Last night was the premiere for season 13 of The Voice, with Jennifer Hudson joining the show as a new coach. Teams are already starting to form and the judges are fighting over their favorite contestants. Get to know each of the artists who made it through so far on the premiere episode.
Chris Weaver hails from New York and he is a church leader … but he is also a drag queen by night. He says that church is a huge part of his life, and that his church is accepting of his lifestyle. His drag character is Nedra Belle and this wasn’t the first time that Weaver performed for new Voice coach Jennifer Hudson. He previously performed at a Broadway party, where Hudson threw a shoe at him as a compliment for his brilliant vocals. For his audition on the show, he sang the song “Try a Little Tenderness” and he chose Jennifer Hudson to be his coach. After a four-chair turn and all the judges on their feet, he had his pick.
Brandon Showell ended up on coach Adam Levine’s team after his audition. He is a 7th grade teacher and he says that his students don’t know he’s an aspiring music artist. He and his fiancee hope to get married soon and Showell hopes The Voice will help with his next step in life. Though Showell was very happy to hear Jennifer Hudson was on the show this season, he went with Levine as his coach.
Adam Levine is the coach who attained Dave Crosby as a team member this season. Crosby is actually known for his YouTube channel, performing with his 4-year-old daughter Claire. Crosby’s little girl has actually appeared on Steve Harvey’s show Little Big Shots, along with The Ellen Degeneres Show. According to Crosby and his wife Ashley, their little girl Claire is a major fan of The Voice. Levine ended up knowing who Crosby and his daughter were from a Randy Newman cover they did. And so, Claire took the stage to perform. Crosby and his wife also have a little boy.
For Crosby’s blind audition, he performed the soft song “Follow You Into the Dark.”
Janice Freeman said that her life has been about pushing through adversity. After Freeman had her daughter at age 21, she went through many ups and downs. When Freeman’s child was just four years old, her father died of cancer. Then, in 2012, Freeman was diagnosed with cervical cancer, but today she is cancer-free. Fortunately, she met her current husband on her journey and the two have a band together.
Miley Cyrus was able to bring Janice Freeman onto her team after her audition, with a performance of the song “Radioactive”.
Simpson is on Team Miley Cyrus this season and she is 100% Native American. She is very proud of her tribe and her heritage, as are her parents, who are full-time evangelists. Simpson started singing harmonies with her parents at just 7 years old and now she hopes to live out her dreams as a music artist.
Lucas Holiday is part of Team J-Hud, Jennifer Hudson’s team on the show and he shocked the judges with his blind audition. Holiday is a cashier, who is known as the “singing cashier”. He says that he absolutely does not look how he sounds and he calls himself a “surprise.” For his blind audition, Holiday performed the song “This Woman’s Work” and the judges could not get over the man behind the voice. Jennifer Hudson was the only coach to turn around her chair, so it was an automatic win.
Holiday hails from Michigan and coach Blake Shelton compared him to the show Frasier, with the lead role being played by Kelsey Grammer.
After attaining Holiday as a contestant on her team, Hudson insisted she sing a duet with him on stage. The two then engaged in a passionate rendition of a gospel song.
Performer Shi’Ann Jones ended up as part of Jennifer Hudson’s team this season, as Hudson was the very first coach to turn her chair around at the beginning of Jones’ blind audition. At only 15 years old, Jones has a voice beyond her years.
Jones hails from Bowling Green, Kentucky.
Mitchell Lee is a member of Blake Shelton’s team and he is a wood-worker from South Carolina. He has been renovating a bus and hopes to make it into a tiny house for his song-writing. Originally, he wanted to go to military school and had a passion for dentistry. He said that his mother always envisioned him as a music artist, but just a few weeks before graduating college, his mother died. He then decided to pursue music. For his blind audition on The Voice, he performed “Hold My Hand” by Hootie and the Blowfish.
Esera Tuaolo is a singer who is a contestant on country star Blake Shelton’s team. Tuaolo used to be a part of the Green Bay Packers, among many other teams, and he even played in the Super Bowl at one point in his career. He also performed the National Anthem. Because of his football career, he put his musical aspirations on the back burner.
He said that after he ended his NFL career, he came out as gay to his family and felt a big weight lifted off of his chest. He’s 48 years old and hopes to “reach for the stars” and “be true to himself” by being on The Voice. For his blind audition, he performed the song “Rise Up.”