Season 15 of “The Voice” is underway and audiences across America are placing their bets on who will take away the top honor. Are you Team Kelly? Team Blake? Team Adam? Or, Team Jhud? While last season’s victory went to Coach Kelly who made history with Brynn Cartelli as the youngest winner since the show’s inception, this season is anybody’s game. The 15th installment boasts a roster featuring some exceptional young talent and after the Top 13 performed live on the Nov. 19 show, the eliminations that narrowed down the competition to the Top 11, has left a big question mark in viewers’ minds.
“Dedication week” brought about some shocking cuts on the Nov. 20 episode. Kelly Clarkson’s team stands strong with Chevel Shepherd, Lynnea Moorer, Kymberli Joye, and Sarah Grace. Blake Shelton’s team remains intact with Kirk Jay, Chris Kroeze, and Dave Fenley. While on Tuesday, we said goodbye to SandyRedd from Jennifer Hudson’s team, leaving us with MaKenzie Thomas and Kennedy Holmes. Team Adam Levine also saw a big loss, hanging on to DeAndre Nico and Reagan Strange, but surprisingly having to let go of Tyke James.
What’s to come is anybody’s guess. While fans await next week’s show, AXS spoke with the contestants to find out some fun things that go on behind the scenes; getting some insight into what happens when the cameras aren’t rolling.
5. They all consider each other family
“We are truly brothers and sisters,” Sarah Grace points out about the contestants. MaKenzie Thomas says that they’re always singing together and that the amount of support among them is amazing. “A bunch of us, we get together and pray before every show. Whether it’s a performance show, a result show; sometimes even rehearsals,” Thomas shared. Everyone is grateful for the connections they’ve made with each other. Dave Fenley tells AXS that he’s watched every season, and one thing viewers should know is how close of a family they all really are. He was surprised to find out that one of the hardest parts about being on the show is saying goodbye to the person standing next to you.
4. Team Jhud gets emotional… and loves it when their coach jumps in their photos
Jennifer Hudson has always encouraged her team, letting them know that it’s okay to get in touch with their emotions. They’ve learned that it’s about tapping into your feelings, putting it into the song, and not being afraid to showcase your strong points. What you see is what you get on team Jhud. She’s upfront and personal with each and every member. One of the things Kennedy Holmes says she loves most, is the way Hudson photobombs the contestants. “I’ll be backstage holding my phone, taking a video, and she’ll just jump in and be like, ‘Hey, guys! Make sure you go vote!’ She’s just amazing,” the 13-year-old laughed.
3. Team Blake has a cool sense of humor
It’s not too surprising that Blake Shelton would piece together a team that knows how to have fun. In fact, their ability to crack jokes seems to be right up there with their talent for singing. As AXS caught up with them just after the live performances on Nov. 19, the trio played around like a comedy troupe ready to tour. After introducing themselves by different names and some antics revolving around what they love most about Blake, they eventually tuned in to their more serious side, giving their coach the props he deserves. His team is truly humbled to be working with one of the best country singers in the business. “He gives us so much knowledge and so much insight that we can’t get from just anybody,” Fenley says. “It’s been a real blessing to work with him side by side on all these songs.”
2. Team Adam highlights young talent
As all of the contestants agreed, the level of talent is what sets this season apart from most. Last season, 15-year-old Brynn Cartelli made history as the youngest winner the show has seen. This season, that landmark moment seems to have sparked a trend. At 22, DeAndre Nico holds his place as the oldest remaining member on Adam’s team. Tyke James, who we sadly had to say goodbye to this week, is newly 18. And at just 14 years old, Reagan Strange stands out as one of the youngest contestants on the show. One thing that was made clear, is that no matter what age, everyone on Team Adam is having fun. After some joking around, they took time out to praise their coach for being a great leader who is able to intuitively take artists to new levels.
1. Team Kelly went to an escape room
“She’s really down to earth, she’s really cool, and she jokes around a lot,” Kymberli Joye tells AXS about working with Kelly Clarkson. According to her, and backed by her teammates, Clarkson is known for giving invaluable advice – not just about singing, but about the hard work it takes to be successful. The four females left, love the “girl power” vibe their team gives off, and that they can relate to their “wise and hilarious” leader. In true team-building spirit, Clarkson even took them for an outing to an escape room. Admittedly getting off to somewhat of a rough start, the girls rallied and made it out with 10 minutes to spare. Go, team!!!
You can catch the next episode of "The Voice" airing Nov. 26 on NBC, at 8 p.m./ 7 c.