The Voice recap: The battles are done
Next week, the show will move into the all-new “cross battles” rounds, which feature contestants battling with members of other teams, and the kicker is that they won’t know who they’re facing until they take the stage. Coaches Adam Levine, John Legend, Kelly Clarkson, and Blake Shelton will each have a save and a steal to throw down during the cross battles, but otherwise it’s up to audiences at home to decide who’s going to make it through from here. This could get innnnteresting.
For now, though, here’s a look at who made it through to the cross battles after one more round of regular old boring battles.
Team Adam: Andrew Jannakos vs. Patrick McAloon
Patrick McAloon feels very comfortable with “Free Fallin'” since he identifies as a singer-songwriter like Tom Petty, and he has the falsetto reach to make the high notes happen. However, Andrew Jannakos is the rare country singer on Adam Levine’s squad — goodness knows how hard he tries to steer people away from Blake Shelton’s team year after year — and his lower register is rich and lovely.
Neither singer breaks the mold with their duet, exactly, but the coaches are impressed that they’re able to trade registers on their harmonies and how much Patrick has improved upon his range. Even so, Andrew is a tad more at home in this space, and Adam decides to keep him around a little while longer.
Winner: Andrew Jannakos
Team Blake: Cecily Hennigan vs. Selkii
After her cautious blind audition, Blake Shelton promised to find some songs that would allow Cecily Hennigan to “blow the roof off” of the place. But by pairing her with an Avril Lavigne song against Selkii, whom he’s proud to have recruited above a fine pitch from Adam Levine, it seems he’s setting up for the South African singer to emerge victorious from this battle.
Their duet of “Head Above Water” is a little more evenly matched than he might’ve expected, though, with Selkii bringing a haunted folk style opposite Cecily’s sheer vocal strength. Blake ultimately struggles to decide which singer to carry forward to the cross battles, but it’s Selkii’s experience that seals her the W in this battle.
Montaged battles: Two battles were cut for time — or perhaps other reasons — this round as well. Team Blake’s Carter Lloyd Horne and Lili Joy performed “I Got You Babe,” and what little footage we get mostly centers on his gravelly tones, which earn him the win. Meanwhile, Team Kelly’s Karen Galera and Alena D’Amico’s version of “Imagine” leaves Karen on top after the coach decides she can “handle the nerves better” and allow her team to continue being “a threat.”
Team John: Kayslin Victoria vs. Oliv Blu
We didn’t get to know much about Oliv Blu during her montaged audition, but now we’re learning a bit more about why she got John Legend’s attention. Singing one of his favorite songs was strategic enough, but then he liked her ability to “flip it” into her own thing. Oliv is a jazz singer with a twin who loves to scat. Meanwhile, Kayslin caught the attention of her coach with an energetic performance that showcased her confidence. The two will both be challenged to perform team adviser Khalid’s own song “Location.”
Both women bring some heat to the stage during their performance, with Oliv offering an easy groove against Kayslin’s slightly sharper sound. Kayslin’s vocals are a bit more unique and versatile, as she can easily go from a low R&B wail right to a tippy-top head voice note that has all the coaches’ eyebrows on the ceiling. Kelly is especially impressed with Kayslin’s depth of talent, but John can’t deny how well Oliv has risen to this challenge. John eventually decides to keep Kayslin on his team because he has so few pop singers on his team and admires her boundless confidence, but Blake is intrigued enough by her jazzy sound to offer her a steal.
Winner: Kayslin Victoria
Steal: Oliv Blu to Team Blake.
Adam Levine: Domenic Haynes, L.B. Crew, Mari Jones, Celia Babini, Kalvin Jarvis, Andrew Jannakos, Rod Stokes, Kendra Checketts.
Kelly Clarkson: Karen Galera, The Bundys, Jej Vincent, Rebecca Howell, Abby Kasch, Ashley Tennant, Matthew Johnson, Betsy Ade.
John Legend: Maelyn Jarmon, Lisa Ramey, Julian King, Shawn Sounds, Kaslin Victoria, Beth Griffith-Marley, Jimmy Mowery.
Blake Shelton: Gyth Rigdon, Kim Cherry, Carter Lloyd Horne, Dexter Roberts, Selkii, Andrew Sevener, Karly Moreno, Oliv Blu.
A rotating chair-full of judges search for the next great superstar singer on this NBC reality show.