The more things change about the voice, the more they remain the same. Sure, season 24 of The Voice looks different without the cowboy in the big red chair , but even without Blake Shelton, the shenanigans, pranks and superiority for which he was known to surpass his fellow coaches for team members are very present at the beginning of the new season. Take, for example, the final audition of the premiere of the 24th season, which turns out to be a real charm between two coaches.
At the end of the first night of the blind auditions, 21-year-old Mara Justine from Galloway, New Jersey, comes out. If she sounds familiar, it’s because she participated in season 9 of America’s Got Talent and season 16 of American Idol. She delivers an outstanding, confident performance of Elton John’s “Good-bye Yellow Brick Road,” which earned her a round of four chairs before she even sounded the first chorus. But while coaches Gwen Stefani and Reba McEntire would be more than thrilled with Mara’s entry into their teams, this is really a fight between John Legend and returning champion Niall Horan.
John was the first to turn around – almost immediately, by the way – and told the young singer that he loves the “tone in the deepest part of the song”, as well as his perfect ability to hit brighter and higher notes. Niall tells her that she is “in the wheelhouse” and is impressed by the confidence required to go dancing to an Elton John song.
Then he adds that it was Blake who taught him “how to do absolutely everything to make sure you get a team member,” just as Blake’s old foam finger comes down from the rafters. Only this time Blake’s name is crossed out and Niall’s has been added. That’s right, he’s trying to win Mara over with the old finger pointing trick that somehow worked for Blake during his time on the show.
While Niall approaches Mara to talk a little more about their partnership and the foam finger, so does John. John asks Mara if she has ever sung one of his songs. Of course I do. Then he asks her if she would like to sing “All of Me” with him now. Of course she would. It’s a really cool moment for Mara and the two sound really good together (also kudos to Mara for performing so well in an extremely stressful situation… no rehearsal!).
Niall knows that he will lose her if he falls and tries to add a third voice to the duet. After that, he even kneels down and begins to sing a few bars of “All of Me” on Mara’s solo. Honestly, what a dream scenario when these two stars do their best to conquer Mara. Fine,
But here, too, the episode ends in typical speech style, before we know Mara’s decision. It should last until the second night. Who will she go with – the guy who was ready and willing to go on stage and sing with her, or the guy who risks everything on a foam finger and begs hard? Or, as host Carson Daly noted to Mara’s parents, maybe she surprises us all and ends up going with Reba.
The voice will air Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 am ET/PT on ABC and Disney+.