In the final two Battle rounds of “The Voice” this week, coach Blake Shelton pitted two 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 artist for his team when she stole away a reject from Gwen Stefani. Shelton already had five of the eight artists that will move on to the next stage of the competition from last week’s two battle rounds. (Vote for the best of those from week one here.)
Shelton has won five of his 11 previous seasons on “The Voice.” Which of his picks this week do you think could win him te competition over rival coaches Alicia Keys, Adam Levine and Stefani? 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: “All I Ask” (March 13)
Taking on an Adele song is no small task but this 25-year-old from Tampa, FL nailed “All I Ask,” a track from the Grammy-winning “25.” It was surprising that Shelton went for her sound, as he tends to prefer those with a country flavor over pop stylings.
Battle Audition:”Love Triangle” vs. Valerie Ponzio (March 27)
We didn’t see the full battle between these two on the show (it was posted in full online). Rather, there was just a short snippet of them singing this 2016 country hit for singer/songwriter RaeLynn. Ortiz was deemed the winner of this match-up by Shelton. Poor Ponzio did not merit a steal by Stefani.
Caroline Sky (steal from Gwen Stefani)
Blind Audition: “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” (March 7)
Stefani nabbed this 16-year-old talent from San Anselmo, CA for her team but only after a hard-fought battle with her fellow, Shelton. Both were impressed by her poise as she performed Carole King‘s plaintive 1960 hits for The Shirelles, “Will You Love Me Tomorrow.” Although Shelton tried to convince Sky to fly with him by pointing out his successful mentoring of other young talents, in the end Stefani succeeded by connecting with her on a more personal level.
Battle Round: Stephanie Rice vs. Caroline Sky – “The First Cut Is the Deepest” (March 27)
Cat Stevens wrote this song in 1967 and, after P. P. Arnold had a hit with it, he included it on his own album that year. Keith Hampshire (1973), Rod Stewart (1977) and Sheryl Crow (2003) all enjoyed success with their versions of this melancholy tune. Rice was a revelation as she brought her own compelling backstory to the stage. While Stefani chose her, Shelton was impressed with Sky who, despite her age, also connected to the track. “Your voice is delicate and beautiful, and it kind of shreds at the same time,” he observed before using his second and final steal.
Blind Audition: “Take Me to the River” (March 13)
This Richmond, VA native made Al Green‘s 1974 hit “Take Me to the River” sound like a contemporary tune with his unique song stylings. The 29-year-old went with Shelton over Levine as he liked his endorsement of his sound.
Battle Round: “In the Midnight Hour” vs. Josh Hoyer (March 27)
Shelton pitted two of his strongest artists against each other on this 1965 hit for Wilson Pickett. Not surprisingly, TSoul connected with this similarly styled song as that of his blind audition and was Shelton’s pick. Although Stefani praised Hoyer neither she nor Levine used one of their steals on him.