‘The Voice’ battle: Elise Azkoul and Myracle Holloway take on Ariana Grande for Team Gwen Stefani [WATCH]

During Tuesday’s episode of “The Voice” battle rounds, Gwen Stefani coached her first pairing of Season 17 with special mentor Will.i.am. She decided to pit Georgia resident Elise Azkoul against California’s own Myracle Holloway in a battle to Ariana Grande‘s “Breathe.” “This song has a really amazing message about taking it one day at a time,” Gwen explained, “and they just both gave me that emotional vibe.” After watching the powerhouse singers do their thing, Gwen decided to keep Myracle and eliminate Elise. Did she make the right decision? Watch “The Voice” battle video above.

“That is a hard song,” Kelly Clarkson told both of the aspiring female artists. “Ariana always does all these songs that have all these layers and it’s like, where do you breathe? Funny, ironic.”

As for the other coaches, Blake Shelton praised both ladies for their “really great” moments but ultimately thought Myracle was the better singer. John Legend‘s favorite moment was “that run that Elise did” and he wished Myracle would “take some more vocal risks.”

“This is always the hardest part,” Gwen stated when it was finally time to make her big decision. “You are very, very talented, Elise. You changed your earrings for me, thank you, and they look so good. And Myracle, you’re not wasting your pain and it’s just so inspiring. This is just a really hard decision because I think you’re both equally gifted and I hate this.” A moment later Gwen declared, “The winner of this battle is Myracle.”

In his “The Voice” live blog, our recapper John Benutty had this to say about the battle: “For a song that is so big when Ariana performs it, both Elise and Myracle took a more gentle approach to the lyrics and found a harmony with each other in the regard. It still felt like two very different artists adapting to one another rather than being authentic and I think both vocal performances suffered because of it. Gwen found both women to have performed emotionally, but ultimately she connected more to Myracle!”

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