With Adam Levine gone from “The Voice,” Blake Shelton needs a new sparring partner on NBC’s reality TV show and it looks like he’s found one with new coach Nick Jonas. For Nick’s first-ever battle pairing, he chose to match up R&B vocalists Joanna Serenko and Roderick Chambers for a cover of Billie Eilish‘s “when the party’s over” (watch above). Both Season 18 artists delivered the goods in one of the most entertaining and haunting battles in “The Voice” history, but Nick rose eyebrows when he announced he was keeping Roderick and saying goodbye to his only four-chair turn artist of the season. That left the door open for John Legend to swoop in and steal Joanna for his team.
“I don’t think Nick has really gotten a grasp,” Blake declared later on after Nick made his shocking decision. “He is a great guy. He is a great artist. He is a sucky coach.” Usually four-chair artists are held to a high standard in the battle rounds, which is why Nick’s choice caught so many people off guard. Roderick on the other hand was a one-chair turn — but hey, Kelly Clarkson just won “The Voice” Season 17 with Jake Hoot after being the only coach to press her button. Always the jokester, Blake then joked that Kelly and John were also sucky coaches, so he spread the wealth in that respect.
Nick’s special advisors this week were his brothers, Joe Jonas and Kevin Jonas. They admitted they were surprised Joanna initially picked Nick to be her coach when John, Blake and Kelly also gave great pitches. “I thought I lost to anybody else, but I had written down a note in my notepad that said ‘fight,'” Nick revealed during the mentoring session.
“I’m in the toughest decision I’ve been in in my life right now trying to decide between the two of you,” the coach said before making his decision about who would stay on Team Nick. Ultimately he kept Roderick because of the “growth” and “exhilarating experience” he had working with the Miami, Florida resident. Even though he called Joanna a “flawless singer,” he just wasn’t as wowed by her performance and so he went with his “gut feeling” to choose Roderick.
In his “The Voice” live blog, our recapper John Benutty had this to say about the battle: “As suggested by Nick in rehearsal, Roderick and Joanna began their performance back to back for dramatic effect. It brought new depth to the song and did wonders to make the track feel new, especially once they raised their tones and made it all bigger. In their thoughts, the coaches thought the two of them were in sync, but Blake gave the edge to Roderick for ‘shock factor’ and John was impressed by Joanna’s range.”