The battles are almost done for The Voice’s tenth season, which means the knockout rounds are about to come in like a wrecking ball with key adviser Miley Cyrus riding in next week to share her unique insights into the industry. But first, there’s the matter of sealing up the winners and giving away that one, tiny steal Christina Aguilera has left in her pocket.
She’s gonna be even choosier than Adam Levine about whom to dole her save out to, but Adam, Pharrell Williams and Blake Shelton are all up to the challenge of trying to make their brawlers as worthy of the adoption as possible.
Here’s how the final fray of the battle rounds shakes out.
Battle No. 1 (Team Adam): Laith Al-Saadi vs. Matt Tedder
Song: “Honky Tonk Women” by the Rolling Stones
It’s shredder versus shredder for the first battle of the night, as Adam considers both Laith and Matt to be guitar players first and vocalists second (although Laith might take issue with that characterization).
Matt, the ‘70s transplant kid who’s still green to his Nashville club/curbside/wherever performance career, has some savory chops and a mean way with his slides. But he’s still no match for Laith’s years upon years of experience strengthening his vocals, which, as Blake puts it, can blast your face off with their sheer power.
Laith’s unanimously waved through to the knockouts because he’s simply too big a presence to deny; Adam gives him the green flag because he believes he’s the one who “genuinely deserves it in this moment,” although Matt gets many snaps for throwing in a few runs to even try and stand up to the room commander stage right.
Winner: Laith Al-Saadi
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Battle No. 2 (Team Pharrell): Caity Peters vs. Joe Vivona
Song: “Honesty” by Billy Joel
Team Pharrell experiences its most difficult round of rehearsals yet this season as Caity and Joe both struggle to find their way through the pitchy soft-rock song — Diddy even tells Caity she’s “better than that” when she struggles to match her husky Fleetwood Mac-meets-Adele tones to the number.
Unfortunately for both contestants, there’s only moderate improvement to be found in their duel, when Caity gets lost in the lyrics and loses her strong notes while Joe’s presenting little better than a ho-hum effort that doesn’t showcase anything special about him, except that he can disappear behind Caity’s mistakes. Ultimately, Pharrell gives it to Caity because she has one strong run near the tail end and because he believes there’s potential for her to benefit from his guidance going ahead.
NEXT: Christina finds a new fighter…
Battle No. 3 (Team Blake): Brittany Kennell vs. Trey O’Dell
Song: “The Chain” by Fleetwood Mac
You might remember Brittany as the one who earned Gwen Stefani comparisons (and a few chair flips) with her heartfelt variation of “Stronger” during the blinds. Tonight’s battle round gives her a chance to prove that comparison to be anything but a fluke as she drags the ground with her super low note reach that stretches for days and sticks with her sultry rocker vibe, even though she’s definitely not feeling the song. (Christina even insists she’s basically the vocal love child of herself and Gwen, which…thanks? But only after teasing Blake about how she’s now his “girrrrrlfriend.”)
Ultimately, Brittany’s the one Blake chooses to go through — he’s going with his gut that, given another song, she’ll shine — but Trey (who always has a backup career option in the gotta-be-lucrative Edward Cullen look-alike industry, just sayin’) has a pretty solid and steady stage presence. Christina gives her precious final steal to him, saying that he “deserves to have a new shot.” Agreed!
Winner: Brittany Kennell
Steal: Trey O’Dell to Team Christina
The Other Battles: Team Blake’s Gina Castanzo and Peyton Parker head out to the “Borderline” with Madonna’s classic hit, where Peyton’s steady tone wins her a ticket to the knockout round. Meanwhile, Team Christina’s Ayanna Jahneé and Joe Maye also go toe to toe with “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)” by Aretha Franklin and George Michael, and Mr. Maye wins the day with his excess of charisma and energy. Finally, rockabilly artist John Gilman brings his unique sound back to the stage to test wits against Owen Danoff with “Runaway” by Del Shannon, leaving Danoff cruising down the knockout round-bound lane for Team Adam.
- Team Adam: Brian Nhira, Caroline Burns, Laith Al-Saadi, Katherine Ho, Nate Butler, Jessica Crosbie, Ryan Quinn, and Owen Danoff
- Team Pharrell: Caity Peters, Nick Hagelin, Abby Celso, Joe Vivona, Emily Keener, Hannah Huston, Moushumi, Shalyah Fearing, and Malik Heard
- Team Christina: Trey O’Dell, Bryan Bautista, Alisan Porter, Kata Hay, Támar Davis, Daniel Passino, Joe Maye, and Maya Smith
- Team Blake: Lacy Mandigo, Paxton Ingram, Mary Sarah, Adam Wakefield, Angie Keilhauer, Brittany Kennell, Peyton Parker, and Katie Basden