The Voice Season 16 Recap – Live Cross Battles 1 – Live Blog and Videos

THE VOICE -- "Live Cross Battles" Episode 1611A -- Pictured: (l-r) Celia Babini, Oliv Blu -- (Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC)

Tonight, The Voice will begin a new twist called the Live Cross Battles. For the first time in Voice history, the coaches – Kelly Clarkson, John Legend, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton – go head-to-head, each selecting one artist from their team to compete against an artist from an opposing team in a Live Cross Battle performance. And for the first time, America’s vote will ultimately decide the winner of each Cross Battle and who earns a spot in the Top 24 live show.

The Voice 16 Live Cross Battles Twist – NBC Reveals All the Details

Voting begins tonight as half of the remaining 32 contestants vie for your votes. Host Carson Daly reveals the winners during Tuesday’s results show. Each coach will have one save and one steal. For how to vote this week and beyond, check out our The Voice voting guide:

How to Vote on The Voice 16: Everything You Need to Know

Is anyone else a little skeptical that this will actually work?

Tonight we are making Voice history, two artists will battle each other LIVE for your votes.  Welcome to the cross battles!

What did Adam to do his hair?  They introduce each team..

Tonight half of the artists will compete.  They have no idea who they are going to get paired against.

We turn to Blake he selects Kim Cherry to be the first artist to be selected for the cross battle.  Which coach will Blake challenge for the cross battle?  He decides to go after the champ, he picks Team Kelly!  Since Blake takes the rapper, Kelly picks the rocker.

Kim Cherry (Team Blake) Poison  vs.  Betsy Ade (Team Kelly) You Ought to Know

Recaps of both of their auditions and battles…

Kim is up first singing Poison.  This was a good high-energy first pick, hard song to sing.  She’s going to need to step it up a bit to beat Betsy.  She is talking rather than singing, but good with rhythm.  Rap ends with a chuckle.  She goes into singing for the end, and hits a few wailing notes.  Big note at the end.  All four judges on their feet, audience loved it.

Betsy takes the stage with You Ought to Know.  Man, this song is hard too.  Her lower register isn’t very good to start.  Not sure this was a good song choice.  She wails and belts in the chorus, but she sounds off key or something, not sure but something doesn’t sound right.  Throws her jacket into the audience.  Stronger ending.  Kelly and John on their feet.

I think Kim won that personally, Betsy was a little off.  Blake says what a great way to kick off the cross battles, we’ve never had anybody like Kim on the show before.  Vote for Kim!  Kelly tells Betsy she’s obssessed with her, she’s so captivated.  The two of them stand out from the norm.  Adam compliments Betsy for taking her jacket off,  Betsy really killed it.  He’s giving it to Betsy. John says what a way to start the show, with energy and passion.  They set the night off right.  There may be a steal in somebody’s future.

Voting opens at the end of the show, go pick and the winner of this battle!

Adam picks an artist after a 60 second break!

Any of these coaches could see their whole team almost wiped out during these battles.  Who is Adam going to pick for his first battle?  Adam picks Mari for his first artist to battle.  Adam chooses to challenge Team Blake!  Blake is putting up another contestant already?  Wow…  Blake chooses Selkii.

Mari (Team Adam)  My, My, My vs.  Selkii (Team Blake) Torn

More recaps of these two artists.

Mari is up first.  She is wearing a blue jump suit, and she sounds pretty good.  This song is an interesting choice.  Her enunciation is a little rough in spots.  She’s moving comfortably on the stage.  She has so much confidence.  Belting towards the end, but the song kind of goes nowhere.  Adam on his feet.  That was meh.

Selki coming up next…

Better song choice from Selki, should be in her wheelhouse.  She is guitarless.  She sounds very nervous, and a little rough on low notes to start off.  The key is too low for her.  She’s putting runs in, and is hitting some bigger notes, but this still isn’t very good.  Maybe I’m just too harsh tonight.  That was just okay.  Not sure I can call a winner on that.  I would say slight edge Mari.

Adam tells Mari she’s amazing, she’s so comfortable, amazing vibe.  He’s a fan he wants to see her move forward.  Blake says they both did a great job, Selkii is one of his favorites he’s ever worked with on the show.  She’s the real deal.  John preferred Mari’s performance today, she came off more stylish and confident.  Kelly knows the kind of artist Mari is going to be, and Selkii is intriguing.  Kelly also says Mari won out.

