‘The Voice’ battle round: Night 1 begins Monday with fierce Season 14 pairings of top artists [UPDATING LIVE]

For last spring’s “The Voice” Season 12, pop and soul superstar Alicia Keys was the winning coach. Our latest poll results indicate that many of you believe Alicia has built the best overall team of 12 contenders for Season 14 now airing. Of course, she has a tough task taking on the teams of six-time coaching winner Blake Shelton, three-time champ Adam Levine and rookie coach (and “American Idol” legend) Kelly Clarkson.

SEE ‘The Voice’ battle round begins with three steals on night 1 of season 14: Rate the performances [POLL]

Each of these coaches has some fierce pairings of top artists as the battle rounds begin on Night 1 for Monday. Advisors will be Julia Michaels (Team Adam), Trace Adkins (Team Blake), Shawn Mendes (Team Alicia) and Hailee Steinfeld (Team Kelly). Enjoy our live updating blog below for this show tonight and make your own comments about the performers and coaching decisions. Will we see the first steal of this season on Monday’s episode?

SEE ‘The Voice’ battle night 1: Which of the three steals could win season 14? [POLL]

We’ve got our exclusive power rankings for each of the dozen singers for each coach: Team Adam, Team Alicia, Team Blake and Team Kelly. Plus you can take a look back at our blog items for the recently concluded blind auditions on February 26, February 27, March 5, March 6, March 12 and March 13.

SEE ‘The Voice’ winners: Where are they now (Season 1 – 13)?

Once the live playoffs start you will also be able to make picks for “The Voice” eliminations each week in our predictions center. You can also predict who will be the overall Season 14 champion and which coach will prevail. While that is not yet open for “The Voice,” you can already make predictions for such reality TV shows as “Survivor,” “Project Runway,” Emmy Awards nominations and more.

Live blog below for Monday, March 19:

8:02 p.m. – The first battle of the night is from Team Alicia–Jamai, the singing telegram performer, vs. Sharane Calister, a young artist who was reunited with her sister after being split up during foster care. Alicia has paired them together as two soulful singers and gave them Shawn Mendes’ own song, “Mercy,” to work with. Shawn’s advice for the artists was to let the emotion of the song be the focus and to let it dictate their performance. During choreo rehearsals, Alicia told them to not try to be “pretty” or “cool” and just have fun with the song.

8:10 p.m. – In the performance, both Jamai and Sharane showed mastery over both the song and the stage, matching each other beat for beat and run for run. In critiques, Adam calls it a dead heat between the two, Blake gives the edge to Jamai and Kelly applauds both artists for their ability to switch from soft to intense along with the song, but gives the edge to Sharane. But it’s Alicia’s decision and she’s sticking with… Sharane!

8:19 p.m. – For Kelly’s first battle she’s paired Brynn Cartelli with Dylan Hartigan, two artists she tells Hailee are softer, folk-influenced singers. For their song, Kelly has decided to do a “swampy” rendition of Taylor Swift‘s “…Ready for It?,” a song that is typically pop with an edge. At rehearsals, Kelly and Hailee were concerned with how the pair would work on stage because they’re both performers that move a lot so the goal is to contain it and let it make sense.

8:28 p.m. – It turns out that in their performance, movement wasn’t the main issue but rather the pair’s ability to harmonize–they never really found the same tone between the two of them, nor did they have much chemistry. Across the board, the judges loved Dylan’s energy, but Brynn got all the support for her vocal performance. Kelly’s final decision came down to Brynn’s infectious presence which was too hard for her to pass up.

8:34 p.m. – But we have a steal! Blake hit his button and saved Dylan from elimination because of his energy and stage presence! It’ll be interesting to see what Blake can do with Dylan and whether he pushes him further into the folk-country lane or lets him meander through pop music a little more–the steal is an interesting move on Blake’s part for sure.

