In the first two Battle rounds of “The Voice” last week, coach Blake Shelton 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 one more artists for her team when he stole away one of rival coach Alicia Keys‘ rejects.
Thus, Shelton 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.
Shelton has won five of his 11 seasons on “The Voice.” Which of his picks to date do you think sounds the most like a winner? 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 – “You Were Meant for Me” (February 27)
The unique tone of this country singer from Gaylord, MI will make her stand out. Duski, 25, incorporated pop and soul into her performance of “You Were Meant For Me,” which was Jewel‘s first big hit back in 1996. She was able to convince Levine, Stefani and Shelton to all turn their chairs. After a strong debate between the coaches, Duski went the predictable country route in choosing Shelton as her coach.
Battle Round: “Better Man” vs. Brennley Brown (March 20)
Duski did an outstanding job conveying the emotional intricacies of this 2016 Little Big Town tune about a break-up while 15-year-old Brown, whose never had a boyfriend, struggled to connect to the lyrics written by Taylor Swift. After Shelton sided with Duski, Levine and Stefani tried to rescue Brown. Stefani won her over in the end by telling her, “There something about your innocence that I would want to work with.”
Blind Audition – “Blue” (March 1)
Saving the best for last on Thursday’s episode, Joy was the only one of the seven acts seen that got the support of all four judges. She put her own spin on the 1958 country classic “Blue” by Bill Mack that won LeAnn Rimes a Grammy in 1996. While Joy was open to trying different genres, in the end she chose to go with Shelton, her favorite country singing star.
Battle Round: “How Blue” vs. Ashley Levin (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 – “Hound Dog” (February 28)
Though she’s only 15, this powerhouse from La Habra, CA has a lot of experience under her belt already. Moulden showcased her voice with a take on the 1956 Elvis Presley hit “Hound Dog” and convinced Shelton to turn quickly. The only surprise was that it took so long for Keys and Stefani to join him.
Battle Round: “Walking on Sunshine” vs. Dawson Coyle (March 21)
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.
Felicia Temple (Steal from Alicia Keys)
Blind Audition – “All I Could Do Was Cry” (February 27)
This 28-year-old from Teaneck, NJ delivered a powerful performance of the 1960 Etta James classic “All I Could Do Was Cry.” While Shelton and Stefani also wanted her for their teams, she connected with Keys and they even sang a few bars of the coach’s hit “Fallin’.”
Battle Round:”Titanium” vs. Quizz Swanigan (March 20)
Temple spoke of her personal connection to this 2011 Sia song, which she had used as inspiration when undergoing treatment for cancer. But 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- “Baby, Now That I’ve Found You” (March 13)
We didn’t get to see Thomas’s take on “Baby, Now That I’ve Found You,” a 1967 hit for The Foundations. We do know that this 25-year-old from Fort Worth, TX is a country singer.
Battle Round:”What Hurts the Most” vs. Micah Tryba (March 21)
What hurts the most about this match-up was not seeing much of it. In the teaser clip, Thomas and Tryba looked equally good as they crooned this 2005 hit for the Rascal Flatts. Thomas won the vote of Shetlton. Tryba, who had charmed him with her performance of Chaka Khan‘s 1987 anthem “I’m Every Woman” in the blind audition, was left in the cold by the other coaches.