'The Voice' recap: Blake Shelton wins over two potential country stars -- Casi Joy and Ashley Levin
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 03/03/2017
The Voice's Blind Auditions continue, and during Thursday night's one-hour episode on NBC, a yodeling country singer, Casi Joy, was front and center.
Casi, a 26-year-old struggling musician from Nashville, TN, performed "Blue" by LeAnn Rimes, and it was her voice's ability to yodel the chorus that captured the attention of Season 12 coaches Adam Levine, Gwen Stefani, Alicia Keys and Blake Shelton, who all pressed their buttons and turned their chairs around.
Gwen told Casi the performance was "magical" and she'd always remember that moment. Adam then gushed about how he would do cartwheels and leap over the moon to have the singer on his team.
Blake, the country coach everyone feared would win Casi over, told the artist that he's not giving up until he has her on his team because they were meant to be. Blake hoped the other coaches weren't getting inside Casi's head, because he believed he was the best mentor for her.
Alicia said she'd like to create moments of magic with Casi and explore the music she loves. Alicia asked her to think outside the box and at least pick one of the female coaches on the show.
Despite admitting her sound can range from country to rock to pop, Casi chose to join "Team Blake."
Ashley Levin, a 23-year-old from Miami, FL, began songwriting when she learned her father battles Alzheimer's.
Ashley pursued her music degree in college and eventually moved to Nashville. She sang "Let Him Fly" by Patty Griffin for her Blind Audition, and Blake, Gwen and Alicia all turned their chairs around.
Gwen argued she has a lot to offer -- including Blake as a potential country hookup down the road. Alicia could hear "so much soul" and "many influences" that poured out of Ashley while she was singing.
Blake said he'd like to experiment with Ashley and tends to follow through with artists after the show whom he's invested in. After considering all the statements, Ashley picked Blake as her coach.
Brandon Royal, a 31-year-old from the U.S. Virgin Islands, moved to Florida to record music, but due to lack of success, he became a firefighter and EMT two years ago. Now, Brandon is taking music off the back-burner.
Brandon performed "Master Blaster (Jammin')" by Stevie Wonder for his Blind Audition, and lovebirds Gwen and Blake were interested in him.
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Blake noted that although he doesn't have much in common with Brandon, they both share a love of music. Gwen told the artist his performance was natural and pure, adding that she has dabbled in many different styles of music and could therefore help him out.
What sealed the deal? Blake made a shocking joke about holding Brandon's hose for him, and with that strange comment, Brandon joined Gwen's team.
And then there was Julien Martinez, a 21-year-old meditation teacher from Oxnard CA.
He grew up with ADHD and used music as his outlet when he didn't have many friends. Julien took the stage with "Pride and Joy" and peaked both Adam and Blake's interest in what Adam called "an old-school matchup."
It seemed like no one was going to turn around for Julien until he let out this ridiculous scream at the end of his performance that blew the male coaches away.
Adam explained it was like "the birth of Satan," and Blake said Julien now has the best scream in the music industry. Although Blake desperately wanted a "manly" guy on his team full of women, Julien chose to join "Team Adam."
Last but not least, Quizz Swanigan, a 13-year-old from North Little Rock, AR, sang "Who's Lovin' You." Quizz's voice sounds just like a young Michael Jackson, and both Alicia and Gwen wanted the young star on their teams.
But it was Alicia who won him over when she said there was something special about him -- energy, light, power and fluidity in his voice.