The Voice recap: Nick Jonas compares one contestant to Beyoncé as the Battles continue
And we're back to the Battles. In case you forgot (hey, a lot happens in a week, also, what is time?), Kelly Clarkson was sick the week of the performance tapings, so while she is there to coach Team Kelly in rehearsals, along with her team advisor Luis Fonsi, Kelsea Ballerini is sitting in Kelly's big red chair and making team selections for the Knockouts (with some helpful texting with Kelly, of course). Other than that, it's business as usual on the Battles. We've got steals and saves in play and another mix of good singing matchups to get into. One of those matchups is Team Legend's Ciana Pelekai and Denisha Dalton. They only show us a quick snippet of their Battle duet to Tate McRae's "You Broke Me First," which is a bummer because it sounds like it was a real belt-off. Coach John Legend decides to stick with his big-voiced pop singer Ciana Pelekai. Who else survives their Battle and moves on to the Knockouts? Let's find out.
Team Blake: Cam Anthony and Emma Caroline, "10,000 Hours" by Dan + Shay featuring Justin Bieber
For this pairing, Blake Shelton's matching up his R&B/soul singer Cam Anthony with his "mountain country" singer Emma Caroline. It seems only right that he'd have them duet on a genre-crossing song like "10,000 Hours." Plus, Dan + Shay are Blake's Team Advisors, so it all works out nicely. In rehearsals, Dan and Shay get chills listening to these two sing their song. Both Cam and Emma are talented vocalists, but the major issue is that Emma's singing like she's a backup singer and not a lead. She needs confidence in her performance to even come close to Cam. Unfortunately, she misses the mark in the actual performance. Every coach comments on how gorgeous her tone is and tells her repeatedly how talented she is, but Cam stole the show. John Legend is drawn to Cam's "fire and conviction" when he sings. Kelsea praises Cam for how he was able to engage them and the audience. Blake tells Cam he was "born to do this." His runs are incredible and he has that it factor.
Winner: Cam Anthony!
Steals/Saves: Blake believes in Emma Caroline much more than it seems she believes in herself and he saves her so she can come back and give the performance of her life in the Four-Way Knockout representing Team Blake.
Team Kelly: Halley Greg and Gihanna Zoë, "Thinking Out Loud" by Ed Sheeran
Halley Greg and Gihanna Zoë have such different vocal styles, so Kelly's paired them together and given them a song she thinks can really be tailored to any genre. Team advisor Luis Fonsi describes Halley as "old school rock-and-roll" but with "a lot of emotion," and Gihanna as a voice that's "all about control." From her head voice to chest voice and every trick in between, she knows how to use them all. Those differences are on stark display in the performance. Both women perform well — and Halley hits an insane high note — but Gihanna owns the stage and her range is crazy and on full display in this song. The coaches call Halley's voice "quirky" but in a good way, but are all pretty much like, uh, Gihanna is undeniable. Nick Jonas compares her to Beyoncé. It's hard to let go of a teenager with that much technical vocal prowess.
Winner: Gihanna Zoë!
Team Legend: Zania Alaké and Durell Anthony, "Emotions" by the Bee Gees
John Legend has apparently watched the Bee Gees documentary and that, paired with his wife Chrissy Teigen loving the Destiny's Child version of "Emotions," inspired him to give Zania and Durell this song. It's a great choice for both of them. In rehearsals, team advisor Brandy calls out how great Durell's falsetto is and she encourages him to use it more. Both Brandy and John advise Zania to work on her breath control to make sure her runs are clean, and they want both of the artists to remember that storytelling is key. Zania and Durell take all of those notes and make it an extremely tough decision for John. Blake knows how hard it must have been for Durell to sing up in that high register and it sounded great, but Zania has "that one 'it factor' thing you can't define." Nick thought Zania had such "natural charisma" but Durell's falsetto was "effortless" and "inspiring" to him as a vocalist. In the end, John knows how hard Zania worked to nail her breath control and can't deny her immense stage presence.
Winner: Zania Alaké!
