Camila Cabello brings her X-factor to ‘The Voice’ as the new coach to beat

Camila Cabello brings her X-factor to ‘The Voice’ as the new coach to beat

Camila Cabello in his 22nd season

Camila Cabello on “The Voice” season 22. (Photo: NBC)

Some of the best coaches in history The voice there have been talent competition alumni themselves such as American Idol’by Kelly Clarkson and Jennifer Hudson. Now, with Kelly taking a leave of absence from the show after eight consecutive seasons, another superstar with a singing-competition background is filling her red chair: Camila Cabello, who got her start in famous fashion. The X Factor girl group Fifth Harmony. And after last season’s disappointing performance by Gen Z pop-star coach Ariana Grande, followed by The voiceTaking an unprecedented one-year hiatus, the so far likable Camila seems to be just what this series needs. To use a favorite phrase of Kelly’s, Camila might have the best shot navigation this show this year.

“I feel really full circle, because I started on the singing competition show, too,” Camila explained on Monday’s season 22 premiere, though — like Kelly and J. Hud before her — she never mentioned the actual singing competition show which gave her her big break. Even the contestants went to great lengths not to mention The coefficient x airborne. And there was a bit of banter later when Camila’s teammates mistook her for someone who had appeared on AMERICA has talent, Search for starsthe America’s Funniest Home Videosbut no The coefficient x.

As for those castmates, who occupy the other chairs this Voice The season features three returning coaches: EGOT winner John Legend (Camila’s “bestie” because she served as his team advisor last year) and meet-cute Voice power couple Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani. Blake seemed happy to have Gwen back on the show (this is their first time sitting on the panel together as husband and wife), but the current coach was clearly threatened by Camila, who came on set with attitude, sass and honesty. cunning strategy that seemed to work. At one point, Camila even dared Blake to date a country singer, Orlando Mendez, especially because wanted to shoot with Blake. And (spoiler alert), Blake lost!

Blake had a rough night overall – he didn’t recruit a single contestant for his team during the two-hour episode – so he pulled out all the stops, at one point bringing in a furry, armed, ultimately uncooperative mascot that reminded me of the kidnapped one goat rachel from The Brandy Bunge. (Because Blake is supposed to be his PUBLIC The voicedid you get it?)

Blake also introduced a shady season 22 tactic/trick, instructing the directors to mute Camila’s microphone whenever she got too annoying. Blake tried to cut Camila off during Monday’s first audition for country/pop singer Morgan Miles, and he was still trying during Kate Kalvach’s final audition channeling Kacey Musgraves. But Camila was so determined that she couldn’t be silenced. And that’s when hilarity ensued.

Below are the successful Blind Auditions of Monday’s season 22 premiere:

Morgan Myles, 35: “Hallelujah”

Wow, seriously? This excessive singing, right out of the gate? Apparently there have been many beautiful, often Jeff Buckley-inspired renditions of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” in The voice (and Idoland X Factor, and every other TV talent show), so I’m not sure we needed another one. That said, Morgan’s version was “so beautiful,” as Gwen noted, and when this “edge of the country” industry veteran gave her a little stink and let out that growl, she got all the coaches’ attention. John called her performance “excellent” and indeed “one of the best Blind Auditions I’ve seen in a long time”. Camila told Morgan, “You have a great tone. I want to hear records from you.”

Who came back? All four coaches, but Camila blocked Gwen! “I did my homework. I know how Blocks work, and I immediately thought, ‘Gwen’s going to want her,'” the crafty new coach explained. “The new kid on the block blocked me!” Gwen groaned.

Result: Team Camila! I guess Camila comparing Morgan to Rihanna was more convincing than Blake sharing war stories about his early, rough days in Nashville. “We should all be a little afraid of Camilla,” John noted.

Omar José Cardona, 33: “Separate Ways”

Omar the showman had such theatrical tendencies, I wish he’d recreated Journey’s hilariously bad music video “Separate Ways,” with Paul Mirkovich’s band miming along with wind instruments in the background. I think that could have improved this performance, honestly. I appreciated Omar’s mic grab and 80’s rock influences, but he strained noticeably to reach those Steve Perry power notes. Gwen was all too enthusiastic when she gushed, “I haven’t heard a voice like that since the 80s,” and Camila was downright blasphemous when she said Omar had “Freddie Mercury drama.” Maybe this show sounded different/better in the room.

Who came back? All four coaches, surprisingly. Everyone seemed especially surprised that John came back first.

