On Monday night (Oct. 17), Grace Bello went head-to-head with Reina Ley for a performance of Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time,” a timeless gem that went all the way to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1984.
Ley, a 13-year-old hopeful from San Tan Valley, Ariz., is a member of Team Camila Cabello, catching the Cuba-born pop star’s attention in the Blind Auditions with a mariachi song titled “Cielito Lindo.”
Bello, a 21-year-old who raised in Cibolo, Texas, and is now based in Lacey, Wash., announced herself on the talent show with an audition of Justin Bieber’s “Ghost,” a performance that was rewarded with a four-chair turn and a spot on Team Cabello.
With the lights a little brighter in the Battles, and the pressure ratcheted up a notch, it was Ley who impressed.
“Reina, your voice is unbelievable,” Gwen Stefani enthused. “I was shocked. Your tone is so warm and deep and rich, and I could feel you, that you understood what the lyric was doing and saying.”
John Legend remarked on how “secure” and “confident” she was in the melody and the moment. “I was really impressed.”
Blake Shelton cut to the chase. “I wish you could get in your head how super-talented you are,” the country star said. “I just felt like you’ve lost some confidence at some point between the Blind Auditions and right now. You seem scared up there, which, by the way, is ridiculous because you’re so good.”
Whereas Reina, he continued, “She’s 13 and she doesn’t even realize how much pressure this should be … She just came out here and did her thing and owned it and because of that your voice just came through stronger.”
The pressure then fell on Cabello, who had a decision to make. “This is just a sucky situation because I have two really talented people,” she remarks. “I don’t think one was better than the other. If I had a ‘Save,’ neither of you would be going home.”
Just before the axe fell, she added, “I hate this so much. This is the most terrible I’ve felt literally in all of these Battles.”
There could be only one winner, and that was Ley.