Before we get into tonight’s Battles, we still have that little matter of one Mr. James ‘The Hair’ Violet choosing if he will take Gwen Stefani’s save and remain with his original coach, or if he’ll defect and move over to Team Legend. Everyone, including the very vocal crowd, knows the best move for James is to join Team Legend. Unlike many 20-year-old kids too handsome for their own good, James makes the smart decision. Over to Team Legend it is! This means Gwen has now lost two artists she was trying to save to other coaches. That…doesn’t seem like the best thing? We’ll see if her “save” comes into play again this evening. Let’s battle!
Team Blake: Zach Bridges vs. Cory Jackson
Song: “Should’ve Been a Cowboy” by Toby Keith
Two Beards and Their Guitars. Maybe that could be Zach and Cory’s duo name when they take Kelly Clarkson’s advice and pair up post-The Voice. Too wordy? Sorry, I’m workshopping here! This is the big country battle on Blake’s team: Both Zach and Cory are straight country singers, which is maybe why their voices blend together so well. Those harmonies? Butter. The performance is a fun, charming, classic country one, which means there’s no clear winner. Gwen thinks Cory has more stage presence (there was lots of pointing and winking, so), but Blake loves Zach’s baritone voice. That nice, warm tone cannot be denied.
Winner: Zach Bridges!
Steals & Saves: They are few and far between, and Cory leaves to await Zach’s availability so they can team up as they were meant to.
Team Legend: Marybeth Byrd vs. Dane & Stephanie
Song: “Burning House” by Cam
How can I even write this recap? I’m still crying after that performance. Sure, I’m primed for it because Cam’s “Burning House” is a song built to make you cry, but holy hell! It’s easy to see why Marybeth Byrd got a four-chair turn in the Blinds. After Kelly blocked Blake from getting his hands on the country star, Marybeth went to Team Legend and it seems like a great choice. Her session with John and Usher really helps give her confidence to play with the melody and connect emotionally. She’s unreal in this song. Though, part of that is certainly due to Dane & Stephanie, our brother-sister twin duo with hardcore harmony powers. Both Usher and John call the twins out for lacking in confidence, but that fear mostly seems gone on stage, and their voices have never sounded better. In fact, Blake can’t even believe it’s the same duo from the Blinds. It’s going to hurt to send one of these acts home. Why does The Voice have to be so emotional?
Winner: Marybeth Byrd!
Steals & Saves: None! Keep on, little twins! Keep on!
Team Gwen: Rose Short vs Jessie Lawrence
Song: “Can’t Feel My Face” by The Weeknd
We only get three Battles tonight, but I am emotionally exhausted. Rose is a former correctional officer finally going after her dreams and her personality is infectious. Jessie was homeless just two years ago and thanks to Gwen’s one chair turn in the Blinds, he is finally on the path he belongs. The two of them walk into rehearsal hand-in-hand because they’re already best friends and by the time they leave, Will.i.am wants to be friends, too. Gwen gives them a faster, more contemporary song than either sang in their respective auditions, and it’s a great call. It easily shows off their personalities and gives them room to demonstrate their vocals. Rose is a force. Jessie is smooth. Both have the same problem though: As bold as they may seem in their performances, both of them have insecurities about not deserving to be here. Honestly, Team Gwen is the right place for that, she and Will.i.am give them such a great pep talk, even I felt inspired! They have so much chemistry on stage, it feels like a party. And both are given some moments to show off some cool runs and big notes. Rose starts crying when John tells her how talented she is. Jessie starts crying when Blake tells him he deserves to be here. Everyone is crying! Even before any decisions are made, you know neither of these two is going home tonight.
Winner: Rose Short!
Steals & Saves: Aw, it was fate that allowed Gwen to still have her “save” available for Jessie! Even Blake admits that he hit his “steal” button not because he wants to break up Jessie and Gwen, he just wanted Jessie to know how much he belongs here. Okay guys, this is all just too much. There’s no choice here, Jessie remains Team Gwen.
Next week, we have one more round of Battles and then the Queen herself arrives. No, not that queen. Taylor Swift is joining us as this season’s Knockout Round “mega-mentor.” Prepare for lots of contestant squealing.
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