“It’s the most intense part of the competition,” Carson Daly said about the Battle Round, which continued on The Voice tonight.
The first battle pairing of the night was Team Pharrell’s Briar Jonnee vs. Caitlin Caporale. Jonnee showed some nerve in her blind audition, so she had to step it up for the battle with Alicia Keys’s “Fallin.'” In their initial rehearsal, she let her nerves get the best of her again, but Pharrell pushed her. Mentor Lionel Richie told her to use her fears to her advantage by channeling it into an emotional performance. While Caporale showed more confidence than Jonee, she had some pitch problems, even in the final rehearsal. In their battle, both women showed a lot of improvement, hitting the huge notes with their powerful voices. Jonnee connected with the audience on a level we haven’t seen from her until now. Caporale didn’t miss the notes this time. In fact, Adam Levine said she could win the whole thing with her voice. Pharrell chose Caporale as the champion.
‘The Voice’ Recap: The Heat Turns Up as Battle Round Continues
Next up, Team Adam’s Barry Minniefield and Jack Gregori faced off with “Feeling Alright” by Joe Cocker. They both have rich, low voices, making it hard for either man to stand out against one another. In their final rehearsal, their advisor Ellie Goulding warned them about rushing, probably a result of nerves. They incorporated her notes in their battle, which showcased the strengths of both artists. Minniefield worked the low notes, and Gregori finally let loose and had some fun on stage. It was a close match, but Levine picked Minniefield as the winner.
Christina Aguilera matched Katelyn Read and Treeva Gibson for the next battle, asking them to sing “Addicted To Love” by Florence + The Machine and hoping that the girls will bring their own touch to the song instead of just copying Florence Welch. Gibson has a more powerful voice, but Read has more experience, and it showed in the unique inflections she brought to the song. In the final rehearsal, Aguilera asked Read and Gibson to bring more of an edge to their performance. They’re simply too sweet for the dark lyrics. Advisor Nick Jonas asked them to try to tap into experiences from their lives to reach that intensity. And Aguilera asked the girls to actually scream at the top of their lungs. It took them both a second to reach a true, unrestrained scream, but they finally got there, reaching the passion the song demands. In the battle, they were a little overshadowed by the stylization of the song, and they didn’t quite show off their true potential. Read demonstrated more control over her voice, but Gibson is a more versatile artist overall. Aguilera crowned Gibson the winner.
‘The Voice’ Recap: Intense Battle Round Begins
Team Pharrell’s Kimberly Nichole and Lowell Oakley battled next, and the biggest challenge for both of them was stage presence and striking chemistry with each other while still fighting to stand out. Oakley tapped into a bluesier side of his voice, and both brought dynamism to their battle, which was one of the best of the night. “I’m looking at the toughest decision ever,” Pharrell said before the battle even began. It turned out being one of the toughest battle decisions in The Voice history, as Pharrell took his time with the deliberation. He finally chose Oakley, but Aguilera made a smart choice by stealing the very talented Nichole. “The steals change everything,” Aguilera said.
Brenna Yaeger and Kelsie May competed in Blake Shelton‘s first battle of the night, singing “Fancy” by Reba McEntire. May knew the song better than Yager, who was immediately overtaken by nerves in the first rehearsal. Advisor Meghan Trainor pushed her to get more comfortable on stage, and she loosened up in the final rehearsal, even though there were still some bumps with the harmony. In their battle, the two country artists appeared confident and experienced. They didn’t make use of the stage as much as they could have, but it was a solid battle, with both girls playing to their strengths. Shelton chose May as the winner.
‘The Voice’ Recap: Two Judges Form an Unlikely Alliance
Team Christina’s Clinton Washington and India Carney prepared for their battle next, with Aguilera asking them to sing Rihanna’s “Stay.” Carney got a four-chair turn back in the Blind Auditions, so Washington felt intimidated by her in their first rehearsal. But the two played off each other very well, bringing emotion to their performance, which truly felt like a duet instead of them just fighting against each other. They gave the best battle of the episode, embodying the passion of the song. Aguilera selected Carney as the battle’s winner, but both Levine and Pharrell went in for the steal with Washington, who eventually picked Team Adam, which is a good fit for his style.
The final part of the Battle Round goes down tomorrow, as the coaches have to make more difficult cuts to their teams and use the last of their steals. Did you agree with all of the decisions tonight?
This article originally appeared in THR.com.