As season 12 of The Voice gets underway there’s been a diverse showing of talent, ranging from Nashville-based country singer Taylor Alexander to teenage prodigies like 16-year-old Johnny Gates. Before last night, however, coach Blake Shelton was yet to secure any of these promising musicians for his team. That all changed on the fourth episode of the season’s blind auditions when Lincoln, Nebraska native Josh Hoyer took the stage.
Fusing soul with hints of R&B and classic country, Hoyer took on The Chi-Lites’ 1972 R&B Number One hit “Oh Girl.” His smooth interpretation, along with his sonorous vocals, convinced both Shelton and fellow coach Gwen Stefani to turn their chairs as he confidently soared through the chorus.
“I was so enjoying your performance, I don’t have anybody like you on my team,” pleads Stefani, with Shelton playfully interjecting, “Oh yes you do, you have a couple people just like him!” Moments later, he admits, “Okay that’s a lie. . . I just feel like this guy deserves to be on this show, and if he’s gonna be on this show, he may as well be on the winning team. I would love to have a chance to work with you, and we’re all gonna say that there’s nobody like you on our teams because there’s nobody like you on the show.”
Previously, the 40-year-old singer had achieved notoriety as frontman of the soul-funk band Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal, which has been touring since 2012 and is currently on tour in Europe. Their 2016 Nashville-recorded album Running From Love was produced by the Grammy-nominated drummer Ken Coomer, who also was a producer and founding member of Wilco.
The Voice returns next Monday, March 13th, at 8:00 p.m. ET on NBC.