COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — A central Ohio singer has made it through the first round of NBC’s “The Voice” competition on the show’s Season 22 premiere episode.
Ian Harrison, who hails from Lewis Center, turned three of four coach’s chairs during his Blind Audition with his soulful rendition of Lord Huron’s “The Night We Met.” Blake Shelton was the first to spin around for the artist, followed by Gwen Stefani and then John Legend. Only newcomer Camila Cabello passed on the musician, which she later regretted.
A moment after his performance showcased Harrison’s Buckeye pride when fellow Ohioan, Legend, gave the state’s famous call-out “O-H” to which the 20-year-old replied “I-O.”
Legend complimented the quality of Harrison’s voice in his pitch to coach the young talent.
“I think everybody was impressed with the character of your voice,” said Legend. “It just has this tone that’s really enchanting and it sounds good singing so many things and it’s always fun to work with artists like that.”
Shelton revealed his inner struggle about the performance and what ultimately made him turn his chair for the young singer.
“I was waiting for a moment where I, ‘He’s going to have to do something bigger here,’ and then it finally dawned on me, ‘He doesn’t have to do that,’ because your performance was so powerful with just the character of your voice that I was finally like, ‘This guy’s already done every single thing he needs to do for me to hit my button,’ so I hit it, man,” Shelton said. “I’d be proud to be your coach, dude.”
However, it was Stefani’s speech that swayed Harrison into joining her team.
“I think you’re just a super-interesting artist,” said Stefani. “You showed me your heart, it was very pure.
“I think it would be really fun to work together because I come from that kind of background — been in a van, we just got together and, like, asked my dad for five bucks for a microphone and go to rehearsals — it’s like, homemade.
“And just because you have more of a character voice than like, a styled, fancy voice that’s kinda like me as well. Like, I’m trying to just show my heart to people. So, I would love to be your coach, I think it would be really cool to work with you.”
When asked if he played live shows a lot before joining the competition, Harrison opened up about what was holding him back from performing in front of audiences.
“I’ve always wanted to take a step toward making career music, it’s just, I don’t think I was ever confident enough,” Harrison said.
“I feel like I could help you get there and there’s so much to learn and to be just plopped on ‘The Voice’ stage on TV is insane,” Stefani responded. “But, you need a coach to help you to get through it. It got me excited when you said that.”
Before Harrison made his final choice to join Team Gwen, Cabello expressed her disappointment with not turning around for Harrison.
“You have a really beautiful voice and I was so, so, so close to turning around darn it, and I should have turned around for you,” Cabello said.
Harrison now advances to the show’s Battle Rounds where he will compete against other team members.
Watch “The Voice” Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on NBC4.