nick joined her later. After Kelly said that Tayler did an outstanding job, Tayler chose Kelly to be her coach. Kelly has jackets for her team members.
Ashely sings with a duo Nick and Ashely; she chose to sing “Baby, It’s You” for the first performance of the song on “The Voice” but failed to turn any chairs. While the coaches were impressed with her range and control, they noted she was not consistent and invited her to come back.
Church singer Darious Lyles chose a Sam Smith song for his audition and had John and Kelly turning their chairs very quickly. Kelly called Darious a talented singer but Darious chose John to be his coach. Backstage Darious got very emotional
Taking her first plane ride, 17 year old Megan Danielle had to wait a while before Kelly pushed her button. After asking her fellow coaches what was wrong with them, Kelly said that Megan has an incredible voice and control.
Born to Haitian parents, Crissy Jo Lee failed to turn any chairs with her performance. The coaches noted that while her performance had some good moments, there were some pitch issues. They invited Crissy to come back.
A 50 year old Todd Michael Hall blew the house away with his performance of the Foreigner hit “Juke Box Hero” but got only John and Blake to turn their chairs. Blake noted that Todd has carved his path to the finals. John noted that rock music was under utilized on the show. Saying that they made it tourgh, Todd chose Blake to be his coach.
Last year Emily Bass failed to turn any chairs in her audition. She made a return to “The Voice” to try again. Choosing a Justin Bieber song for this audition, and once again failed to turn any chairs. Emily is also a sketch artist and last season she had presented the coaches with sketches of themselves. This season she had a sketch for new coach Nick Jonas. Saying that he didn’t know how to draw, Nick gave Emily a drawing of a smiley face.
In the last audition of the night, Joanna Serenko performed her own version of The Beatles hit “All My Loving” for her audition. Kelly led the way for a four chair turn. The coaches were blown away by her performance; with Kelly adding that in five years on “The Voice” she had never heard anyone with a voice like that. Joanna chose Nick to be her coach.
At the end of the season 18 premiere, each of the coaches had two singers on their teams.
On Tuesday, Arei Moon – a first generation American with Cape Verde, West Africa – sang one of Kelly’s songs for her audition. Nick and Kelly both pushed their buttons, but Nick returned the favour and blocked Kelly. After her audition, Arei’s family came out on stage.
A 14 year old Levi Watkins gave his first real audition. The son of musicians said that he enjoys mowing and edging lawns. Blake was the only coach to turn his chair. After the audition, Blake noted that it was very hard for him to not show any emotion after turning his chair. Calling Levi adorable, Kelly said that she thought Levi was a girl.
Professional musician Cassidy Lee failed to turn any chairs on her audition. Cassidy did get a hug from Nick after her audition.
Kentucky native Zack Day had John grooving to his audition. John and Kelly turned their charis for Zack. A surpried Kelly said that she would have lost a lot of money after dicovering that Zack was white. After saying that Zack was mind blowing, amazing, and otherworldly with flawless execution; Zack chose John to be his coach.
Rock collector Chelle chose a Billie Eislish song for her audition and got Blake turning his chair after only a couple of seconds; Nick and Kelly waited until near the end of the song before turning their chairs. John noted that he was stupid for not turning his chair. Nick said that Chelle is the kind of singer he would die to write songs for. Saying that he has incredible instincts, Blake pointed out that he has won the show six times. Chelle chose Kelly to be her coach. Chelle brought some rocks for each of the coaches.
The final audition of the night was from Toneisha Harris. Eight years ago, Toneisha was scheduled to audition for the show but canceled when her son got sick with leukemia. In remission and doing well, Toneisha is ready to sing for a spot on the show. John led the way to a four chair turn. Nick called it one of the most powerful vocals he had ever heard; adding that the performance was phenomenal and there wasn’t on note out of tune. Kelly noted that while Toneisha may have taken some time off, but her voice didn’t. John said that Toneisha already deserves a spot in the finals. Toneisha chose Blake to be her coach.
Todd Michael Hall
Nelson Cade, III