The Voice built its reputation on blind auditions – where the judges intently listen to contestants with their backs turned until they push a big red button that sends them swiveling around in anticipation of who lies on the other side. Some contestants turn one or two chairs, others none. And then there are a select few who earn the coveted four-chair turn, usually culminating in an all-out verbal brawl between the coaches in order to land that person on their team. There have been 27 four-chair turners across five seasons, producing three winners (including Season Five's Tessanne Chin) – and coach Adam Levine seems to have an uncanny knack for luring them in. Here are the 16 most memorable four-chair turns in Voice history. —Katy Kroll
Who could forget Season One contestant Jeff Jenkins and his angelic rendition of Rascal Flatts' "Bless the Broken Road"? Jenkins didn't look the part of a star, and that's exactly what The Voice has built its name on. After turning four chairs, he landed on Adam Levine's team, but was cut during the quarterfinals. Still, his advancement proved that The Voice was willing to put its money where its mouth is.
The first time Javier Colon stepped onstage, you knew you were looking at a champion. In fact, he turned out to be the winner of Season One. With his simple, acoustic version of Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time," the 33-year-old singer/songwriter stole the show from the get-go and helped coach Adam Levine pick up his first win. However, Colon's resulting album, 2011's Come Through for You, failed to make an impact, selling less than 10,000 copies in its first week of release.
The second season of The Voice is one of only two seasons that hasn't crowned a four-chair turner as the winner (the other: Season Four). But former Mouseketeer Tony Lucca came close, placing third. His acoustic guitar-driven rendition of Ray LaMontagne's "Trouble" got everyone to turn, even former Mickey Mouse Club co-star Christina Aguilera (who didn't remember him at first). In the end, he picked Adam Levine as his coach (and had a heated exchange with Xtina).
Three out of four judges turned almost immediately for this soulful Season Two singer, with Blake Shelton bringing up the rear. Although soft-spoken, Jesse Campbell had a big voice when he stepped onstage to sing Leon Russell's "A Song for You," opting to join Christina Aguilera's team. However, he was eliminated in the quarterfinals, leading some to cry foul. Other four-chair turners in Season Two were country duo the Line ("American Girl"), Charlotte Sometimes ("Apologize") and Whitney Myer ("No One").
The bow-tied, suspenders-wearing Pip made an impression during Season Two, not only with his unusual fashion choices, but also with his blind audition of the Animals' "House of the Rising Sun." The 19-year-old wound up going with – you guessed it – Adam, who said "it takes a real man to wear a bow-tie" and that he was "the exact opposite" of what Levine expected. Despite the praise, "precious" Pip was eliminated during the quarterfinals.
Yup, Season Three winner Cassadee Pope started out with a four-chair track, turning heads with her take on Natalie Imbruglia's "Torn." Having performed in the band Hey Monday and opened for Fall Out Boy, Pope decided to kick off her solo career by trying out for The Voice – and it paid off. To date, the former Blake Shelton teammate is the most successful artist to come out of the show, scoring a gold record for her 2013 single "Wasting All These Tears," among other accolades.
Season Three's Adriana Louise earned a standing ovation for her peppy take on Jessie J's "Domino." But despite CeeLo Green hitting his button first, she went with Christina Aguilera, because "the first record I ever bought with my own money when I was 9 years old was Christina's." And according to Xtina, they were "a match made in heaven." And for a while, that was true – Adriana made it to the top 12, but was cut that same week.
Raspy-voiced Bryan Keith turned chairs like "dominos," according to chosen coach Adam Levine, when he took on Bruno Mars' "It Will Rain" during Season Three's blind auditions. The son of two-time Grammy-winning Latin jazz and salsa singer Ray De La Paz, a member of the Spanish Harlem Orchestra, Bryan made it into the top 10 before being sent home. All four chairs also turned that season for Nicole Nelson ("Hallelujah") and Avery Wilson ("Without You").
It's tough to pare down Season Four, since there were so many memorable four-chair turners (the most of any season, with eight), but no one can deny that the Morgan Twins made quite an impression while singing Alicia Keys' "Fallin'" at the blinds. They may not have made it very far, getting knocked out in the battle rounds, but the identical buxom blondes sure made chosen coach Blake Shelton's day: "This is a dream come true for most men," he said. "It's like a damn Doublemint commercial!"
Ah, Judith Hill – still one of the most shocking eliminations in Voice history. Her talent was instantly apparent during her soulful slow-jam of Christina Aguilera's "What a Girl Wants" that had Adam Levine and first-time coach Usher turning their chairs within seconds of her opening her mouth at the Season Four blind auditions. Despite being one of the best voices of the season (and sailing into the live rounds), the one-time Michael Jackson duet partner was surprisingly axed when the top eight performed for America's votes. (She was on Team Adam, natch.)
Season Four's Sarah Simmons met the same surprising fate as Judith Hill in the exact same week, when she unexpectedly exited in seventh place. Like Judith, Sarah set the bar high for herself when she sang Joan Osborne's "One of Us" during the blinds, and it seemingly sealed her fate later on down the line. When she joined Team Adam, she helped solidify his title as the undeniable "King of the Four-Chair Turn."
Another upsetting early elimination occurred when Adam cut unconventional alt-folk duo Midas Whale during the Season Four knockouts. Despite the epic fail, we'll always have their raucous rendition of Johnny Cash's "Folsom Prison Blues" to reminisce about. The other artists that earned four-chair turns that season were Monique Abbadie ("Loca"), Ryan Innes ("Gravity") and top 10'ers Holly Tucker ("Make You Feel My Love") and Sasha Allen ("Not Ready to Make Nice").
The coaches knew that Season Five winner Tessanne Chin had something special from the start, when they had a "dirty fight" over her after she effortlessly sang Pink's "Try." But Tessanne's voice wasn't the only memorable thing about her, as the Chinese/Jamaican singer also dazzled the coaches (and viewers) with her alluring accent and unpretentious personality. She sailed through the season all the way to the win, where she earned Adam Levine his second title after a three-season stint of Blake Shelton world domination.
Season Five's Matthew Schuler seemed like a shoo-in for the finals when he earned the "fastest four-chair turn ever" as everyone hit their buttons at the exact same time – before he even finished the first line of Young the Giant's "Cough Syrup." One of the few four-chair turners to choose Christina over Adam, Matthew's rendition of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" was one of the biggest hits of the season. But it lasted longer on the iTunes songs chart than he did in the competition, as he bit the dust with a surprising sixth-place finish.
With his Rivers Cuomo-meets-Mac geek vibe, James Wolpert's confident vocals on Jack White's "Love Interruption" shocked all four coaches. "I expected to see some long-haired guy with a beard," said Blake Shelton. After picking Adam (surprise), he went on a roller-coaster ride of genres, tackling iconic songs by everyone from Queen to the Killers to Meat Loaf. But his rendition of U2's "With or Without You" got him eliminated one week shy of the Season Five finale, landing him in fifth place.
After failing to turn a single chair in Season Four, James Irwin came back next year with R.E.M.'s "Losing My Religion" – and wound up in the four-chair Hall of Fame. When future coach Adam Levine pointed out there were "still some things that need work" after James' shaky performance ended (they all hit their buzzers before the song really kicked in), James admitted: "When all four chairs turned, I kind of got distracted." Still, he made it all the way to the knockouts before being eliminated. Joining him in the Season Five Hall of Fame are Ashley DuBoise ("Diamonds") and Holly Henry ("The Scientist").