The Voice season 15 Battle Rounds continue tonight with coaches Adam Levine, Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson and Blake Shelton. Carson Daly returns as host. We’re live blogging all the performances here.
Coaches will pair up team members who will battle for a spot in the Knockouts. The winner advances, the loser is eliminated OR can be stolen by a fellow coach. Each coach has two steals to use during the round.
The coaches have enlisted mentors to assist coaching their teams. Blake has tapped Keith Urban. Kelly has brought in country superstar Thomas Rhett. Jennifer has brought along pop singer Halsey. And Adam brings back former The Voice coach Cee Lo Green.
Keith Paluso vs Dave Fenley – Team Blake – I’m a One Woman Man by George Jones – Keith is a park ranger in Tennessee. He put music on the backburner during college and started a family. He ended up on Team Blake after the coach used his block on Adam. On the other hand, Dave has been grinding in the music business for years. Blake paired the two together because of their rugged sound. He only needs one of that type of singer on his team. Keith Urban liked Keith the contestant’s introverted style, but appreciated Dave’s swagger. Blake feels Keith’s comfort level isn’t on par with Dave’s. I think Dave winning this battle is a foregone conclusion, don’t you? Keith suggests that the two take down the tempo, to make it more brooding, upping the attitude. Keith is good! At stage rehearsal, Keith is still struggling. Blake thinks maybe it’s his lack of experience. This matchup is a little unfair. AND DANG. This battle is getting so much air time. Time for a commercial
The performance starts off with a’cappella harmony. Their voices could blend better. Dave certainly exudes confidence, but Keith has a good voice. Whoa. Dave goes deep in his register. His range is impressive. Sad for Keith, but he’s outclassed in about every way here. That’s the difference between years on the road playing music vs playing with the squirrels in a park.
Jennifer called it “fun to watch.” She can’t pick. Kelly compares them to old school legends. She won’t pick either. Adam felt Keith was a fish out of water. He’s not a country singer! Dang. So much cannon fodder. Blake compliments them on coming up with an original arrangement. And of course, Blake Chooses Dave. Ooohhhh. Adam steals Keith. Even if Keith doesn’t make it past the Knockouts, I’m glad Adam saved him. That match up was ridiculously lopsided.
Reagan Strange vs Emily Hough – Team Adam – Photograph by Ed Sheeran – Adam pairs up the teens. Reagan is only 13. Emily is a little older at 16. They have become fast friends. Emily is from a small midwestern town. The blinds were the biggest performance she’s ever done. Reagan has been watching the show for as long as she can remember. OH. Hugging Cee Lo Green. Kinda creepy considering. Reagan wonders what happened to Cee Lo’s cat. He thinks Reagan can do no wrong, vocally. Adam advises the singers “question themselves less” and lean into the emotion. Cee Lo blabbers on in a way that goes over the young girls’ heads. At stage rehearsal, Adam urges them not to be nervous.
Both sing with sweet bell-like tones. The voices blend really well. And it’s obvious that they have a bond. I thought I’d be Team Reagan, but now I’m not so sure. Oops. There are some nerves at play here. Emily loses her pitch at one point. The best parts of this performance were the harmonies.
Blake calls it a “sweet little fairytale.” Jennifer compares them to “angels.” Kelly compares Reagan’s voice to poetry, but she appreciates that Emily lives in her moment. Adam Chooses Reagan. Not surprising at all. Emily is eliminated. Adam tells her the loss will make her a better singer.
Ohh. A new episode of The Comeback stage. Sam and Wyatt face off tonight! I’ll be posting that up later. So watch for that.
Matt Johnson vs Franc West – Team Jennifer – Too Close by Alex Clare – Franc’s son is a fan of the show. He was a one chair turn. Matt has been auditioning for The Voice since season 1. Currently, he works at a winery. And he’s openly gay. Matt is smooth while Franc is gritty. Opposites! Jennifer is looking for the most seasoned singer. Halsey cautioned to dial back the runs. Jennifer advises that they treat the performance like “a journey.” Jenifer notes that Franc brings the swag, while Matt brings the passion.
Matt has a gorgeous, smooth voice. His tone is outstanding. Franc is grittier, a lived in voice with lots of growl and rasp. Maybe it’s a preference thing with these two. The song is more in Matt’s wheelhouse, I think. Give Franc a retro soul tune, and he kills. I prefer Matt on this particular song.
Kelly liked that both showed off their lower range. If Kelly HAD to pick one, she’s choose Matt. She loves his round tone. Adam mentions his coming back every season, and being Jennifer’s last pick. “I think you should be on the show.” Blake loves Franc’s raspy voice–he’d choose Franc. Jennifer Chooses Franc. Matt is Eliminated. OK I’m a little surprised. Considering how the song choice favored Matt AND his appealing backstory, I thought he had it. Jennifer just could not get over Franc’s swagger and cutting tone.
