After one too many lies on “The Voice,” Carson Daly trots out a lie detector test mid-audition so Kelly Clarkson can ask Blake Shelton the tough questions — plus, an aspiring Olympic hopeful gives another dream a shot.
After 23 seasons and for the first time ever, Blake Shelton was made to confront all of his many, many lies on “The Voice” as Kelly Clarkson and Carson Daly strapped him to a lie detector test.
Even better, the funny moment came during the middle of another contestant’s audition. Kelly was so excited, though, she offered the aspiring artist her chair so she could hover over Blake and ask him the tough questions, like is she his favorite Coach? Carson got a good one in, too, asking if Gwen married him out of pity. You can check out Choe Abbott’s audition video below for the full lie detector sequence!
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Once again, the banter between the Coaches remains the highlight of these Blind auditions, and it balances very nicely with some of the incredible talent displayed by the artists. The playfulness manages to calm their nerves a bit — once the singing is over — and is why the Blinds remain the most popular part of “The Voice.”
Among tonight’s batch of contestants is one artist who is also a world-class track athlete who is training to be on the 2024 Olympics team at the same time she is pursuing this dream. Could that athlete discipline apply to her music? Then, one artist who designs her style and even her guitar strap, takes a Dionne Warwick classic somewhere we’ve never heard before, leaving the panel mesmerized.
Fair warning, since I’m safe at home, I’m probably going to be a little harsher than my colleagues Kelly Clarkson, Chance the Rapper, Niall Horan, and Blake Shelton. But I might be nicer, too. Maybe.
And just for fun, I’m going to rank the performances from worst to first to see who my favorites are, and then see how they do as the season progresses.
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(“T-R-O-U-B-L-E,” Travis Tritt – 37, Gonzales, LA) “We don’t sell a lot of records, but we’ve sold a whole lot of beer,” family man Al said of his band back home, and that line already endeared him to us as a person. Every moment in the package was so much fun, we loved him interacting with his son and the affection he had for his family. We definitely heard that party good-timing vocal on this performance, and that sense of infectious fun we got from his interviews, but there was nothing to really latch onto for a singing competition. The song has a limited range and stays in one lane vocally, meaning we saw one tiny facet of his talent. He didn’t put any polish on it or try to show anything more, so while he sounded good on this, it told us virtually nothing of his overall artistry or even potential.
Results: No Chairs Turn
(“How Deep Is Your Love,” Bee Gees – 24, Detroit, MI) Chloe is pursuing two dreams at once, training in track for the 2024 Olympics and competing for a slot on “The Voice.” Talk about drive and ambition! Hilariously, her coach joined her on the show while admitting that he kind of greedily wants her to land at least one gold medal before singing steals her away from sport. Her voice was surprisingly a little thin to us (we expected impressive lung capacity and deep-throated vocals). She has a pretty tone, but her pitch was spotty at times and there wasn’t any pizzazz in this performance. It was enough for Chance to give her (ahem) a chance, so we’ll see if he can pull more out of her.
Results: Chance Turns [Team Chance]
(“Emotion,” Samantha Sang – 29, Los Angeles, CA) Tiana failed to get a chair to turn last week, with John Legend telling her there was a stylistic mismatch between what she was singing and how she was singing it. This time, she had a confidence and a connection, with a sound perfectly suited for the song she was singing. She still needs to gain in confidence a bit as a performer so she can really own that stage. Even after Niall turned, she was singing with a little bit of anxiety — maybe it was being overwhelmed understanding that she’d made the show this time. She has a lovely tone, she just needs to find how to stand out with it now.
Results: Niall Turns [Team Niall]
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Mary Kate Connor
(“Stars,” Grace Potter and the Nocturnals – 17, Ashburn, VA) After performing at the Kennedy Center as little Cosette in a production of “Les Misérables,” she followed into musical theater for years. But she’s also had this “Voice” dream for as long as she remembered, evening singing a song she first heard on the show. You could definitely hear how young she was in her tone, but it’s also a very pure and pretty sound. She nailed the first big note and really held her own on a song that asks a lot of you emotionally and tonally. This was a confident performer for a young artist still finding who she is. We thought she’d get more support for the strength of this audition and her obvious youth, but she got enough!
Results: Kelly, Blake Turn [Team Blake]
(“Tú Sólo Tú,” Selena – 30, Odessa, TX) Marcos had a feeling it would go badly if his family found out he was gay and that’s exactly what happened before his senior year. Prior to that, music had been such a big part of his life that he found it hard to lean into it after enduring that trauma. He did say that in time he was able to repair that familial relationship, thanks to his mother pushing to reconnect with him. Honestly, we can’t help but think that it was his song language that kept chairs from turning (and particularly Niall’s) because he was giving so much in that vocal, the language didn’t matter. There was so much passion, strength, range, authenticity. He sold that story with just his vocal expression. That’s an incredible gift in any language.
Results: Kelly, Blake Turn [Team Kelly]
(“I Say a Little Prayer,” Dionne Warwick – 23, Kansas City, MO) A lot of people say they’re going to put their own twist on a song, but Kate meant that and then some. She has her own style, her own fashion line and she really did turn this into a singer-songwriter jam that was both recognizable and completely original. She lost her pitch just a few times, but she was making so many intriguing choices note by note, we found we weren’t too bothered by it. It’s the artistry and the vision she possesses that makes her so compelling to watch.
Results: Kelly, Chance, Niall Turn [Team Niall]
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- “She said there’s water in her seat somehow. She has changed now that she has her own talk show.” –Blake (about Kelly, and he put the water there)
- “I don’t know what you’re saying about me down there but … stop.” –Kelly (to Blake)
- “I started out feeling nostalgic and bittersweet on the first day. But then about halfway through the day, all three of these people had upset me so bad by being competitive and ruining my Blind Audition.” –Blake (about fellow Coaches)
- “I always have that thing, I do it all the time. When I’m with someone famous I sing their songs. I literally have eight of yours in my head right now. It’s a shame you don’t know any of mine, though.” –Niall (to Blake)
- “I know I wasn’t going to beat Kelly on that one, but it made me happy to see her get so mad at me for a second.” –Blake (after turning for Marcos)
- “It’s my last season and I’m indulging myself. I’m watching football on my phone between artists in order to avoid awkward conversations with Kelly.” –Blake
- “I don’t even know what I’m gonna say, so talk.” –Blake (to Kelly about Mary Kate)
- “Well, do you want a decisive Coach who knows exactly what they’re going to say?” –Kelly (to Mary Kate)
“The Voice” wraps up the Blind Auditions next Monday at 8 p.m. ET and Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.
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