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The Voice: Season 9, More Auditions, 9/29/15

September 30th, 2015 · No Comments

by Lyn Jensen

Judges are quickly filling up their teams on season 9 of The Voice and soon they’ll be cutting the field. We saw nine auditions that got at least one judge to turn a chair and signal “I want you” on Tuesday:

1.  Darius Scott, a black male vocalist who’s made a self-funded indy album, sings an Usher song. His tenor is folksier and jazzier than is common for R&B vocals. He attracts Adam, Gwen and Pharrell, and chooses Pharrell. Adam suggests Pharrell’s found his “best guy … That guy’s going all the way with you.” Adam would like to steal Scott if he gets a chance. We’ll see!

2.  Korin Bucowsky, a pre-med student at the University of Miami, has a sharp quirky voice–and a sharp quirky style, with glasses, hat, long wavy hair. Gwen is the only judge who turns her chair, so they’re together. Gwen praises Bucowsky for her “character voice” and range. Gwen’s singling out a number of contestants that she finds to have “character voices” this season, but will any of them make the voting rounds?

3.  Country girl Krista Hughes, 15, from small-town West Virginia has a darker, more mature style that sets her apart from Nashville’s stock of country cuties. She says her influences include Merle Haggard and George Jones. All four judges turn their chairs for her. Gwen finds her, “beautiful, honest, natural.” Blake says, “there’s nobody on radio like you” and that’s going to make her song choice very important. Of course Krista picks Blake.

4.  The auditions are crowded with teens this season, perhaps partly because of Sawyer Fredericks’ win last season. Chance Pena, a fifteen-year-old boy from Tyler, TX, has a very mature voice for his age, and maybe that’s why he attracts Gwen and Adam. There’s much airtime taken up with how Chance and Gwen are flirting, or want to flirt, or something, but after all that, Chance chooses Adam. Gwen vows to steal if she can. I think she’s promising more steals than she has room for.

5. Viktor Kiraly has the kind of complicated family history reality TV thrives on. He was born and raised in New York but his parents are Hungarian, and the family returned to Hungary when the mother got cancer. (She’s since recovered.) Kiraly’s become a singing star in Hungary–now he’s returning to the USA to get his big break here. He performs the Marvin Gaye hit, “What’s Goin’ On” but as Pharrell notes, he’s copying Donny Hathaway’s version. He calls himself soul with a little pop, but I’d say it’s the other way around. His voice is more operatic, more European, than what’s standard for R&B. Adam turns on the first line. The other three judges join in almost at the end. Adam predicts Kiraly could “win this whole thing” and Kiraly picks Adam.  He’ll be with the rock judge, at least to begin with, instead of the R&B judge. “I’m lucky to have gotten Viktor,” Adam admits.

6.  Another teen! Cole Chriske, 15, with curly reddish hair, sings a John Mayer song, “Dreaming with a Broken Heart.” It’ s easy to understand how, with the right coaching (from Gwen maybe?) this kid could be groomed into a romantic bedroom-wall teen idol. Gwen, Blake and Pharrell all turn their chairs for him. Adam, though, is the judge who praises Cole’s “flawlessly perfect pitch.” Blake points out how in season 1 he coached Xenia, who’s also from Cole’s hometown, Temucula, California. Cole mentioned he and Xenia know each other. So maybe that explains why he picks Blake when he looked like he might be picking Gwen.

7.  Alex Kandel is a tatoo’ed  singer in a goth-alt band–but she’s also a Nashville nanny. Her voice has a twangy country flavor that doesn’t match her appearance. Gwen turns right away. Adam joins in at almost the end. Again Gwen praises a singer for “a lot of character in your voice” despite “weird tuning issues.” Alex picks Gwen, adding to Gwen’s field of “character” singers.

8.  Celeste Betton, a young black R&B singer, has a powerful voice, but in a subtle way rather than a blow-the-doors-off-the-place way. Pharrell likes her “ambition … soulful feeling,” and he’s the only judge who turns his chair for her. However, Adam comments afterward how he liked her big high notes. Gwen adds she liked her energy.

9. Twin blondes play country! They’re headed straight for Team Blake, right? Except Alex and Andi are from Green Bay, not the South where most country singers come from. The judges must like their vibratos and “harmony” (although I didn’t think they were that harmonious) because all four turn their chairs despite being low on slots left to fill. Gwen’s talking about “character” voices again and calling the arrangement “creative” (when I thought it was just amateurish). Adam comments how, whether they’re singing in unison or in harmony, they say and do everything together. Then the girls pick Adam, not Blake. Adam brags “the king of the four-chair turn” is back!

Read on for how the teams are shaping up so far:


Country singers Barrett Baber, Krista Hughes, Blind Joe, Emily Ann Roberts, Zach Seabaugh, Tyler Dickerson, Morgan Fraiser, young Texas rocker Chris Crump, teen idol type Cole Chriske, R&B singer Nadjah Nicole.


 Jeffrey Austin, male vocalists Noah Jackson and Tim Atlas, “character” singers Alex Kandel, Ellie Lawrence, Kota Wade, Hannah Ashbrook, Lindsay Elm, Korin Bucowsky, and Braiden Sunshine.


Regina Love, teen idol type Chance Pena, rock singers Amanda Ayala, Manny Cabo and Keith Semple, cute country twins Alex and Andi, Hungarian pop star Viktor Kiraly, geeky Jordan Smith, country singer James Dupre.


 Mark Hood, Celeste Betton, “character” singer Matti Davis, female vocalists Riley Breeder, Siahna I’m, Ivonne Acera, Daria Jasmine, teen idol type Evan McKeel,  and country-flavored duo Amanda and Jubal.



Tags: The Voice