‘The Voice’: Jeremy Gaynor Has A “Superstar” Moment, Joins Team Christina Aguilera
The Voice is such a happy place during the Blind Auditions. Even when there are mistakes – and Tuesday night there were plenty of them, the coaches turn every possible criticism into a constructive compliment. Pharrell doesn’t care if a contestant is pitchy: it’s what gives a contestant character! Adam Levine isn’t going to fault anyone for lack of breath control: that nervous contestant is so brave! Blake Shelton can’t be bothered with telling a contestant they could stand to learn some rhythm: he’s heard of that very state she’s from!
Christina Aguilera, though: that one keeps it real. Or at least she keeps her mouth shut when there are no actual compliments to be offered.
Thirteen absolutely flawless and perfect in every way contestants advanced to the Battle Round on Tuesday night. Maybe there they can hear some semblance of criticism when the coaches actually have to identify the most perfect of two perfect singers.
Ashley Morgan, 26 – California
Background vocalist Ashley Morgan starts off the night, and jumps into her performance without any chitchat about her background. Is it possible she has zero tragedy, hardship or fun facts to share? And does that mean no backstory package?
The mysterious Ashley has Christina immediately dancing in her chair with Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.” She starts off flat, but finds her way mid-song. Blake and Pharrell both turn around and are out of their seats dancing throughout the performance.
“She’s never going to go back to singing background again,” says Blake, who tells Ashley, “There’s nobody like you in this competition.”
“You can’t buy that kind of training. You have that. It just kept getting better,” says Pharrell.
With very little emotion, Ashley joins Team Pharrell.
Koryn Hawthorn, 16 – Louisiana
When she’s not in school or performing at retirement homes, high school student Koryn Hawthorn sings her every move at the pizza shop where she works. No word on whether her fellow employees love hearing such constant lyrics as, “Getting this pizza out of this pan/ Gotta cut it, gotta cut it yeah,” and “Yeah I’m preppin’ this pizza,” but all signs point toward a high turnover rate in that staff.
Koryn sings Emeli Sandé’s “My Kind of Love.” It’s challenging for the young vocalist, but her impressive range earns spins from Coaches Xtina and Pharrell.
“To be 16 years old and to know when to downshift and when to go up to sixth gear like that… You were elevating the performance as you were singing,” says Pharrell.
“There’s no vocal coach in the world that can teach what you just did, and I really would love to understand your story, because you’ve had to live some life in order to convey such a power behind that vocal ability,” says Christina.
Koryn joins fellow powerhouse Christina.
Lexi Dávila, 17 – Ohio
Painfully shy Lexi Dávila is all jitters when she takes the stage. She has some nerve-induced pitch moments during her performance of Selena’s “Dreaming Of You,” but her powerful vibrato and sweet falsettos still shine through. Blake and Adam both press their buttons to fight for her.
“There were some things that were not great,” says Adam, in a rare moment of criticism. “When you did some of those big notes, I was like, ‘Oh, there it is.’”
“We could hear how young we thought you were, but, more importantly, we could hear the potential,” says Blake. “You have everything it takes, other than we gotta get you over those nerves.”
Despite the audience chanting for Blake, Lexi joins Team Adam.
Brenna Yaeger, 19 – Washington
Crazier things have happened, but what are the chances that a contestant auditioning with a Miranda Lambert song will join any other team than Blake’s? Such is the case with Washington state native Brenna Yaeger, who auditions with “The House That Built Me.” Both Adam and Blake turn around for the twangy singer, and Adam keeps trying even when Brenna reveals she has the song’s lyrics tattooed on her foot.
Know when to fold ‘em, man.
“That’s my favorite thing about country music is when it connects with somebody, it becomes a turning point in their life. I think you have that. The way Miranda did to you, you can do that for somebody in the future,” says Blake.
“There’s more to it than one song sung by one wife of one coach of The Voice,” says Adam, who gives Brenna multiple hugs during his appeal.
Excellent effort with all the touching, but Brenna joins Team Blake.
