The Voice Blind Auditions: Alisan Porter, Mary Sarah Rule Night One

The Voice - Season 10

A new season of The Voice is underway and it’s Night One for the Blind Auditions. The talent comes to the forefront right off the bat, so let’s get into the recap of the Night One.

THE VOICE -- "Blind Auditions" -- Pictured: Mary Sarah -- (Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC)
THE VOICE — “Blind Auditions” — Pictured: Mary Sarah — (Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC)

We start with Paxton Ingram, a dancer by trade who always loved music and realized that he had a talent that he should pursue. While he still teaches dance classes, Paxton is committed to his craft, claiming Michael Jackson is his biggest influence. He decides to cover Robyn’s “Dancing on My Own,” thinking that giving a male perspective to a female song may turn a few heads. But it’s his voice that gets Blake Shelton and Adam Levine talking from his first note. The soulful, intimate rendition of the song gets an immediate chair turn by Blake, while Adam and Pharrell Williams have a little gamesmanship going on, waiting until the last minute to turn. Blake seems genuinely moved and quite honestly does the best sell even though he seems like Paxton’s least likeliest collaborator. To everyone’s surprise, including Blake’s, he picks Blake, which earns a mouth-drop “What?” from Pharrell.

Next up is 21-year-old Caity Peters, who describes herself as the black sheep of her family. A fan of music from a young age, her family eventually began to support her decision to pursue her dream at an arts college. Caity decides upon Labrinth’s “Jealous” and her deep, raspy register connects with the coaches. Christina Aguilera pushes in a second ahead of Pharrell even before she reaches the more powerful parts of the song. By the end, it’s an undeniable audition and Blake and Adam make it a four chair turn. Pharrell starts campaigning immediately coming up to the stage to give her a hug. He later tells her that he loves her intensity, while Adam says she’s on the cusp of greatness. In the end, she chooses Pharrell.

Nick Hagelin is the next to the stage. The 28-year-old former professional ballet dancer gave up his profession to pursue music. Though he previously had a record deal, it did not work out. With a high vocal range, Hagelin takes a risk performing Adam Levine’s “Lost Stars” from the film Begin Again. Christina is the first to push in, and while Levine is singing along and getting into the track, ultimately he’s the only one who didn’t push as Blake and Pharrell get in under the wire. Christina says she believed in Nick’s voice from the word go, and Blake says his voice would record incredibly, but it’s the man who Hagelin calls “the Quincy Jones of our generation,” Pharrell Williams, who ultimately lands the singer.

Mary Sarah is a 20-year-old singer who works part time at a Boot Barn in Nashville. She started singing at an early age, was introduced at the Grand Ole Opry and has been invited to sing with the Oak Ridge Boys. Expressing her love for the classic country artists, she’s actually cut a record with some of the legends of country. When she starts singing Connie Francis’ classic “Where the Boys Are,” it’s an instantaneous feeling amongst the coaches that there’s something different with her voice. Adam is first in, then Blake and Pharrell press simultaneously. By the time she hits her big sounding final note, as Christina states, she would have looked silly not to get in. Adam calls her performance pure and loves her higher register, but Blake recognizes her and does enough of a sell that she goes with her gut and picks him.

Up next is 21-year-old Mike Schiavo, a recent L.A. transplant from New Jersey who has decided to go for his dream in pursuing music. He reveals Maroon 5 was the first CD he ever purchased, but says Pharrell might be his first pick as coach. He has a little rasp to his voice, while taking on Tove Lo’s “Talking Body.” Adam and Pharrell turn simultaneously, while Blake gets in late. Mike reveals that his favorite Maroon 5 song is “She Will Be Loved” and Blake and Christina tell Adam he should duet with him to seal the deal. Pharrell tries to sell him, but there’s really no budging after that performance.

Returning Voice competitor Bryan Bautista‘s biggest claim to fame was moving from usher to singing the National Anthem at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn that went viral. Though he missed out on being picked in Season 9, Bryan is determined. He gave up his job, took vocal lessons and returns to The Voice stage with The Weeknd’s “The Hills.” When he hits his falsetto, Christina turns. Blake waits until the end and gets in as well. Christina says she was a believer in his greatness and goes full out in trying to win his pick. In a hilarious moment, he goes to address Blake but everyone thinks he picked him. He then says that he appreciates Blake turning around, but he has to go with Christina.

20-year-old New Yorker Abby Celso is a server who joined a band called The Swooners who play lots of Motown and funk. She lost her mom to cancer in the past year and is fulfilling her mom’s desire that she perform on the show. Abby takes on Tori Kelly’s “Should’ve Been Us,” and initially her lower register is solid but doesn’t really sell much. However, she soon gets a chance to show her range and Adam pushes in. After hitting one major high note, Pharrell also gets in and both coaches give her a standing ovation. Adam goes hard, but Pharrell says there’s nothing like her on the show. Though he didn’t push in, Blake gives a major vote of confidence to her choosing Pharrell. Pharrell then gives the hard sell that puts him over the top as Abby chooses him.

23-year-old John Gilman is a bit of a throwback. The New Jersey-based musician started singing in doo-wop groups as a kid and developed a love for rockabilly and delta blues. During his performance, he looks the part, strumming along to the Elvis Presley classic “Don’t Be Cruel.” While Blake initially shows some interest, it’s Adam that ends up being the only chair turn.

Finish out the night, Alisan Porter wows the coaches not only with her voice but her story. As a child, she was an actress, starring as the titular character in Curly Sue. But battles with sobriety curtailed her career. Now sober and in her 30s, she’s pursuing music and her voice shines through as she hits some serious notes on the classic song “Blue Bayou.” Needless to say, it’s a four chair turn. Adam starts the groveling, going in for a hug, but Christina is having none of that and also approaches Alisan. It’s hard sells all around, but in the end she goes with Christina.

So after Night One, Team Pharrell has three vocalists, while Team Adam, Team Blake and Team Christina each have two vocalists. But who topped the night? Check out our rankings below.

9. John Gilman (Team Adam)
8. Bryan Bautista (Team Christina)
7. Caity Peters (Team Pharrell)
6. Paxton Ingram (Team Blake)
5. Abby Celso (Team Pharrell)
4. Nick Hagelin (Team Pharrell)
3. Mike Schiavo (Team Adam)
2. Mary Sarah (Team Blake)
1. Alisan Porter (Team Christina)

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