Nine more artists earned spots on The Voice Monday night.
And no fewer than four turned all four coaches chairs.
Gwen Stefani lured two of those to her team, RUDI and Chechi Sarai, who impressed with her whistle notes.
John Legend used his block on Niall Horan to land four-chair turn artist Stee.
Niall tried to return the favor when RUDI turned in what I’d rate as the night’s best performance, but wound up using his block on an artist he couldn’t land.
The other four-chair turn went to Mac Royals, who pulled a bit of a surprise by joining Team Reba after auditioning with John Mayer’s “Gravity.” He explained that he grew up watching “The Reba Show” with his grandmother.
Here’s a recap, with my picks for the best three performances of the night.
Follow the links, and you’ll learn more about the singers, including the excellent music many of them have already released.
1. RUDI, 28, San Antonio, Texas, “You Don’t Own Me” Lesley Gore: She delivered a wonderful opening and as soon as the song swelled Gwen Stefani turned. RUDI’s delivered a wonderful mix of grit and soul, plus a knack for the dynamics needed on a show like The Voice. She also does a really nice job of working the stage. And ultimately, gets every other coach to turn as well. Niall blocked John, only to lose RUDI anyway. Reba called RUDI a great singer and said she touched her heart. Gwen praised her control and her stage presence. RUDI opted to join Team Gwen.
2. Reid Zingale, “July” by Noah Cyrus: He showed off a nice distinctive tone and earned almost immediate chair turns from Gwen Stefani and Niall Horan. By the middle of the song, John Legend had turned as well. Reid delivered a really nice ending, too. Niall called the performance magical and his voice captivating. John Legend complimented Reid on his unique tone, calling it gentle and powerful at the same time. Reid decided to join Team Niall.
3. Stee, 34, Bluffton, S.C., “Sugar” by Maroon 5: Stee immediately showed off nice range. As soon as he hit the high note, John Legend turned, soon followed by the other coaches. However, John blocked Niall Horan. Stee did an excellent job with a difficult song to sing. He also delivered a fun performance. Reba said he did a wonderful job. Niall called the performance insane. Gwen called him incredible. John said Stee seems to be an excellent person as well. Stee opted to join Team Legend.
ALSO MADE THE SHOW
Chechi Sarai, 32, Pontiac, Mich., “Lovin’ You” by Minnie Riperton: Chechi etheral opening had all four coaches facing in her direction just a couple of lines into the song. The fact that she can hit the stratosphere with her voice likely helped. And she did it one last time to end the song, promptly most of the judges to stand. Niall called her a potential finalist and a ready-made star. John loved her style as well as her musical ability. Gwen loved the control she showed on stage. Chechi decided to join Team Gwen.
Mac Royals, Wrightsville, Ark., “Gravity” by John Mayer: Mac’s impressive opening to the song had chairs turning in a heartbeat, beginning with Niall Horan and John Legend. And Mac kept on impressing even after the chair turns, especially with a heartfelt ending. John called it a beautiful rendtion of the song. Niall called his performance “amazing.” Reba said she knows what it’s like to be from a small town and have musical aspirations like Mac does. She also loved his poise. Mac pulled a bit of a surprise and joined Team Reba.
Noah Spencer, 20, Richlands, Va., “Something in Orange” by Zach Bryan: He showed off a nice gritty voice. It took a few lines, but Gwen Stefani and Reba McEntire couldn’t resist the rasp in Noah’s voice. Nor could Niall. He called it “such a good performance.” And said he loved the grit and gravel in Noah’s voice. Gwen said American loves his kind of voice. Noah opted to joined Team Niall.
Talakai, 34, Sacramento, Calif., “Stay With Me” by Sam Smith: Dang, Talakai delivered a wonderful version of this song with a strong, pleasing tone. And he, indeed, looks a heck of a lot like John Legend. John and Reba turned for the performance. John said he loves Talakai’s tone and the smoothness in his voice. Reba complimented Talakai on his range. Talakai decided to join Team Legend.
Tom Nitti, 31, New Hartford, N.Y.: “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Your” by Stevie Wonder: The Voice cut his audition short, but Tom was having lots of fun on stage and earned a last-second chair turn from Reba McEntire. John Legend said he liked the country twist Tom put on the song. Since Reba was the only coach to turn, Tom automatically joined her team.
Alison Albrecht, “Ironic” by Alanis Morissette: The Voice cut this audition ridiculously short considering the time devoted to contestants who didn’t make the show. But Alison showed off a powerful voice in the snippet we saw. Reba McEntire was apparently the only coach to turn. Reba complimented Alison on her range and the sincerity in her voice.