Blind Auditions are about to come to an end. Arguably the most fun part of the season, outside of the live shows, is about to end ... in favor, for the indeterminably long period of the Battles and Knockouts. As such, the teams of all four coaches are filling up. (In case you forget that fact, host Carson Daly, in his latest effort to remain relevant, will remind you every 30 seconds.)
However, what the teams being nearly full really means is that the frontrunners have come and gone. Almost everyone who performs in this fifth round of the Blind Auditions is either future cannon fodder or a potential sleeper hit. At least things are exciting in this episode with the use of the final Block.
Stephanie Skipper ("Piece By Piece")
First up is Stephanie Skipper, who was either blessed by the best name or gave herself the silliest stage name. Stephanie, whose father abandoned her, makes the very bold move to perform Kelly's song about the father that abandoned her. It's always a risky proposition to pick a coach's song but especially a song that can reduce said coach to tears, which is exactly what happens to Kelly.
It's heartwarming but that's only because Stephanie gets two coaches (that aren't Kelly) to turn around. If Stephanie was rejected, it'd just be abandonment all around.
Result: Stephanie joins Team Adam
Tish Haynes Keys ("Chain of Fools")
Tish is a former teen mom whose daughter is now fully grown. She's also season 14's resident big girl with an even bigger voice. Tish does bring the house down, yet there's a huge difference between the excitement that singers like Tish stir in the coaches and the excitement they cause in the watching audience.
No singer like Tish has really done that well in the competition. So it's hard to blame Blake and Alicia for not turning around for her. The two do give the tired excuse that their teams are almost full and they have to be careful about who they choose. In reality, they made the right move.
Result: Tish joins Team Adam
Bransen Ireland ("Tulsa Time")
In the lab where they create Voice contestants, Bransen was labeled to be immediately sent to Blake. Bransen has the same type of twang as Blake, he sings a song about Blake's hometown and his name sounds like it was procedurally generated based on past Team Blake artists.
Foolishly, Adam tries to throw his hat into the ring to get Bransen against Blake. While Adam does make the better argument -- though he's really backed up by Alicia and Kelly -- it doesn't matter. Bransen is only choosing one coach.
Result: Bransen joins Team Blake
Teana Boston ("Unfaithful")
Teana is a 4.0 GPA student who thinks she'll maintain those grades and be a Voice superstar, which is adorably naive. Sometimes, it's a surprise when Voice contestants turn out to be teenagers, but with Teana it's sadly obvious. Teana has a nice voice and potential, but she's very rough around the edges. She's going to need a lot of coaching.
Kelly is the one and only coach who volunteers for that job, but it wouldn't be shocking if Teana goes out in the Battles or Knockouts.
Result: Teana is forced onto Team Kelly
Miya Bass ("Issues")
Miya was almost a police officer and comes from a family of police officers. From her look, Miya's rebelling from that legacy hard. Maybe it's just that Miya's hair is literally too distracting to focus on anything else, but her voice is forgettable and shaky. She only gets shakier when Adam turns around for her. Adam tries to put a positive spin on it, but that might just be some chair-turning remorse talking.
Result: Miya is forced onto Team Adam
Livia Faith ("Dream a Little Dream of Me")
Livia claims she's a huge country music fan and a Blake fan, but her voice is so quirky and indie. She's not quite the polar opposite of a Team Blake artist. Blake did, after all, have Chloe Kohanski on his team. Anything is possible in the land of the boozy redneck. He's just not the coach she should be aiming to entice.
Yet Blake does turns around for Livia, alongside Kelly and Alicia. The girls quickly dominate Blake. Kelly hits upon what type of artist she wants to be immediately, someone who does oldies with a modern twist. Yet it's Alicia, with all her talk of feeling Livia's spirit and quotes that belong on an inspirational poster, that wins over the teenage singer.
Result: Livia joins Team Alicia
Jordan Kirkdorffer ("In Case You Didn't Know")
Jordan is an accountant who thinks he's a nerd because he likes his job. Really, he's a nerd because he sometime wears cowboy boots to work and had a mullet as a kid.
Jordan has a soft, barely audible, nasally country voice. With his voice, he could get lost in the shuffle of country singers. Luckily for him, he is a good-looking enough guy that he might stand out. Still, Jordan is about as boring as his pick of coach.
Result: Jordan joins Team Blake
Shana Halligan ("Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)")
Shana warns us all that her voice is unique before she starts her audition, which is artist speak for "I'm really friggin' weird." Yet it still comes as a shock when Shana starts singing and it's a mixture of just a lot of different competing sounds. It's akin to a beautiful dying cat on a drug trip. Shana's giving it all. I'm just not sure it's an "all" I want to see or even originates from this planet.
Alicia turns around for her and looks less than thrilled when no one else ends up challenging her for Shana, though Alicia is excited (or just lies really well) when she starts talking to Shana.
Result: Shana is forced onto Team Alicia
Gary Edwards ("What's Going On")
Gary has a lovely velvety voice that is so good it becomes (even more) obvious that these auditions aren't shown in sequence. Gary really should be a four-turn audition, but he only gets Blake and Adam. The only acceptable reason for Alicia and Kelly not turning around is that their teams are full.
It's down to Adam and Blake, but Gary is Adam's artist to lose. Blake has no business being involved, besides wanting to annoy Adam.
Result: Gary joins Team Adam
Mercedes Ferreira-Dias ("All I Ask")
When none of the coaches turn around for an artist, it's unfortunate, but it usually makes sense. The contestant isn't ready for The Voice in one way or another. With this audition, the no-chair turn is a tragedy.
Mercedes, while not flawless, deserves to be on The Voice. She should have a spot more than the majority of the contestants who have auditioned in this fifth round. Mercedes sounds so mature and authentic, but no one is interested enough. Adam makes Mercedes promise to come back next season. But, really, this on The Voice for evidently scheduling Mercedes so late in the auditions.
Result: Mercedes goes home
Hannah Goebel ("If I Ain't Got You")
As always, The Voice ends a round of Blind Auditions with a four-chair turn. For this fifth round, Hannah Goebel gets the ending "pimp spot" and the use of the fourth and final Block of the season.
Kelly finally uses her Block to prevent Alicia from snatching up Hannah because Hannah is singing one of Alicia's most famous songs. Hannah is so soulful and delightfully raspy. Alicia just barely turns around for Hannah, but that's probably because Kelly made it painfully obvious that she pressed her Block against Alicia.
Kelly makes a lot of things painfully obvious with Hannah, including how much she wants Hannah on her team. Kelly's antics, while entertaining, haven't always been successful in her landing an artist, but here it finally pays off. Kelly gets her girl, and the Block is finally used successfully. The coach who Blocked got the artist they were after in the end.
Result: Hannah joins Team Kelly
Did Kelly make the right choice by blocking Alicia from Hannah? Would Hannah really have chosen Alicia if she had the option? Will Tish excite America as much as she excited the coaches? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
(Image and videos courtesy of NBC)