'The Voice' Recap: Blind Auditions Part 5 Attract Standouts Josh Kaufman, Ddendyl And Ceirra Mickens
In the fifth installment of The Voice’s blind auditions, Shakira came out on top, picking up two fabulous female artists, Ddendyl and Cierra Mickens. Coaches Shakira, Usher, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton continued their fight to be the most ridiculous, while the singers came out ready to sing their hearts out.
First up was Kat Perkins, 33, a cowgirl from a small town who has transformed from country crooner to rocker chic. Her band, Scarlet Haze, even opened for Bon Jovi, but when she broke up with her husband, who was the drummer of the band, Kat became a nanny. Kat auditioned with Fleetwood Mac’s “Gold Dust Woman,” earning her a three-chair turn-around and standing ovation courtesy of Usher, Shakira and Adam. Kat performed with a slow burn, building up her voice until the end, when she finally got Adam and Shakira to turn. In the end, Adam won Kat over by connecting with her desire to be a rocker, not a country artist.
Gabi Ramirez, 25, did his best Ed Sheeran impression, singing Sheeran’s “The A Team” for his audition, but he failed to get any coach to turn their chair and was sent home.
But after Gabi was Paula Deanda, 24, who once had a recording contract and even opened for Rihanna before she was dropped. Paula is a bilingual artist, having recorded in both English and Spanish, and said in her package that she was excited to come to The Voice to sing for Shakira. Paula sang Ariana Grade’s hit, “The Way.” Paula’s performance had some inconsistencies, but Blake and Shakira turned around once she hit the high notes. Shakira gave Paula some constructive criticism while Blake connected with her as a Southerner – Paula is from San Antonio, Texas. Adam was rooting for Paula to pick Shakira, but, in a surprising move, Paula went with Team Blake.
Jake Barker, 28, got over his stage fright to perform Bruno Mars’ “When I Was Your Man” for the judges – his first onstage performance (he regularly posts videos on YouTube). Jake nailed the radio hit, getting Usher, Adam and Shakira to press their buttons for him. All three judges tried their best to sway the budding crooner, but Usher made the greatest case of all, and Jake chose to join Team Usher. (With his Justin Bieber hair and sweet smile, Jake could go far, especially with Usher as his coach. Usher is known for focusing on helping his contestants with their stage presence.)
Usher also picked up Tess Boyer, and Adam got singers Josh Murley and Austin Ellis. Luke Cooper, 27, wasn’t so lucky. The recovering addict, who now works at a hospital and auditioned with “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons, got zero chairs to turn.
Up next was Ria Eaton, 19, a former dancer and clearly a fan of Pitch Perfect – her audition song was “Cups (When I’m Gone)” from the film. Blake and Shakira turned for Ria and fought to the death to get her on their respective teams. Usher and Adam got involved, banding together in Shakira’s corner to sway Ria away from Team Blake. But, Ria was seemingly immune to the duo’s goofy charms and decided to join Team Blake.
Singer/potential lawyer, Cierra Mickens, 23, stood out from the crowd, singing Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy.” Blake, Shakira and Usher all turn around for Cierra, but when it came time for the campaigning, Usher and Blake made a show of bickering, giving Shakira an opening to have a one-on-one with Cierra up on stage. Shakira was smart to take the initiative and approach Cierra instead of waiting for her turn to speak, because the move won Cierra over to Team Shakira.
Tyler ‘Mugummy’ Montgomery, 24, was another no-go for the judges, singing “I Wish” by Stevie Wonder. He had a sad backstory, but it wasn’t enough to get him through the blind auditions.
Country duo Alaska & Madi sparked Adam and Blake’s interest with their cover of The Civil Wars’ “Barton Hall.” The girls met at age 12 when they were competing in the singing competition American Kids. Try as he might, Adam is simply not country, and the girls went for Team Blake.
Ddendyl, 25, put her best foot forward singing Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me.” Her father is an eccentric musician, who plays the bagpipes, among other instruments. Ddendyl plays the piano, works as a lounge singer in D.C. and studied Opera and Jazz. Her voice was strong and consistent throughout, but surprisingly none of the other coaches turned their chairs and Ddendyl ended up on Team Shakira.
Josh Kaufman, 38, got the only four-chair turn of the evening with George Michael’s “One More Try.” Adam turned around quickly, followed later by Blake, Shakira and finally Usher. The battle is chaotic, but Adam won out and got Josh on his team.
The blind auditions will come to a close in Tuesday night’s final audition installment, where Shakira, Usher, Adam and Blake will (hopefully) choose their final artists and round out their teams. The Voice airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on NBC.
– Olivia Truffaut-Wong
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