8:39 p.m. – Following the steal, Blake brings together bodybuilder JessLee and background singer Kyla Jade for his first battle. They’re singing “One Last Time” by Ariana Grande, a song well out of Blake’s own wheelhouse, but also a song that he feels will push each artist to the edge of their own comfort zones. As a background singer, Kyla was asked by the coaches to fill out her voice instead of matching JessLee as she would in the backup position. But Blake vows to pick the winner based off who which of the two girls “blows the roof off the place.”

8:48 p.m. – In their battle, both JessLee and Kyla seemed a tad nervous in their first verses, but once the big chorus hit they opened their voices and let them soar exactly like we expected them to. Both Kelly and Adam admitted to be floored by Kyla’s vocal ability, but Alicia gave JessLee a lot of support in saying that she proved she can expand her range and step outside her genre and perform well. In the end, Blake stuck with Kyla, giving her more of an opportunity to shine as her own star.

9:00 p.m. – For Adam’s first battle he has Rayshun LaMarr up against Tish Haynes Keys, two extremely powerful vocalists that toppled Journey and Aretha Franklin in their respective blind auditions. Tonight their task is “Sweet Thing,” a soul-funk record by Rufus with Chaka Khan. Adam’s advice for Rayshun is to not try to outdo Tish’s power, but instead to remain himself and do what he does best on his own. Tish felt like the song was much better suited for Rayshun and so her work was cut out equally for her.

9:11 p.m. – Perhaps because the song is already a duet, but Rayshun and Tish gelled so well in their performance that it felt like a record meant to let two people shine together. They both had their moments in the spotlight, but found time to support and feed off of each other’s talent as well. Not surprisingly they got a standing ovation from the coaches–Kelly leaned toward Tish, but was impressed by Rayshun’s range, Blake called Tish a phenomenon, but admitted Rayshun stepped up to her level and Alicia called both performances amazing. Adam’s final decision came down to Rayshun’s range and emotion, leaving Tish available for a steal which Kelly quickly took advantage of!

9:22 p.m. – Alicia is the first coach to present her second battle–this time between Christiana Danielle and Shana Halligan. Alicia put them together because of their distinct and unique styles, giving them “Use Somebody” by Kings of Leon because it allows them each to show off their individuality. Shawn felt drawn to Christiana’s tone, but said that Shana has one of the most unique voices he’s ever heard. Alicia’s concern was that the women had to take chances with their performance rather than remain stiff in their comfort zones.

9:32 p.m. – Without a doubt the best battle of the night! Christiana and Shana were both breathtaking, maintaining their own presence while harmonizing so perfectly with one another. Adam gave the edge to Christiana, Kelly called it a performance better than anything at an awards show and Blake called them equal in singing and while he thinks Christiana is endearing, he says Shana wins it because of the spell she casts when she sings. Alicia has the final say though and her decision is to keep… Christiana!

9:42 p.m. – The last pairing of the night is from Team Kelly–Jackie Foster vs. D.R. King. For their song they have “Sign of the Times” by Harry Styles, a big pop rock song that Kelly thinks their big voices can handle. Hailee picked out D.R.’s falsetto and Jackie’s intensity as their strengths and Kelly was laser-focused on making sure that they are both at the top of their game for this performance.

9:52 p.m. – The coaching panel was unanimous in their love for this final battle, standing in unison at the close of the performance with Alicia calling it her “favorite battle to date.” Adam called the performance “special” and “astonishing,” but says that Jackie was the real revelation and he couldn’t take his eyes off of her. Blake commends the confidence levels of both artists and calls Jackie the discovery as well. With a tough decision ahead of her, Kelly decides to keep D.R., hoping that it means the other coaches will steal Jackie. That being said, she also thinks that D.R. is the more bold artist and it will take him far.

9:57 p.m. – And just as expected, Jackie is stolen by not one, not two, but all three other coaches! Adam’s pitch is that Jackie could very well win the show, Alicia reinforces that she originally turned for her in the blinds and Blake reminds her that last year Blake stole Chloe Kohanski last year and won. But this time it’s Jackie’s decision and she’s joining… Team Adam!

10:00 p.m. – That’s all for night one of the battles–join us tomorrow for night two with more hard decisions and of course a couple steals!

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