Brandon Chase, a 20-year-old country-pop singer from Arlington, has made it through the blind auditions and is on Blake Shelton’s team on The Voice.
If you’re not familiar with the show, here’s how the blind auditions work: The four judges/mentors -- Shelton, Adam Levine, Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo Green -- sit in chairs with their backs to the singers, so that they’re not judging by appearance but just by the singer’s voice. If they like something they hear, they push a button that turns the chair around to see the singer.
If only one judge turns around, the singer becomes part of that judge’s team, which is when the mentoring starts. If more than one judge turns around, they compete and banter over who gets to be the singer’s mentor.
About 35 seconds into Chase’s rendition of Hunter Hayes’ Wanted, Shelton pushed the turn-around button to get a look. Almost a minute later, and after some hesitation, Green also pushed his button, with Levine and Aguilera encouraging him past his hemming and hawing. “I’ll fight you for him,” Green said to Shelton in subtitled dialogue.
“I’d like to have you on my team, man,” Green told Chase. “I can also offer advice. And song. And dance. And flair and fabulosity. I can help you win this show.”
Green questioned whether Shelton was sincere. “I haven’t even said anything yet -- what the hell?,” Shelton responded. “Give me a chance to lie!”
But Shelton was sincere -- and saw sincerity in Chase’s country singing. “Country music is not something that you can fake,” said Shelton said. “When I heard your voice, I heard the real deal.”
The show may be trying to be about the singer’s voices, but there was much silly banter over fashion choices -- Chase was wearing a plaid shirt that was more similar to what Shelton was wearing than to Green’s red Michael Jackson Thriller video-style jacket. “This is his actual original jacket,” Green said to much laughter. The short and stocky R&B singer added: “That’s right, ladies and gentlemen -- me and Michael Jackson were the exact same size.” More laughter.
“You should choose the coach based on who you would rather be dressed like right now,” :Levine said, tongue-in-cheek. “You’ve got be really honest,” he added, pointing to Green’s jacket, “If this does it for you, you should be here.”
Chase brought things back down to Earth, saying, “I’m so blessed to be here. Literally, to just be here, be alive. I was born, and a few days after, I stopped breathing 64 times in a 12-hour period. So the doctors told my parents that I probably would never be normal.”
“Well apparently, they were right,” Green interjected. “Because you’re not normal. You’re exceptional.”
Green made a fairly strong case, but the aspiring country singer chose to go with Shelton. Here’s his Voice page. Follow him on Twitter at @BrandonJChase. And here’s his audition, including some stuff I left out.