Night five of the Blind Auditions put the pressure on The Voice‘s season 12 coaches Alicia Keys, Gwen Stefani, Blake Shelton and Adam Levine. With half of their teams complete, the coaches had to execute more caution when hitting that big red button.
Things got started with Johnny Gates, singing “Maggie May” by Rod Stewart. Gates played in a garage band that’s currently on hiatus, and he interestingly cited Taylor Swift as one of his musical inspirations even though he plays a different genre. Gates has a strong rock voice and vibe, and his audition was a throwback good time. Shelton, Stefani and Alicia all turned. Surprisingly, Levine did not turn, but he does already have other artists who are similar to Gates on his team. Stefani tried to say she was the obvious choice, and Levine backed her up, hoping Gates wouldn’t choose Shelton, who did promise to make sure Gates would stay in his rock lane if he joined Team Blake. But Gates made the smart move and chose Team Gwen.
Next up, Malik Davage, who became emotional when talking about his young daughter heading into his audition, delivered a wickedly smooth and confidant performance of “Sure Thing” by Miguel. It was emotional, and Davage really connected with the words. Levine was the surprising first turn, and while Keys and Shelton looked like they were both seriously contemplating joining him, they opted not to. Davage still ended the performance in tears. Davage deserved more than just one turn, but Levine will be a helpful coach for him as the young singer hones in on who he is as an artist.
Lauryn Judd, a 16-year-old artist with a musical theater and choir background, auditioned next. She gave a lively performance of “Girls Just Want To Have Fun.” Initially, it didn’t sound like the most exciting song choice, but Judd made it work by singing an acoustic arrangement that slowed things down a bit and really allowed her to showcase her voice. Stefani, Keys and Shelton all turned, impressed by her intricate voice and technical skills. Judd joined Team Alicia, which is a good fit for her.
Also hoping for a shot at The Voice fame, 20-year-old Paul Adrian stepped on stage next. He said his late father was a major influence on him. Adrian sang “I’ve Got A Woman” by Ray Charles, and unfortunately, he did not turn any chairs. The coaches suggested he work on his craft and return next year.
Young artist Caroline Sky, who has performed with her family’s band and has been regularly gigging for a while even though she is only 16-years-old, followed with a performance of “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” by Carole King. Stefani and Shelton both turned, making for another heated but playful faceoff between the couple. Stefani praised Sky’s control, restraint and confidence. Stefani tried to connect with her on an interpersonal level, while Shelton reminded Sky that he has won the show with young girls before. But Sky joined Team Gwen, giving Stefani another young woman on her team.
Closing out night five of the Blind Auditions, bartender and musician Josh Hoyer came to The Voice after some financial setbacks with his music career. He sang “Oh Girl” by The Chi-Lites, and it was a really solid audition that led to another Shelton-Stefani faceoff. But this time, Shelton emerged victorious, swaying Hoyer over to Team Blake by playing the “winning team” card.
Two more nights of Blind Auditions will air next week, and the four season 12 teams will finally be set. Which team is your favorite right now?
This article was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter