Season 21 of “The Voice” premieres tonight, Monday, September 20 at 8 p.m. Eastern time on NBC.
Tonight we’ll see the first batch of contestants blindly audition for the coaches: Blake Shelton, John Legend, Kelly Clarkson, and Ariana Grande. Which contestants will stand out? Will we see any contestants get all four coaches to turn around? And how will pop superstar Grande do in her first episode?
Stay tuned for live coverage of tonight’s episode. This post will be updated as the episode airs.
SPOILER WARNING: This post will contain spoilers for the Monday, September 20, 2021 episode of “The Voice.”
‘The Voice’ Season 21 Premiere Episode Recap
“The Voice” is back! We’re kicking things off with a performance by the coaches. Blake Shelton and John Legend are nailing this rendition of “Hold On I’m Coming.”
And now we have Kelly Clarkson and Ariana Grande slaying “Respect” by Aretha Franklin. Grande looks great in a pink tank top, matching pink flare pants, and a cowgirl hat.
Introducing Ariana! The other coaches are singing Grande’s praises. “I think my ears are better than my voice,” says Grande. Give it up for the newest coach on “The Voice!”
The First Blind Audition
It’s time for the first blind audition of the season. We have three singers harmonizing, one of them playing an acoustic guitar. Kelly buzzes in and so does John. Ariana looks at Blake, to see if he’s going to buzz or not. Finally, she buzzes, and so does he. All four coaches turned around!
The group is called Girl Named Tom’s and they’re siblings from Ohio. Kelly tells the group she turned around for them first! Blake jokingly says he doesn’t see why being “a spazz with the button” means you’re the best coach. The group’s main singer is named Bekah, but her brothers called her Thomas as a kid, hence their name.
Ariana throws ideas at the group. She says she wants them to cover an Imogen Heap song. She loves their harmonies and says they gave her a lot of vocal production ideas. John Legend says something similar but throws out other artists he thinks they should cover like Sufjan Stevens and Bon Iver, which excites the group.
Blake teases Kelly by saying she only wants the group to do corny covers like “Baby Got Back” and “Baby Shark.”
Who will the Girl Named Tom’s pick?! They pick Team Kelly!
Next, we have 35-year-old Katie Rae from Sacramento, California. She shares her story of going through postpartum depression after giving birth to her son. She’s going to perform “The Bones” by Maren Morris, which really speaks to her.
John and Kelly turn around almost immediately. Ariana turns next! Host Carson Daly says, “Blake, come on!” But Blake hasn’t turned yet.
John says Katie has left Ariana speechless. Blake quips, “I hope you can leave Kelly speechless.” As John goes on and on explaining why Katie should join his team, Ariana hits her buzzer and it plays a soundbite from her song “Thank U Next” to silence him.
After hearing that Katie has a 3-year-old son, Kelly says she relates to that as she has a 5-year-old. Ariana then jokes, “I know that you and Kelly have babies but I will have a baby to have you on my team.”
Whose team does Katie want to join? She picks Team Ariana! Blake says he didn’t turn around because Katie wasn’t quite what he was looking for.
Elvis is in the house! John and then Blake turn around for this contestant’s performance of “Heartbreak Hotel.” Kelly and Ariana didn’t turn around but Kelly says 19-year-old Peedy Chavis is adorable once she sees him.
Peedy says he’s been an Elvis fan since he was 4 years old. He’s a self-proclaimed old soul who started his own band in high school. Ariana says she didn’t turn around because she didn’t hear enough originality in the performance.
John Legend uses his EGOT to try and persuade Peedy to join his team. Blake says that an old friend of his wrote the Elvis song Peedy just performed.
And Peedy joins Team Blake! John Legend says Blake is pretty much insufferable now that he’s won “The Voice” so many times.
Next up we have Jonathan Mouton from Los Angeles. He’s from a musical background. His mom was a backup singer and a vocal coach.
