The Voice is officially back for season 23. With the show’s Monday (March 6) premiere, the competitive blind auditions have commenced, which saw new coach Niall Horan use a few unusual tactics to get contestant Ross Clayton to join his team.
Clayton took to The Voice stage to perform Keith Urban’s 2016 track “Blue Ain’t Your Color.”
“Blue looks good on the sky/ Looks good on that neon buzzin’ on the wall/ But darling, it don’t match your eyes/ I’m tellin’ you/ You don’t need that guy/ It’s so black and white/ He’s stealin’ your thunder/ Baby, blue ain’t your color,” the Oklahoma native passionately sang, which prompted a four-chair turn from all the coaches.
While Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson and Chance the Rapper had already had luck securing contestants, Horan was the only coach left out, so he resorted to a series of interesting measures to secure Clayton as a team member.
After Clarkson and Chance briefly pleaded their cases to Clatyon, Horan switched things up a bit. “Ross, these two have spoken. I need a little privacy,” the former One Direction member said before pressing the button to turn the chair of each of the coaches to face away from the stage.
“Your voice is absolutely incredible. You gave that country tone to your voice, but to me, I was hearing so much soul. I came up onto a show like this when I was 16 years old and I get to point at fans of mine in this room. It’s fans of mine that would really love to take you under their wing,” Horan said, then got down on his knees to beg. “I’m telling you, please. Please … forget about whatever any of them said. I don’t wanna hear any more crap. [Shelton] was about to go, ‘This is my last season on this show, it’ll be an honor and a privilege.’ So Ross, please join me!”
Shelton, naturally, had a tough act to follow. “If I was pitching myself, I would have to talk about the fact that Ross would like to get out and do gigs and I happen to have venues he can do that in, and one of them in Oklahoma.”
But after a tough sell — and thundering cheers from the crowd — Clayton went with his gut feeling and joined Horan’s team. “Niall, let’s go,” Clayton said, launching the beginning of their coach-mentor relationship.
Watch the moment unfold in a clip from The Voice in the video above.