The Voice has finally wrapped its first round of competition in Season 20, and this year's edition of the Blind Auditions brought us plenty of laugh-out-loud moments, such as Blake Shelton not recognizing a musician from his past and John Legend taking shots at Grey’s Anatomy. But something we didn’t see a whole lot of this season was the coveted Four-Chair Turn.
Only four contestants during The Voice's 10th anniversary season inspired all four superstar coaches to turn their chairs for a chance to see and work with the talents behind the performances. Check out the quartet of auditions below and see if you think these artists have what it takes to make it all the way through Season 20 win it all.
Kenzie Wheeler, Team Kelly
Country singer Kenzie Wheeler kicked Season 20 off in a strong way with a classic country hit, “Don’t Close Your Eyes,” by the late legend Keith Whitley, which led to Kelly Clarkson’s no-brainer block of Blake Shelton. (And if she hadn’t blocked him, Nick Jonas would have.) The unicorn, as Shelton called him, with the triple-threat mullet has a deep voice and even deeper twang that makes him sound older than 22 years old.
Country artists often make it far on The Voice, with or without Blake Shelton leading the charge. I think the biggest obstacle Wheeler might face is how many other country artists he’s up against. Luckily for him, there are no other strictly country artists on Team Kelly, so it’s likely she’ll want to keep him around as long as she has the power and need to do so.
Zae Romeo, Team Nick
Zae Romeo won America over with his story before he even sang a note. The 20-year-old’s emotional tale of growing up in foster care was followed by an equally charged performance of Harry Styles’ “Falling,” and the four coaches each connected with his vulnerability. Romeo has impressive range and a gorgeous vibrato that allowed for some really cool runs.
I think Nick Jonas will prove to be the perfect coach for Zae Romeo, as they share taste in music and a similar vocal range. The coaches noted that it wasn’t a perfect showing for Romeo, but coaching is what The Voice is all about. He’s got the talent, and with Jonas’ training and a few nifty mentors, I think Romeo could be a front-runner to win this season.
Avery Roberson, Team Blake
Avery Roberson is another young country singer with a deep voice, and he drew all the coaches’ attention with a solid rendition of Tim McGraw’s “If You’re Reading This.” Roberson kept his runs to a minimum, exuding confidence in his sustained, pitch-perfect notes. Even Kelly Clarkson noted that it wasn’t the kind of performance you’d expect to land a Four-Chair Turn, but I think it was exactly Roberson's consistency that inspired the seasoned singers to swing those chairs around.
Not surprisingly, Avery Roberson joined Blake Shelton’s team, where he’ll have more competition in the country category and thus a potentially harder road to travel heading to the live shows. But his ability to woo all four judges shows he has appeal across all genres, and that might be what sets him apart on Team Blake.
Anna Grace, Team Kelly
Anna Grace wowed everyone watching with a cool performance of Billie Eilish’s “my future,” and her songs are definitely not easy to do well. All four coaches opted in, but Grace only had eyes for Kelly Clarkson, and the daytime talk show host wasted no time in pledging allegiance, giving the 20-year-old tips before she was even officially picked as the hopeful's coach. It’s so much fun to see Clarkson work with young female artists on The Voice, given her own background in singing competitions.
Kelly Clarkson said she’s already got some song ideas for Anna Grace’s particular voice, and I’m hoping they stay in a similar vein to this audition piece, because that haunting tone should put her in a unique position among the other contestants. Something like Eliza Shaddad's cover of Nina Simone's "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood," which was showcased in Netflix's twisty thriller Behind Her Eyes.
John Legend went 0-for-4 in landing a Four-Chair Turn on his team this season, but should any of these contestants get taken down in the next rounds, he'll have another shot at picking one of them up. Next week the competition moves to the Battle Rounds, and after six episodes of Blind Auditions, I’m ready to see what the artists have in store for viewers next. It’ll be interesting to see how the Four-Chair Turns grow with the coaches they’ve chosen, and ultimately to see if they can find success after the show.
Tune in when The Voice returns next Monday at 8 p.m. ET on NBC, and let us know in the poll below who you think has the best shot of making it all the way!