Tonight, The Voice season 16 is officially underway! This is going to be an exciting, fun season with some great contestants, but we want something more than. We’re hoping for a chance to meet a real superstar. We want to see someone who could find success after the show and turn this crazy platform into something truly next-level.
Consider this premiere review scratching the surface of all the blind auditions! We’ll be refreshing this article with more information throughout the episode, including our take on every single artist who hits the stage.
Interested in video coverage on The Voice? We’ve got some of that for your viewing pleasure at the bottom of this article! If you like this, subscribe to CarterMatt on YouTube — we’ve also got an official show playlist that is absolutely worth checking out.
Gyth Rigdon, “Drift Away” – Hey look! It’s the sort of country-hybrid artist who almost always chooses Blake Shelton! He’s got some musical people in his life, and he’s got a very nice voice. Blake pushed his button almost right away and the longer he had that control, the more it felt like he was going to win. Then, Kelly and John pushed … but John got blocked. Ouch. First performance and Blake’s already pulling some shenanigans on him (we think it’s him). He should’ve picked Kelly based on the pitch … but of course, he’s Team Blake.
Maelyn Jarmon, “Fields of Gold” – This was special. There was a lot of beauty and a lot of folksy charm in her voice. She could do country, but she could also do soul or a little bit of light rock. She has a hearing impairment in one year, but she’s found a wonderful way to perform that is unique and just works for her.
Also, a little local connection — she’s from Frisco, Texas originally, which is about ten or so miles from where we grew up. Always gonna be biased towards the hometown connection! Her pick here is John Legend, which felt like a given the moment that she was talking about him in the pre-audition package.
Karen Galera, “Mi Corazoncito” – Another Dallas-Forth Worth singer! It’s not often that you hear someone come out with strictly a Spanish-language song; the typical move on The Voice is to mix it and English. Also, she really seems to love the color red; she had that in her pre-show package and again in the performance. Very powerful voice and confident presence — and, of course, Blake makes a joke about not pushing his button because he didn’t understand what she was singing. This performance was all about passion, and Kelly was committed to it from the start. That’s why she made the right decision here. Team Kelly.
Trey Rose, “Wake Me Up” – Trey’s from Oklahoma, which of course means “BLAKE SHELTON BLAKE SHELTON BLAKE SHELTON.” Yet, he’s not strictly a country singer. He did more of the Aloe Blacc version than the one from the late, great Avicii. He’s got some soul and a little country song, but we like that he’s your atypical Oklahoma artist on this show. One funny thing about him was that he just exhausted himself by the end of the performance with all of that boundless energy.
Shocker time — he didn’t pick Blake! Why? Adam turned first. Team Adam.
Kim Cherry, “No Scrubs” – We previewed Kim’s blind audition performance in video form a couple of days ago and our conclusion is pretty simple: She’s a character! While we don’t think that her singing is necessarily exceptional, the rapping and her style is definitely different. She’s just gonna have to overcome the novelty of “look how different she looks from how she sings,” since so much of the enjoyment here comes via the OMG factor. Kim pick Team Blake, which may make this the most-insane pairing in the entire history of The Voice. We’re here for the chaos!
Al Ryan, “Love Runs Out” – The first artist this season without a chair turn, and we can’t say we’re shocked. He had a lot of elements that tend to lead to nobody turning around — there were a ton of nerves here, and we don’t really think that he has the maturity in his voice or the confidence yet.
Rizzi Myers, “Just Keep Breathing” – The moment that she started to hit some big notes, it became pretty darn clear that she was going to be a coaches’ favorite. She is killer. She does have some recording-industry history as both a singer and a songwriter, so we can’t quite say that we’re shocked by anything here. Rizzie’s also hilarious — really hilarious. She’s one of the most multi-talented people we’ve seen and she’s a lot like Kelly Clarkson in a lot of ways. That’s why it’s no shocker that she met her years ago … and that she’s now on Team Kelly.
Lisa Ramey, “Sex on Fire” – She was just on the show last season and didn’t get a chair turn. One of the funny things that she said pre-audition was that she was targeting John. Why? He wasn’t there before! It’s a good thing he was tonight given that he is the one person that turned. While Lisa’s voice can occasionally get a little bit out of control, there’s a lot to like here in terms of her range. Team John.
Jimmy Mowery, “Attention” – Jimmy’s got a tough history and an emotional story. He’s been through a lot over the course of his life, in between first seeing his parents split and then eventually his father being killed by his mom’s ex-boyfriend. You could tell how badly he wanted this, which is probably why he started to cave in on himself after Adam Levine turned. He got some love from John, as well, but he seemed intent on taking Adam’s criticism to heart and got on board with him! Team John.
Lili Joy, “Cool” – She’s got an airy, unique voice — this is actually the sort of artist who Blake Shelton really likes on this show! That’s something we’ve seen on a few different seasons now. It doesn’t really matter that she was singing a song from Gwen Stefani … but we don’t think that it hurt. She’s also visually distinctive, given that she likes to perform in these multicolored wigs. She’s going to stand out and that matters in the weeks ahead. Team Blake.
Nathan and Chesi, “We Don’t Have to Work” – They’re charming as a duo — their music was quaint, and we think that if we were seeing them out at a country club somewhere, we’d enjoy it. There just wasn’t that extra gear — it was like hitting a musical single when you needed a home run. No chair turn.
Matthew Johnson, “I Smile” – This dude lights up a room, which is pretty important given that we’re talking about a debt collector — not exactly the happiest job in the world. He has a lot of charisma, sure, and he can also get up there with the falsetto. This was good, but at the same time, we do think that there’s a little bit something more in this voice that we haven’t even heard just yet. Given his gospel roots and that pure SOUL, he picked John and he’s a force to be reckoned with. Team John.
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