Result: Team legend! I thought for sure Omar would go for 80’s queen Gwen, but it seems John’s comment, “You’re the kind of artist who can win The voice”, sealed the deal. I’m not sure John is so right about that though.

Ian Harrison, 20: “The Night We Met”

This season’s token indie folky, Ian did a wonderful cover of Lord Huron’s song, dedicated to his musician father who took his own life when Ian was 9 years old. He wasn’t a singer – more of a Lewis Capaldi/Damien Rice type, with weird British rounded vowels – so the coaches took their time to turn him around. But Gwen, an artist who often wears her own heart on her designer’s sleeve, seemed particularly intrigued by Ian’s “character voice” and vulnerability. “You are a very interesting artist. You showed your heart and it was very pure,” he said.

Who came back? Blake, John and Gwen.

Result: Team Gwen, of course.

Emma Brooke, 19: “California Dreamin'”

Emma’s dramatic slow rendition of the Mamas & the Papas classic reminded me of Lion from The masked singer Season 1 (she was a Good thing; the Lion, aka Rumer Willis, robbed!). Emma is classically trained, and it showed, both good and bad. she would do well to dirty things herself in the future.

Who came back? John and Gwen.

Result: Team legend. John is also classically trained, so this pairing made the most sense.

Orlando Mendez, 26: “Beer never broke my heart”

This could have gone either way. As a Cuban-American singer born in Miami – Camila’s hometown – Camila seemed like an obvious coach for Orlando. But… Orlando is a Country singer, who sings for beer! (Blake’s incentive/congratulatory prize for his team members this season is a custom mulled beer.) Gwen seemed to want that confident performer, too, trying to convince Orlando, “Basically, I’m country now.”

Who came back? All four coaches. Camila actually urged Blake to turn around because he wanted to have the satisfaction of luring a contending country away from Team Blake. Daring!

Result: Team Camila. “Camila, let’s do this, girl!” Orlando shouted. This was Camila’s second four-chair contestant of the night — and the episode wasn’t over.

David Andrew, 25: “Falling”

A professional singer with the likes of Ed Sheeran, Mickey Guyton and Kane Brown, David had stage presence and a very cool look. In fact, he looked a bit like John Legend, and was once John’s stand-in on a TV tape, doing a duet with Carrie Underwood during rehearsal. But David’s dream is to be in the spotlight, and he deserves this opportunity. I liked its complexity, restraint and clean tone, as did Gwen, who called it “literally stunning” and praised its “style, energy, mood and sparkle”.

Who came back? John and Gwen, who both applauded him.

Result: Team legend. Of course, David he had to go with his short haired dogger.

Jay Allen, 36: ‘Til You Can’t’

Jay’s mother was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s and died three years ago at the age of 54. He wrote a single in her honor, “Blank States,” which eventually grossed more than $50 million. Later on Monday’s episode, she performed this song for the coaches, and it was much stronger than the more conversational Cody Johnson cover she auditioned for. In fact, it almost felt like a triumphant coronation song moment. But there was no doubting Jay’s star quality from the start. Blake joked that Jey’s tattooed heartthrob looked like a UFC fighter and Jey could put up a good fight on this show.

Who came back? Blake and Gwen.

Result: Team Gwen! Jay said he has a “rock side,” so apparently that gave No Doubt’s country music frontwoman the edge here. “Blake, I’m a huge fan and I respect you so much, but I have to choose your wife,” Jay explained sadly.

Kate Kalvach, 27: “Rainbow”

The daughter of touring musical pastors, Kate began singing secular music with the encouragement of her Czech-born husband and mentor. I was expecting a big church gospel voice, but Kate had more of an impressive indie vibe. At first I thought her delivery was very closed and confused, but when she started to open up, both vocally and emotionally, the magic happened and the coaches finally turned around. It has a really unique style. “I don’t think we’ve ever had anyone who could switch in and out of their head voice and their chest voice so seamlessly,” Gwen observed.

Who came back? Blake, Gwen and Camila — all at the last minute.

Result: It is one cliffhanger! We’ll find out when the second episode of Season 22 Blind Auditions airs on Tuesday. Blake did his best to silence Camila as she made her big sales pitch, of course, but she just stood up from her chair and shouted her words of praise at Kate. Meanwhile, Kate whined, “Blake was my first choice and he even fought for me,” so I don’t expect Blake’s luck to change in the first few minutes of Tuesday’s episode. See you then.

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