‘The Voice': Blake Shelton Scores Another ’80s Hit Singer
The Blind Auditions for Season 18 of The Voice continued on Tuesday (Feb. 25), with returning coaches Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson and John Legend; plus new coach Nick Jonas (who replaced last season's Gwen Stefani).
Shelton had already scored himself a rocker the previous night, in the form of Todd Michael Hall, who did his best wailing take on Foreigner's wailing '80s hit "Juke Box Hero." Let's wait for it: Yet another contestant would woo Shelton with yet another Foreigner hit. Who knew this particular '80s fixture would play such a part in this season?
The latest Foreigner to hit the show, however, was quite a bit different from Hall. Her name is Toneisha Harris, and she offered up a unique story before showing off her retro chops.
"For a long time, I had wondered if dreams really do come true. But I'm actually here on The Voice, and I can't believe it," the 44-year-old singer told the audience. "Growing up, my family traveled all up and down the East Coast singing gospel, and just spread the message of God. I was not allowed to listen to other music. I had to kind of sneak to listen to Anita Baker and Whitney Houston."
Things quickly took a roller-coaster vibe for Harris: "I was about 24 when I put my first demo out. I had done a huge song that was big in the gospel industry. It did really well. And then, literally, less than a year later, my son was diagnosed with leukemia. They told us, 'It's aggressive, but we're gonna treat it. And we're gonna hope for the best.'
"I was supposed to audition for The Voice and I cancelled," she explained. "I decided not to go. I put a hold on everything. I stopped singing, stopped recording. Nothing else mattered. He was on treatment for 3 1/2 years. I barely sang praise and worship in church during that time. I just felt like I couldn't bring it from a place of truth, 'cause I had too many questions."
Harris assured that her son is now just fine. "I am happy to report that he is doing well. You would look at him, and you would never know. He's a full-time college student now."
That said, it was her time to step into the spotlight, which she did with a performance of Foreigner's famous ballad, "I Want to Know What Love Is." It was quite a bit different from Hall's shrieking "Juke Box Hero," but had an even more powerfu effect on the coaches, coaxing a four-chair turn.
Shelton commanded the conversation, noting, "It's so refreshing, to me, to hear somebody come out here and sing a classic. Because a lot of times, people avoid those songs. And, sis, every line, every movement in the chorus, it took it to a new level."
Harris was not hard to win over, and quickly selected Shelton as her coach. "What just happened?" marveled Clarkson. "My heart is broken!" gasped Legend. "I just trusted my gut," noted Harris. Maybe there is something to Shelton's desire to be a hair-band rocker, after all?
We'll be following along each week to see how things progress on the show, so be sure to check to see how all your favorites fare as the coaches build their teams.
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