In the first two Battle rounds of “The Voice” last week, coach Alicia Keys pitted three pairs of her artists against each other. She had to choose one singer in each duet to take on to the knockout rounds. And she picked up two more artists for her team when she stole away a pair of Blake Shelton‘s rejects.
Thus, Keys already has five of the eight artists that will move on to the next stage of the competition with the final three to be determined by the outcome of this week’s two battle rounds on Monday and Tuesday.
Keys lost her only season of “The Voice.” Which of her picks to date do you think sounds the most like a winner? Below, a description of what each of these artists did to get her attention. Be sure to cast your vote in our poll and then sound off in the comments section.
Blind Audition: “Tracks of My Tears” (March 14)
When Blue sang, Keys was the only coach still in need of an artist. The Knoxville native, 26, sang the blues with his rendition of “Tracks of My Tears,” the 1965 hit for Smokey Robinson and the Miracles. Even though no other coach was contending for this talent, he is a good fit with Keys.
Battle Round: “Adorn” vs. RJ Collins (March 21)
Singer/songwriter Miguel had a big hit in 2012 with this chart-topping soul song. Blue dominated the duet while Collins struggled to connect with the lyrics. Gwen Stefani left no doubt which artist she preferred, gushing to Blue, “I don’t even know if I was listening to your voice, because I was so mesmerized by your body.” Not surprisingly, Keys picked him. And with no other coach wanting to steal Collins, he left the competition.
Dawson Coyle (Steal from Blake Shelton)
Blind Audition: “Happiness” (March 14)
Coyle had the crowd hopping with a track from the 2016 album “Hard Love” by American Christian rock band Needtobreathe. However only Shelton turned so this 16-year-old from Williamstown, NJ ended up as the final artist on his team.
Battle Round: “Walking on Sunshine” vs. Aliyah Moulden (March 21)
This pairing might have been the last of the night, but it was the first in which any of the three other coaches fought to get the loser for their team. Inexplicably, Shelton chose to showcase his two teen talents with a song that was a hit way back in 1985 for the new wave band Katrina and the Waves. After being denied three full performances in a row, we saw Moulden and Coyle having fun with this dance tune. Shelton opted to keep Moulden, who sounded stronger in the choruses, while Keys opted to use her second and final steal on Coyle.
Ashley Levin (Steal from Blake Shelton)
Blind Audition: “Let Him Fly” (March 2)
This 23-year-old Miami native delivered a stellar blues-tinged rendition of Patti Griffin‘s 1996 track “Let Him Fly.” Keys, Shelton and Stefani all turned after she was a good ways into the song and Shelton convinced her that he would be the best fit for her style.
Battle Audition: “How Blue” vs. Casi Joy (March 20)
This pairing might have been the last of the night, but it was the first in which all three of the other coaches fought to get the loser for their team. Joy and Levin were both outstanding as they crooned Reba McEntire‘s 1984 No. 1 country hit. Before revealing his choice, Shelton acknowledged he had made a mistake with this match-up: “I told you girls from the second I heard you singing together, I wish I hadn’t.” After he opted to take Joy to the knockouts, the others made their case for Levin, who went with Keys in the end.
Blind Audition: “Who’s Lovin’ You” (March 2)
At just 13, Swanigan is the youngest artist so far this season, having taken advantage of the rule change this year to lower the age minimum. This Little Rock, AR native’s rendition of the 1960’s Motown tune “Who’s Lovin’ You” was reminiscent of the young Michael Jackson. While his deep, textured voice had both Keys and Stefani turning, it was Keys who won him over in the end.
Battle Round: “Titanium” vs. Felicia Temple (March 20)
Temple spoke of her personal connection to this 2011 Sia song, which she had used as inspiration when undergoing treatment for cancer. However, she could not overcome the desire by Keys to mentor Swanigan who, at just 13, is the youngest contestant in the history of “The Voice.” However, Shelton liked what he heard from Temple – “You can just hear the warmth and that rounder tone that she has” – and stole her away for his team.
Blind Audition: “Runaway Baby” (February 27)
Despite only being 16, this California girl has been singing for years. Her version of the 2010 Bruno Mars hit “Runaway Girl” had all four judges hitting their buttons. They were surprised to discover that this big voice was coming out of such a little girl. After each made an impassioned plea for her vote, she chose to work with her idol, Keys.
Battle Round: “Tightrope” vs. Missy Robertson (March 2o)
As with Shelton’s first battle, this one pitted a woman against a teenager. However, while Brown struggled with her song, Villaranda soared when singing Janelle Monae‘s 2010 soul track, which was featured on the third season finale of “90210.” By comparison, Robertson was subdued and did not inspire any of the other three coaches to want her for their teams.