‘The Voice’ Cross Battles Night 1: Your live votes start counting Monday night [UPDATING LIVE BLOG]

The big twist for “The Voice” Season 16 is that there is no knockout round this year. Producers are now debuting a live Cross Battles round beginning Monday evening, pitting an artist from one team against a singer from another coach’s team.

There are 32 contestants remaining, so that means 16 battles over the next two Mondays. Results from your live votes start counting tonight and will be announced on Tuesday’s first results episode of the year. The Emmy-winning program on NBC is hosted by Carson Daly.

Here is a full list of the 32 contenders competing over the next two weeks:

Celia Babina
Kendra Checketts
LB Crew
Domenic Haynes
Andrews Jannakos
Kalvin Jarvis
Mari Jones
Rod Stokes

Beth Griffith-Manley
Maelyn Jarmon
Julian King
Jacob Maxwell
Jimmy Mowery
Lisa Ramey
Shawn Sounds
Kayslin Victoria

Betsy Ade
The Bundys
Karen Galera
Rebecca Howell
Matthew Johnson
Abby Kasch
Presley Tennant
Jej Vinson

Oliv Blu
Kim Cherry
Carter Lloyd Horne
Karly Moreno
Gyth Rigdon
Dexter Roberts
Andrew Sevener

All throughout this season, we continue our tradition of updating live blogs while each episode is airing for the east and central time zones. Follow along below and keep refreshing during the two hours. Make your own comments about which artists you like and don’t like for this winter/spring cycle. Read our full minute-by-minute analysis for the first two evenings of battles on Monday, March 25, Monday, April 1, Monday, April 8 and Tuesday, April 9.

And now follow along and refresh our live updating blog below for the Season 16 Cross Battles Night 1 on Monday, April 15:

8:02 p.m. – On this “Voice” historic night, the Cross Battles began with Blake choosing his first artist to compete, Kim Cherry, and then the coach that he wanted her to battle, Kelly. At that point Kelly got to choose her artist to go up against Kim, Betsy Ade.

8:04 p.m. – Kim sang “Poison,” a song that allowed her the opportunity to show off her vocal skills as well as her rapping style. Unfortunately it felt disjointed throughout despite some moments of clarity. Betsy followed with “You Oughta Know,” an angry and energetic song that she could rock out to. Though her delivery echoed Alanis Morissette more than I liked, she still nailed the sound and emotion perfectly.

8:10 p.m. – The coaches agreed that the pairing was super unique and that the two women are like no one else in the competition. For the two coaches without a stake in the battle, Adam gave the win to Betsy who “nailed it” and John cautioned them that whichever loses between them could be an option for a steal.

8:13 p.m. – Adam got next pick for the battles, choosing Mari to go against an artist from Team Blake. With seven artists left, Blake went with Selkii.

8:17 p.m. – Mari opened the battle with “My My My” which she had a lot of fun with! It’s a breezy pop song with a ton of bounce and Mari was able to give it her own spin while also showing off her range.

8:24 p.m. – Selkii countered with her version of “Torn.” I think she did a really good job of maintaining her singer-songwriter vibe in performing the song without a guitar in hand (as I would have expected), but some of the ad libs at the end felt strained and distracted from an otherwise decent vocal.

8:27 p.m. – John gave the win to Mari because she came through with more confidence and style. Kelly felt like they’re different artists because Mari knows what kind of artist she is, but Selkii is more unknown and that’s a good thing, too.

8:28 p.m. – Then John got to choose the next battle, selecting his first artist to compete in Lisa Ramey. He asked Kelly to pick an artist to go up against her, and so Kelly chose another female, Karen Galera.

8:35 p.m. – Lisa performed “Hurt So Bad,” delivering the best vocal at this point in the night. She conveyed an incredible amount of emotion with a smooth and rich texture. At one point she had every other artist on their feet as if she was taking them to church! Karen followed up with “Unfaithful,” an equally emotionally-driven ballad. When the second verse kicked in, Karen surprised us all by delivering it in Spanish! It was a cute moment, but everything outside of that verse was shaky and I’m pretty sure she slipped up some of the lyrics at some point.

8:41 p.m. – Adam told Lisa that she gave her best performance to date and thinks that the audience should reward her for that. Blake agreed with Adam, giving Lisa the edge here for the same reason.

