Season 14 of “The Voice” aired the third of four episodes devoted to the battle round of the competition on March 26. With the first two episodes last week having been dominated by artists from teams coached by Kelly Clarkson and Alicia Keys, this installment was focused primarily on those mentored by Adam Levine and Blake Shelton.
At this stage, each coach pits pairs of artists against each other and has them sing the same song for survival. After deciding which contender in each battle to take to the knockout round, the other coaches can steal the loser for their teams (save for Levine who has used his two steals already). At rehearsals, the coaches had fellow artists on hand to offer advice: Clarkson turned to Hailee Steinfeld, Keys was counseled by Shawn Mendes, Levine had Julie Michaels by his side, and Shelton brought in Trace Adkins.
Below, take a read of our recap of each of these six battles and then weigh in with your choice as to the best of these match-ups by voting in our poll and sounding off in the comments section. And be sure to check out our exclusive artist power rankings for each coach: Team Adam, Team Alicia, Team Blake and Team Kelly.
Team Blake Shelton: Pryor Baird vs. Kaleb Lee – “Don’t Do Me Like That”
Shelton turned to the songbook of the late Tom Petty for the first battle of the night. He urged his artists to focus on the emotion of the song and let it guide their performance. Adkins told them to play the song straight as it’s “hard to take liberties” with a Petty tune. Each did a good job, with Levine noting that it was a dead heat. After Clarkson sided with Lee, it was not a surprise that she used her second steal on him when Shelton went with Baird.
Team Adam Levine: Mia Boostrom vs. Genesis Diaz – “Because of You”
For Levine’s first battle of the night, he pitted two of his artists against each other on Clarkson’s breakout hit but they never came together in their performance. While all the coaches loved Diaz’s dynamic style, it was Boostrom’s singing that won them over. After Levine went with the former, none of the other coaches gave Diaz a second chance to shine in the knockout round.
Team Kelly Clarkson: Justin Kilgore vs. Molly Stevens – “Burning House”
Clarkson explains that she pitted these two talents against each other as she wants to see how each handled this breakout hit by country singing sensation Cam. Their battle was one of the best of the night, with perfect harmonizing and stand-out solo moments. While Levine loved Kilgore, Shelton sided with Stevens and Keys couldn’t decide between the two. It was a surprise that no other coach stole Stevens after Clarkson went with Kilgore.
Team Adam Levine: Miya Bass vs. Drew Cole – “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door”
While this Bob Dylan classic is not typical fare for Levine, he thought it the sort of song that would push these artists to the edge of their comfort zones. He hoped that the contestants “blow the roof off the place.” After Clarkson and Shelton lavished praised on Cole, Levine opted to keep him on his team while Keys threw Bass a lifeline.
Team Blake Shelton: Jordan Kirkdorffer vs. Wilkes – “Nobody to Blame”
Both artists admitted to being nervous about singing this song, a big hit for country superstar Chris Stapleton. They needn’t have worried as their voices blended so well together. Not surprisingly, Clarkson, Keys and Levine were equally enthusiastic about both artists. But Keys opted not to use her last steal to rescue Kirkdorffer.
Team Alicia Keys: Britton Buchanan vs. Jaclyn Lovey – “Thinking Out Loud”
Keys’s only battle of the night showcased two powerhouse singers, who were tasked with taking on this big pop song by Ed Sheeran. They were up to the job, with all four coaches on their feet at the end of the performance. Clarkson called it her “favorite battle to date,” Levine said it was “special” and “astonishing” and Shelton said it was “outstanding.” After Keys opted for Buchanan, Shelton used his second steal on Lovey.