The Voice‘s battle rounds continue with five more pairs duking it out for a spot in the knockouts, and judging by the number of coach steals that are being thrown out this early on, season 15 is more competitive than the last few rounds of this show, and the coaches’ jobs are only going to get harder and harder from here on out.
Let’s take a look at what pairs came through tonight, and who got saved by the button.
Team Kelly: Kymberli Joye vs. OneUp
“Mercy” by Shawn Mendes
Given Kelly Clarkson’s absolute bliss over snagging Kymberli Joye during the blinds, the lady would really have to blow it to lose this battle, which means the onus is on OneUp to steal it from her tonight. Despite their best efforts, though, this duo is unable to do enough to convince their coach to part with Kymberli just yet.
To their credit, they do manage to put on quite a show. Between Adam’s ability to uncannily inhabit Shawn Mendes’ sound throughout to Jerome’s crazy falsetto reach, they do earn a lot of good marks for their showmanship tonight. Combined with Kymberli, though, there’s just too much going on — as they say, three’s a crowd. However, she does seem to be forcing it a bit here and there, with her at-times-awkward diva growls and reaching the roof of her register. Even as Kelly gives her the inevitable W, she has to admit that it’s not based solely on tonight’s performance. Kymberli may have brought her energy to this show, but she’s going to have to retrace her steps to find that star quality that wowed everyone in the last round.
Winner: Kymberli Joye
Team Adam: Anthony Arya vs. Steve Memmolo
“Amie” by Pure Prairie League
This match-up between fellow soft rock singers Anthony Arya and Steve Memmolo is surprisingly good. Although Steve has the more rounded performance style — and, of course, the looks of an Affleck brother — young Anthony does a pretty stellar job matching wits with him once they reach the big stage.
Steve’s early John Mayer-style folk appeal is lovely, and he’s still got enough vocal strength to dominate their shared moments of the song. But when Anthony does get a rare moment alone in the number, his voice is also quite warm and soothing, like he’s treating us all to a lullaby. His coach Adam Levine is impressed with his major improvement from the rehearsals ’til now but decides to go with the more “seasoned” singer in Steve. Still, Anthony has done enough to earn the allegiance of Jennifer Hudson, who can’t bear to see him go just yet.
Winner: Steve Memmolo
Steal: Anthony Arya to Team Jennifer.
Team Adam: Jared Matthew vs. Tyke James
“She’s Always a Woman” by Billy Joel
Sadly, we don’t get to hear all of what Jared Matthew and Tyke James throw down tonight, but from what we do hear, it sounds like Jared maxes out his capacity trying to reach some bigger notes of this number. And since it happens to be one of Adam’s favorites, that’s a bummer for everyone involved. Meanwhile, our coconut tree-climbing hippie Tyke James continues to impress with his fluid tones and easygoing appeal. It’s still a shame that we don’t get to hear everything he does with this song, especially since Kelly Clarkson mentions that she thinks he’s a contender for the finale after tonight. Harrumph.
Winner: Tyke James
Team Blake: Chris Kroeze vs. Mercedes Ferreira-Dias
“Back in the High Life Again” by Steve Winwood
Unlike a lot of the battlers tonight, Chris Kroeze and Mercedes Ferreira-Dias don’t have a lot in common, musically speaking. While Chris has a mellow, gravelly tone that’s perfectly suited for this ’80s pick-me-up-style song, Mercedes has the kind of pipes might work better with something that’s a little less stoic. She still does well enough — there’s no denying her vocal strength or her sense of range safety — but Chris’ vocal personality is much more complicated by this song choice, and he easily runs away with the win.
Winner: Chris Kroeze
Team Blake: Rachel Messer and Katrina Cain
“Angel” by Sarah Mclachlan
Another duo whose battle gets abbreviated for time by the editors is Rachel “Lives Between Two Hollers” Messer and Katrina Cain. From what we hear, Katrina’s technique is infallible with this difficult ballad, while Rachel’s earthiness is also enhanced by her lines. Blake Shelton is ultimately most convinced by how well Katrina has committed herself to the emotion and “storytelling” aspects of the song and decides to leave his country girl by the wayside as a result.
Winner: Katrina Cain
Team Jennifer: Mike Parker vs. Natasia Greycloud
“Gravity” by John Mayer
Last but certainly not least, Jennifer Hudson pairs these two soulful singers with what is ordinarily a subdued number and lets them go nuts with their arrangements, and oh my-my does it work. Mike Parker may have barely earned his chair turn, but even in the blinds there was something pretty inviting about his supple R&B tones (cue that John Legend comparison again), and he’s only gotten better with it tonight. Meanwhile, Natasia Greycloud’s got a lot of nuance and ferocity herself, and they both deliver performances that are clean but still creative and respectful of one another’s space — they even end on a quiet note, which is incredibly elegant.
For Jennifer, Mike’s ability to surprise her and the other coaches with such a cohesive and intuitive take is enough to give him the edge. However, Kelly appreciates the talent with which Natasia nailed her own parts (or as Blake would put it, her very Kelly Clarkson-like “attack” on the song) and decides to offer her a place on her own squad as a consolation prize. Mike definitely deserved his win, but Natasia getting to go through too is also a just result of this battle.
Winner: Mike Parker
Steal: Natasia Greycloud to Team Kelly.
Adam Levine – Tyke James, Radha, DeAndre Nico, Steve Memmolo, Reagan Strange, Fousheé, Natalie Brady, Jake Wells, Funsho, Emily Hough.
Blake Shelton – Kameron Marlowe, Keith Paluso, Michael Lee, Dave Fenley, Chris Kroeze, Kayley Hill, Kirk Jay, Caeland Garner, Colton Smith.
Kelly Clarkson – Sarah Grace, Mikele Buck, Claire DeJean, Chevel Shepherd, Delaney Silvernell, Kymberli Joye, Erika Zade, Cody Ray Raymond, Abby Cates, Natasia Greycloud.
Jennifer Hudson – Tyshawn Colquitt, Patrique Fortson, Kennedy Holmes, Franc West, Audri Bartholomew, MaKenzie Thomas, Mike Parker, Zaxai, Lela, Sandyredd, Anthony Arya.