When coach Blake Shelton matched Ashley Levin vs. Casi Joy on the first battle round for “The Voice” in Season 12, he was guaranteed to lose a great singer. Rival coach Alicia Keys jumped in to steal Ashley after Team Blake chose to keep Casi. The two artists performed “How Blue” by Reba McEntire (watch above) on the show before Alicia, Adam Levine, and Gwen Stefani all made their cases to capture Ashley for their own teams.
Our writer John Benutty ranked this battle as the best showdown on Monday. He says, “Blake paired Ashley and Casi together because he feels their classic country style is so similar that he can only leave one spot on his team for that kind of artist. The women gave identical performances, equal in their on stage charisma, vocal mastery of the song and the pure joy they exuded through the music. Both women were so good that it’s fitting their battle resulted in a rare three-coach steal. Because Blake chose Casi for his own team, Ashley had the pick of the litter. In a surprise move, she went as far from her own genre as possible and chose to work with Alicia going forward.”
The NBC bio for Casi: “Casi’s first experience in singing was at age five in a hometown talent show. Since then, she has traveled with her family, performing throughout the Midwest. She was a student and teacher at the School of Rock in Kansas City, which inspired her to start the band InLike. The band fell apart, but she moved to Nashville to continue pursuing music with her fiancé. She’s opened for Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts, Craig Morgan, Chris Cagle and Montgomery Gentry. She often travels home to perform at charity functions.”
The NBC bio for Ashley: “Ashley has been singing and dancing since she was three. She moved to Augusta, Georgia, in middle school and attended a fine arts magnet school. In high school, she noticed her dad forgetting things, but assumed it was due to old age. In college, he was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s, so she moved in with him in Miami. She juggled school and music while helping her father. She recently made the difficult decision to pursue music in Nashville, leaving behind her siblings and father, whose health has worsened.”
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