Night three of The Voice Season 23 Blind Auditions kicked off Monday (March 13) with coaches Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson, Niall Horan and Chance the Rapper listening intently to find contenders to fill up their teams.
One of those contenders was a Nashville bouncer named Walker Wilson.
“I know I’m not a very big dude, but that’s my job,” Wilson told viewers, introducing himself in a pre-recorded clip. “I am 5’9, 5’10 depending on what boots I got on. It is kind of funny. People make fun of me, like, ‘Dude. You’re short. How are you a bouncer?’ It’s not that hard, man. Honestly, you get to talk to people, and in Nashville, everybody’s a musician. I’ve gotten to know our house band…. Anytime I’m off work, I get to jump up there to do a song.”
Getting his shot on a bigger stage, Wilson — who describes his musical style as a cross between Southern rock and soul country — launched into a raucous rendition of Texas-based group the Band of Heathens’ “Hurricane.” During Wilson’s take on the song, long-running host Carson Daly noticed Clarkson swaying back and forth in her red chair.
“Kelly likes it,” Daly said out loud.
Wilson, who sported a flat-brimmed hat, a flannel, button-down shirt and khakis, continued to show off his effortless growl on the lyrics, earning a chair turn from Shelton. And while he impressed all four coaches, surprisingly, no other castmates slammed on their red buttons.
“I am damn proud to have you on my team!” Shelton said, beaming with excitement. “You have the grit for what you do. I was already thinking, [you could sing] like Waylon or even a song like ‘Ol’ Red’ or ‘God‘s Country’ or something like that, just in that vein of what you just did. I could hear all kinds of options. You’re on the right track with that sound. This is gonna be a lot of fun, dude.”
“The minute that you started this guy was all over it,” Horan added, referring to Shelton. “He had a grin like a Cheshire Cat. It was beautiful. You guys are a match made in heaven, and he’s already got it all lined up for you.”
Chance the Rapper also told Wilson, “You have a very distinct voice” while Clarkson commented, “I am a big fan of your voice as well.”
Clarkson also said she had planned to push her button if nobody else did, which would’ve guaranteed another round for Wilson on the show.
“I’m just feeling sorry for grandpa because it’s his last season,” Clarkson joked, poking fun at Shelton. “I just want to make sure he’s going to get in there and get somebody. But you are really talented.”
After each coach delivered their final thoughts, Shelton welcomed Wilson to his team with a gift.
“I’m actually super surprised I’m the only person that turned around for Walker,” Shelton said afterward. “He can do some Southern rock, and he can do country, so it will be fun to get in there with him and maybe see how far he is willing to go down that Southern rock road.”
The Voice airs Monday and Tuesday night on NBC.