After months away, NBC’s “The Voice” returned on Sept. 21 to give an all new batch of potential superstars their shot at national fame. While the contestants were what shined during the premiere, the show first had to pay a necessary tribute to the celebrity coaches.
Season 9 of “The Voice” kicked off with the coaches -- Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani and Pharrell Williams -- taking the stage together and singing a small snippet of each other’s hit songs. Stefani, who is returning to the big red chair after allowing her friend and fellow singing icon Christina Aguilera to take over briefly in Season 8, opened the show with a musical performance of Shelton’s “Neon Lights.” Shelton came next with No Doubt’s “Don’t Speak” followed by Williams singing Maroon 5’s “Sugar.” Levine closed things out by singing Daft-Punk and WIlliams’ collaboration “Get Lucky.”
Just like that, the coaches were back and had already proven why they deserve to be there. However, as exciting as it is to see the celebrity judges return to the grand stage, the night was about the first round of blind auditions. As always, the night saw many move on to the next round and join one of the four coaching teams, and saw some of the others go home empty-handed. In the end, it’s hard not to talk about the biggest shocker of the night, which was the blind audition from Jordan Smith.
“The Voice” has been touting the inclusion of a new feature in Season 9, which skips the usual preamble about who the contestants are and how they made their way to “The Voice.” Instead, it allows the viewers at home to experience the audition from the coaches point of view. Smith sang for only a couple seconds before all four judges turned their chairs (Adam held out a little longer than the rest, admittedly). Not only were each shocked to hear what a great singer he is, but when they turned around and saw that he is a man - it was a free-for-all as they scrambled to recruit him to their respective teams. In the end, he went with Team Adam, giving the Maroon 5 singer a distinct edge over his competition.
Luckily, each of his fellow judges ended the evening with two additions to their own teams. Going into the Season 9, episode 2 broadcast on Tuesday, Sept. 22 at 8 p.m. EDT on NBC, the teams are as follows:
- Jordan Smith
- Keith Semple
- Barrett Baber
- Nadja Nicole
- Braiden Sunshine
- Kota Wade
- Mark Hood
- Slahna Im