In the final two Battle rounds of “The Voice” this week, coach Adam Levine pitted four pairs of his artists against each other. He had to choose one singer in each duet to take on to the knockout rounds. And he picked up two more artists for his team when she stole away a reject each from Alicia Keys and Gwen Stefani. Levine already had two of the eight artists that will move on to the next stage of the competition from last week’s two battle rounds. (Vote for the best of those picks from week one here.)
Levine has won three of his 11 previous seasons on “The Voice.” Which of his picks from this week do you think could win him the competition over rival coaches Keys, Blake Shelton and Stefani? Below, a description of what each of these artists did to get his attention. Be sure to cast your vote in our poll and then sound off in the comments section.
Blind Audition: “Sure Thing” (March 7)
Levine was the only coach to turn for this 23-year-old from the nation’s capital who had the crowd hopping with Miguel‘s 2011 hip-hop hit “Sure Thing.” As such, this rising star ended up on his team without any competition from another coach.
Battle Round: “Love Me Now” vs. Kawan DeBose (March 27)
Faced with rehearsing this 2016 hit for singer/songwriter John Legend in front of him, these two artists struggled with the song and each other. On the night Davage did better and was Levine’s choice to take through to the knockouts. After he knocked DeBose, Stefani did not want him for her team.
Blind Audition: “Blank Space” (March 13)
This 15-year-old from Laguna Nigel, CA took on the 2014 Taylor Swift track “Blank Space.” Levine, Shelton and Stefani all wanted her for their team but she chose Levine as she likes his approach to coaching.
Battle Audition: “Try” vs. Sheena Brook (March 27)
This was another battle that was not seen in its entirety on the show but was posted online. Both artists tried hard to master this 2012 pop hit for Pink. In the end, Levine liked the sound of Eyre more while Stefani took a pass on Brook.
Blind Audition: “Try a Little Tenderness” (February 27)
After being rejected by all the coaches last season, the soulful rock singer from Mobile, AL returned seeking redemption. After only singing a few bars of the 1966 Otis Redding hit “Try a Little Tenderness,” the 29-year-old had both Levine and Stefani hitting their buttons. Hayes was won over by Levine’s passion for him and his music.
Battle Round: “Hard to Handle” vs. Julien Martinez (March 27)
Redding wrote and recorded this soul tune shortly before his death in 1967 and The Black Crowes had a hit with a blues rock version in 1990. Hayes was inspired by the latter’s take on the track and easily eclipsed Martinez in their duet. As Shelton observed, “Johnny, rock is your thing. Julien, I felt like you would tend to shy away from some of the bigger vocal moments of the song, and it was frustrating.” Not surprisingly, after Levine opted for Hayes, Martinez did not rate a steal from Stefani or Shelton.
Blind Audition: “Jealous Guy” (February 28)
Levine was the only coach who liked Larson’s version of the 1971 John Lennon classic “Jealous Guy.” This Minneapolis native, 34, is a lifelong music fan who builds his own guitars and fronts a garage band. While his looks are similar to those of last year’s winner, Sundance Head, his sound is uniquely his own.
Battle Audition: “Shameless”vs.Taylor Alexander (March 28)
Garth Brooks had a huge hit in 1991 with this chart-topping song, which Billy Joel had written and recorded two years earlier for his album “Storm Front.” While the countrified tune was more in Alexander’s wheelhouse, it was Larson that dominated the duet. Keys was effusive in her praise of the latter, “I think that your voice has such a unique style to it,” as was Stefani who gushed, ” you can do anything with your voice.”
Davina Leone (steal from Gwen Stefani)
Blind Audition: “Cheap Thrills” (March 13)
We didn’t see this 24-year-old from Miami, FL rock the house with the 2016 Sia track “Cheap Thrills” but we do know that Stefani was the only coach to hit her button and turn for her.
Battle Audition: “In the Night” vs. Brandon Royal (March 28)
For the last battle song of the series, Stefani chose this 2015 hit for The Weeknd, which has a range that strained both artists in contention. In the end, Royal was able to impress his mentor more, with Stefani observing, “To sing a chorus that’s that high effortlessly, but with enough effort that it’s, like, crying and emotional, I’m really proud of you.” But Leone had a lifeline as Levine still had one steal that he had to use.
Autumn Turner (steal from Alicia Keys)
Blind Audition: “Last Dance” (February 28)
The lead act on this episode, this 25-year-old from Montclair, NJ set the bar high with her soaring version of the Oscar and Grammy-winning Donna Summer disco hit “Last Dance.” While Levine turned first, before being joined by the other three coaches, Turner went with Keys.
Battle Audition: “Killing Me Softly with His Song” vs. Vanessa Ferguson (March 27)
Roberta Flack had a huge hit in 1973 with this chart-topping soul song, which won both Record and Song of the Year at the Grammys. In 1997, the Fugees did a cover that won them a Grammy for Best R&B Duo/Group Performance. Ferguson masterfully blended the two versions and got the backing of Keys while Turner struggled to connect with the lyrics. However, Levine and Stefani saw potential in her and she chose to work with the former, becoming the first of his steals.