‘The Voice’ Season 22 Episode 1 Recap: Camila Cabello, Gwen Stefani Win Country Artists Over Blake Shelton
The Voice has finally returned! Season 22’s premiere on Monday, Sept. 19, kicked off what is sure to be an exciting competition between coaches Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani, John Legend, and newcomer Camila Cabello. But how did Camila do on her first night of Blind Auditions? With two four-chair turns on her team, she’s already killing it. Here’s a recap of The Voice Season 22 Episode 1.
[Spoiler alert: The following story contains spoilers for The Voice Season 22 Episode 1.]
Omar Cardona got a four-chair turn for his performance of “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)” by Journey. It was the singer’s stage presence and “sick range” that made Camila turn in the final moment. Omar, a full-time performer of 15 years from Florida, said he loves old-school rock. Gwen told Omar she would “die” to work with him, and John complimented the singer’s range and unique voice. Omar joined Team Legend, giving John his first teammate of the season.
South Carolina native Emma Brooke, 19, sang “California Dreamin'” by The Mamas & The Papas to represent her own dream of auditioning for The Voice. John turned within seconds, looking impressed with her breath control and range. Gwen also turned around. She told Emma that she wanted to help her “mold” her dream. John added that he was “drawn” to her powerful vocals, but he wanted to help Emma move away from her classical music training and let loose. Emma went to Team Legend.
Background vocalist David Andrew, a Tennessee native, has sung for famous names like Ed Sheeran, and he was even a stand-in for John once. However, he dreams of “taking center stage.” He performed a slow and sultry rendition of Harry Styles’ “Falling,” showing off his high notes. Gwen and John turned around for David. Gwen said she loved David’s energy. In the end, David (unsurprisingly) joined Team Legend.
Team Legend so far: Omar Cardona, Emma Brooke, David Andrew
Ian Harrison, a bartender and musician from Ohio, chose “The Night We Met” by Lord Huron for his audition because it reminded him of his late father, who left Ian his guitar after his death. Blake, John, and Gwen turned their chairs for Ian. Blake told Ian his voice had “character,” while Gwen appreciated how Ian “showed his heart.” Ian decided to join Team Gwen, prompting her to jump up and do a happy dance.
Jay Allen of Cedar Falls, Iowa, dedicated his audition to his mother, who died in 2019 after a battle with Alzheimer’s. He sang “Til You Can’t” by Cody Johnson, showing off a country twang in his voice. He earned chair turns from Blake and Gwen, making for a hilarious battle between husband and wife. Blake complimented Jay’s power and tone. Meanwhile, Gwen said she learned everything she knows about country from Blake and can include him in coaching. Much to Gwen’s surprise, Jay joined her team.
Team Gwen so far: Ian Harrison, Jay Allen
Morgan Myles is no stranger to the music industry. The Nashville native works as a full-time touring artist and has traveled to almost all 50 states with her music. Morgan demonstrated her experience with a beautiful cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” earning chair turns from all four coaches — plus, Camila already used her block on Gwen. John commended her song choice, noting that it takes “cojones” to do such a famous song.
Morgan considers herself a country artist as well as a pop and soul singer. Camila told Morgan she wanted to help forge her own path as an artist without sticking to one genre. Meanwhile, Blake leaned into the country of it all, noting that he related to her journey as a Nashville artist. In the end, she chose Team Camila.
The Voice Season 22 Episode 1 continued with Miami, Florida, singer Orlando Mendez. He comes from a Cuban-American family, but he has a passion for country music. Proving his title as “the Cuban cowboy,” Orlando sang Luke Combs’ “Beer Never Broke My Heart.” Camila and Gwen turned their chairs first, followed by Blake. Then, John turned at the last second.
Blake boasted his credentials as a country star, while Camila bonded with Orlando over their shared hometown and Cuban roots. He encouraged Orlando to be stubborn about sticking to country. Camila said she’s been looking for a “special tone” and someone who “made her feel.” Gwen claimed that she’s country by marriage to Blake and said she could help Orlando navigate the competition. John wanted Orlando to pick him as the most unexpected choice, but he ended up on Team Camila.
Team Camila so far: Morgan Myles, Orlando Mendez
The Voice‘s King of Country’s reign may be coming to an end. Blake lost two country artists to other coaches in the premiere, and he had trouble getting anyone on his team. He resorted to trying out magic wands gifted to him by a contestant, but he had no such luck. But did that luck change?
Team Blake so far: Empty
To be continued …
Kate Kalvach, of Oklahoma City, comes from a family of pastors, and she’s been passionate about music since childhood. She auditioned with Kacey Musgrave’s “Rainbow,” showing off her gentle voice. Camila, Blake, and Gwen turned at the same time. Blake muted Camila’s mic, but that didn’t stop her from shouting praises to Kate. She complimented the song choice and Kate’s falsetto. Gwen said she could help Kate blend multiple genres, and Blake brought out a literal goat to prove himself as the G.O.A.T. Fans will have to tune in on Tuesday, Sept. 20, to see if that was enough to make Kate join his team.
New episodes of The Voice air on Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on NBC. Next-day streaming is also available on Peacock.