"The Voice" kicked off its sixth season on Monday (February 24) with bigger voices, elaborate bribes and even sharper claws as Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Shakira and Usher pulled all the stops in order to win over the contestants.
The world's unknown desire to see country star Blake Shelton sing Shakira's hit "Whenever, Wherever" was fulfilled as the Emmy-winning singing competition opened with the four coaches performing a medley of each other's hits. But even though the well-established artists showed why they're the ones the coaching gig, the night belonged to many hopefuls who hit the stage eager to show their talents.
She Came In To Wreck The Competition
The bar was set ridiculously high when 19-year-old Christina Grimmie hit the stage for her blind audition. The New Jersey native, who already has a respectable 2 million subscribers to her YouTube channel, managed to get three of the four coaches to turn their chairs immediately. Although Usher labeled Grimmie as "phenomenal" and said that he "plans on winning" with her, she landed herself on Team Adam.
What The Blind Auditions Are All About
Openly gay hopeful Kristen Merlin, 29, admitted that a show like "The Voice" was exactly what she needed to showcase her talents before she is "judged by her looks." The Massachusetts native's energetic and heartfelt rendition of Sugarland's "Something More" resonated with Shakira and Levine, the female coach even going as far as to dance while Merlin performed. Levine praised the hopeful for her strong vocals, but in the end, the country-at-heart contestant chose to be on Team Shakira.
Adam Hits the Floor And Shakira Gets Rejected
We didn't think there was a man in the universe that would ever turn down a date with Shakira, but contestant Biff Gore proved us wrong. The 45-year-old father of five with a sixth on the way blew all four of the coaches away with his audition, and when Shakira charmingly asks him "Can I be your date at the Grammys when we win this thing together?" the married man quickly said no. He landed a spot on Team Usher.
The first duo to hit the blind audition stage, Dawn & Hawkes, performed a beautiful and airy rendition of the Beatles' "I've Just Seen a Face" that left Levine in complete awe. The guitar-wielding couple resonated with the coach so much that he dubbed them his "favorite performance [he had] ever seen on 'The Voice.'" Shakira also turned around for the contestants, and after Blake's great attempts at trying to convince them to choose Shakira, Levine fell to the floor with relief at the sound of his name.
The Comeback Kid
Jake Worthington, 17, wasn't a new face to the blind audition stage. He had auditioned back in season five, and even though none of the coaches hit their button, they encouraged him to work on his voice and return — and that he did. The young country singer took the stage one more time and got Levine, Blake and Shakira to turn around. Throughout his performance, Blake clapped and happily said "He came back!" The country hopeful landed himself on Team Blake.
Steamrolling The Competition
At the end of Monday night's premiere, Usher had already titled the winner of "The Voice." 17-year-old Bria Kelly's strong, raspy voice and guitar-playing skills while crooning James Taylor's "Steamroller Blues" made Levine and Blake turn around within three seconds of the singer opening her mouth. After Levine's puppy dog eyes and Blake calling her a "stud," it was Usher's perfectly timed reveal of one of his Grammy that sold the contestant. "Hard work, determination, and making the right choice," he told her, will have her with her own Grammy.
As night one came to a close, Shakira and Levine found themselves with two of their 12 slots filled, while Usher bagged three contestants, and Blake landed one. The second night of "The Voice" blind auditions continue Tuesday night at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.