Battles just began last week on Season 17 of “The Voice,” but coaches Kelly Clarkson and John Legend have already used their only saves of the year. Was this move too early in the process for each of these coaching champs? The other interesting early move was Gwen Stefani using her one and only steal for this season. Here is what remains for each coach:
Blake Shelton (one steal, one save)
Gwen Stefani (no steals, one save)
Kelly Clarkson (one steal, no saves)
John Legend (one steal, no saves)
Keep enjoying this round as advisors are Normani (Team Kelly), Will.i.am (Team Gwen), Usher (Team Legend) and Darius Rucker (Team Blake)?
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8:00 p.m. – We kicked off the Night 3 battles with Team Legend’s Jared Herzog vs. Will Breman who John paired for “Treat You Better” by Shawn Mendes. In rehearsals John and Usher pushed both guys to connect to the music and find the fire in their voices. Will was concerned by how Jared sounds more like Shawn than he does and so it gave him a reason to take risks.
8:06 p.m. – In the battle Will was certainly more animated than Jared so I’m thinking his performances choices were the risks he was willing to take. At times it registered as comical and try-hard, but the coaches were eating it up and it set him apart from the more expected composure of Jared. Vocally both guys knocked it out of the park, putting John in the awkward position of realizing he already used his only save. Gwen was fully engaged with Will’s “bold” stage energy, but she and Kelly also really enjoyed Jared’s range and volume. John based his decision on his own taste in vocals and on the star power he exuded: Will!
8:15 p.m. – Team Blake’s first battle of the night was between Marina Chello and Ricky Duran. They rehearsed “Valerie” by The Zutons with Blake and Darius, who called Ricky a star and said Marina has the kind of voice that can sing anything. One part the pair had to work on most was their ad libs and merging those appropriately into the song.
8:26 p.m. – In their battle both artists contributed to what was a passionate and well-connected performance. They were in the same lane together and raised each other’s game vocally while trading line for line and then harmonizing on the choruses. John advised Blake to go with Ricky because of his unique tone and Gwen backed him up based on Ricky’s star quality and lack of nerves. In his decision Blake said he based it off of “this song” and so he went with: Ricky!
8:32 p.m. – But immediately Blake hit his button to save Marina from elimination, to which Kelly responded by hitting her own button for a steal! Blake made it clear that he still believes in her and Kelly offered the “similar vibe” argument in order to sway her toward the new team. Between the two Marina decided to…
8:37 p.m. – … stick with Blake!
8:38 p.m. – For Kelly’s first pairing she matched Steve Knill and Jake Hoot because she thought their blues and country voices would mesh well on Willie Nelson‘s “Always on My Mind.” Their battle was a back and forth of deep registers with each sticking in their best higher notes when they could. Performance-wise they were both as mellow and uninteresting as the song choice, frankly. Kelly based her decision on who would round out her team and who she needed to keep: Jake!
8:53 p.m. – We also got a glimpse of Kelly’s decision to choose Gracee Shriver over Brennan Lassiter on “Blue Ain’t Your Color” and Damali over Brooke Stephenson on “Set Fire to the Rain.”
8:59 p.m. – Gwen brought her soul singers Royce Lovett and Kiara Brown together for “Turn Your Lights Down Low” by Bob Marley. Gwen was really into the contrast between the two artists that she thought worked really well together. The artists felt like their session with Will.I.am and Gwen boosted their confidence and helped them push to feel as capable as each other.
9:10 p.m. – As soon as the battle began it was clear that Gwen had picked the perfect song for the two of them–Royce was particularly well-suited and still managed to show off many layers to his voice. But Kiara stepped up to the plate and hit her own homerun to match him. Gwen called her decision “painful,” but in the end went with: Royce!
9:16 p.m. – With Kiara up for grabs both Gwen and Kelly hit their buttons, securing her spot in the competition with a steal and a save! In a shocker, Kiara became the first artist to jump teams when a save was on the table by choosing Team Kelly over Gwen!
9:23 p.m. – Blake’s next pairing was his two pop artists Joana Martinez and Matthew McQueen for Panic! and the Disco‘s “High Hopes.” Darius told Matthew that when he lets loose with his voice his tone gets full bodied and really sexy. With Joana Blake told her that she needs to work on her diction.
9:32 p.m. – I was shocked how good Joana sounded in the battle, but of the two Matthew gave the more animated performance. When they brought their voices together the song fell flat, but in their solo moments it soared so overall it was a mixed bag. After hearing from the other coaches Blake gave the two props for managing the tough song and then gave the win to: Joana!
9:43 p.m. – The final battle of the night came from Team Gwen’s Kyndal Inskeep and James Violet with their duet of “I Could Use a Love Song” by Maren Morris. Will.I.am was disappointed to find out that after having the song for two days the artists didn’t have the lyrics down and were rehearsing from a paper still, advising them that they should treat every practice as if it’s the Grammys.
9:53 p.m. – After a rough start in their rehearsals, Kyndal and James pulled it together for their battle and aced a song they hadn’t known prior to being handed it. Though they have different tones and approaches to the song they sounded excellent together and both made a strong case for deserving to remain in the competition. Gwen decided to stick with her gut and kept Kyndal!
9:58 p.m. – But after advising her to stick with Kyndal, John hit his button to steal James against Gwen’s save! Gwen told him that he was always on her list to save and John promised to help him choose the right songs and to have fun with him as an artist. Ultimately the choice was his and…. we’ll find out his decision tomorrow.
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