The latest version of the coach’s panel on “The Voice” debuted on Sunday night and newbies Alicia Keys and Miley Cyrus immediately made their presence felt. “I’m ready as I can be, I’m TV ready,” small screen veteran Cyrus said at the top of the special post-Olympics half-hour season preview. Cyrus, wearing a jean jacket and pants covered in giant flowers, was the first judge to mash the button, turning around and saying “yes” to 17-year-old singer Wé McDonald, who was killing it on the Nina Simone classic “Feeling Good.”
By the end of the performance all four judges had weighed in and Cyrus was up on her feet dancing along to the teen with the helium-high speaking voice. The four then began their battle to earn McDonald’s trust, with the bullied singer finally responding to Keys’ plea, “you came to this show to meet me. I’m not playing, I’m not joking, I’m so serious,” she said. “You were born to show people what love sounds like.”
Cyrus would have her moment as well, though, when she instantly bonded with 17-year-old rocker Darby Walker version of Florence & the Machine take on Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me.” Everyone wanted to have Walker on their team, but once Miley offered to duet with her on Dolly Parton’s “Jolene,” it was over.