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Hear Why Caleb Sasser’s “Creative” Toni Braxton Cover Got Him 4 Chairs: “Magical”

Taking a risk paid off!

By Josh Weiss

Deviating from the style of a well-known song during a Blind Auditions on NBC's The Voice can be a dangerous gamble. If the performance is too out-there, it has the potential to alienate the Coaches and lead to a no chair-turn situation.

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When done correctly, however, placing one's own unique spin on a particular ballad has the power to enchant the Coaches, showing them that the Contestant is both creative and confident in their vocal abilities. Caleb Sasser, a 27-year-old music teacher living in Los Angeles, fell into the latter camp Tuesday night (October 10) with a riveting cover of Toni Braxton's "Another Sad Love Song," which he infused with elements of pop, jazz, and R&B.

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His risk paid off big-time as Niall Horan and Gwen Stefani simultaneously turned around their chairs just seconds into the performance. Reba McEntire and John Legend required a few more moments, but they ended up swiveling around, too.

Watch Caleb Sasser's Toni Braxton cover land a 4-Chair Turn on The Voice

Caleb Sasser performs on The Voice Stage

Mr. Legend gained the upper hand right away when he asked the soft-spoken Sasser about his musical influences. "I love Toni Braxton, I love Anita Baker," the singer replied. "One of my biggest influences is Jazmine Sullivan and John Legend."

Realizing that their chances of getting chosen had just dropped significantly, Horan and Stefani threw up their hands (and feet) in semi-defeat. "We all just need to tell you how great you are, OK?" Stefani said, adding that she was "pitching hard" against Legend.

"The ease [with] which you sing is just so beautiful in the most beautiful, down-to-earth, smily way that you could possibly do it," Horan continued. "I was just watching you while [John and Gwen] were talking to you and I was like, 'This is the nicest person I've ever met in my life.'" 

McEntire — whose acclaimed sitcom Sasser grew up watching, we might add — was last to speak, admitting that Sasser's voice gave her a great sense of inner calm. "I did a duet album many years ago and I promise you, if I had heard your voice, I would've begged you to please come sing and duet with me," she said.

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In the end, though, Sasser chose to side with Legend. "Caleb is a perfect addition to Team Legend," the Coach summarized. "What a beautiful, rich, tenor voice. He makes really musical and tasteful choices with the way he does runs and the way he styles a song. That's the kind of Artist I love to work with."