“The Voice” kicked off its live rounds Monday night with performances from Adam Levine and Blake Shelton’s artists. For the first time, these contestants were vying for the fans’ votes. Up for grabs are spots in the top 12.
Christina Aguilera and collaborator Flo Rida opened the two-hour broadcast with a duet of his new single, “How I Feel.”
The aforementioned coaches were then joined, as always, by Cee Lo Green to offer critiques to the artists.
Here’s what happened on Monday night’s episode:
Newlywed Shelbie Z of Team Blake was the first hopeful to take the stage, covering the Reba McEntire version of “Fancy.” Christina told her she loves the way Shelbie growled and delivered. Cee Lo and Adam both said Shelbie makes Blake’s team a strong one. Blake said that if he had just emerged from a coma, he would’ve thought Shelbie was one of the biggest country music stars in the business.
Adam’s geeky protégé, James Wolpert, performed Joni Mitchell’s “A Case of You” with his acoustic guitar. Blake said he had been “on the fence” with James until he saw James’ confidence in tackling that song. Christina added that James created a heartwarming atmosphere with his intimate performance. Adam declared that he could not be more proud of James.
Team Blake’s Nic Hawk put forth a rendition of Robin Thicke’s hit “Blurred Lines.” And, no, there were no topless women dancing alongside him. Cee Lo, recalling how he heard a demo of the song before it became the summer smash that it was, said Nic did an amazing job with it. Adam was impressed that Nic handled all of the parts in the song, including those of T.I. and Pharrell Williams. Blake called Nic the “complete entertainer.”
Blake assigned “Home,” by Marc Broussard, to Ray Boudreaux. Both Marc and Ray hail from the same Louisiana town, Carencro. Cee Lo noted Ray’s Southern grit. Adam said he is good friends with Marc, and Marc would be proud of Ray’s cover. Blake chimed in that Marc is introducing swamp pop to a younger generation unfamiliar with the genre.
Ray was followed by teammate Austin Jenckes, who strummed his guitar on The Black Crowes’ “She Talks to Angels.” Adam described him as an incredible vocalist. Blake said Austin sang the tune with heart and with “150-percent” effort.
The Team Adam artist known only as Grey was given the Paramore song “Still Into You.” Blake mentioned that he’d wanted to steal Grey from Adam in the past, and she showed why with her latest performance. Cee Lo was unfamiliar with the song but he liked the fact that she made it her own. Adam said it helped Grey break out as something more than a wedding singer.
Will Champlin of Team Adam took to the piano for OneRepublic’s “Secrets.” Christina said it was beautiful and touching. Pointing out that Will had been stolen a few times in the past several weeks, Adam proclaimed that Will deserves to be in the competition more than any other contestant.
Preston Pohl was the next Adam protégé to compete. He sang “Nothin’ on You” by B.o.B. and Bruno Mars. Blake stated that he was blown away by what he heard. Christina referred to Preston as an “old soul.” Adam said Preston has an ability that can’t be coached.
Accompanied by his guitar, Team Blake’s Cole Vosbury performed the Rod Stewart classic “Maggie May.” Christina couldn’t believe that only one coach - Cee Lo – made a bid for Cole during the blind auditions. Adam said he wishes he could steal Cole away from Blake. Blake told Cole he was honored to be working with such a skilled artist.
Jamaican artist Tessanne Chin, a member of Team Adam, closed the show by singing Jimmy Cliff’s “Many Rivers to Cross.” Christina adored Tessanne’s soaring vocals, and labeled herself a fan. Cee Lo announced that Tessanne is one of his favorites, too. Adam went one step further, calling her talent “mind-boggling.”
The artists from Cee Lo and Christina’s teams will enter the spotlight tonight. The fun begins at 9 p.m. ET on NBC. The results from the voting will be revealed on a special results show Thursday night.