The Voice has fetishized extreme youth for the past few seasons — two of its most recent champion, Brynn Cartelli and Chevel Shepherd, were still in high school when they won — but Tuesday’s Blind Auditions episode was surprisingly bookended by stupendous, standout performances by grown-up women, both of whom infused their performances with the raw passion and ferocity that can only come from life experience.
Gwen Stefani, a woman who’s certainly tapped into her own heartbreak — from No Doubt’s “Don’t Speak” and “Sunday Morning,” which were inspired by her split with boyfriend/bandmate Tony Kanal, to “Ex-Girlfriend” and “Used to Love You,” two of many songs about her ex-husband Gavin Rossdale — particularly connected with 44-year-old Myracle Holloway.
The Mary J. Blige-like torch singer, recovering addict, and domestic violence survivor actually seemed on the verge of sobbing throughout her riveting rendition of Bruno Mars’s “When I Was Your Man,” and Gwen totally felt Myracle’s pain. “You’re using your pain in your voice to tell the story. I get that. I mean, every single song that I’ve ever written, almost, until I met Blake, was about heartache and pain,” Gwen noted.
Gwen’s Blake Shelton-inspired songs so far have been lovey-dovey, googly-eyed sweet escapes like “Make Me Like You” and “You Make It Feel Like Christmas.” But she and her offscreen boyfriend/onscreen rival coach having been duking it out a lot this season over the most covetable contestants. If they keep it up, there may some Blake-heartache songs in Gwen’s future.
“Why are you doing this to me? I thought you loved me!” Blake mock-hollered at Gwen when she tried to steal Myracle away from him.
Honestly, it would have been a miracle if Myracle has joined Team Blake; Gwen and Myracle were clearly a perfect match. And, of course, so are Gwen and Blake. It’s pretty obvious that these lovebird coaches are playing up their rivalry for the sake of cute TV (and to compensate for the absence of Blake’s former Voice sparring partner, Adam Levine). And maybe their bickering, fake or not, is a sign that they truly are compatible — after all, they seem to have identical musical tastes! Regardless, it was revealed this week that Gwen won’t be back for Season 18 (Nick Jonas will be taking her place), so their lovers’ quarrels won’t go on forever.