WATCH: Neil Salsich Joins Team Blake Following Impressive Hank Williams Cover On ‘The Voice’
“I’ll be honored for you to be on the last team Blake,” Shelton gushed.
Neil Salsich, Blake Shelton; Photo by NBC, The Voice
The Voice Season 23 kicked off with a bang as Neil Salsich earned an impressive four-chair turn with a performance of Hank Williams’ “Honky Tonk Blues.”
Blake Shelton was the first coach to turn his chair and the other coaches, including Kelly Clarkson, Niall Horan, and Chance The Rapper, quickly followed.
Clarkson, however, was removed from the running when Shelton used a block on his longtime frenemy.
Following his performance of the Hank Williams classic, the coaches tried their best to coerce Salsich to join their respective teams.
“Your vibe is so cool, man. It’s like old-school country,” Clarkson gushed. ”Your falsetto is incredible, but you also maintain this like throaty like raspiness. That’s really cool. Just remember that block or Blake Block head, Blake stole the opportunity away from us.”
Shelton was quick to interject: “First of all, there is no proof that I blocked her whatsoever.”
All signs pointed to Shelton making the block because Chance The Rapper and Niall Horan denied using it.
“That’s a four-chair turn, I don’t remember doing it,” Shelton said, referring to the block. “I mean, that’s the Hank William Sr. song, but I hear you kind of doing a yodel thing and it is incredible. Do you gig a lot in St. Louis?”
“Yeah, I’m a full-time musician,” Salsich told Shelton, before sharing that he often sings blues, folk, rock n’ roll and country songs. “So country is very special to me, but I like to say that’s just one of the musical wells that I drink from.
“I drink from a lot of wells too man. I’ll be honored for you to be on the last team Blake,” Shelton exclaimed.
Chance admitted he wasn’t very familiar with the country music genre, but went on to compliment the texture of Salsich’s voice as well as the tone.
“This could be interesting,” Chance pointed out. “It’s TV. Anything could happen. Why not a rapper and a country singer together? And it’d be really cool if I stole a country off [of Shelton]. This guy is the definition of cool. I’m really cool. We can make something happen.”
Clarkson chimed in, “My God. Chance is my favorite person right now.”
“I’m not as cool as either of them, to be honest with you. But I all have that hat and I have that shirt and I have the same name as you,” Horan added. “Job well done. When I was growing up, Garth Brooks was big in Ireland and that was it. I started coming to America 12 [or] 13 years ago for work, spending time across the south, gigging, going into bars, hearing all these great singers. Straight away your voice perked up to me because I feel like you’re a seasoned veteran. Country Storytelling. It’s my thing. These guys can’t tell you a story at all.”
“You’re all making a great case,” Salsich admitted of the coaches’ arguments.
After the coaches bantered back and forth, Salsich ultimately decided to join Team Blake Shelton.
The Voice airs every Monday (8/7c) and Tuesday (9/8c) on NBC and the next day on Peacock.
Lauren Jo Black
Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for Answers.com and her work being featured on Forbes.com. She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.