A stressed-out single mom and a former contestant seeking redemption scored the two four-chair swivels of the night Tuesday as The Voice‘s coaches inched closer to completing their teams during the fourth night of blind auditions.
The coaches’ powers of persuasion – and sharp elbows – were on full display during the final showstopping performance of the night when Ashley DuBose, a single mother/programmer analyst from St. Paul, Minn., arguably outshone Rihanna while singing the Grammy winner’s hit “Diamonds.”
“Your voice cuts like a razor through this entire place,” coach Adam Levine told the 23-year-old. “Those are the voices that make it real far on this show.”
Fellow coach Cee Lo Green added, “I believe you’ve met [Rihanna’s] bar on it and expounded upon it. She will feel you’ve done her justice.”
While Christina Aguilera summed up her performance this way: “I was waiting for something to happen and nothing went wrong. I thought, ‘I’m stupid if I don’t press my button right now.'”
Dubose ultimately chose to join Team Adam, calling it a gut move.
A former contestant seeking a second chance got it, and then some, when he earned the other four-chair turn of the night. James Irwin, 31, failed to turn any chairs in his blind audition last season, but said he spent the past year focusing on his budding music career – and it showed.
The coaches praised his evocative version of REM’s “Losing My Religion.” The song has added poignancy in the context of Irwin’s backstory – last season he revealed that he and his wife lost their identical twin daughters shortly after their birth, an experience he likened to “getting to look inside heaven but told you can’t stay.” (They now have a young son.)
Aguilera said she was “captivated” by his “intriguing” performance, while coach Blake Shelton declared, “You’re ready to win this thing now.”
Irwin ultimately chose Levine, explaining, “I’m a rocker at heart.”
The coach – who dominated both four chair turns Tuesday – was clearly pumped. “That kind of accelerated improvement makes me think this dude is capable of anything. I want to be a part of that,” he declared.
Bespectacled Will Champlin, whose father, Bill, is a longtime member of the band Chicago, wowed all three male judges with his version of Gavin DeGraw’s “Not Over You.”
He chose to join Team Adam, who had told Champlin, “I can’t think of one thing that wasn’t spectacular about that performance.”
Overall, three-time Voice winner Shelton added three more singers Tuesday, including Justin Chain, an Alabama country artist who overcame a debilitating motorcycle accident, big-hearted crooner Sam Cerniglia (whom Blake likened to Michael Bublé) and 15-year-old country singer Emily Randolph.
Aguilera picked up confident cruise ship lounge singer Stephanie Anne Johnson, country singer Olivia Henken (a pretty blonde her new coach declared is “like Barbie”) and young R&B singer Amber Nicole.
Green added gospel-inspired singer R. Anthony, a sweet father looking to restart his long-abandoned music career, and smooth-sounding Keaira Lashae.
The blind auditions resume Monday.