‘The Voice’ Auditions Recap: Blake Shelton Pulls the ‘Gwen Stefani Card’

Seth Kelley

A proposal, a former child star, a video message from Dolly f—ing Parton: The blind auditions continued on “The Voice” on Tuesday for the second night in a row this week.

New coaches Alicia Keys and Miley Cyrus continued to prove worthy additions to the panel. Keys in particular is gifted at earnestly probing and prompting sob stories by asking the contestants questions like, “Where is this voice coming from?” (Translation: Do you or someone you know have a rare blood disease?) Adam Levine kept up his sad puppy act and Blake Shelton let us know several times how cool his girlfriend is. OK, fine, she is really cool.

Stray observation: So far this season, every time someone has started singing and I thought, “Ugh, this song is so corny,” it has been a pretty good metric for knowing that they weren’t going to make it through to the next round. (That’s right, looking at you, “Stone Cold.”)

1. Sa’rayah: Team Cyrus

The first contestant, who grew up in Cabrini-Green in Chicago belted out “Drown in My Own Tears” by Ray Charles.

“I had to have Sa’rayah on my team,” Cyrus said after being chosen. “I’m sweating.”

2. Ethan Tucker: Team Shelton

This Olympia, Washington native put a reggae spin on “Roxanne” by The Police.

Blake and Adam both pushed their buttons at the last second.

“I have some connections in reggae-ska,” Shelton said, which, let’s not get into the politics of him referring to Gwen Stefani as a “reggae” artist, but it worked on Tucker. “I’m not afraid to say I played the Gwen Stefani card,” Shelton went on.

3. Katie Colosimo: Team No One

Colosimo sings “Stone Cold” by Demi Lovato with “too much emotion” for the judges.

4. Wé McDonald: Team Keys

“You came to this show to meet me,” Keys prophesied. Team Keys.

5. Andrew DuMuro: Team Levine

Levine, desperate for team members, seemed to give this contestant a pity spin. Blake pushed his button too, but in a way that felt less like I believe in this person’s future and more like, I want to make this show more interesting.

6. Billy Gilman: Team Levine

Gilman had a record deal at 10 years old and was the youngest person to have a Top 40 country hit.

Despite Cyrus seeming to feel a deep connection to the former child star — “I know who the h—l you are. Let me take care of you.” — Gilman chose Levine.

7. Nathalie Vincent: Team No One

This girl’s plight mostly centered around the fact that she is shy… which is didn’t bode well. She sang “Hold Back the River” and cried when no one picked her. Group hug!

8. Sophia Urista: Team Cyrus

To win over the contestant Cyrus called on her godmother, Dolly Parton. It worked.

9. Brendan Fletcher: Team Levine

Fletcher, as 26 years old, said he has been in twelve bands. His performance of “Jolene” by Ray LaMontagne won over the judges.

10. Dan Shafer: Team Shelton

This guy was old. That was his thing. He was the old one. How old? So old that he made jingles as his career way back when. When? A long time ago. Because old.

Shelton was the only one to spin around, so he got his man.

11. Lauren Diaz: Team Keys

Diaz made the bold move of singing “If I Ain’t Got You” by Alicia Keys to Alicia Keys. It paid off big time. So much so that the performer’s boyfriend/co-parent broke out an engagement ring.

Final tally after the first two nights: Alicia Keys, 5; Blake Shelton, 5; Miley Cyrus, 4; Adam Levine, 4.

“The Voice” returns for two more episodes next week, but until then, do you think Alicia Keys and Miley Cyrus are taking the show to the next level?

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