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How Blake Shelton Helped "Ray of Sunshine" Madison Curbelo Get 4 Chair Turns

From no chairs to four chairs: A little timely advice from Blake Shelton turned out to be pitch-perfect for Madison Curbelo. 

By Benjamin Bullard

Madison Curbelo isn’t just a great singer — she’s also gifted with an infectious optimism. And The Voice Coaches felt that even when their backs were turned.

How to Watch

Watch the Season 26 premiere of The Voice on Monday, September 23 at 8/7c on NBC and next day on Peacock. 

Just as she’d done on her first The Voice Audition back in Season 20, the 21 year-old Massachusetts native took the Blind Audition stage once again determined to share a little of her upbeat spirit with the Coaches. And thanks to some wise, way-back advice from Blake Shelton, this time out, Curbelo earned a coveted Four-Chair turn.

RELATED: Every Winner of The Voice From Season 1 Through Season 24

Watch Madison Curbelo’s Blind Audition on The Voice Season 25

Madison Curbelo appears in Season 25 Episode 3 of The Voice

Even though John Legend, Shelton, and the other Season 20 Coaches didn’t turn for Curbelo during her first Blind Audition, Shelton was obviously moved by her undefeated attitude and unmistakable talent. All she needed, he said, was a little more time to blossom from behind the microphone: “Sing as much as you can for another year,” he told Curbelo — and that’s exactly what she did.

“I really took Blake’s advice to heart… anyplace that would have me sing, I was there,” Curbelo explained before walking out with an acoustic guitar and wowing the Season 25 Coaches, adding that she’d also managed to complete a program at Boston’s Berklee College of Music since her last appearance on The Voice. “It feels different this time around. It feels like it might be meant to be," she said. 

RELATED: A Full Breakdown of How The Voice Works

All four Coach teams agreed. Legend was the first to turn, and he didn’t hesitate to confess that maybe, just maybe, he should’ve bitten on the young talent when he had the chance back in 2021.

“I am keenly aware that I was one of the people who did not turn for you in Season 20,” said Legend, while fellow Coaches Dan + Shay gave him plenty of funny grief about it from across the way. “I feel like you’re just ready now…. When I turned around, I saw the smile on your face — and I turned around pretty quickly; before any of them! — But I ‘heard’ your smile before I turned around. Because your voice has this brightness to it; this charisma to it!”

Reba McEntire called her performance “beautiful,” while Chance the Rapper described her as “an awesome talent — so exciting and fun” with “a really cool energy [that] makes me smile.”

RELATED: An Official Recap of Team Dan + Shay on The Voice Season 25

But it was Dan + Shay who laid on the enticement extra-thick, with Shay Mooney calling her lilting soprano performance “absolutely phenomenal.”

“You radiate light and — just joy!” Mooney added, tipping his hat to how Curbelo had grown from taking Shelton’s Season 20 advice. “And it is true: When you get told ‘no’ sometimes in your life, I think that pivots you and puts you on a different trajectory and allows you the opportunity to grow in those moments. Your voice was just flawless. I do agree [with Legend] that you could ‘hear’ the smile in your voice… we’re the lucky ones that you are here!”

Dan Smyers told Curbelo she’s be a “perfect fit” for Team Dan + Shay, and in the end, Curbelo agreed: With her proud family cheering her on from the sidelines, she picked the Coach duo to mentor her through her Season 25 journey.