Blake Shelton’s ‘The Voice’ Season 15 team grows stronger as country artist Chris Kroeze takes out Mercedes Ferreira-Dias [WATCH]

“This is gonna be a really difficult decision for me,” Blake Shelton declared during Tuesday’s battle round episode of “The Voice” after pitting country singer Chris Kroeze against pop artist Mercedes Ferreira-Dias to Steve Winwood‘s “Back in the High Life Again.” Both artists gelled really well together, but in the end Blake’s decision to keep Chris and cut Mercedes came down to a personal gut feeling. Did he make the right choice? Watch NBC’s “The Voice” battle video above and read the coaches’ comments below.

“Mercedes, you blew me away,” Blake said after the two artists finished their laid-back rendition of the classic rock song. “I mean, incredible. So good. And Chris, your actual voice is the reason this show exists. You’re singing up there with Martina McBride but you look like Chris Stapleton. What the hell is the matter you? How is that possible?” After a brief deliberation, Blake announced, “I’m just gonna base this decision on a gut feeling. The winner of this battle is Chris.”

While the other three coaches — Adam Levine, Jennifer Hudson and Kelly Clarkson — remarked that Chris and Mercedes were equally good, no one bothered to put their money where their mouth was and push their “steal” button. Thus, Mercedes was eliminated in the battles, which is actually one round further than she got last season.

In his “The Voice” live blog, our recapper Denton Davidson had this to say about the battle: “We get right into the performance, where the duo seems to be harmonizing beautifully together. Once again we only see a brief snippet though, which is a bit frustrating. Jennifer continues to have no opinion and felt they were ‘equally great.’ Adam was equally worthless in his critique. Choose a side! Finally, Blake was forced to have an opinion and chose Chris as the winner of this battle! Blake said Chris can sing up in the rafters with almost any female vocalist on this show. Sadly, Mercedes was eliminated.”

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