Jeremy Gaynor, 30 – New York
It’s hard to find someone who is as likeable as Jeremy Gaynor. The handsome vocalist is in the army, has an adorable growing family with a pregnant wife and is the male lead vocalist for the West Point band. Just try to dislike him: It’s impossible. Jeremy sings “Superstar” by The Carpenters, and earns a four-chair turn with his beautiful voice.
“I can carry you through the gauntlet of The Voice,” says Blake. “When we get you to the live shows, America’s going to love you.”
“When you see the way that you perform, it adds to what is already a natural gift that you have,” says Adam.
“You are one of those potential greats that needs to be a household name,” says Christina. “I am so ready to take this season and win this whole thing with you.”
“This must be a really incredible moment for you, because it’s what you dreamt to do, and you’re headed there,” says Pharrell.
With minimal hesitation, Jeremy joins team Christina.
Jack Gregori, 37 – Washington DC
Former business owner Jack Gregori opted to leave the real estate business after the market crashed. When looking for something more stable, he somehow landed on music. The cowboy hat-wearing country singer sings Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire,” and has a unique, deep voice that just screams Blake.
Unfortunately, it’s not Blake who turns around, so Jack should get to learning some pop-rock for his new coach Adam.
“You have this beautiful, true baritone, real deep, perfectly precise, soulful and completely on the mark voice,” says his new coach.
Briar Jonnee, 20 – Mississippi
Though Briar Jonnee is currently in college pursuing a backup career in journalism, her passion has always been music. The Mississippi native went to a performance arts school three hours from her home when she was growing up, and wants to get back to her musical roots.
Briar sings Rihanna’s “Take A Bow,” and is met with the first instance of offbeat audience clapping of the season. She manages to get through it with a hefty share of ad lib, and earns button pushes from Blake and Pharrell.
“I love your vibrato. Your voice is so full,” says Blake, who adds. “You look super cute in those skorts.”
Pharrell has no opinion on the skorts, but gives Briar a hug. “I heard someone who could sing, but I heard some nerves in there,” he says. “You can’t really communicate to people if you’re holding things back, and I thought that maybe we could work on those things.”
Briar selects the producer to mentor her, and joins Team Pharrell.
Brian Johnson, 24 – Ohio
On the rare occasion that it takes less than a note to turn a chair, there’s clearly something special on stage. Brian Johnson gets Adam to push his button by the end of his first note of Rod Stewart’s “Reason To Believe,” and earns a spin from Blake shortly after. It’s remarkable that Christina and Pharrell don’t fight for this impressive performer.
“Watching how you performed in a really engaging, emotional way where you were really singing the song and drawing us in about as naturally as a performer can do it. Wow,” says Adam.
“So much emotion and just raw power is coming out. Man I’m an avid fan of yours already,” says Blake.
Brian heads to Team Blake, and maybe has some country in his future.
Corey Kent White, 20 – Oklahoma
Closing out the night is Corey Kent White, a musician who got his start as a kid in a Western swing band. Now he’s a college musician who dreams of bigger venues. Corey sings Zac Brown Band’s “Chicken Fried,” and gives it more soul than the original version. He almost gives the tune a rock and roll spin…but it’s still pretty easy to guess which team the Oklahoma native will join when both Blake and Pharrell turn around at the last moment.
“There is a pride that we have in Oklahoma and we pull for each other,” says Blake.
“He knows country music, but I know all kinds of music,” counters Pharrell. “I was willing to tighten my boots and figure out what it is that you want.”
Despite Pharrell’s best efforts, and encouragement from Adam in the peanut gallery, Corey joins Team Blake.
Untelevised: The Vegas odds aren’t with them, but maybe this is the season that one of the untelevised Blind Auditions makes it all the way to the finals. In Tuesday night’s montage of Blind Auditions that didn’t make the show, Adam picks up high school pop singer Josh Bastone, Christina adds indie-pop singer and stay-at-home mom Kaetlyn Read and soul singer Ameera DelAndro, and Blake adds pop singer Bay Brooks to his team.
Next week is a big one! Not only do the Blind Auditions wrap up, but also the Battle Round starts! Find out who completes the teams – and who leaves them – starting on Monday.