Jonathan and his parents share his story of battling cancer. He’s now five years cancer-free. He performs “Leave the Door Open” by Bruno Mars and Anderson Paak. John Legend turns around. After a particularly impressive riff, Ariana turns around. Kelly and Blake did not turn around.
John jokes that he and Jonathan are wearing almost matching outfits and have almost the same name. Blake teases that John has had a long dry spell on the show and needs a win. And Jonathan goes to Team Legend!
The next auditioner is only 15-years-old. Marco Salvador was born in Venezuela but now resides in Miami, Florida. His grandfather was a singer but he passed away before Marco was born. He’ll be performing an Enrique Iglesias song. He wants to be a crossover artist who can reach both English-speaking and Spanish-speaking audiences.
None of the coaches turned around for Marco. Ariana says that his high notes were solid but there was a consistent pitchiness throughout the performance. All the coaches told him to come back. He’s so young and they know that his voice will continue to change and grow.
Next up is Katherine Ann Mohler, a 22-year-old from Memphis, Tennessee. She’s a nanny and a Master’s student but music is her dream. Ariana jokes that peeking at the contestants while they sing would be easy.
Katherine is singing “We Don’t Have to Take Our Clothes Off” by Ella Eyre. Ariana and Blake take their time but…they both turn around! Both Ariana and Katherine are rocking the ponytail look.
Katherine says that she’s “obsessed” with Ariana and even dressed up as her for Halloween once. Kelly and John joke that Blake has no chance of being chosen. Ariana emphasizes that Katherine shouldn’t simply pick her because she’s a fan, but because of what Ariana can teach her about the business.
Katherine picks Ariana as her coach. “I love you, please don’t hate me,” Ariana says to Blake.
Next up is 18-year-old Jack Rogan from Rochester, New York. He’s one of five kids and he works at a nursing home, where he often plays and sings for the residents.
Jack performs “The House of the Rising Sun.” Kelly and John turn around almost immediately. Ariana’s hand hovers over her buzzer but she doesn’t turn. Neither does Blake.
Despite being 18, Jack is a sophomore in college. He was homeschooled so he graduated early. Jack picks John as his coach!
Just as the coaches were saying they haven’t heard any country yet, we have Kinsey Rose singing “Cowboy Take Me Away” by The Chicks. Kelly turns around almost immediately. Blake turns too. Ariana and John don’t turn.
Kelly used her one block of the audition rounds to keep Blake from getting Kinsey Rose! Kinsey has been living in Nashville for 11 years trying to make it as a musician. She’s now the newest member of Team Kelly.
Next up is registered nurse Vaughn Mugol. He often sings to his patients, especially those dealing with terminal illnesses. Vaughn was born in the Philippines.
His performance of Ed Sheeran’s “The A Team” gets Kelly and John to turn around. Ariana turns shortly after. Blake doesn’t turn.
Blake motions for John to wrap up his pitch to Vaughn. Ariana makes a very convincing case. Vaughn picks Ariana!
Audition # 10
“God please help Gwen Stefani” – Ariana Grande making fun of Blake Shelton.
The next performer is Gracie Nourbash, an 18-year-old college freshman from Illinois. She’s a huge Ariana Grande fan. None of the judges turn for her.
Ariana compliments Gracie on her big voice and vibrato but says she needs more time and needs to work on precision. Gracie brought photos of when she met Ariana at one of her concerts. Ariana hugs Gracie and asks if he can keep one of the photos.
Audition # 11
The next auditioner is 56-year-old Wendy Moten. She’s no rookie. She had a top 100 song in the 90s called “Come In Out of the Rain.” She’s been doing backup singing for years and wants to give her solo career another shot.
Wendy performs “We Can Work It Out” by The Beatles. Blake turns around immediately. John turns but Blake uses his block on him. Ariana and Kelly both turn. It’s a four-chair turn!
Blake won’t own up to the block! “I need you to be in the foreground, it’s time,” Ariana tells Wendy. Blake tells Wendy that she’s in the top three blind auditioners of all time on “The Voice.”
Wendy joins Team Blake!