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‘The Voice’ Blind Auditions Season Premiere Recap: Twins, Belters, Country Singers + More!

Blake Shelton Usher Shakira Adam Levine The Voice
Trae Patton, NBC

Season 4 of ‘The Voice‘ kicked off on Monday, March 25, with new coaches Shakira and Usher making their much-heralded debuts, filling in for Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo Greenwhile they are off doing other things.

The newbies got their feet wet and were ready to battle vets Adam Levine and Blake Shelton for belters. It was an evening of great voices and lots of ego-stroking, playful insults among the coaches and cute manipulation tactics being used in order to win over contestants.

It was 9:57 before A. Lev even added a contestant to his team. Is he being strategic and waiting it out? Is he watching what his nemesis Shelton is doing, which seems to be picking a wide variety of vocalists?

Each coach is filling their team with 12 singers. Here’s how things have stacked up so far.

TEAM BLAKE SHELTON:

The Morgan Twins: The blonde twins were like a Doublemint commercial on a reality singing show, getting all four coaches to turn around as they sang Alicia Keys‘ ‘Fallin’.’ They were pitch perfect and when in unison, they sounded like a single voice. Despite having interest in Usher, they picked Shelton since he seemed “genuine.”

Danielle Bradberry: The cutie is just 16 and revealed that she had crooked teeth growing up, so she was teased. With her Taylor Swift curls, brown cowboy boots and pop-country appeal, the adorbs Texas teen lacked a little backstage confidence, since she is just a baby. But when she sang Swift’s ‘Mean’ with amazing pitch, Usher, Shelton and Levine turned around for her. Since Shelton can best introduce her to the Nashville world, she chose him.

Christian Porter: The bar musician who plays covers and slips in originals every now and then revealed that he didn’t talk right away as a child because he was too busy absorbing music. The women were going nuts when he performed, making the judges think a ‘Magic Mike’ strip show was unfolding on the stage and behind the backs of their red space seats. Porter delivered a sultry, unique and somewhat falsetto version of ‘Sexy and I Know It.’ He chose the Sheltonator over Shakira and Usher.

TEAM ADAM LEVINE:

Judith Hill: She sang with Michael Jackson for his ‘This Is It’ tour, and for her blind aud, she chose to pay homage to on-hiatus coach Xtina Aguilera with ‘What a Girl Wants.’ A. Lev said she sang it as well as Christina Aguilera and got his first contestant of the night with one minute left. Usher regretted not getting her!

TEAM SHAKIRA:

Mark Andrew: He sang ‘Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door,’ delivering it in a classic rock vocal style with some soul. He had a tough luck story, as he lost a bandmate to a drunk driver, so he is making a go of it on his own. Levine turned around, and so did Shakira. Andrew said chose this song since that’s what he learned to play guitar on, and A. Lev pointed out that he shares that skill set. Despite that commonality, Andrew chose Shakira since his wife would never forgive him if he didn’t!

Kris Thomas: He sang Whitney Houston‘s ‘Saving All My Love for You,’ and it dripped with buttery goodness. A. Lev and Blake Shelton were shocked that he was a guy, since he killed a decidedly female song. He had great control, pitch and one helluva falsetto. Usher said that he can go so high that it will make women go crazy.

TEAM USHER:

Jess Kellner: The Austin, Texas native sang a dreamy, creamy rendition of Elvis Presley’s ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love.’ It was a richer-than-dark-chocolate-fudge-cake, silky version that reminded us a bit of Florence Welch‘s timbre and tone. Usher and Shakira fought over her, with the R&B crooner winning that battle.

Vedo: He sang Justin Bieber‘s ‘Boyfriend,’ changing the arrangement slightly. Usher was the only coach to turn his chair around, but not because Vedo wasn’t awesome. He was. The other coaches just knew that he was made for Team Usher, so they let him have the singer. Why fight it, right? He has a similar, silky smooth R&B croon.

The coaches will fill their teams with more blind audition contestants tomorrow (March 26) night.

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