Freshman coaches Niall Horan and Chance the Rapper are bringing the heat to “The Voice,” but they still have to contend with reigning veteran Blake Shelton.
Horan and Chance turned their chairs for country rock crooner Neil Salsich, alongside Shelton and coach Kelly Clarkson, during the Season 23 premiere Monday night. Salsich blew the coaches away with his stunning range and electric rendition of Hank Williams’ “Honkey Tonk Blues.”
“I’m not very familiar with country music, but the texture of your voice – the tone, the range that you had and also the runs that you’re doing – this could be interesting,” Chance said. “Why not a rapper and a country singer together? And it’d be really cool if I stole a country (artist) off Blake.”
“See how much power I’ve got around here? I can spin chairs. That’s never been done,” Niall said in his attempt to woo Ross to his team. But more than just hilarious theatrics — and a great impression of Blake going on and on about how this is his last season on The Voice — Niall also told Ross that yes, he’s a country artist, but he loved the performance because he “was hearing so much soul.” “Your voice is absolutely incredible,” he said. Once all the coaches are turned back around, how can Ross pick anyone but Niall? All it took for Niall to win over his very first artist was a little sincerity and some, according to Blake, “dirty tricks.”
Their connection got put to the test, however, when Niall had a “tough start to day one,” as the last coach standing without any singers on his team. Heartbroken, he even asked Blake to join his team!
But everything changed when Ross Clayton took the stage with his cover of Keith Urban’s “Blue Ain’t Your Color” which earned him a four-chair turn.
Niall had an uphill battle ahead of him, but he was prepared and pulled out a major stunt: turning all the other coaches’ chairs back around!
Ross’s audition was so good — you can tell he’s been performing live for a while by the way he navigates the story of the song, plus, he can hit some big ol’ notes — that all four coaches turned for him… meaning that the former One Directioner had to make a convincing argument.
Kelly Clarkson told Ross that he has “a huge, beautiful gift” while Chance loved his “unique tone,” but when it came time for Niall to pitch, he decided to do things a little differently. “I need a bit of privacy,” he said before walking over to Blake’s chair and pushing his button, which lo and behold, sent the chair spinning back around so couldn’t see the stage or Ross anymore. By the time he got to a shocked Kelly, Niall added a little flourish to the act and pushed her button with his forehead. (She watched the rest of the pitch over the top of her big red chair.)
“If I was on The Voice and Niall turned, as soon as I finished singing I’d shout ‘I’ll choose Niall!’ one person wrote. “Niall is gonna wreck me on The Voice,” another commented. “Kelly was always my immediate choice for a coach [because] she’s my childhood but now that they have Niall I have reconsidered for obvious reasons,” a different user added.
Well, it looks like we’ll need to tune in to see Niall’s antics in real time!
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