‘The Voice’ Hopeful Avery Roberson’s Tim McGraw Cover Earns a Four-Chair Turn [Watch]
Twenty-year-old Avery Roberson got all four The Voice coaches to turn their chairs for him during his blind audition, which aired on Monday night (March 8). His cover of Tim McGraw's "If You're Reading This" sparked a healthy debate about who could coach the Rutherford, N.C., native best as Kelly Clarkson, Nick Jonas, John Legend and Blake Shelton all tried to lure Roberson to their team.
Legend was actually the first coach to turn his chair during Roberson's performance, at about 30 seconds in. Clarkson quickly followed, though.
"I heard a beautiful, beautiful voice. The tone is rich, subtle," Legend later told Roberson. The R&B star admitted that he knew he wasn't the obvious choice for a country singer, but, "I turned for you because I love music and I love coaching a great vocalist on this show."
Clarkson, meanwhile, noted that Roberson's performance was worthy of a four-chair turn because he "didn't do what people expect people to do to get four-chair turns ..."
"You kept it you, and it sounded so beautiful and intimate," Clarkson added, praising Roberson's "incredible" tone and "storyteller vibes."
Shelton, who turned his chair for Roberson about 50 seconds into the singer's performance, took some heat from his fellow judges for seemingly assuming he was the obvious coach pick for Roberson. Clarkson, Jonas and Legend teased Shelton about trying to sway contestants with his country roots, despite the fact that he now spends quite a bit of time in Los Angeles and has been on The Voice for 20 seasons.
"It's important to have a concrete understanding of country music, because you can't know where it's going unless you know where it came from," Shelton offered, later adding, "I want to be able to be on your level, understand what you want to do, and then fight for that for you."
It was Jonas, though -- who turned his chair last, just a few seconds before Roberson's performance concluded -- who focused on Roberson, asking about his path in music and his influences. The contestant shared that he actually grew up singing pop music because he had a higher voice then; however, his dad and grandfather loved country music, and when Roberson's voice deepened, it became his genre.
In reply, Jonas explained that he often references country music when he's songwriting, because it inspires him, and reminded Roberson that he's worked with several country artists. "I don't think it matters where you're from ... Whatever the genre is, it's music, at the end of the day," Jonas reflected.
In the end, Roberson opted to keep it country: He'll be competing on Team Blake.
The Voice airs on Mondays and Tuesdays on NBC at 8PM CT.
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