Trae Patton/NBC(NEW YORK) — The battle rounds continued on Monday night’s The Voice, with artists from Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson, John Legend and Gwen Stefani’s teams faced off against their respective teammates for the chance to advance to the knockout rounds.
Each coach enlisted the help of a guest adviser during rehearsals: Darius Rucker for Team Blake; Normani for Team Kelly; Usher for Team Legend; and will.i.am for Team Gwen.
The evening ended in a cliffhanger, with Gwen, who already lost one artist to Kelly, at risk of losing another to John.
Here are Monday’s highlights:
Team Blake’s Marina Chello and Ricky Duran went head-to-head on “Valerie,” by The Zutons. Blake joked that he paired the two because they were so “ridiculously talented,” and that the goal for his team was to have “the least amount of people to go home,” even if meant seeing them “go to a suckier coach.” Blake’s advisor Darius Rucker called Duran “a star,” while praising Chello on the “pureness” of her voice and the way she “pounded the notes.” John and Gwen gave the round to Ricky, but Kelly thought Marina was the star. Blake, basing his decision on who was the “star” of the battle, gave it to Ricky, who advances to the knockout rounds.
Blake then used his only save to keep Chello on his team, but was challenged by Kelly, who argued that she and Marina had a “similar vibe,” and therefore, the right choice at this point. Blake countered by insisting he still believed in the singer and that it wasn’t time to start over again with someone new. Marina came back home to Team Blake
“Full-on country” singer Jake Hoot and “versatile” artist Steve Knill, representing Team Kelly faced off on Willie Nelson’s “You Were Always on My Mind.” Clarkson thought the song suited the duo because it worked for both country and pop. Kelly, announcing her decision came down to “strategy,” explained that the artist who would “round out” her team, declared Jake the winner. He moves on to the battle rounds. Steve was sent packing.
Team Gwen’s Kiara Brown and Royce Lovett tangled with each other on “Turn Your Lights Down Low,” by Bob Marley & the Wailers, explaining that both singers had an “intimate” quality to their voices, but a slight contrast as well. Gwen’s adviser will-i-am, urged Kiara to make the song her own, while being careful not to stray too far from the original recording. Royce’s voice, on the other hand, was “spectacular.” Following the performance, the other coaches were split: Kelly leaning towards Kiara and Blake giving it to Royce. Gwen declared Royce the winner.
Kiara wasn’t out of the competition though, because Gwen attempted to save her, and Kelly tried one more time to steal an artist for her team. It was a tough decision for Kiera, who ultimately chose to represent Team Kelly in the knockout rounds.
Blake’s next pairing of the evening was between Matthew McQueen and Joana Martinez, tackling Panic! at the Disco’s “High Hopes.” Blake, addressing the camera during noted that each had a talent the other lacked: Joana’s confidence versus Matthew’s diction. The victory, said Shelton, would go to the one who gave the best performance. John called Joana the winner; Gwen was torn; and Kelly gave it to Matthew. Of course, Blake’s opinion was the one that mattered, and he went with Joana. Matthew’s time on The Voice is over.
Also advancing to the knockout rounds on Monday were Team Kelly’s Gracee Shriver and Damali, who beat their respective opponents, Brennan Lassiter and Brooke Stephenson.
The final pairing of the night was between Team Gwen’s James Violet and Kyndal Inskeep, sparring on Marren Morris’ “I Could Use a Love Song.” Neither was familiar with the tune, and it showed when they showed up for the first rehearsal, drawing a brief scolding from will-i-am. Gwen admitted, she was leaning towards Kyndal, but James surprised her with his soaring vocals, leaving her to regret the pairing. When the battle was over, the coaches deemed it too close to call: Kelly thinking it was a tossup, with James getting the slight edge; Blake gave the round to Kyndal; and John also favoring Kyndal. Gwen had to make the tough decision though, and went with Kyndal.
Gwen had a plan, though, to save James, but Legend spoiled it by attempting to steal the artist.
Who did James pick? We’ll have to wait until Tuesday, when The Voice returns at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.
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