Recently, 20-year-old Avery Roberson pulled off the feat of all feats: He got all four judges on “The Voice” to turn their chairs for him.
As he took the stage both calmly and unassumingly with his guitar in tow, we would never have predicted the judging frenzy that was about to ensue. As he sang a raw, moving rendition of Tim McGraw’s “If You’re Reading This,” the Rutherfordton, North Carolina, native rendered his audience speechless.
Strumming his own accompaniment, he started off gently, introducing his classic, deep country sound. The crowd was entranced as he let the song live in this ballad-like place for most of his audition. But that was all it took to push each celebrity judge to fight for his partnership!
Avery had not even made it to the second verse when John Legend spun his chair around, with Kelly Clarkson right behind him. After that, it only took one more verse and a well-navigated riff to get Blake Shelton’s chair to turn.
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Just as we thought his performance might end with three chairs, Nick Jonas slid in and hit that red button right before the final notes.
Clarkson immediately threw her hat in the ring, saying, “I thought it was quite remarkable how you didn’t do what people expect people to do to get four-chair turns, which is wail everywhere and do all of those things. You kept it you, and it sounded so beautiful and intimate. The storyteller vibe, that was the coolest part for me.”
She then played the “country” card, reminding him that she grew up in the South and has a long history of listening to, and playing, country music.
But Shelton shut her down instantly, pointing out that she grew up with country music but then “walked away” from it.
“I, on the other hand, grew up on country music, and that is all I’ve ever done is country music,” he continued. “I just celebrated my 10th year as a member of the Grand Ole Opry and my 10th year as a coach on ‘The Voice.'”
That statement alone was enough to seal the deal, but he proceeded to add another log to the fire.
“It’s important to have a concrete understanding of country music because you can’t know where it’s going unless you know where it came from,” he said. “I have to be your coach, Avery. I would be honored.”
Nick Jonas soon retorted. He knocked Shelton’s claim that only a country singer can coach a country singer, after which Avery revealed that he actually grew up singing pop before his rich lower register came in.
He eventually made the transition into country music based on a love he inherited from his dad and granddad, both of whom are country singers.
Jonas had to plead his case: “I don’t think it matters where you’re from … if you’re pop or country or soul, whatever the genre is. It’s music at the end of the day. You do you, man. I’ll support you every step of the way. That’s what it should be about as a coach.”
After three convincing pitches, Avery’s choice was becoming more challenging by the second. That’s when John Legend added in a fourth.
“I turned for you before any of the other coaches because I heard a beautiful, beautiful voice. The tone is rich, subtle, and that’s what this show is about, finding great voices to be heard by the rest of the country,” Legend explained. “I turned for you because I love great music, and I love coaching great vocalists.”
Avery took a moment to mull over which of the four star-studded music artists he should pick, and finally, he came to a decision. “I’m going to have to go with my gut on this one,” he said. With that, he secured his spot on Team Blake’s roster.
Congratulations, Avery! We’re wishing you the best of luck in the rest of the competition!
Check out his authentic performance in the video below, and be sure to share this story with your friends.
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