The Voice recap: The coaches throw down saves and steals like crazy
Of the eight pairs who were up for elimination after The Voice had its very first cross battle round, only three contestants were sent home. Even host Carson Daly was floored by how generous coaches Adam Levine, John Legend, Kelly Clarkson and Blake Shelton were being with their saves and steals so early on, quipping, “We’re literally live, we’re halfway through the show, and no one has gone home yet tonight.”
In all, five contestants were saved from the chopping block this week, which means next week is going to be a whole lot more competitive for the rest of the singers hoping for a spot in the Top 24. There are just two saves and one steal left to spare in the back half of the cross battles after this, so those who didn’t get called up to perform this time are in for a much harder road ahead.
For now, though, let’s take a look at how this week’s cross battle results played out (in order of reveal, not performances).
Kim Cherry (Team Blake) vs. Betsy Ade (Team Kelly)
Surprise! Looks like audiences were more taken with Kim Cherry than Betsy Ade after all … even if the coaches don’t agree. Even Blake seemed poised to say goodbye to Kim, remarking that he was “honored” she gave him a chance to coach her and hoped she didn’t regret it, as she’d joked in her blind audition. Meanwhile, Kelly was just excited that she’d probably get to spend some more time coaching Betsy after stealing her from John during the battles. Lo, here we are, and both Adam and John were willing to sacrifice their steal to bring her back. Adam’s pitch was solid enough — he’d tried to recruit her before, and John has already let her go once. John admits it was a mistake to pit her against Lisa Ramey and wants her to come “home.” He even throws in a mention of her son to make it personal. But Betsy’s hopeful that the third time will be a charm and opts to try her luck on Adam’s team this time.
America saved: Kim Cherry
Save/Steal: Betsy Ade to Team Adam.
Matthew Johnson (Team Kelly) vs. Domenic Haynes (Team Adam)
After losing Betsy, Kelly seems very afraid that her second elimination session will not go her way, but alas, Mr. Personality Matthew Johnson has won voters over enough to advance without any extra help. However, Adam recognizes that Domenic Haynes deserves another shot at this game and even promised to do “everything in [his] power” to keep him on Team Adam before Carson Daly read the results. So, it was hardly a surprise that he happily gave up his save bid, too, to keep Domenic around a little while longer.
America saved: Matthew Johnson
Steal/save: Domenic Haynes stays on Team Adam.
Maelyn Jarmon (Team John) vs. Rod Stokes (Team Adam)
This one was an absolute no-brainer. As impressive as Rod Stokes was about rising to a major challenge, Maelyn Jarmon crushed it in her performance and easily earned this win. At the same time, Rod did enough to earn a second look, too, which is why Kelly Clarkson was delighted to offer him her lone steal.
America saved: Maelyn Jarmon
Steal/save: Rod Stokes to Team Kelly.
Celia Babini (Team Adam) vs. Oliv Blu (Team Blake)
It’s clear from Adam’s speech to Celia Babini that he knows she hasn’t won this. He gives her the standard “this isn’t the end of your journey” send-off ahead of Carson’s results read-out, and it seems pretty clear what’s about to happen. Compared to Oliv Blu’s elegant performance, Celia’s was clunky and awkward. However, John decides to throw down his hand and offer her a steal because he still thinks she’s “fantastic” and “unique” and could “knock it out of the park” with a better song choice next time.
America saved: Oliv Blue
Steal/save: Celia Babini to Team John
Presley Tennant (Team Kelly) vs. Kayslin Victoria (Team John)
After the first half, however, the coaches started being a bit more reserved about spending their steals and saves. In the case of this pairing, Presley Tennant was the clear winner, and while John gave Kayslin Victoria props for having “swagger” on stage, he also hinted that she’ll need to “keep working” to capitalize on it.
America saved: Presley Tennant
Lisa Ramey (Team John) vs. Karen Galeria (Team Kelly)
This was another very easy decision, between Lisa Ramey, who finally got everyone vibing during her rock star performance and the muted effort by Karen Galeria. Kelly Clarkson compliments Karen for being hardworking and encourages her to continue with her bilingual music, but she’s not willing to spend her save to keep her around for the next round.
America saved: Lisa Ramey
Mari Jones (Team Adam) vs. Selkii (Team Blake)
Both of the coaches like their contestants here. Adam Levine thinks Mari Jones is “so special and just getting started,” and Blake Shelton repeats his praise that Selkii is one of his favorite contestants of all time and goes even further to state, “it’d be a crime” for her to go home and that he hopes America agrees with him. Unfortunately for him, those words aren’t going to work here because this isn’t an instant save situation, and Mari bested her in the cross battle where voters were concerned. So, lest he become a criminal himself, he pretty much has to offer her a save to stay in this thing.
America saved: Mari Jones
Steal/save: Selkii stays on Team Blake.
Dexter Roberts (Team Blake) vs. Andrew Jannakos (Team Adam)
The last pair up for elimination is Dexter Roberts and Andrew Jannakos. These two are very different country artists, but Dexter’s performance in the cross battle was a bit more cohesive and earned him the W from the couch crowd. Adam Levine knows he’ll have to say goodbye to Andrew before Carson Daly says as much and offers him a blueprint for post-Voice success, saying, basically, that because he looks like a hipster, he should stand out in the country circuit.
America saved: Dexter Roberts
Adam Levine: Domenic Haynes, L.B. Crew, Mari Jones, Kalvin Jarvis, Kendra Checketts, Betsy Ade.
Kelly Clarkson: The Bundys, Jej Vincent, Rebecca Howell, Abby Kasch, Presley Tennant, Matthew Johnson, Rod Stokes.
John Legend: Maelyn Jarmon, Lisa Ramey, Julian King, Shawn Sounds, Beth Griffith-Marley, Jimmy Mowery, Celia Babini.
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.