Johnny Hayes, who auditioned during season 11 but didn’t turn any chairs, returned for a second chance tonight. With support from his father and wife, he hasn’t given up his dreams of singing professionally. He sang “Try A Little Tenderness” by Otis Redding, saying that it reflects who he is. Levine and Stefani turned right away, and Hayes found himself in a much different position than last season. “I love her, but I must destroy her,” Levine said of Stefani, trying to undercut the other coach vying for Hayes’ attention. Shelton advocated for Gwen, saying that she has a comeback narrative just like Hayes does. Hayes became the first member of Team Adam.
Skyler Harris is a full-time police officer, but music is a huge part of her life. When she was in an abusive relationship, she stopped singing. Getting out of that relationship led her back to her love for music. For her Blind Audition, she sang “One And Only” by Adele. Unfortunately, she was just a little flat, and the coaches did not turn for her. Stefani and Keys urged her to return next season.
Sixteen-year-old Anatalia Villaranda, who loves to sing karaoke with her family, sang next. She got close to getting a record deal with her singing and dance group when she was younger, but the group broke up before it could happen. She sang “Runaway Baby” by Bruno Mars and brought a lot of energy and grit to the performance. She got the second four-chair turn of the night. “This is more than just a voice, this is an artist unafraid to express herself,” Keys said. Villaranda joined Team Alicia.
Stephanie Rice, the daughter of a Baptist preacher, has been estranged from her family ever since she came out as gay. She came to The Voice with her fiance and sang “Piece By Piece” by Kelly Clarkson. Shelton turned first, but he was followed by an enthusiastic Stefani, who rushed the stage and immediately threw Shelton under the bus. Keys took Stefani’s side. Rice joined Team Gwen, which was definitely the right choice for the folk-rock-soul music she wants to make.
Branden Martin came to The Voice hoping to get a turn from Shelton. He sang “Here’s A Quarter (Call Someone Who Cares)” and played guitar. He has a classic country voice, but no one turned for him. Keys said in a talking head that she’s looking for a country artist but that this wasn’t the one.
Next up was Mark Isaiah, who won a Justin Bieber contest as a young boy, came to The Voice with a little more experience under his belt. He sang “Mercy” by Shawn Mendes and got Levine and Stefani to turn. Stefani touted her long career in her pitch, but Isaiah ultimately when with Team Adam.
Brennley Brown is only only 14-years-old, but she was able to audition this season because the age requirements were lowered from 15 to 14. She sang “Stupid Boy” by Keith Urban, and Shelton and Keys turned at the last second. Shelton seemed like the obvious choice, but Keys could definitely handle a country artist on her team. “I love you both so much!” Brown exclaimed. But she took the predictable route and joined Team Blake.
Up next, Shaun Chrisjohn, who temporarily set aside his musical pursuits to take care of his grandma, sang “You Are The Best Thing.” It was a solid performance, but he unfortunately didn’t turn any chairs. Keys urged him to be proud of himself.
Registered nurse Felicia Temple was the last person to audition tonight. Last year, she was diagnosed with cancer, which almost ended her singing career. But she’s back and ready to start a new chapter of her life. “Life is short, and I want to live my dream,” she said. She sang “All I Could Do Was Cry” by Etta James. Shelton, Stefani, and Keys all turned, so she didn’t quite get the four-chair turn, but it was an impressive performance. Felicia said that one of her nicknames used to be “Felicia Keys” because she always did Alicia Keys songs at talent shows. Levine wanted an Alicia Keys/Felicia Keys duet, so the two women sang “Fallin’.” Unsurprisingly, Temple joined Team Alicia.
That brought an end to the first night of the Blind Auditions. They continue with more artists tomorrow night on NBC.
This article originally appeared in THR.com.