Continuing right away…

John Legend is in the hot seat!

John picks Lisa first.  John also challenges Kelly.  Kelly says she’s excited to see this performance so she picks Karen.

Lisa Ramey (Team Legend) It Hurts so Bad  vs.  Karen Galera   (Team Kelly)  Unfaithful

We take a look at their recaps.

Their battle is live next!

Lisa is up first with It Hurts so Bad.  Pretty good opening, she’s wearing a short, red leather dress.  She is also hard to understand in places, but she’s really wailing on this song.  She’s tearing up the notes, audience is really getting into it.  Bit wailing note at the end.  Several coaches on their feet.

Oh… she’s way off key.  She is more subtle and tender then Lisa was in her opening.  I don’t think this song fits her style.  Oh, now she’s singing in Spanish.  She sounds really nervous.  Big note, it’s so hard to sing in Spanish, she gets a few bonus points for that.  But I think Karen took that.

John is proud Lisa is on his team, she was fierce tonight!  Kelly’s favorite thing about Karen is her tone, blessed with an amazing tone, especially for 19.  She held her own against Lisa.  Adam thought it was great, said it was Lisa’s best performance.  Blake tells them they both did a great job, he seconds what Adam said about Lisa.

Up next two more artists from rival teams face off!

Coach Kelly Clarkson is up.  She picks Matthew Johnson, we finally get a guy tonight.  Kelly challenges Adam for this cross battle!  Adam picks Domenic to go up against Matthew.

Matthew Johnson (Team Kelly)  Who’s Loving You? vs.  Dominic Haynes (Team Adam)  Damn Your Eye

Recaps of their journey so far.

Matthew is up first.  This is a good song choice, and he is confident.  All his signature runs and smoothness so far.  He really gets into it, Kelly’s on her feet.  Smooth, powerful ending.  John is on his feet too as Matthew goes into falsetto.  That was probably the best of the night so far.

Straight ahead Domenic Haynes…

Domenic takes the stage.  He’s so good too.  He has a such a unique, raspy tone.  He hits big notes too but he has a lower range that has an emotional rasp to it.  He never really wails, but he emotionally sold that song, he sounded like he was going to burst into tears.  That was close, I prefer Domenic’s style, but Matthew slayed that.

Kelly tells Domenic he nailed it.  Matthew’s voice with this song, was so impressive.  Adam says Domenic is one of the most honest, raw, emotional, powerful singers the show has ever had.  He has the most important thing, he can do it with emotion.  John says it’s interesting he wanted them both on his team.  Domenic’s stage presence, stood out.  Matthew’s singing was flawless.  Blake agrees that he won’t help America.  It’s hard not to watch Matthew, he has so much fun.  Domenic’s performance was so good.

Kelly composes herself and picks Presley to be the next battler.  Kelly challenges Team Legend!  John picks Kayslin to battle, because she’s a teenaged power singer.

Presley Tennant (Team Kelly) Love on the Brain  vs.  Kayslin Victoria  (Team Legend) Stay 

More recaps of the battles and audtions.  Presley is up first.  She’s wailing in full voice right from the start, and hitting some great high notes.  Very confident on the stage.  She’s tearing up this song and the stage.  Kelly is already on her feet.  She’s really good, doesn’t seem nervous moving around the stage, hitting all the big notes.  She slayed that.   Audience loved that…

Kayslin is up in 30 seconds!

Kayslin starts off strong too, though her lower register isn’t as good.  She’s also very confident, moving around the stage.  She’s also hitting some big notes.  Her performance is subdued in places, she yells “come on” to the audience.  She moves over to her fellow contestants and ends there.  I think Presley took that, that was slayage.  Let’s see what coaches think.

Kelly asks Presley what just happened.  Kelly says it was the best she’s ever done, she’s insane.  John tells Kayslin he’s proud of her, her energy, her vibe.  Blake can already hear huge differences in them since they taped the battles.  Shame on America for having to pick between them.  Adam tells them they were great.  Presley blew him away, it was her best performance.  Kayslin was consistent, but Presley completed surprised him.

Another live cross battle! Adam is in the hot seat.  He picks Celia to battle.  Adam eternally challenges Blake.  Blake picks Oliv.