Delaney Silvernell vs Abby Cates – Team Kelly – Love Me Like You Do by Ellie Goulding – Last summer, Abby was thrown into the air by a horse. She broke 3 vertebrae. Delaney started doing musical theater very young. She moved out to LA 6 months ago. Kelly wishes she had written this song. Delaney is the more experienced of the two. But Abby has a huge range. Thomas thinks both are on an equal playing field. Delaney is very nervous in rehearsal. Kelly wants to get behind the one who is ready right now. At stage rehearsal, Kelly calls out “DON’T SUCK.” She’s just kidding heh.
I love Delaney’s warm buttery tone. She’s unique. Abby’s voice sounds brighter, younger. I prefer Delaney, hands down. Abby’s doing OK though. Her phrasing is good. This performance is pretty much a draw.
Adam notes that Abby is only 17. Delaney is 21 and further along, says Adam. But he can’t choose. Blake would choose Delaney, because he can hear the experience in her voice. JHud won’t choose. Kelly hopes the loser gets stolen! Kelly chooses Abby. Oh wow. Not who I would have chosen. Kelly calls Abby’s voice “COOL.” And Adam doesn’t wait. Adam Steals Delaney. He hits his button immediately. He was surprised Kelly didn’t take her. Me too.
It’s time for some old fashion two second montages!
Foushee vs Radha – Team Adam – Growing Pains by Alessia Cara – After a short clip of the performance, Adam Chooses Radha. Foushee is Eliminated. And she’s gone, just like that. I loved Foushee’s blind audition.
Mikele Buck vs Chevel Shepherd – You Look So Good in Love by George Strait – Team Kelly – After a short clip of singing, Kelly Chooses Chevel. Mikele is Eliminated.
Audri Bartholomew vs Makenzie Thomas – Team Jennifer – Always Be My Baby by Mariah Carey- After the short snip, Jennifer claims Mariah would be proud. She calls MaKenzie a “beast” of a vocalist. Jennifer Chooses Makenzie. Audri is Eliminated.
Blake admits that he’s never heard Mariah’s “Always Be My Baby.” So, Jennifer and Kelly perform a little duet to demonstrate!
Jake Wells vs Natalie Brady – Team Adam – Closing Time by Semisonic – Jake’s family performed gospel music with his family all over the country. Adam turned for him at the very last minute. Natalie has lived in Nashville with her kids for the last four years. She sang rock in her Blind, but she writes country and more. Adam explains that he put two dispirit singers together, as their taste in music is similar. This is a much better song choice for Jake. Adam suggests ditching the guitar for a piano driven arrangement–which helps Natalie quite a bit. Adam is shocked at how incredible they sound together.
I really really really like Jake’s voice. Surprisingly, Adam is right. They sound good together. Credit for that goes to both singers who are generous duet partners. They really connect! And Jake is quite the belter when he wants to be. This is the duet of the night! So unexpected. So good.
Blake loved their tight harmonies. He’d choose Natalie. Jennifer notes Natalies presence and power. Jennifer won’t pick. Kelly would have never put them together. But it works. “It’s like Brad Pitt meets Kurt Cobain.” Adam says there is no better or worse here. Adam Chooses Jake! YAHHHHHH. I think he’s gonna be my fav. Natalie is Eliminated. Kelly has one steal left, but she’s looking for dudes at this point.
Tyshawn Colquitt vs Zaxai – Team Kelly – Love Lies by Khalid and Normani – Zaxai is Haitian American. He performed a cool version of “Come and Get Your Love.” Kelly wanted to turn for Zaxai real bad but Jennifer blocked her. Welp. Usually when Carson telegraphs a steal ahead of the performance there is some suspense. Tyshawn and his mom run a poundcake business. He grew up in the projects and as the oldest of 10 siblings, he was a father figure. Jennifer chose a song that was outside of their comfort zone. Jennifer says they’re both attacking the song from different vibes. Halsey mentions diction and pitch problems. Notice the words, Halsey advises “show me the secret parts of you nobody else sees.” She is a good mentor. Both singers appear to need a lot of work. Jennifer makes sure they both get space in the song to shine. At the stage rehearsal, Jennifer notes that they both made big improvements from the duo’s early rehearsals.
These harmonies are sweet! Tyshawn has a very expressive voice. Nice falsetto and he can also deliver raw emotion. But Zaxai has superior tone and phrasing Both are good–just depends on the kind of singer you like.
Kelly says they fed off each other so well. She notes Tyshawn’s versatility, and calls Zaxai’s voice a warm blanket. She would choose Zaxai. Kelly reminds everyone that Jennifer blocked her. Adam felt the match is even and that they both struggled with low notes. Blake would give the battle to Zaxai. Jennifer Chooses Tyshawn. AND IN THE BIGGEST SHOCK EVER ONLY NOT. Kelly Steals Zaxai.