Tonight, the Battles begin on The Voice season 20. In the Battles, the coaches pair up members of their teams for duets. The singers prepare for performances with the help of their coach and a celebrity advisor. Blake Shelton teams up with country duo Dan + Shay, Kelly Clarkson and Latin star Luis Fonsi join forces, John Legend enlists the help of R&B legend Brandy. And Nick Jonas gets help from Glee star Darren Criss.
After the performance, the coach chooses a winner to move on to the next round. The loser is eliminated, unless saved by their coach or stolen by a rival. Each coach gets one steal and one save.
Note: Due to illness, country singer Kelsea Ballerini sits in for Kelly Clarkson during the studio performances. Kelly will be watching from home, however, allowing Kelsea to dial in for advice. Kelly was able to film the mentor sessions with Luis Fonsi.
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Gean Garcia vs Ryleigh Modig – pov by Ariana Grande – Team Kelly – Luis Fonsi is helping out with mentor duties with Kelly’s team. Kelly says Gean and Ryleigh are both quirky singers who make smart choices. She compliments their individuality. Luis is impressed by their maturity at such a young age. Luis asks why did Kelly put them against each other, and she tells him it’s because she wants them to bring out the best in each other. Before the performance, Kelsea asks Kelly a rundown on Gean and Ryleigh. Kelly says they are two of her best, and she believes she will get flak from the other judges for putting them together. Kelly also advises Kelsea not to trust Blake.
Gean starts off the song, and he sings the first verse softly. Ryleigh matches his soft approach to the song when she joins in. They both have good harmonies when they sing together, and Ryleigh shows off some nice runs too.
After the performance, Blake said it was awful that Kelly paired them together. He jokes that she didn’t show up to work today so she didn’t have to face this decision. Blake compliments them both, but he says he would choose Gean. Nick calls Ryleigh’s voice magical, and he would love to work with her. He gives kudos to Gean too, and he says Kelsea has a tough decision to make today. John adds that he’s questioning himself for not turning for either of them in the audition rounds. He advises Gean to open his vowels more, and he thinks Ryleigh was slightly better today. Kelsea notices some pitch issues with Gean in the beginning, but he corrected it. Kelsea feels connected to Ryleigh’s story of how music is an outlet for her. Kelsea calls Kelly, and Kelly says she believes both will survive regardless who she chooses. Kelsea picks Ryleigh, John and Nick both want to steal Gean. Gean picks John.
Aaron Konzelman vs Connor Christian – I Ain’t Livin Long Like This by Waylon Jennings – Team Blake – Dan + Shay is helping out with mentoring Blake’s team. Aaron says the song is in his wheelhouse, but Connor feels like he’s being pushed out of his comfort zone. Blake compliments Connor’s raspy voice and how powerful it can be. Blake says Aaron is aggressive with his vocals and gives it everything he has. Dan + Shay advises them not to overdo the runs. Blake tells them not to worry too much about what the other person is doing. He says the harmonies will work out if they focus on the melodies.
Both are playing guitar throughout the performance. Connor starts the song off before Aaron joins him. Aaron does seem more comfortable with the song than Connor, but Connor shows strong stage presence. Towards the end of the performance, they both step away from their mic stands and move around the stage.
Nick calls the performance a “barn burner.” Nick thinks Connor’s rasp will set him apart. Nick compliments Aaron’s professionalism. He thinks it was an even battle. John thought the song suited Aaron better, but he’s more intrigued to hear what Connor is capable of. Kelsea likes Aaron’s tone, and she compliments Connor for making the stage his own. Blake says Aaron is “so good” and Connor manages to stay in the zone. Blake says the song was more in Aaron’s wheelhouse, but he was impressed how Connor stepped up to the plate. Blake picks Connor, Aaron is eliminated.
Dana Monique vs Devan Blake Jones – Stuck with U by Ariana Grande & Justin Bieber – Team Nick – Darren Criss is helping out with Nick’s team. Nick feels like both Dana and Devan have classic sounds, and he wants them to sing a more modern song together. Darren advises Dana to watch her pitch, and Nick tells Devan to work on his confidence. Nick is impressed by both, and he thinks this will be one of his toughest decisions.
Devan starts the song off, and Dana joins him shortly afterwards. They both have strong and soulful vocals. They are comfortable with the song, and they show off their range once they reach the chorus. It’s an impressive performance, and they are the best so far tonight.