Celia Babini (Team Adam)   Thousand Years vs.  Oliv Blu (Team Blake) Gravity

Clips of their journeys so far.

And the battle after the break…

Celia is up first, her voice is so distinct, she has such a rich low tone.  Not my taste, but she is so unique.  This outfit is terrible, but she sounds good, a little off on some of the lower notes, but mostly a solid performance.  A little rough in some spots especially in lower register as she finishes, and a bum note.  Eh that was just okay, the ending was not that good, and was pitchy.

Oliv is up next with a John Mayer song Gravity.  She is doing this stylistically different from what we’ve seen, she’s acting the song out in parts.  There’s some interesting runs and phrases in here, and some wailing.  She sounds good, good range, not over doing it.  She’s really into the song.  Several coaches on their feet.  Oliv won that hands down for me.

Adam tells them they are both different.  Celia is bigger then one moment, she’s a powerful singer.  She can’t be everything she is in one song.   Blake says Oliv just literally jumped on the radar, here, by far her best performance.  It was hypnotizing.  John tells them he loves them both, he preferred Oliv’s energy and twist.  He’s seen Celia do better.  Kelly is a big fan of them both.  They both have a sense of who they are.

When we come back.. Blake is up again!

Blake picks his Alabama boy Dexter.  Adam dares him to do it.  So he challenges Team Adam.  Adam picks Andrew to fight fire with fire.

Dexter Roberts (Team Blake) Believe  vs.  Andrew Jannakos  (Team Adam) Yours 

Dexter is up first.  Traditional country song, the demo is going to eat this up.  He starts off with talking though, but gets to the bridge with the usual power in his voice.  He’s hitting a few bum notes too, I wonder if the sound is off a bit tonight.  Emotional and solid on the chorus, big notes too.  Kelly & Blake on their feet.

Straight ahead Andrew is up.. and then the final pairing of the night.

Andrew’s up singing Yours.  Oh a good country song choice here too.  Can an Adam country contestant best a Team Blaker?  He’s doing a good job with this song, it’s a little boring, but he has a good country voice.  He’s comfortable on stage, seems confident.  He’s pitchy in a few spots, really big note at the end.  All coaches but Blake on their feet.

Blake says this was a tough one.  Dexter that song is sacred ground, you made it your own and did it justice.  Adam tells Andrew there is no one more country than Dexter.  Andrew not only competed with Dexter, but his range was unbelievable, and he’s legit.  Kelly thinks it’s interesting, Andrew shocked her, he’s incredibly gifted.  Dexter represents old country, Kelly gives it to Dexter because of the song.  John thinks they were both great, he preferred Andrew, wowed him.

You at home will pick the winner at the end of the show!

Last cross battle pairing of the night is up now.  John Legend is up.  Ah Maelyn is up… I feel bad for whoever goes against her.  John challenges Adam at his request.  Damn, Adam’s whole team could go home tonight.  Adam loves getting challenged.   He picks Rod.  Adam was not smart, this pairing..  UM.

Maelyn Jarmon  (Team Legend)  Mad World vs.  Rod Stokes (Team Adam)  How Am I Supposed to live without You?

More recaps of their auditions.  Wow Maelyn picked a HUGE song.  But damn, she’s good.  I’ve already got chills.  This is an emotional, powerful performance she is putting her own spin on it, and it’s pretty flawless so far.  John is on his feet.  That was unreal, I can’t believe more coaches aren’t on their feet for that. Flawless.

Rod up now, he picked a good song for his genre.  This song shows off his voice.  He sounds a little strained and nervous on the high notes.  Adam is on his feet.  He’s belting this song out, good tone, and range.  Very respectable performance and against anyone else it might win.  Kelly and Adam on their feet.

John says style is different, Maelyn is a gifted singer.  She has subtle, intelligent stylistic choices, great control.  Amazing.  Adam says Maelyn is incredible, but the story tonight is Rod.  Rod came out here and took the house down.  He really stepped it up.  No comments from other coaches.

Tomorrow night we find out the results!  All LIVE!  See you tomorrow!


About Dana Meyers 27 Articles
I have a Masters degree in Human Resources & work in that field. I like to travel, read, decorate my house, play board games and spoil my three dogs and two grown daughters. I've been an American Idol fan since the first season and have watched The Voice since season 6.