But there was also heartbreak: Julie Roberts, a gold-record selling country artist who hit fame in 2004 – only to be dropped by her label in 2010 – failed to turn the chairs of any judges in a comeback bid, even as she sang Shelton’s “God Gave Me You.”
“She just kind of fell through the cracks in the business and it’s not fair,” Shelton said of her talents once he saw who had performed his song. “I just feel really bad that I didn’t turn my chair around.”
Roberts, 33, who lost everything she owned in the 2010 Nashville flood and was also diagnosed with MS the same year, took the tough news well. “God just has another path for me and I have to find that,” she said.
Miami’s Monique Abbadie – a child star who appeared on the Spanish-language variety show Sabado Gigante – sang Shakira’s hit “Loca,” winning praises from all of the judges, including Usher and Adam Levine.
“The rhythmic sensibility was so on the money,” Levine said. “It was amazing.” But Abbadie settled on her longtime idol Shakira, who praised her “aggressive” version of the song.
Introverted indie rocker Michelle Chamuel, the lead singer of the Ann Arbor, Mich.-based band Ella Riot, charmed with her nerd-punk version of Perry’s hit “I Kissed A Girl.” Wearing black glasses, sneakers and a blunt bob, the wiry alternative singer fascinated the judges with her unlikely appeal.
“You really shocked us. I feel like you are a great talent,” said Usher, whom she later picked as her mentor.
Garret Gardner, who was turned away on the show last year at 16, put to work returning coach Shelton’s constructive criticism and sang a growling cover of The White Stripes’ 2003 hit “Seven Nation Army.” He was snapped up by Shakira.
Shelton and Levine fought over country artists Holly Tucker, 19, of Waco, Texas (she picked Shelton), and handsome crooner Warren Stone of Hannah, S.C.
“I am so ignited by what you’ve just done,” his new coach Levine said of Stone’s cover of the Zac Brown Band’s “Colder Weather.” “The second you uttered a couple of notes, I knew.”
He added of stealing Shelton’s country thunder: “My dream has come true! I’ve finally done it.”