(NEW YORK) — Following the closing ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympics on Sunday, NBC aired a special half-hour The Voice blind auditions Olympic preview. Joining Adam Levine and Blake Shelton in the coaches’ chairs for the show’s 11th season are pop star Miley Cyrus and singer-songwriter Alicia Keys.
Sunday’s show featured two blind auditions, with Cyrus and Keys each picking up an artist.
After the closing credits, a picture of The Voice season-six finalist Christina Grimmie — who was shot to death by a crazed fan in June – was shown with the message, “In loving memory of our friend Christina Grimmie.”
Sunday’s highlights included:
We McDonald, 17, got all four judges to turn their chairs around with her version of Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good.” A battle for McDonald ensued, with the new judges wasted no time showing they were in it to win it. Miley noted We’s voice was “so strong,” declaring the teen is a “total star.” Alicia began her pitch by insisting McDonald “came to this show to meet me,” explaining that she too started her career as a teen and therefore was the best coach to guide her through the show. McDonald agreed and chose Keys as her coach.
Next, another 17-year-old, Darby Walker, tackled Ben E. King’s “Stand by Me.” Once again, it was Keys and Cyrus leading the fight for the singer, along with Shelton. Miley noted their voices had a similar vibe and joined Darby onstage for an impromptu version of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene.” But Miley’s bubble was temporarily burst when Darby recalled that when she was 10 years old, Keys’ “No One” was “my song.” Alicia then showed up Miley by dueting with Darby on that song. However, Miley prevailed this time, convincing Walker to join her team.
The evening also included the coaches teaming up for a version of Aerosmith’s “Dream On.”
The Voice returns for its 11th season on September 19 on NBC.
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