updated 02/25/2014 AT 4:00 AM ET
•originally published 02/25/2014 AT 6:35 AM ET
The Voice opened Season 6 with a wealth of new – and returning – talent and plenty of fireworks, setting up an epic battle between Adam Levine and his nemesis, Blake Shelton, who clearly didn’t take losing in Season 5 too well.
And then there’s Usher, who dragged out his own shimmering gold Grammy award to lure one of the night’s breakout stars, Bria Kelly, 17, who threw it down with a growling version of “Steamroller Blues” that had all judges vying for her attention.
“O-M-G,” a stunned Levine said of Kelly’s performance, which got a standing ovation from all four coaches. “I can’t believe that was you doing that. You haven’t been alive long enough to feel the pain that you were showing up there.”
But it was Usher’s award show bling that won Kelly over, and he wasted no time throwing it up in his fellow coaches’ faces, dancing in front of Levine in wicked delight.
The first night of blind auditions also had moments of great heart, as another talented teen, Jake Worthington of La Porte, Texas, returned to The Voice stage after failing to turn any chairs last season.
Singing the late Keith Whitley’s classic country hit, “Don’t Close Your Eyes,” Worthington, 17, earned three chair turns from Levine, Shelton and Shakira, who said his performance was “perfect.” “You’re perfect,” the starstruck Worthington responded.
Levine quickly jumped in to make his case for the young country singer, reminding Worthington that he turned his chair first. But in the end, Worthington went with his musical roots. “Do you want to be a novelty or a real country, rootsy singer?” Shelton asked. “I want to be a real rootsy country singer,” Worthington replied.