"The Voice" season 14 started Monday night with a new crop of blind auditions, and a new lineup of coaches. Kelly Clarkson and Alicia Keys joined Blake Shelton and Adam Levine for another cycle of the NBC singing competition, with the episode complicated by a new twist called The Block. Who was a winner and who was a loser in "The Voice" season premiere? Here are the highlights from Monday's episode:
1) The Block arrives, and does little
This season introduces The Block, in which one coach can block another coach from being chosen by a singer during the blind auditions. The feature was used right off the bat Monday night, as Shelton immediately used it to keep Levine from being selected by 19-year-old Britton Buchanan. However; it had no demonstrable impact; Buchanan chose Alicia Keys as his coach. So the only thing The Block was good for was Shelton taking another dig at Levine, which he does every episode anyway. Keys had better luck, using her Block to keep the night's only four-chair artist from choosing six-time winner Shelton. This is one feature that "The Voice" could be just fine without.
2) Just one four-chair audition
Only one contestant turned all four chairs on Monday night. That was 30-year-old Texas country singer Justin Kilgore. You can watch his audition by playing the video above; with Shelton blocked from taking him, Kilgore went to the other panelist with country experience, Kelly Clarkson. It's surprising that only one four-chair audition was shown in the season premiere, but it's a nice feather in the cap of the new coach that she got him (and a nice feather in NBC's cap that they can show Clarkson having a big win right away). Will "The Voice" season 14 have another country winner, though?
3) Kelly's opening night
It seems that Kelly Clarkson has taken a page from Blake Shelton's book and decided that more is more. She was not shy about using her button on Monday night, turning her chair for six of the 11 auditions - roughly half the field and exactly the same amount that Shelton turned for - and getting three singers to join the new Team Kelly. Levine and Keys only turned for four artists and each recruited two. A large part of the hype for this season is about Kelly Clarkson, and so far she's putting on a good show. But will that mean her team fills up too fast? That's something for music fans to keep an eye on, as there are weeks of blind auditions to go.
"The Voice" airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on NBC. Here's what to watch for in "The Voice" season 14. Below are Blake Shelton's upcoming tour dates, with tickets on sale now through AXS:
March 2 - Dallas, TX - American Airlines Center (Click here for tickets)
March 3 - Bossier City, LA - CenturyLink Center (Click here for tickets)
March 8 - Atlanta, GA - Philips Arena (Click here for tickets)
March 9 - Greenville, SC - Bon Secours Wellness Arena (Click here for tickets)
March 10 - Greensboro, NC - Greensboro Coliseum (Click here for tickets)
March 15 - Columbus, OH - Nationwide Arena (Click here for tickets)
March 16 - Baltimore, MD - Royal Farms Arena (Click here for tickets)
March 17 - Philadelphia, PA - Wells Fargo Center (Click here for tickets)