It’s only night three of the Blind Auditions on Season 16 of The Voice (Monday and Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET/MT on CTV TWO), but we may already know who will win this season. Coaches Kelly Clarkson, Blake Shelton, Adam Levine and John Legend had two four-chair turns on Monday night, but it was the final performance by 22-year-old Jej Vinson that left the coaches, and everyone watching, shook. In a night with a handful of interesting and unique voices, Jej stood out for being interesting, unique, and one of the most powerful voices we’ve heard on the show in years.
Going with Drake’s “Passionfruit” was a risky choice for Jej, who decided against a career in medicine to pursue music. Between the mostly monotone song and the parent in us that was concerned for Jej’s future, it felt like one bad decision after another. But parents just don’t understand. We think most people should pursue a professional career over trying to become a superstar on TV, but Jej has the voice, literally, to back up his questionable life choices.
Earning the second four-chair turn of the night, Kelly, John, Adam and Blake pulled out all the stops to convince the young singer to join their team. Jej’s soul and pop infused vocal stylings seemed like an obvious fit for either John or Kelly and Jej made the smart decision to join Team Clarkson (obviously smart enough to still be a doctor).
Kelly knows a quality vocal run like the back of her hand and as she pointed out many, many, many times on Monday’s episode, there are no men on her team. While we’ve watched one country artist after another continue to pick Blake instead of trying to stand out on another coach’s team, Jej made the strategic decision to stand out early on. And boy, he can sang.
The other four-chair turn of the night went to country singer Dexter Roberts, who had the typical country drawl that always gets a reaction from Blake, but he also had the range and the powerful high notes that got John and Adam to turn as well. Kelly turned too, and we love Kelly, but if Blake turns for a country artist, Kelly does as well. So, that was less shocking.
Also not shocking? Dexter picked Team Blake. Dude, what did we JUST SAY? Have fun battling every other country artist in the competition, cowboy.
We really need to make peace with the fact that country singers love Blake Shelton, because we’re only three episodes into the season and this can’t be good for our blood pressure. Carter Lloyd Horne has one of the most exciting voices we’ve heard this season, with the raw and gritty delivery of the highly inappropriate “Drinkin’ Problem” vocally a great fit for the 19-year-old, but legally out of bounds. Unless he wants to sing here in Canada, then he’s fine.
We’ll give Carter a pass for choosing Team Blake, because he’s a kid and likely terrified and Blake is a nice, soft, country place to land. Plus, we’re still in shock from seeing so much raw pain and anguish come out of someone with braces.
Last week we were wondering where all the young singers had gone. We found them. They were waiting for Week 2. In addition to young Carter Lloyd Horne, there was also young Jacob Maxwell. The 20-year-old singer made us excited for two reasons.
One, his performance of Taylor Swift’s “Delicate” was, in a word, delicate. Oftentimes it’s the powerhouse vocalists with huge ranges and even bigger (huger?) notes who get pushed through to the next round on The Voice. Jacob was an example of a singer who brought something different to the stage, with a voice that was powerful in its quiet beauty. Kelly called his voice effortless, which was a perfect description.
Two, we need to look up Jacob’s hometown of Couer d’Alene, Idaho. If it’s nice enough for Adam Levine to vacation there it must be pretty awesome, right?
NIGHT 3 OF BLIND AUDITIONS
Carter Lloyd Horne
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.