20 Greatest Blind Auditions of All Time

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  • 2. Bria Kelly - Steamroller Blues

    Okay, confession..I have a vocal crush on Bria Kelly. I love her tone. I love her gravel. I love the weird way she pronounces words. I love (LOVE) her belting. I love her goat vibrato. I know there's a lot of things in that package that some people don't like, but I love it all..and I love it all rolled up into one voice.

    I have never been so excited for a contestant as I was after seeing Bria's audition. I thought there was a strong possibility that she could end up as my top all time snowflake. Unfortunately, (at least in my opinion) Bria seemed to be at a musical crossroads and a personal crossroads..and perhaps just wasn't ready for this show. (Not all teenagers are Danielle Bradbery.)

    But this is about blind auditions, and Bria absolutely killed it. In fact I still have an urge to throw a shoe at my computer screen after watching it. (Admittedly, I've watched this performance enough times that it's embarrassing.)

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Comments 8

  • Spurrious -

    That audition was one of two where I thought "there's your winner". However, they went in opposite directions after their bind. Bria had misstep after misstep and the other one turn in near perfection every week. That perfection from a younger, less worldly, less experienced and profoundly shy girl ....IMHO... blows up the immaturity excuse. It's a personality issue.

    • S. L. Mason -

      I think Danielle is the exception here, not Bria. (Along with Sawyer, Koryn, Melanie and Jacquie). I think most teenagers would have responded the way that Bria did. (Actually, in Idol they often do mess up the first couple of weeks, but if the audience keeps them around, they get their composure and improve. The Voice doesn't have that grace.)

      But I suppose it's two sides of the same coin (i.e. "maturity" or "personality"). I think Danielle is just a more composed more mature individual. (And quite frankly a few of the other teenagers that we've had on The Voice were the same.) At the end of the day, Bria Kelly wasn't ready. She's clearly talented, but just emotionally..not ready. (You only have to watch one of her exit interviews to get it. The poor girl cried so much it broke my heart.)

      That being said, I do think her missteps were overblown. Piece of My Heart and Wild Horses weren't bad. Rolling In The Deep was actually a really cool arrangement (and her arrangement..) Yes, she had a vocal issue in a few parts, but men tend to get away with that and instead we hear about how creative they are..and the bridge was killer. But she totally deserved to go home after "I'm With You." (Which she did a fabulous job on during another show..which just goes to show it was more how she was dealing with being on the Voice, rather than her talent.)

      On another note, I can say I thought someone was going to win based on audition twice too. Danielle Bradbery and James Wolpert. I guess we're both one for two :P

    • Spurrious -

      Re: "but men tend to get away with that"

      I'd love to say women get held to a higher standard because they ARE a higher standard (In my book anyway!) but we know that's not the case. Let a female mumble and forget the words and they are toasted and roasted while the male goes on to win.

  • jwhite0316 -

    Bria's audition was my favorite of all time. Danielle's is #2 of course. Bria killed this song and I was expecting to be cheering her on the rest of that season but she never had a good performance after that. I have enjoyed some of her post-show stuff though which is good. Wish she would have waited a few years to come on the show.

  • TeamAudra -

    It was good, but no way was it #2 all time. Aside from the declining quality of her performances, I found her on air demeanor to be a bit off-putting. I'll chalk that up to being a 17 kid enjoying her 15 minutes of fame, but hopefully she's learned from that.

    • S. L. Mason -

      My impression is that Bria was uncomfortable in her own skin (She came out shortly after the show, and actually being where she's from took a lot of heat for it on social media) and also immature. Not immature for a 17 year old, but immature for a person competing on these shows. You could see it in places like screaming after she was safe the first week, tweeting spoilers, and some of the vines she did with Grimmie. And then of course, how hard she took her elimination. Nothing wrong with it because she acted like a teenager, but the experience might have just been too much for her at the time.

  • abouttoexplode -

    I gotta agree with ya on this one, awesome audition, and i don't know what happened other than it was all downhill after that. There didn't seem to be any focus or real direction on Bria's part. i've followed her after the show and it seems to be the same pattern. She's done good and not so good songs. She did a killer version of Black Velvet though. Could it be that with all those little things you mentioned about her voice make it hard to match a song that fits for her? Also she does/did really well on some of her softer original songs she wrote early on, but has seemed to totally abandon that type/style of song. I just don't know

    • S. L. Mason -

      Yea, I do think she's found a rock direction with the covers we'll hear lately. Because even the softer/slower song had that rock vibe to it. ("Falling To Pieces") But I think she was confused between country and blues rock and singer/songwriter for a while. And I always thought there was such a disconnect between her age and her voice, and Usher went for younger soul pop and pop rock instead of just doing oldies (Like Sawyer..) and he probably just should have stuck with the old stuff. But I think her maturity was going to get her regardless. (And the fact that she was in the middle of a musical transition.)

      Then again, it'll be interesting to see what her song for animal welfare sounds like.

      But I think you're right in that she has to tailor songs to her voice because of all of those aspects to her voice. It's good, because no one will ever sound like Bria Kelly. But it does make covers on a competition show a little more difficult.

      She probably really just needs to grow and develop herself more musically.