If you are keeping up with the new season of NBC’s “The Voice,” you know that it has been a showcase of great talent from all musical genres, and the competition is as fierce between the coaches as it is with the contestants. Since Blake Shelton is the biggest winner of the franchise, fellow coaches Kelly Clarkson, John Legend, and Adam Levine have him in their crosshairs. Is it possible, though, that Blake has already locked in another victory with Rod Stokes?
Rod, a 34-year-old country, gospel, and soul singer from Grand Bay, Alabama, sang a cover of the Bee Gees’ hit, “To Love Somebody.” Gritty, soulful, and tender, he earned a trifecta in the chair turns when Blake, John, and Adam all hit their big red buttons. And that’s when the real battle began.
“Rod, you sounded incredible,” John told him. “I love the gravel in your voice, but I love the clarity with which you hit those beautiful high notes, too. You have so much power, so much range, I would be excited to have you on my team.”
Adam, who actually turned his chair first, went next and took a jab at his fellow coaches. He said, “I don’t know what took these guys so long because it was so special. It jumped out at me right away. And when I turned around and got to see what you do as well, the way you do it with this effortless, soulfulness? I was blown away.” Adam went on to say, “You’ve got something that is a God-given natural ability to deliver a vocal in that way with that rasp and that tone. I want to be a part of it really bad.”
With the heat on, Blake was unexpectedly serious when he spoke to Rod. “Rod, your voice is shocking,” he began. “It’s got personality, it’s got depth, it fills the room, and I love how it shreds when you go for the bigger notes.”
The country music superstar then paused before releasing his humor. “But let’s talk about accents,” he continued. “The communication breakdown that could happen between you and Adam. I don’t know that he can understand you or you understand him.”
After John asked Rod what kind of music he was into and the aspiring star replied, “90s country,” it was inevitable. And Blake’s team was complete.