The Voice recap: The coaches are starting to get stingy with the steals
The Voice‘s battle rounds continue on as coaches Adam Levine, John Legend, Kelly Clarkson, and Blake Shelton try to whittle their teams down by half, and now that the steals are starting to run out, they’re becoming a bit pickier about handing them out. Tonight, there are only two singers who manage to escape elimination in this round — plus one who gets courted for the Comeback Stage — even though there are quite a few close calls to be made. The decisions are only going to get harder from here, of course.
Here’s a look at who made it through in round three of the battles.
Team John: Lisa Ramey vs. Betsy Ade
John Legend paired these two together because he believes they’re both “I am woman, hear me roar”-style singers, and he chooses Brandi Carlile’s “The Joke” to showcase that shared strength. Both singers have a chance to shine here; Lisa Ramey and Betsy Ade both have enough gravel and grit to fit this Americana favorite, and neither was a heavy favorite in the blinds.
As expected, they both bring a great deal of power to the performance and each land the chorus’ killer note. Lisa does come in with a bit more of a playful edge in the opening verse, while Betsy bursts through with more of the number’s melodrama. Legend says he was a bit more “electrified” by Lisa’s portion of the performance and sees a few more “possibilities” with her going forward, but it’s a very close call. Since Betsy obviously does not deserve to go home after this, Kelly Clarkson praises her “storyteller” appeal and offers her a steal.
Winner: Lisa Ramey
Steal: Betsy Ade to Team Kelly
Team Adam: Mari Jones vs. Anthony Ortiz
This is the first time we’re really getting to hear Anthony Ortiz sing since his audition was given the montage treatment, but we know a lot about Mari Jones. Her try-out impressed a trio of coaches, and Adam Levine was chuffed to be picked to coach such a stylish contender. His song choice of “I Like Me Better” by Lauv doesn’t necessarily betray any favoritism, but we have to imagine this is Mari’s battle to lose.
While Anthony follows the instruction to play it cool and lean into his soft pop persuasion throughout the number, that quietude only creates a platform for Mari to shine with her energetic stage presence and ability to bounce through note runs. Even if she didn’t have the advantage coming in, the layout of this duet gives her an edge, and she nimbly seizes the moment.
Winner: Mari Jones
Team Blake: Andrew Sevener vs. Hannah Kay
Hannah Kay was one of Blake Shelton’s first recruits, whereas he took a bit more time deciding whether to bring Andrew Sevener into the fold. With “Tequila” by Dan + Shay, though, he’s testing both singers’ ability to adapt to a song that might not be in their comfort zone, and it’s Andrew’s full-bodied voice and subtle rasp that gets his attention the most tonight. Hannah’s soft southerness is still pleasant, but the coaches think she needs some more polishing before she can make it to the next level.
Winner: Andrew Sevener
Team Kelly: Abby Kasch vs. Jackson Marlow
Jackson Marlow was the very last person to join Kelly Clarkson’s team and she was really eager to add a male voice at the time, so it might seem like the deck is stacked in his favor here in the battles. However, Abby Kasch reveals a sweet and clear sound on Jo Dee Messina and Tim McGraw’s “Bring on the Rain,” while Jackson lays low with a more rugged and round vocal. Kelly’s more impressed by what Abby has to offer in the way of personality and talent, and the fact that the footage of their set is so abbreviated probably means there were some audible flubs that fell onto the editing room floor before we got to see them.
Winner: Abby Kasch
Team John: Jacob Maxwell vs. Talon Cardon
There are a lot of fun coincidences happening with this pairing — they’re both restaurant waiters by trade and their fathers serve in their local police departments, which makes them giggle over being assigned a Police song. They also have a similar beach bum aesthetic with their voices, which team adviser Khalid advises them to break out of to present a more energetic rendition of this upbeat number.
With a little note-tinkering and pep-talking from John Legend, the two are able to have fun with “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic.” Although both have taken their instructions to heart, it’s Jacob Maxwell who seems to have better command of his notes, translating his soft sound to this number without overdoing it. More importantly, John Legend admits to enjoying Jacob’s vocal styling more than Talon’s, so it’s an easy decision for him to make.
Winner: Jacob Maxwell
Team Kelly: Rebecca Howell vs. David Owens
Rebecca Howell was one of Kelly’s buzzier recruits, while David Owens was a one-chair turn, but she’ll still have to prove that she can transcend her country roots by stepping into his more soulful territory to perform “Unchained Melody.” Luckily, she is definitely cut out for it. David is clearly in his element and provides the warm, rich tones that the song needs to work, but Rebecca’s ability to reach for and hold some exquisite power notes makes her a standout, even if David has also delivered here. It’s a close call for Kelly, who shouts that she loves David’s tone but can’t deny Rebecca’s bright potential and ability to adapt. Even though Blake Shelton said he would’ve picked David, he doesn’t offer him a steal because he thinks he’s already got some teammates that fill David’s “lane” of music. Luckily, Bebe Rexha feels differently about it and offers him a spot on the comeback squad.
Winner: Rebecca Howell
Team Adam: Kalvin Jarvis vs. Jimmy Mowery
Both of these singers impressed the heck out of Adam Levine in the blind auditions. Jimmy Mowery’s falsetto was on-point, while Kalvin Jarvis impressed with his smoothness. Adam’s decision to have them sing Usher’s “U Got It Bad” will give both a chance to take that first impression to the next level since it requires some sizzle and skill.
While Kalvin opens with his fuller R&B groove, Jimmy adds some major flavor with his crisp high notes and fluid top range. Kalvin’s clearly in his element here, but even when he starts to carry it away with a clever quick-run and the ability to navigate the lower notes, the coaches are impressed with Jimmy’s ability to hang in there and add something to their harmonies. Adam struggles with it, but ultimately decides to reward Kalvin with the W. Luckily for Jimmy, John has heard enough to offer him a place on his team.
Winner: Kalvin Jarvis
Steal: Jimmy Mowery to Team John.
Programming note: Next week, the “Cross Battles” begin in place of the usual knockout rounds, and judging by the look-ahead, which features Kelly screeching “what happened?!” fans should brace for a big change.
Adam Levine: Domenic Haynes, Patrick McAloon, L.B. Crew, Mari Jones, Celia Babini, Kalvin Jarvis, Andrew Jannakos, Rod Stokes, Kendra Checketts.
Kelly Clarkson: Karen Galera, The Bundys, Alena D’Amico, Jej Vincent, Rebecca Howell, Abby Kasch, Ashley Tennant, Matthew Johnson, Betsy Ade.
John Legend: Maelyn Jarmon, Lisa Ramey, Julian King, Oliv Blu, Shawn Sounds, Kaslin Victoria, Beth Griffith-Marley, Jimmy Mowery.
Blake Shelton: Gyth Rigdon, Kim Cherry, Lili Joy, Carter Lloyd Horne, Dexter Roberts, Selkii, Andrew Sevener, Cecily Hennigan, Karly Moreno.