'The Voice' Recap: Battles Conclude with One Final Steal
The Battle Round concluded on The Voice tonight. Coaches Blake Shelton, Adam Levine and Pharrell Williams used up their steals earlier in the round, but Christina Aguilera entered the night with one steal left, so the pressure was one for artists to be their best.
The first battle pairing of the night came from Team Adam: Laith Al-Saadi and Matt Tedder. Despite their age difference, Al-Saadi and Tedder are both seasoned performers, and in their first rehearsal of “Honky Tonk Women” with team adviser Tori Kelly and Levine, it became very clear that it was going to be a tight battle.
Al-Saadi and Tedder are both incredible guitar players, but it would come down to their voices to really set themselves apart from one another. In their final battle, Al-Saadi and Tedder put on a great show. They still seemed more like guitar players who sing than vocalists who play the guitar, but Al-Saadi had the more developed voice. “You growl with no strain,” Pharrell said of Al-Saadi’s voice. Levine picked Al-Saadi as the winner, and Tedder went home.
The next battle came from Team Pharrell: Caity Peters and Joe Vivona. Pharrell gave them “Honesty” by Billy Joel, which they rehearsed with team adviser Sean "Diddy" Combs. Peters has a gorgeous rasp to her voice that sounded great on the song.
In their rehearsals, Vivona unfortunately let his nerves get to him and got a little too in his head. Diddy bestowed him with some swag though, and it helped him in their final performance, when he finally showcased exactly what kind of singer he is. Shelton heard some cracks and squeaks from Vivova for the first time that he was a fan of. Peters also delivered strong vocals and overall showed more confidence. Pharrell chose Peters. “I only have one steal left, so I’m being very picky right now,” Aguilera said of her decision not to save Vivona.
In battles not televised, Team Blake’s Peyton Parker, Team Christina’s Joe Maye and Team Adam’s Owen Danoff all advanced to the Knockouts.
The last battle of the season paired Team Blake’s Brittany Kennell and Trey O’Dell. Shelton gave them “The Chain” by Fleetwood Mac to sing. In their rehearsals, team adviser Gwen Stefani encouraged Kennell to really dig into the lyrics and figure out what the song means to her, because she was bringing too sweet of a vibe to the song. O’Dell already showed a lot of improvement in their final rehearsal, and then in their battle performance, both artists came to life. They sang to each other and had a real connection, while still maintaining a connection with the audience through their performance. Kennell finally found the emotions of the song, and it showed in her energy. The artists left Shelton with a difficult decision.
“There’s something Gwen Stefani about her vibrato,” Aguilera said of Kennell. Shelton chose Kennell as the winner, and Aguilera stole O’Dell. “I think that you really deserve to stand on your own and have a second shot,” Aguilera said, particularly in his falsetto. He adds something special to Team Christina.
The Knockout Round begins next week, and The Voice has tapped Miley Cyrus as the key adviser for the season. What did you think of the final battles?
This article originally appeared in THR.com.