Team Blake: Jordan Matthew Young and Keegan Ferrell, "Calling All Angels" by Train
This is another interesting pair out of Team Blake. Jordan Matthew Young is a gritty-voiced rock/soul singer and Keegan Ferrell is a pop artist with a sweet tone. In rehearsals, Shay really beefs up Keegan's confidence over nailing the high notes, but Blake makes sure Keegan knows that Jordan is a seasoned live performer and Keegan will have to be much more engaging to leave an impression on stage. Both guys end up having good vocal performances, although this song is much more well-suited to Jordan's voice. For Keegan, that rehearsal chat about hitting his high notes really paid off, as both Nick and Kelsea call it out specifically as something special. John calls Keegan's vocals "flawless." But Jordan has the charisma on stage. Nick thinks Jordan has a shot at the finale and Kelsea finds it impressive that Jordan already knows exactly who he is as an artist. In the end, Blake just loves how "weathered" and "warm" Jordan's voice is.
Winner: Jordan Matthew Young
Steals/Saves: Nick Jonas steals Keegan! Learning that Keegan is into music production sent him over the edge. With his voice fit for pop music and excellent falsetto, Keegan seems like a great fit for Team Nick anyway.
Team Nick: Zae Romeo and Lindsay Joan, "Rewrite the Stars" from The Greatest Showman
Zae is Nick's four-chair turn and Lindsay has a musical theater background, so pairing these two vocalists up for a song from The Greatest Showman is a great move. As team advisor, Darren Criss points out, Zae and Lindsay are amazing singers on their own, but they're having issues blending and connecting with one another and the audience. At one point, he and Nick call it "emotionally flat." They certainly correct that for the performance. John tells them both that they have "expansive ranges" and that "seeing [them] soar together was a joy." The coaches are torn on who Nick should pick. Blake was surprised by Lindsay's performance, so he would choose her to win. Kelsea thinks Zae's "a chameleon" who can do pretty much anything and held his own against someone with a theater background, so she'd go with Zae. Nick is torn, but notes that Zae really worked all of his range in that song and "rose to the occasion."
Winner: Zae Romeo!
Team Kelly: Corey Ward and Savanna Woods, "Dreams" by Fleetwood Mac
Kelly swears she didn't have any real reason to toss Corey Ward and Savanna Woods together for the Battles, but the two artists are glad she did — and she ends up pretty happy about it, too. Both Corey and Savanna are passionate singers with a little rasp to their voices and they get along well both personally and musically. Kelly tells them she's "never seen two people more destined to be a band" on this show. After their performance, Blake notes some big pitch problems in the middle of the song but was thrilled by the rest of it. The power behind Savanna's typically ethereal voice left an impression on him, but he also advises Kelsea that "you can't put a value on that kind of weathered tone" that Corey has. Nick is drawn to Corey because of the emotional pull he has when he sings, and John also leans toward Corey because of the compelling "urgency" and "push" in his voice. Kelsea's torn because on one hand, Savanna really made this song her own — a tough thing to pull off on a Fleetwood Mac song — but she's very interested in Corey's potential.
Winner: Corey Ward!
Steals/Saves: I said Kelsea was torn right? She is busy texting Kelly and gets the okay to save Savanna. Kelsea loves Savanna's confidence and stage presence, so she'll be representing Team Kelly in the Four-Way Knockout.
TEAM KELLY: Ryleigh Modig, Avery Roberson (steal), Gihanna Zoë, Corey Ward, Savanna Woods (save)
Still to Battle: Kenzie Wheeler, JD Casper, Anna Grace, Ainae
TEAM LEGEND: Gean Garcia (steal), Pia Renee, Zania Alaké, Ciana Pelekai
Still to Battle: Victor Solomon, Carolina Rial, Deion Warren, Rio Doyle
TEAM NICK: Dana Monique, Devan Blake Jones (save), Jose Figueroa Jr., Zae Romeo, Keegan Ferrell (steal)
Still to Battle: Raine Stern, Andrew Marshall, Bradley Sinclair, Rachel Mac
TEAM BLAKE: Connor Christian, Ethan Lively, Cam Anthony, Emma Caroline (save), Jordan Matthew Young
Still to Battle: Pete Mroz, Savanna Chestnut
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A rotating chair-full of judges search for the next great superstar singer on this NBC reality show.