8:47 p.m. – Decisions for the fourth battle went to Kelly who chose Matthew Johnson to go against a Team Adam artist. Adam seemed to know he was doing something dastardly in picking Domenic Haynes for the battle.

8:49 p.m. – Matthew sang “Who’s Lovin’ You” like he was preparing to knock any and every artist out of the competition. His voice was passionate and strong, rich with his deep tone.

8:56 p.m. – Domenic went with “Damn Your Eyes,” a great lyrical song performed by one of the most emotive singers in history, Etta James, but unfortunately it wasn’t the right fit for his voice and so his delivery came off as rough rather than raspy.

9:00 p.m. – John got the opportunity to admit that he made a mistake in letting Matthew go in the last round and offered up that Matthew has the better range, but Domenic’s raw emotion is tough to compete against. Blake also failed to choose a winner between the two. Apparently all the coaches liked Domenic’s performance more than me!

9:01 p.m. – Kelly got to start the next battle off as well. This time she chose Presley Tennant from her five left. Kelly asked John to choose one of his artists to go against her–he chose another young, powerful female vocalist, Kayslin Victoria.

9:04 p.m. – Presley’s cover of “Love on the Brain” was solid, textured and confident. At times she overextended on the emotion, causing it to ring a little false overall, but the vocal was still there for her to hold on to.

9:07 p.m. – Kayslin followed with “Stay,” an uptempo track that failed her with an oddly muted arrangement. She gave me total Ariana Grande vibes in her look and performance style though and I think that’s something that will appeal to voters so I’d expect her to take the win on this one.

9:10 p.m. – Though Kelly was really passionate about how incredible Presley was, Blake refused to pick a winner between the two young artists. Adam said Presley was more surprising between the two, but he also refused to officially choose one over the other.

9:12 p.m. – Adam’s choice to go next was Celia Babini, letting Blake pick another artist to battle his. Blake decided to send Oliv Blu up to the stage.

9:19 p.m. – First up was Celia with “A Thousand Years,” a song that may have been too big for her because her vocal was shaky and at times pitchy. But when she settled in to her deep tone that’s when it really worked for her. The high notes though were rough. Oliv came back with “Gravity,” something that let her find a groove and perform in a theatrical way that worked in her favor. She showed incredible range and a delicacy that was really, really nice.

9:24 p.m. – In his critique, you can tell that Adam knew Celia didn’t meet the mark this time because he insisted to the audience that this is “only one performance.” But Blake spoke truth in saying that Oliv just “jumped onto the radar” with that performance. She didn’t oversing and she showed perfect range. John said he preferred Oliv because she handled her particular song better.

9:32 p.m. – Blake chose Dexter Roberts for the next battle and then took Adam up on his plea for yet another battle between the two teams. Adam decided to let Andrew Jannakos to go against him, pitting country artist against country.

9:34 p.m. – Dexter started the battle with “Believe,” one of the bigger country songs that actually served his abilities well. He gave a powerful and earthy performance that swelled with genuine emotion.

9:40 p.m. – Andrew countered with his version of “Yours,” a sweet song that had more of a rock tint to it than I expected from him. While Andrew displayed some grit and performed the song confidently, the performance lacked passion and I think he’ll struggle to connect with the audience.

9:43 p.m. – Kelly said that we all know she adores “old country” and so she was inclined to give Dexter the win for tackling a big song. John made it a split though, choosing Andrew as the better performance between the two.

9:46 p.m. – John got to set the stage with the final battle of the night, picking someone he thinks has a chance of winning the show. He picked Maelyn Jarmon to go against someone from Team Adam. From his four available, Adam chose Rod Stokes.

9:53 p.m. – Maelyn delivered a cover of the haunting “Mad World,” which she executed as flawlessly as John suggested she might. It was by far the clearest and most pitch-perfect performance of the night and she was zoned right in the entire time. Rod was up against stiff competition when he came to the stage with the classic “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You.” He gave a really good performance, but it was a bit one note and unfortunately has no chance to standing up to the frontrunner of the night.

10:00 p.m. – So who do you think won out in each of the pairings? And do you like the new format? The coaches each have a save and a steal to use in this stage of the competition–who deserves them? Sound off in the comments!

SEE ‘The Voice’ winners: Where are they now (Season 1 – 15)?

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