Blake thinks Devan did a good job stepping up to the plate by going against Dana. Nonetheless, he thinks Dana is incredible, and he would choose her. John says Dana looked natural on stage, and he advises Devan to work on some pitch issues. Kelsea says Dana exudes so much confidence, and it’s hard to look away from her. Kelsea says Devan’s falsetto is magical. Nick says Dana is very special, and there’s a joy that surrounds her. He says Devan worked his butt off, and Nick is kicking himself for mishandling this pairing. Nick says Devan should be really proud of this performance. Nick picks Dana, Nick saves Devan. He’s not ready to say goodbye to Devan yet.
Christine Cain vs Pia Renee – Baby by Brandy – Team Legend – Brandy is helping John with the mentoring session, and they are singing her song. Brandy says Pia has a beautiful and powerful voice. John says Christine was cool and “so in the pocket.” Brandy calls Christine and Pia’s cover of “Baby” the grown-up version since she was 15 when the song first came out. John and Brandy suggest switching to a higher harmony in certain parts of the song, and John wants to see Pia loosen up more.
Christine and Pia both start the song together before they sing their individual parts. They are dancing along to this groovy song. They both show off the power of their vocals, but the harmonies aren’t perfect. Nonetheless, it’s a fun and upbeat performance.
Kelsea thinks Pia belongs here, but she noticed Christine got too much in her head. She wouldn’t want to choose between them though. Blake said Christine was too laid back, but Pia had explosive moments. He would pick Pia. Nick thinks Christine has crafted her talent well, and he agrees with Blake that Pia was explosive. Nick tells John he has a good choice either way. John tells Christine that she sang the song the way it was meant to be, but he thinks she could’ve done more. John says Pia rose to the occasion. John picks Pia, Christine is eliminated.
Awari vs Jose Figueroa Jr. – You Say by Lauren Daigle – Team Nick – Darren calls Awari’s voice sexy, and he likes the husky tone of his voice. Darren is impressed by the vocal acrobatics Jose can achieve. Nick advises them to use the camera to connect with the audience watching at home since there is no live audience. Nick believes it will be a very special performance and a tough choice. He says Awari and Jose are neck and neck.
Awari starts the song off, and he gives a strong vocal. Jose shows off some runs before the two sing the chorus together. They belt some big notes, and the coaches are impressed throughout the performance. Nick is on his feet watching the two sing. The two showcase the power of their voices before ending the song softy together.
John compliments Jose’s effortless performance, but he thought Awari was solid and would choose him. Kelsea calls Awari’s range beautiful. She also likes Jose’s runs, but she advises him to hold back a little bit. Blake says the rawness of Awari’s voice is his strength while Jose shows off a lot of tricks with his runs. Blake thinks a little bit goes a long way, but he would still choose Jose since it’s easier to hold back. Nick calls the performance phenomenal despite noticing some nerves. Nick gives kudos to Awari for encouraging Jose during the performance, and he gives props to Jose for nailing his runs. Nick picks Jose, Awari is eliminated.
Avery Roberson vs Ethan Lively – Just Got Started Lovin’ You by James Otto – Team Blake – They are both very country, and Blake wants to figure out which ones has a clear path on his team. Blake says Ethan is a confident cowboy while Avery is more introverted and thoughtful. Dan + Shay advise them to put everything on the table, and Blake tells them to enjoy the moment. Dan + Shay call them incredible singers, and Blake wants them to make it a tough decision for him.
Avery and Ethan are both accompanied by guitar. Avery starts off the song, but Ethan joins in shortly afterwards. They both have traditional low country voices. Ethan shows off more range toward the end of the song, and he hits higher notes than Avery. It’s a solid performance, although not the most memorable of the night.
Nick calls it an impressive performance, and he doesn’t know who he would pick since there are both similar. However, he eventually admits he would pick Avery. John is amazed that Ethan is only 17. He thinks the song played to Ethan’s strengths. Kelsea really enjoyed it, and she tells Blake he has a good decision. Blake give props to Avery for having a 4-chair turn while he was the only one to turn for Ethan. Blake tells Avery he came alive in the battle, but Blake picks Ethan. Kelsea steals Avery. Kelsea was texting Kelly, and Kelly told her to get Avery if she can.
Advancing to the Knockouts
Ryleigh Modig – Team Kelly
Gean Garcia – STOLEN by Team Legend
Connor Christian – Team Blake
Dana Monique – Team Nick
Devan Blake Jones – SAVED by Team Nick
Pia Renee – Team Legend
Jose Figueroa Jr. – Team Nick
Ethan Lively – Team Blake
Avery Roberson – STOLEN by Team Kelly
Aaron Konzelman from Team Blake
Christine Cain from Team Legend
Awari from Team Nick