The Voice Starts Season 11 With Crazy Talented Teens & a Christina Grimmie Tribute

Find out what else happened in the post-Olympics sneak peek
By Jean Bentley Aug 22, 2016 3:01 AM

Girl power is alive and well on The Voice this season!

It's no coincidence that the two amazing singers we met in the post-Olympics sneak preview of the reality singing competition are incredibly talented young women—after all, this is the first year in the show's history with two female coaches, the reigning Voice champion is a woman, and we're coming off the first-ever win for a female coach.

There's a looooot of girl power here, and talented teens W‎é McDonald and Darby Walker will fit nicely into this female-dominated season—especially with coaches Alicia Keys and Miley Cyrus on their side.

Although frequently we'll meet contestants before they step on stage for their blind audition, the half-hour episode began immediately as McDonald took her place behind the coaches and proceeded to blow all of them away with a gorgeous, rich, deep-voiced a cappella version of "Feelin' Good."

And yes, we were just as surprised as Alicia, Miley, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton when McDonald's speaking voice turned out to be a bubbly, high-pitched 17-year-old girl's rather than the low, mature one she uses while singing.

Miley Cyrus and Alicia Keys Are The Voice Coaches You've Been Waiting For

After McDonald chose Alicia, it was time for another 17-year-old to impress us all. Walker, whose mom moved the family from Atlanta to Los Angeles to encourage her budding music career, sang Florence and the Machine's version of "Stand By Me," and managed to get everyone but Adam to turn around. Miley and Alicia both laid on the charm thick, even hitting the stage to sing "Jolene" and "No One," respectively, with her. But it was Miley's pitch that won her over, scoring her the first spot on the new coach's team.

The episode ended with a performance of "Dream On" by all four judges (and they actually sounded quite nice together, right?), followed by a tribute to one of the show's most successful contestants: Christina Grimmie, who was gunned down in July following a Florida performance.

"In loving memory of our friend Christina Grimmie," read a card at the end of the episode. Frankly, it seemed a bit too short to celebrate the short but lasting legacy of such an integral part of the show.

The full season 11 premiere airs Monday, Sept. 19 at 8 p.m. on NBC.

(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)

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