'The Voice' Season 19: Blake Shelton fails to identify Smokey Robinson song, shocked fans say 'disqualify him'

Blake explained that out of respect for Rio's performance he didn't turn his chair, and confessed that he had no idea what genre or artiste Rio's performance was based on


                            'The Voice' Season 19: Blake Shelton fails to identify Smokey Robinson song, shocked fans say 'disqualify him'
Blake Shelton, Smokey Robinson and Rio Souma (Getty Images/NBC)

Detroit-native Rio Souma was the opening act during part 3 of the blind auditions on 'The Voice'. Before taking over the stage with her incredible performance to Motown legend, Smokey Robinson's 'Cruisin', Rio revealed that he has been working on the assembly line of a car manufacturing company in Detroit. But his heart has always been set on a career in singing, so the 28-year-old aspiring singer decided to try out his luck on 'The Voice'. He expresses his gratitude to his mother, who gave up her dreams to work in corporate America to support the family, and ensure that he can pursue his dreams.

Rio finally stepped onto the stage and began crooning to 'Cruisin', in less than a minute coach Gwen Stefani immediately turned her chair for him. Soon, John Legend and Kelly Clarkson followed Gwen's suit and turned around to watch Rio's passionate performance. To everybody's surprise, Blake Shelton didn't turn his chair. So, after Rio was done singing, all the coaches turned to Blake and asked him why he didn't turn his chair.

Blake's response not only let his fellow coaches but also fans in a state of shock and surprise. Blake explained that out of respect for Rio's performance he didn't turn his chair. He further elaborated by confessing that he had no idea what genre or artiste Rio's performance was based on. John immediately took it upon himself to first educate Blake on the genre of Motown and shared that Rio's performance was based on a popular Motown artiste, Smokey Robinson's song. John then proceeded to praise Rio for his powerful performance and appreciated him for adding his own twist to the iconic song.

Gwen and Kelly too couldn't stop raving about his performance and showered him with praises for his talent. When it was finally time for Rio to decide whose team he wanted to join, he decided to join Team John Legend, leaving the other coaches a bit sad. Fans continued to have a hard time wrapping their head around the fact that a coach on 'The Voice' had no idea about the Motown genre or Smokey Robinson.

A fan tweeted, "BLAKE WHAT HOW HAVE YOU NEVER HEARD CRUISIN?????????????????????? AND YOURE A JUDGE ON A SHOW ABOUT MUSIC #TheVoice." "This guy on #thevoice is killing itttt also, how has Blake never heard of Cruising?!" wondered a fan. Another fan commented, "Blake Shelton has never heard of Smokey Robinson's, 'Cruising'. That should immediately disqualify him as a musician, as a person over 40 that's EVER listened to the radio and immediately fired from 'The Voice'. Disrespectful. #TheVoice."



 

 



 

 



 

 

Many fans praised Rio's performance in their tweets. A fan wrote, "RIO YOU ARE PHENOMENAL #TheVoice." Another fan expressed, "Rio's ability to switch between his full voice and falsetto was effortless! Those runs were SMOOTH! #TheVoice." "Rio Souma opens the #VoiceBlinds with a Motown classic. Love his approach, so sensual. John was vibing and Gwen turned quickly. He is riding the falsetto parts and workin the stage. Love his melody changes. Very interesting take on the song. #TheVoice," observed a fan.



 

 



 

 



 

 

'The Voice' Season 19 airs every Monday and Tuesday at 8/7c only on NBC.

If you have an entertainment scoop or a story for us, please reach out to us on (323) 421-7515