The Voice Recap: Night 2 of the Blinds Invites Us to a ‘Block Party’ — Plus, Meet the Happiest Guy Alive

Well, that was a fun one. Tuesday’s episode of The Voice found new coaches Dan + Shay engaging in a Block-off with Reba McEntire, Chance the Rapper recruiting a contestant who actually rapped, John Legend regaining his mojo with back-to-back team “gets” (including OK3, thus resolving Monday’s cliffhanger), and… and… and then we met a singer who was just so damn joyful, it was hard not to smile when he was talking with the coaches. “Honestly, you might be the happiest person I’ve ever met in my life,” Shay told him. Who was it? Read on; he’s second to last in this recap of Night 2 of the Blind Auditions.

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Nathan Chester (Team Legend), “Take Me to the River” — Grade: A | After years of “grinding and hustling,” this cruise-ship singer hoped to prove with his Blind Audition that his journey had been worthwhile. Mission accomplished. He brought that stage to life (!), performing with 110-percent commitment and so much crackling electricity that the show’s lighting guys could take five during his raucous Al Green cover.

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Maddi Jane (Team Chance), “Escapism.” — Grade: B- | I’ll give this 24-year-old a lotta credit for guts since she gambled big by tackling the magnificent Raye’s hit. But Maddi’s rapping, as intense as it was, felt forced. She fared better on the singing parts of her cover; there, she came closer to the pathos of the original. But what do I know? The coaches loved ’er; Dan even called the four-chair turn’s rapped bits “super in the pocket.” Listen below and see what you think.

Donny Van Slee (Team Reba), “Greatest Love Story” — Grade: C+ | This chiropractor, a graduate of Nashville “honky tonk school,” hit the spotlight with excellent posture and an appealing rasp to his quintessentially country tone. But there was nothing so special about his vocal that it seemed worth it for Reba to use her Block on Dan + Shay. Even she basically said, “I heard country and thought, ‘Block them.’”

Karen Waldrup (Team Dan + Shay), “Bye-Bye” — Grade: B | This Louisiana-born singer, who went viral with her rendition of Lee Ann Womack’s “I Hope You Dance,” certainly brought a jolt of energy to the stage. But aside from some nice flow here and there, and that big note toward the end of her Jo Dee Messina cover, she only left me mild about her instead of wild. Not sure Dan + Shay shouldn’t have waited for a more ear-popping singer to use their retaliatory Block on Reba.

Gabriel Goes (Team Chance), “What I Got” — Grade: B | Wow, the Jeff Spicoli-on-a-triple-latte vibes just radiated off of this Hawaiian surfer boy. The one-chair turn’s vocal on his rendition of Sublime wasn’t earth-shaking or anything, but it was competent, and honestly, I thought his rapping was sharper (and more natural) than Maddi’s; like Chance said, it was kinda Jason Mraz-y. Plus, with that memorable look and goofy, upbeat personality, Gabriel could go far — especially if it turns out that he has more range than than this Blind showed. “I think I’m in love with him,” Shay joked. I think viewers may fall next.

Gene Taylor (Team Legend), “Lights” — Grade: A | He might have been singing Journey, but “old-school soul” was the first thing I thought when Gene opened his mouth. His vocal was as full as it was rich — and, for real, it was as rich as cheesecake. My car’s rolled on tires that haven’t been as round as those gorgeous notes that he hit. On top of that, as John pointed out, Gene performed with impressive finesse.

Who stood out to you Tuesday night? Vote in the poll below, then comment away.

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