'The Voice' Contestants Explain What It's Like to Be Coached By Jennifer Hudson During the Auditions
'The Voice' Contestants Explain What It's Like to Be Coached By Jennifer Hudson During the Auditions
Jeff Dodge
Jeff Dodge
Staff Writer, BuddyTV
During night two of The Voice season 13 Blind Auditions, Jennifer Hudson continued to make a huge impression as the new coach. And even more talented singers took to the stage to perform for Jennifer, Adam Levine, Blake Shelton and Miley Cyrus.

During a conference call with reporters (including BuddyTV), the advancing artists from this episode described what it was like for Jennifer to already be in coaching mode, Keisha Renee talked about touring with Nicki Minaj and Adam Lambert, and Ashland Craft explained why she chose Miley as a coach instead of the obvious pick, Blake.


Jennifer Hudson in Coach Mode

Both Dylan Gerard and Maharasyi were on the receiving end of Jennifer's coaching style right from the auditions, even before they landed on any teams. For Dylan, the Idol alum wanted him to sing the song in a different key -- and he did, even though he ended up choosing Adam as a coach. But that attention did make him consider Jennifer.

"From the get-go, I told myself if Adam turns, that's who I'm going with," he said. "But when she came up there and I could see her excitement and I could see this passion and this caring and this coach-like demeanor, it really made me think for a second, maybe I should give Jennifer a chance."

He added, "I just had to go with my gut, with what I've wanted to do from the beginning. It really took a lot of thinking there. I really hated turning down Jennifer after how much she put into that."

Maharasyi was also on the receiving end of Jennifer being in coach mode. Despite thinking before the audition that she'd go with Miley, "the time and the passion that Jennifer invested in those few minutes just meant so much. I've always looked up to big voices, confident, powerful performers. And Jennifer put herself out there for me, immediately recognizing my voice and where I was trying to go as a vocalist and a performer."

She went on to say, "When she told me to sing the line again, it just made me feel that she's someone that truly would help me out. And especially because she's a soulful singer and I'm a soulful singer, I just felt she really knew how to direct me." Jennifer's insistence paid off and Maharasyi joined her team.

Keisha Renee on Touring with Nicki Minaj and Adam Lambert


Keisha Renee has had some great opportunities in her career, including touring with both Nicki Minaj and Idol star Adam Lambert. On the former, Keisha calls it "really life changing," adding, "I traveled the world with her. She exposed me to audiences that I never thought I would sing to. ... I was able to check some things off the bucket list like doing the O2 Arena in London; that was amazing for me."

Keisha really looks up to Nicki as a "strong woman in the industry" who "taught me a lot of things. I think I've had the best job to get me prepared for my own career. ... Working for someone that is a female in a male-dominated industry, I have gotten the best knowledge ever. I will not be pushed over. ... I feel like I'm fearless, and I worked for a fearless person who's created no limits for herself and here I am trying to do the same for myself."

As if that experience wasn't enough, Keisha has also toured with Adam Lambert, saying that it was "one of my favorite times of my touring career." Adam is "such a sweet person. ... I'm forever grateful for him; he gave me a chance. This industry is very image driven, and I've been trying to be this solo artist for a long time, but I didn't look the part and he didn't care about that. He was like, 'Listen, I want you to sing background for me. You have a voice, and I want to showcase that." Adam also allowed Keisha at times to feature herself more in the concerts: "I'm always grateful for people to give me an opportunity on their platform. I feel like that is so selfless and so humble of him."

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Why Did Ashland Craft Choose Miley Cyrus Over the Obvious Coach?

On the show, Ashland Craft described her lane in country music as "honky tonk." It seemed obvious that Blake would land her on his team. But she ended up siding with Miley. How did that happen?

"Originally coming into this competition, I was so headstrong on picking Blake just for that simple reason that he is a well-known country music artist," she began. "But I also came into this competition with an open mind that if it did come down to it, I would be open to listening to everybody's little sales pitch or whatever you'd like to call it."

And because she kept an open mind, Miley won her over: "I didn't realize she was around the same age as me. When she told me how old she was and ... how it felt to be in this industry at such a young age, it really kind of stuck out to me. And it honestly made me feel a bit more comfortable with the whole process; coming into this, I was extremely nervous."

Ashland added, "For her to give me that sense of comfort, to get through this with ease having her as a coach, it made me feel a whole lot better. So it was a very, very hard decision for me because, like I said, I was so headstrong that I was going to choose Blake. But I feel like when your gut tells you something, you should always go with it -- and that's exactly what I did." (Similarly, Janice Freeman chose Miley during the premiere, even though everyone thought she would go with another coach.)


What did you think of Jennifer Hudson's approach to coaching in the auditions? Do you think it helped Dylan and Maharasyi? And did Ashland make the right choice with Miley? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

The Voice airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8/7c on NBC. Want more news? Like our Voice Facebook page.

(Image courtesy of NBC)