Cole Criske Joins Team Blake On 'The Voice' — But Why?

The Voice has made me cry one too many times this week. Tonight's cause: 16-year-old Cole Criske. The young artist blew the coaches away with his unique take on John Mayer's "Dreaming With a Broken Heart," but it was the reason for this song choice that really got me. Criske sang this song in honor of his dad, who was killed by a drunk driver when Criske was only 10. Since it was his dad who got him into music, it was all the more moving that the aspiring musician chose to honor him at his audition. And honor him he did. Criske was able to turn three chairs — Adam, was your button broken? — and inspired quite the debate from the coaches. He ultimately chose to join Team Blake, but he left me wondering why.

Criske has a cool, alternative element to his voice that makes him stand out. He would've been a perfect addition to Team Pharrell or Team Gwen (and even Team Adam if he had turned around.) But Team Blake? Sure, the veteran coach has four wins under his belt, but he tends to breed country artists. He always starts with other types of artists on his team, but ends with a team of country singer. It's possible that Criske could break the mold and be one of the first alternative pop artists from Team Blake to make it to the finals, but it's more probable that he'll get eliminated during the Knockout Rounds then picked up by a coach that's more fitting to his style.

There is one advantage to joining Team Blake, though: he's amazing at working with young artists. Shelton really dedicates himself to working with his young artists to take their talents to the next level. If he's able to do the same with Criske, the pair may have a shot at making it to the top together. Whether this is the case or he gets stolen by another coach, there's no doubt that Criske will be in this competition for a while.

Image: Tyler Golden/NBC