The Voice season 18 Battle Rounds BEGIN tonight with returning coaches Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson and John Legend. New coach Nick Jonas joins the panel. Carson Daly returns as host. We’ll be live blogging all the Blind Audition performances right here.
As always, each coach has brought a celebrity mentor on board to help get their teams ready for battle. Nick Jonas will team up with his brothers Joe Jonas and Kevin Jonas. Kelly Clarkson will join forces with pop star Dua Lipa, John Legend and UK R&B singer Ella Mai will work alongside each other, and Blake Shelton will enlist the help of Bebe Rexha. The crossover country singer served as a “Fifth Coach” on The Voice season 16 digital “Comeback Stage” series in 2019.
As far as the round’s format is concerned, In the upcoming Battles, reportedly each coach gets a save and a steal. The four saves will perform in a four way knockout, and America will choose the winner.
Joei Fulco vs Todd Michael Hall – The Best by Tina Turner – Team Blake Shelton – Both sing classic rock. But Todd is old enough to remember it! He’s 50 years old. His blind audition day was his 20th wedding anniversary. Joei covered Cher in her blind audition, but she loves country rock. This song is super corny. Bebe is impressed with Todd’s range. Bebe suggests they listen to each other more and watch their pitch.
The duet is like Cher vs Steve Perry and is for those who love their 80s throwbacks. John calls it “So fun and so good….both of you are fantastic. Nick compares it to 10 shots of caffeine. He would pick Joei. Kelly loves Joei’s rasp, and is impressed that Todd sang the high harmony. Blake calls Joei’s voice magical. Joei wins the battle! Blake calls her gift unique. Stealers only have until they leave the stage, while savers can wait longer. Kelly tries to steal Todd, but she got mixed up. She thought she could wait until AFTER he left the stage. WRONG KELLY. Blake saved him because he thinks he’ll be formidable in the four way knockout.
Blake picks Joei Blake saves him. Kelly tries to steal him, but too late!
Anaya Cheyenne vs Chelle – Scared to Be Lonely by Martin Garrix ft Dua Lipa – Team Kelly Clarkson – The two will sing a Dua Lipa song in front of her. No pressure! Chelle comes from a small farm town. She gifted the coaches with rocks she collects. Both singers are teens. Anaya moved in with her grandmother at age 12 to attend her performing arts school. Dua advises them not to put their voices all out there at once. Kelly adds, “Make sure you have that ache.” Dua was inspired by the arrangement. Kelly says the vibe is the most important thing, not singing loud. The presentation needs to be about attitude, she says. Kelly reminds them, if the crowd is loving them both, it moves the coaches to steal.
This song is really too mature for teens to pull off. All those years in performing arts school has helped Anaya, however. She has a mature sound and stage presence for a 16 year old. Chelle is good, but not as advanced. Blake calls Anaya’s voice “diverse.” He felt Chelle was a little in over her head. John agrees–he felt Chelle was imprecise. Nick thinks Chelle has a real gift. He likes them both. Kelly says, “Make sure you are very confident and you own that moment every time. And, unsurprisingly, Anaya wins the battle. Kelly calls her “the perfect coachable artist.”
Kelly picks Anaya. Chelle is Eliminated
Joanna Serenko vs Roderick Chambers – when the party’s over by Billie Eilish – Team Nick Jonas – Joe has already coached The Voice in Australia. The Jonas Bros were Joanna’s first concert. She was a 4 chair turn, only Nick spun for Roderick. Joanna’s mid range is so rich, while Roderick relies on his falsetto. Nick wants to add harmonies. He’s doing the producer thing, while his brothers watch. Kinda like how their appearance on Songland went down. Roderick wasn’t sure about the song choice at first. Now he realizes the potential to be epic.
