The blind auditions for “The Voice” Season 16 are a thing of the past, which means it’s time for the all-important battle rounds. First up was Matthew Johnson vs. Shawn Sounds from Team John Legend, who took on Luther Vandross‘s “Never Too Much” during Monday’s episode. John pitted these four-chair turns against each other because of their similar styles of singing, but in the end he chose to advance Shawn to the next round. That’s when Kelly Clarkson swooped in to steal Matthew for her own team. Watch “The Voice” battle video above.
“The energy that they gave us today, the love of music — you could just see the music in them,” John raved when it was time to make his choice. “I love the fact that y’all sang ‘Never Too Much.’ It’s like a barbecue family reunion classic. You both are fantastic singers, didn’t miss a note. [For] my decision, I have to say the winner of this battle is Shawn Sounds.”
Backstage as Shawn celebrated making it through to the knockouts, John explained his decision even further. “Matthew and Shawn just lit this whole room up,” he remarked. “Shawn was a little bit ahead and I felt like I could do a lot of great things with him as a coach.”
Host Carson Daly gave Matthew the chance to thank John, but before he could even get a sentence out both Adam Levine and Kelly pressed their “Steal” buttons. Matthew picked Kelly as his new coach after she declared, “I think that you’re so outstanding. I want great vocalists, but I want great humans because that’s the kind of voice that really counts and one that’s really needed right now. I love that and I want to add you to my team.”
In his “The Voice” live blog, our recapper Denton Davidson had this to say about Monday’s battle: “Right off the bat I’m loving the confidence and stage presence of these two. Matthew begins the song with his smooth, velvet voice. Shawn seamlessly works himself into the second voice and these two can harmonize like nobody’s business. While Shawn has a few more tricks up his sleeve vocally, the sheer joy Matthew sings with is infectious and it’s hard to take your eyes off him. This battle is a killer! Both are fantastic, but my choice would be Matthew.”