‘The Voice': Blake Shelton Scores a Four-Chair-Turn Contestant
The Voice Season 16 continued its blind audition tryouts this week with veteran coaches Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, and Kelly Clarkson, as well new coach John Legend joining the crew for the first time. Monday night (March 4) found all the coaches adding to their teams,.
The night was somewhat tame in terms of multiple chair turns, with several contestants receiving just one (or worse, no) coach spinning around. However, things changed toward the end of the night when 27-year-old Dexter Roberts took the stage.
Roberts had an interesting struggle to relate. After noting that he's a "true country boy from Alabama," who started learning guitar at around age 10 or 11 (naturally, cutting his teeth on "Sweet Home Alabama"), the singer dug into the health challenge that held him back from pursuing music at the rate he'd have liked to proceed.
"About three years ago, I was hunting with some friends in Kentucky, and I got real sick," he recalled. "Bad headaches, couldn't eat nothing, couldn't drink much. I went all over the United States to different doctors. Couldn't figure out what was wrong with me. I just didn't feel like playing music."
Finally, a doctor managed to diagnose the problem. "Rocky Mountain spotted tick fever," he explained. "It was about a year and a half process [to get better]. I feel very blessed that I got medicine throughout time, and it helped me, and now I feel good. My dream is to be out there playing all the time."
One would never guess that Roberts had been so ill, given his weighty performance of Randy Houser's "Like a Cowboy," which managed to spin all four coaches' chairs around. Naturally, a bit of a fight ensued, with Levine, Clarkson, and Legend ganging up on the obvious choice (Shelton), and urging Roberts to think outside the box in terms of choosing a team.
Shelton majestically gestured to his fellow coaches to "please use the 'Dexit,'" before launching into what could only be termed an oratory lecture. "Listen, man, country artists know who they are and know where they come from, and they keep a foot in that place. I'll be the first to tell you, I don't cross genre. I don't care to. I'm a country artist. That's all I care about doing."
Clarkson interjected, "You did a duet with Gwen Stefani, Shakira, and Christina Aguilera. What?"
"Not only that, but his rise to prominence had directly to do with his willingness to branch out," pointed out Levine. "That's why he is where he is, not 'cause he stayed in that box."
To that, Shelton rose to the occasion: "Country artists know who they are. They keep one foot in where they came from, and they keep their eye on the ball. I just happen to know what I love, and I'm damn proud that's what I want to do. If being on a popular television show is me stepping outside of the country music box somehow, okay, I'll give you that one."
Was it any surprise that Rpberts chose Team Blake? "I could have said, 'Freakin' Garth Brooks is my dad,' and not won," groused Clarkson (who cheered up later when she herself won a four-chair turn later in the evening, in the form of soulful Filipino singer Jej Vincent).
Tune in weekly as we follow the Voice team builds, with a focus on country music offerings!
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