“The Voice” moved on to the second stage of the competition on Monday (March 19) with the first of four episode devoted to the battle rounds. The four coaches — rookie Kelly Clarkson, the returning Alicia Keys and veterans Adam Levine and Blake Shelton — pitted two of their artists against each other in sing-offs. They chose one from each pairing to move on to the knockout round while the other was up for grabs. Each coach has two such steals, which means that 32 of the 48 artists will make it through these battles.
We asked you which of the first six battles was the best. Your overwhelming favorite dueling duet was between Kelly Clarkson‘s artists Jackie Foster and D.R. King on the Harry Styles hit “Sign of the Times.” To date, they have drawn a whopping 39% of your votes. If you haven’t cast your ballot yet, be sure to do so at the bottom of this post and then sound off in the comments section with your thoughts on our power rankings of these performances ranked from best to worst.
Jackie Foster vs. D.R. King – “Sign of the Times”: 39%
Clarkson had her two powerhouse singers take on this big pop song in her team’s second battle of the night. 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.
Sharane Calister vs. Jamai – “Mercy”: 18%
Keys turned to the songbook of her advisor Shawn Mendes for her first battle of the night. He urged them to focus on the emotion of the song and let it guide their performance. Keys counseled them to have fun with the song. and not try to be “pretty” or “cool.” Each did a good job, with Levine noting that it was a dead heat. While Clarkson sided with Callister, Shelton endorsed Jamai. In the end, Keys chose Callister and with none of the other three judges throwing Jamai a lifeline with a steal, her time in the competition was over.
Brynn Cartelli vs. Dylan Hartigan – “…Ready for It?”: 16%
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.
Christiana Danielle vs. Shana Halligan – “Use Somebody”: 11%
Keys was the first coach to have her artists do battle for a second time. She explains that she pitted these two talents against each other as she wants to see how each handles this Kings of Leon hit. Mendes admits he loves the tone of Danielle’s singing but appreciates the uniqueness of Halligan’s voice. Their battle was the best of the night, with perfect harmonizing and stand-out solo moments. While Levine loved Danielle, Shelton sided with Halligan and Clarkson couldn’t decide between the two. It was a surprise that no other coach stole Halligan after Keys went with Danielle.
Tish Haynes Keys vs. Rayshun LaMarr – “Sweet Thing”: 10%
Both of Levine’s 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.
Kyla Jade vs. JessLee – “One Last Time”: 6%
While this Ariana Grande hit is not typical fare for Shelton, he thought it the sort of song that would push these artists to the edge of their comfort zones. He was hoping Jade, a background singer, would step into the spotlight and he hopes that the contestants “blow the roof off the place.” After Clarkson and Levine lavished praised on Jade, Shelton opted to keep her on his team while JessLee left the competition.
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