Country star Blake Shelton ends the first week of blind auditions with six contestants on his team, but only five slots filled — he was the first this season to sign on a duet act, and 2 Steel Girls is the first mother-daughter team ever on “The Voice.”
The duo is one of three country acts Shelton has picked up out of the five spots filled on his team, and it seems the boy from Oklahoma wants to make the third season a charm for finally taking a country star to the finals.
While Shelton has expanded his fan base as a coach on “The Voice” beyond musical genre, the last two seasons he made some decisions that caused a bit of controversy amongst his country fan base. In the first season, fans were shocked when he cut Patrick Thomas at the semifinals. Then last season, in a battle between two country stars, Shelton chose RaeLynn over Adley Stump — it seemed pretty obvious to most fans Shelton was affected by how close he and wife Miranda Lambert had gotten to RaeLynn rather than choosing the singer who performed best in that battle. He also eliminated country artist Gwen Sebastian over Erin Willett, leaving RaeLynn the last country girl standing, before finally cutting her at the semifinals.
But this season… this season, mark my words, Shelton is bringing a country artist to the finals.
Having said all that, Shelton picked up the very first blind audition contestant at the premiere, Terry McDermott. The Scottish-born rocker chose Shelton, although his son told him he probably would have picked Adam Levine or Cee Lo Green. Time will tell, but I’d say his son was probably right on that one.
The next contestant Shelton picked up was not only country, but old school — as in yodeling. Gracia Harrison brought the coaches to their feet with a flawless rendition of “I Want to Be a Cowboy’s Sweetheart.” Levine and Green agreed with Shelton that she was the best country singer the show has had so far, and it was no surprise Harrison sided with Shelton, despite Levine’s passionate plea to try to win her over.
Shelton heard Casey Muessigmann’s (pronounced “music-man”) boots before he even started to sing. While his version of “Sweet Home Alabama” was technically sound, it just didn’t have the spark some other contestants had. Country or not, he’ll have to step it up to stick around long in this game.
In a season already pushing boundaries of genre, Shelton then picked up mariachi singer Julio Cesar Castillo, who was the first contestant to audition entirely in Spanish with “La Bamba.” While not country, his wife is from Texas, so maybe that southwestern influence held some sway with Shelton.
The last act Shelton picked up this week was the duet 2 Steel Girls, consisting of mother-daughter team Allison and Krystal. They sounded very similar — like one person — till they launched into the chorus of Carrie Underwood’s “Before He Cheats,” shocking the coaches.
For an early favorite, I’d put my money on Harrison, but 2 Steel Girls may give her a run for her money — country hasn’t seen a significant mother-daughter duet team since The Judds, and they could be a hot item. They may find themselves faring much better than past duets who have traditionally not done so well in the battle rounds.
The video featured here is 2 Steel Girls knockout rendition of “Before He Cheats,” but also check out Harrison’s country yodel. Do you think one of these could be the country act Shelton has been waiting for?
Want to catch up with the other teams after week one? Read about Team Adam, Team Cee Lo and Team Xtina.
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