Season 14 of “The Voice” just shifted to the second stage of the competition: the battle round. Each coach has chosen 12 artists for their team based on the blind auditions. Over the course of four episodes, they will pit these 48 hopefuls against each other in sing-offs. They can keep one artist from each battle for their team while the other coaches are allowed to rescue two contestants that are passed over by their original mentor.
The season 13 runner-up, Addison Agen, was stolen by Adam Levine at this stage of the competition when Miley Cyrus opted to keep Karli Webster. Cyrus went on to drop eventual winner Chloe Kohanski in favor of Ashland Craft in the knockout round of the competition. After Blake Shelton rescued her, he coached her to victory.
For the season 14 battle round, rookie coach Kelly Clarkson has turned to Hailee Steinfeld for advice while one-time winner Alicia Keys is looking to Shawn Mendes for guidance. Three-time champ Levine has Julia Michaels chiming in while Shelton, who has won a whopping six of the previous 13 seasons of “The Voice,” has brought in Trace Adkins for a second opinion.
On night 1 of the battles, three of the six losers were thrown a life-line by one of the other coaches. Read our recaps of these battles below, and vote for the artist who may have been a loser on March 19 but could be a winner in the final on May 22.
Team Kelly Clarkson: Brynn Cartelli vs. Dylan Hartigan – “…Ready for It?”
For Clarkson’s first battle, she pitted two of her younger artists against each other on this Taylor Swift tune. Noting that they were softer, folk-influenced singers, she opted for a “swampy” rendition of this pop hit. However, the two singers never came together in their performance. While all the coaches love Hartigan’s dynamic style, it was Cartelli’s singing that won them over. After Clarkson went with the latter, Shelton used the first of his two steals to give Hartigan a second chance to shine in the knockout round.
Team Adam Levine: Tish Haynes Keys vs. Rayshun LaMarr – “Sweet Thing”
Both artists admit to being nervous about singing this song, a soul-funk hit for Rufus and Chaka Khan. They needn’t have worried as their voices blended so well together. They earned a standing ovation from the coaches. Not surprisingly, Clarkson, Keys and Shelton were equally enthusiastic about both artists. After Levine opted to keep LaMarr, Clarkson used her first steal to bring Keys onto her team.
Team Kelly Clarkson: Jackie Foster vs. D.R. King – “Sign of the Times”
Clarkson is back with her two powerhouse singers, who are tasked with taking on this big pop song by Harry Styles. They were up to the task, with all four coaches on their feet at the end of the performance. Keys called it “favorite battle to date,” Levine said it was “special” and “astonishing” and Shelton said it was “outstanding.” After Clarkson opted for King, she said she hoped that one of the other coaches would rescue Foster and she soon got her wish as Levine used his first steal to do so.