If ever there was a time when diversity showed up on The Voice, it was during the fourth round of blind auditions on Wednesday on NBC.
Perhaps the most convincing contestant to show this off in terms of musical form was Emily Luther, who took on an iconic Gershwin tune. This crooner went through the difficult transitional paces of the bluesy Summertime from Porgy & Bess with ease, the judges listening intently as she trilled up and down the scale with ease.
Blake Shelton, the country expert, was first to turn in a surprise move while Adam Levine waited to hear more but did push his button (he admitted he was “so mesmerized” he almost forgot to do that).
As for Jennifer Hudson? She pulled off her chair turn just as Luther hit her final, stylish note.
Then the lights came up and the pretty blonde contestant on stage, wearing a modern take on gig attire (a dramatic, asymmetrical tunic over black leggings), exclaimed, “I think we might need to call a medic because I think I am about to pass out.”
She didn’t so Adam complimented this frontrunner on her “jazzy, syrup-y tone” that’s “a cool way to approach [The Voice] because nobody is going to be in that lane.”
JHud told the accomplished and very flexible singer that she has “great balance. You were very smooth.” She said she heard “Barbra Streisand in her voice,” pointing out, “If you want to do show tunes, you can do show tunes. If you want to give us a jazz tune, you can give us a jazz tune.”
After calling himself “Oklahoma and a hillbilly,” Blake raved. He said he wanted to be sitting there with a martini to listen to this talent sing. “There’s nobody like you in this competition–at all.”
Emily Luther picked Team Adam.
Meanwhile, Anthony Alexander showed up to knock many socks off. The son of a former camera operator for The Voice, this young contender delivered Donald Glover’s Redbone to near perfection.
Adam was enthusiastic about “the diversity” of his voice, calling it “very special.” Indeed. His sound was likened to that of everyone from Prince to Michael Jackson, with a range that went from falsetto to bass.
Again, this earnest contestant who may very well go all the way on The Voice 2017 picked Team Adam over Team Miley and Team JHud. Levine is out to win back the title he has garnered in the past, and his keen ear just may help the Maroon 5 frontman do just that.
The Voice airs on NBC on Mondays and Tuesday at 8 p.m., PT.