In both weeks of the Battle rounds of “The Voice,” 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 in the first week, she picked up two more artists for her team when she stole away a pair of Blake Shelton‘s rejects.
Keys lost her only season of “The Voice.” Which of her eight artists do you think could win her the competition this season? Below, a description of what each of these 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.
Blind Audition: “One of Us” (March 6)
David Cassidy‘s nephew, who grew up in Hollywood, delivered a soulful rendition of the 1995 Joan Osborne hit “One of Us” that had both Keys and Levine vying for his vote. As this softly spoken 18-year-old accompanied himself on the piano, it was not surprising he chose Keys who does the same.
Battle Round: “Dancing on My Own” vs. Hunter Plake (March 27)
This pairing might have been the last of the night, but it was the first in which two of the three other coaches fought to get the loser for their team. Inexplicably, Keys chose to have her two remaining male artists sing this 2010 hit tune by Swedish dance diva Robyn. After being denied three full performances in a row, we saw Cassidy and Plake give it their all. Keys opted to keep Cassidy, who sounded stronger in the choruses, while Stefani opted to use her second and final steal on Plake.
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.
Blind Audition: “Don’t Let Me Down” (March 13)
This 31-year-old from Greensboro, NC is classically trained and knows her way around a song. She rocked the house with her performance of “Don’t Let Me Down,” the 2016 hit for The Chainsmokers. While Levine took a pass, Ferguson had Keys, Shelton and Stefani fighting for her affections. Shelton tried to make his case that he would not try to countrify her but ,in the end, she went with her idol, Keys.
Battle Round: “Killing Me Softly with His Song” vs. Autumn Turner (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.
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: “A Love of My Own” (February 28)
This Los Angeleno, 26, impressed all the judges but Levine with her rendition of soul singer Carla Thomas‘ 1961 signature tune “A Love of My Own.” Keys convinced her to join forces by engaging her in a little sing-song repartee.
Battle Audition:”Every Little Bit Hurts” vs. Lauryn Judd (March 28)
For the second night in a row, we had a veteran pitted against a young talent (on Monday it was the upstart, Stephanie Price, who prevailed). Keys showcased these two singers with this 1964 Motown hit for Brenda Holloway. Passero was in her comfort zone while teenager Judd struggled. After Keys went with Passero, Judd’s only hope was if Levine used his last steal but he passed.
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.