We actually previewed this performance HERE. Joanna’s lower register is to die for, but she also has impressive range. Her voice is so elastic. Gorgeous. Roderick is very soulful, and his runs are ad libs are tasteful. Nick did a great job arranging the song. The harmonies were a smart addition. They sound beautiful! John is shouting “Beautiful beautiful so good!” Kelly calls it her favorite battle so far. She can’t pick a winner. Blake feels like Roderick really stepped it up. He’d pick Roderick. John felt both were impressive. But, he’d pick Joanna. Nick goes with his gut feeling and picks Roderick. Wow! Nick is drawn to his potential. And then, John steals Joanna. All that hooting and hollering during the performance might have been a hint.
Nick picks Roderick, John steals Joanna
Mike Jerel vs Zach Day – Adorn by Miguel – Team John Legend – It’s Ella’s first time serving as a mentor on a singing show. Mike freaked out the judges with his soulful range to earn a 4 chair turn. John loves the harmonies, but thinks both are a little tentative. He wants more swag from Zach. He’s having a hard time acting “sexy.” Ella advises both singers not to overthink it. Mike’s inspiration his is girlfriend. John calls out accuracy problems. He’s looking for confidence.
They both have sweet falsettos, but Mike’s tone is so buttery. Zach is a little nasally. John’s right, those harmonies are fine. Nick calls it a real battle and “shockingly confident.” He can’t choose. Kelly calls Mike fearless, “You’re both gifted.” She can’t choose either. Blake feels Mike is a better technical singer, but likes that Zach “kicked the door down.” John is happy the two delivered the song convincingly. John picks Mike, because he enjoys his tone more.
John picks Mike Jerel, Zach Day is Eliminated
Jamal Corrie vs Levi Watkins – Counting Stars by OneRepublic – Team Blake Shelton – Levi is very young. He’s only 14, but looks like a 10 year old. He’s from Alabama, and a type 1 diabetic (So is Nick). Levi was only a 1 chair turn. While waiting in the holding room, the two sang together! Both had a feeling they’d end up battling. Jamal thinks of Levi as a little brother. Right now, Jamal is taking care of his mom and siblings, who all have disabilities. Jamal is willing to go for the big notes, but Bebe and Blake coach him not to sound forced. Bebe asks Levi to try a falsetto and…his voice cracks. Oh boy. Consequently, he’s reaching for high for notes in his mid range. There’s a reason the show doesn’t cast young teen boys.
Jamal sounds slightly off pitch in the beginning. There is an awkward rappy verse. I’m not impressed with either of them, really. Jamal is pitchy, so pitchy, while Levi lacks control. His vocal needs time to mature. John calls the performance “fun.” John noted Jamal’s imprecision. He was impressed that Levi can hit some higher notes. He thought Levi would mess up. That’s a pretty low bar. Nick says to Levi: “We could have been diabetic buddies!” Kelly appreciates that Jamal was “adventurous.” She would take passion over precision. Blake loves the little brother thing going on between them. He wonders if all the running around affected Jamal’s pitch. Blake picks Levi. Not really surprised.
Blake picks Levi Watkins, Jamal Corrie is Eliminated
Allegra Miles vs Michael Williams – How Will I Know by Whitney Houston – Team Nick Jonas – Allegra is from St. John Virgin Island. She mentions how Hurricane Irma destroyed the island in 2017. The duo sing the ballady Sam Smith version. He wants them both to connect with their vulnerability. Kevin loves the harmony. Joe tells Allegra to enunciate more. Michael has been doing community theater and appreciates that Nick started on stage. He’s also helping Michael with his falsetto. Nick appreciates that the two turned the song into a joyous performance. At the studio rehearsal, Nick works on the staging.
These two have chemistry. The best parts are when they sing at each other in harmony, and connect. It’s not as strong when they come apart to solo. Both have beautiful upper registers. Kelly calls Mike’s voice “magnificent.” But she’s in love with Allegra. She’d pick Allegra’s “finale” tone. Blake calls it a “great” duet. But he would also pick Allegra. John got some “Nick vibes” from Michael. He calls Allegra’s tone “special and magical.” Nick thinks they made the song their own. Nick picks Allegra. He calls her a storyteller and inspiring vocalist. But then he SAVES Michael.”There was no way you were leaving today,” says Nick.
Nick picks Allegra, He SAVES Michael