‘The Voice’: Josh Halverson Makes Team Alicia Keys With “Forever Young” Audition

Caila Ball-Dionne | September 27, 2016 7:38 am

Last night, all eyes were on the TV as competitors squared off for a chance to win votes later this year. The competition was fierce, and the nation was captivated. Each hopeful came to the stage with months – if not years – of preparation behind them, knowing their performances now could make a big difference down the line. And NBC totally cut that program in half to show the presidential debate!

Come on, NBC: The Voice only happens two seasons a year and affects at least 48 contestants’ lives! Priorities!

In the truncated hour of reality competition programming, coaches Miley Cyrus, Adam Levine, Blake Shelton and Alicia Keys gave America a lighthearted pre-game for the doom and gloom debate, and only talked over one another about half as much as the presidential candidates. Here’s what you might have missed while stocking up on liquor for a debate drinking game.

Bindi Liebowitz, 23 – New Jersey

Bindi Liebowitz has a gospel background, and delivers a strong R&B performance of Jazmine Sullivan’s “Bust Your Windows.” The coaches put on their befuddled faces as they internally debate about Bindi’s deep, raspy voice through most of the performance, but ultimately Adam and Blake turn around to fight for her.

“What I loved about you was your choices. You made some amazing choices,” say Adam, not really going into said choices.

“When you sing you have all different types of influences. It’s ear candy for someone like me,” says Blake, who adds, “You want to be with a champ?”

Noting Adam’s ability to combine different genres, Bindi joins the new dad’s team.

Elia Esparza – 23 – Texas

While there have been a handful of Spanish language performances on The Voice, Elia Esparza is the first contestant to perform entirely en Español during a Blind Audition. The Texas native sings Selena’s “Como La Flor,” and despite having a few pitch issues throughout the performance, attracts Adam, Blake and Miley with her powerful voice.

“I love that you can do both [sing in English and Spanish]. It’s a great thing for the show,” says Adam. “You did something that was very refreshing.”

“I use my button like I use my radio in my truck: If I hear something I like, I turn it up,” says Blake. “What I do is just try to make you stand out above the competition.”

“People that stay true to who they are, that will get you so far,” says Miley.

After careful debate, Elia joins Team Adam. It’s two for two on Team Levine.

Lane Mack, 30 – Louisiana

After spending the past few years raising his two young kids, rock and roll and blues singer Lane Mack is now redirecting some of that focus back to his music career. His soulful performance of B.B. King’s “Everyday I Have the Blues” that ends with a bit of a wail only gets one chair to turn, but that’s all it takes!

Miley welcomes her newest team member with a hug. “You’re stuck with me. I’m your coach,” she says. “I feel like you and I might have a similar taste in music.”

Karlee Metzger – 22 – Missouri

Warning: quintessential indie girl singing voice ahead! Folk pop singer Karlee Metzger gives a breathy affectation and loads of pitchy falsetto to her rendition of Regina Spektor’s “Samson,” but moments of power in her lower register manage to shine through. Both Miley and Blake wait until the last second before turning around for Karlee.

“There’s a lot of different elements to your voice,” says Blake. “The parts that I was a little hesitant about pushing my button on were a couple of those falsetto notes got away from you a bit, but your full voice made up for that plus some.”

“You seem maybe even a little shy and nervous to me, and I can break you out of that shyness,” says Miley. “I’d love to help you find those places where you can freestyle and make them your own without being too much.”

Karlee joins up with Miley, who can hopefully help her pick and choose her whispered moments.

Josh Halverson, 31 – Texas

Closing out the night is Josh Halverson, a rancher who wants off the ranch. The folk singer dedicates his performance of Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young” to his son, and his haunting vocals earn turns from Blake, Alicia and Miley.

“I just felt so wrapped up in what you were singing,” says Miley. “’I love listening to your voice, and I’d love for you to play guitar and for me to sit there and sing with you.”

“Your voice is striking,” says Alicia. “I think that it would be very unique and probably unexpected for us to rock together. I think that it would make something that would be very powerful.”

“I know where the guy comes from, I felt some sort of kinship to this voice behind me,” says Blake, who unfortunately takes the approach of appealing to his rancher side.

“That’s what I’m trying to get away from: That cattle talk,” Josh explains. Bai Blake. Like a salad order from a dieter, Josh wants as little ranch as possible and joins Team Alicia.

The world slash The Voice returns to normal tonight, with another two hours of prospective contestants coming up. May they all perform bigly.