The fifth of the seven knockout matches on the April 10 episode of “The Voice” pitted two of Gwen Stefani‘s artists —JChosen and Brandon Royal — against each other. We asked if you thought Shelton made the right choice by going with JChosen and you agreed by a two-to-one margin of 66% to 34%. If you haven’t voted in our poll yet, watch their performances below and then cast your ballot. And be sure to sound off in our comments section too.
JChosen liked the sound of “Without You,” which had been a huge hit worldwide in 2011 for French DJ David Guetta and Usher. Stefani counselled her artist to find the sweet spots in the song that could show off his voice and he aced this song that he dedicated to his ailing mother. Royal, who hails from the Virgin Islands, tried his luck with this 1980 classic by Bob Marley and the Wailers. JChosen was the winner, praised by all the coaches for his song choice, while Royal was faulted for trying to sing a song so associated with one artist.
After an injury ended his dream of playing in the NBA, JChosen turned to music. He had barely begun crooning the Marvin Gaye 1982 hit “Sexual Healing” on his February 27 blind audition when Adam Levine turned his chair. Keys followed closely behind, soon followed by both Blake Shelton and Stefani. JChosen, who gave a new spin on this old classic, surprised everyone when he went with Stefani. During his March 20 battle with Kenny P, both artists struggled to connect with “I Was Made to Love Her,” a 1967 Stevie Wonder track. Fifty years ago, this tune hit No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 but it didn’t sizzle when sang by either of these artists. Stefani had to pick one of them to go on to to the knockout round and she went with JChosen. None of the other three coaches chose to use one of their two steals on Kenny P.
After a five-year hiatus, Royal returned to performing and impressed on his March 2 blind auditionwith his take on Stevie Wonder’s 1980 soul hit “Master Blaster (Jammin’).” While Shelton also wanted to work with him, he went with Stefani after she told she him she thought he could rock in that genre too. For the last battle song of the series on March 28, Stefani chose “In the Night.” This 2015 hit for The Weeknd has a range that strained both Royal and Davina Leone. 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.
Do you think Stefani made the right choice by going with JChosen? Watch the two performances and then vote in our poll below. And be sure to sound off in our comments section too.
JChosen (‘Without You’)
Brandon Royal (‘Redemption Song’)