It’s been a long summer and one that has included Kelly Clarkson scoring her own talk show, Jennifer Hudson being announced as the lead in the Aretha Franklin biopic, Adam Levine’s Maroon 5 getting booked for the Super Bowl, and Blake Shelton continuing to date Gwen Stefani. What? She’s gorgeous and talented. It counts as an achievement.
Now the four coaches are back together for Season 15 of The Voice (every Monday and Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET/MT on CTV TWO), and while we admittedly went into this season excited for Kelly and Jennifer and wishing that Blake and Adam could get chairs in different auditoriums, we were pleasantly surprised. One episode in and the banter was light, funny, and entertaining. Maybe it won’t last, but we’re enjoying it while we can.
The first night of the blind auditions went down on Monday and as always, we cried over tragic backstories, scratched our heads over the coaches’ picks, and patronizingly shook our heads when the 13-year-old contestant talked about what she was like ‘as a child.’
Here’s how night one of the blind auditions shaped up.
YOUNGEST SINGER WITH THE OLDEST VOICE
The first audition of the year went to 15-year-old Sarah Grace and her cover of Janis Joplin’s “Ball and Chain.” The bluesy-voiced teen sounded well beyond her years and had the confidence and charisma of a seasoned vet. Plus, as Kelly said, “You had stank face for days.” We also think it’s a compliment, Kelly, at least when it’s coming from Ms. Clarkson.
Each episode of The Voice features a contestant with a backstory that breaks our hearts. On Monday night, that honour went to military veteran Mikele Buck, who dedicated his performance to a late friend and fellow solider. The pair served together in Iraq, but after coming home, Mikele said that his friend became one of the 22 soldiers who commit suicide every day in the U.S. We were so relieved when Mikele got two chair turns, because there was no way after hearing his story that we were going to be okay with seeing him go home on night one. Considering how much The Voice likes to replay contestants’ stories every time they’re on screen, Mikele’s inclusion on Team Kelly will come with more necessary attention being given to this truly tragic statistic.
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COOLEST DAY JOB
Tyshawn Colquitt is the oldest in a family of 10 and trying to make ends meet is a struggle for the 23-year-old and his mother. Using Tyshawn’s talent, the pair sell homemade pound cakes, with Tyshawn delivering the desserts along with a singing performance for each customer. I’m suddenly really disappointed that none of the baked goods I eat come with an impressive vocal range. Like, I’m not gonna stop eating dessert, but I now feel like I’m missing something.
NOT A BOB MARLEY COVER
How in the world did 17-year-old Tyke James cover Ed Sheeran and not Bob Marley? The kid said he needs to be in the ocean at least once a day or else he feels ‘wrong.’ Maybe some Jack Johnson? Jason Mraz? Jimmy freaking Buffet? Nope, the beach bum loves Ed Sheeran (but really, who doesn’t?). Tyke’s five-minute intro about his ridiculously scenic life in Hawaii made us think we had changed the channel to HGTV’s Beachfront Bargain Hunt. Bro, we like, didn’t ‘get’ why Adam turned around since Tyke doesn’t have the strongest voice, but he’s got the best hair. So, there’s that.
Last season we were bummed when Mercedes Ferreira-Dias didn’t get a chair turn, but we comforted ourselves with the knowledge that she was only 16 and had lots of opportunities ahead of her. One of those opportunities was coming back to The Voice this year, except now her voice is even stronger, earning Mercedes two chair turns from Kelly and Blake. Mercedes’ mom cried, Mercedes cried, and we kinda cried too.
MUST-SEE PERFORMANCE OF THE NIGHT
Oh, to be 13 again and remember when you used to be a kid. Teen singer Kennedy Holmes is good at dancing, good at volleyball, good at swimming, and holy crappers she’s great at singing. Auditioning with Adele’s “Turning Tables,” Kennedy has the confidence of a teenager who can pull off an Adele song. Get it, gurl. Earning the first four-chair turn of the night, it looked like it was anyone’s game, until Jennifer started to speak, and Kennedy began crying. Okay, it was always Jennifer’s game.
STANDINGS AFTER NIGHT ONE OF THE BLIND AUDITIONS
Watch The Voice every Monday and Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET/MT on CTV TWO. Catch up with new episodes online the day after broadcast.