Season 6 of “The Voice” is officially off and running after Monday’s (Feb. 24) stellar two-hour premiere. With our coaches Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Shakira and Usher settled in their big red chairs, back for night two, it’s time to bring out the talent.
Up first is Delvin Choice, returning after his audition in Season 5 that I barely even remembered. Encouraged by the coaches to return with something less dance-oriented, Delvin’s hoping to score a chair turn with Donny Hathaway’s “A Song For You.” And what do you know? Right away, Adam, Shakira and Blake reach for their buttons. Let this be a message to any aspiring “Voice” contestants: DO NOT AUDITION WITH A DANCE SONG. The audience may love it, but your lungs won’t.
With that out of the way, we’ve got to talk about Delvin’s performance here. He was stunning on the track, earning even a last-minute chair turn from Usher, igniting one of the illustrious four-coach battles. Adam notes that Delvin’s voice has so improved, he didn’t even recognize it, before the fighting for the artist gets a little heated. In the end, Adam wins out, despite Usher’s knowledge of the source material.
Next up is young Madilyn Paige from Provo, Utah. A young singer from a huge family that’s always singing, Madilyn gives it her best shot with a slowed-down version of “Titanium” by David Guetta and Sia. She has a lovely, restrained vocal that doesn’t really wake up until she begins to belt on the chorus. And it’s then that she gets a chair turn from Usher, who’s soon followed by Shakira. The other two dopes never turn which is silly because this girl has the perfect raw talent that can be molded into a star.
Usher praises her approach, saying she let her vocal shine, while Shakira says she’s dying to work with a young female artist who can follow in her footsteps. Meanwhile, Blake and Adam snicker in the corner over the fierce battle between the two hungry coaches, offering no real help for Madilyn’s decision. In the end, Usher wins the fight once he plays the Justin Bieber card, leaving Shakira looking a little peeved. Why doesn’t anyone want to be on Shakira’s team?
Taking the stage next is Noah Lis, who is somehow only 22 years old, yet carries himself like someone twice his age. He says he’s really into jazz standards, auditioning with “Me and Mrs. Jones.” His story about his grandpa is really emotional and watching him cry over the memory is heart-wrenching, and all throughout the audition it seems like he’s never going to get a chair to turn.
It’s not a bad audition — it’s not a phenomenal one either. Perhaps it’s a personal preference, but there’s just nothing exciting about coming with any lack of innovation. However, at the very last second, both Adam and Blake hit their buttons. Adam thinks he’s a little rough around the edges and needs some fine-tuning, while Blake thinks it’s a little too polished. Hmm. In the end, Noah teams with Blake — likely because Blake played the Michael Buble card.
Up next is Keith Shuskie, a mustachioed rocker who says he has an operatic voice. The look is a little too twee — it just feels like he’s trying too hard. Anyway, he auditions with Keane’s “Somewhere Only We Know.” He sounds fine on the full voice, but his falsetto isn’t my favorite. And it doesn’t seem to be the coaches’ favorite, either. No one turns, but Usher asks him to come back and try a song that’s more fitting for his voice.
Next up is another youngster, Deja Hall, with “True Colors.” Wow — where did that adult voice come from? There’s a maturity in her vocal that’s just truly stunning. She gets a chair turn from both Blake and Shakira pretty quickly, with Usher holding out until Deja breaks into a charming run. Adam never turns, owing it to a nit-picky reason that didn’t mean much, but he seems to throw his support behind Shakira, pointing out how excited she was to turn around.
Blake and Usher try their hardest for the young singer, but their bickering just pushes Deja into Shakira’s arms, who sat the spat out and, instead, focused on an emotional connection with the young girl. And in the end, that’s exactly what happens. Shakira finally gets her first artist of the night!
Closing out the night is country singer Cary Laine, who takes the stage with “Better Dig Two.” She’s quite a self-assured singer who really own the stage. She gets all four coaches to turn and they go insane. Adam invites her to sit down in his chair, then she moves down to Shakira’s and then Usher’s. It seems almost a foregone conclusion that she’s going to align herself with Blake — and that’s before he reminds her of Cassadee Pope’s country success thanks to him. In the end, though, she stuns everyone, going with Adam. Even her son was surprised backstage. She chalks it up to Adam’s persuasive fight, in which he points out that, as a country singer, she’ll have no competition on his team.
And that wraps up night two of “The Voice” Season 6 premiere week. Who was your favorite artist to hit the stage tonight? Sound off in the comments below.