“When. Will. Usher. Use. His. Steal?!” That became Carson Daly‘s dramatic mantra throughout Tuesday’s final night of The Voice Battle Round. Blake Shelton, Shakira and Adam Levine already exhausted their extra pickups, meaning Usher is the only coach left with said red button power, and he’s just waiting for his moment as the final match-ups rage on (well, “final” until the next round of Battles).
That’s right: mourn not for the end of the Battles, because they’re not quite over yet. With overfilled teams caused by the coaches’ two steals each, Season 6 marks the first ever extension of the Battle Round into a second round, which will be followed by the Knockouts (and a newly single Chris Martin). Then, and only then, shall they consider entering the live rounds. Anything to get America tuning into NBC’s television version of About A Boy, right?
Here’s who reigned supreme in the final night of the first round of Battles.
Team Adam: Cary Laine vs. Sam Behymer
Kicking off the night is Team Adam’s country singer Cary Laine against indie singer Sam Behymer. Cary earned four chairs in the Blind Auditions, but Adam’s choice of Ed Sheeran‘s “Give Me Love” is a better fit for Sam’s ethereal voice. It all comes down to mentor Aloe Blacc‘s observation that, “I get a really good performance from [Cary], but I don’t get a really good feeling from you.” Both girls have some pitch issues in the performance, but Sam’s sweet tone shines through.
“You guys captured the mood of that song,” says Blake, who notes the pitch issues for both.
“You both had really good moments,” says Shakira, calling Cary “solid” and Sam “unique.”
Adam struggles with the choice, calling their performances “totally equal,” but advances Sam, as her voice was the “most special.”
Team Blake: Kaleigh Glanton vs. Noah Lis
Looks like someone’s playing favorites! Blake assigns Michael Buble‘s “Everything” to the vest-wearing jazz crooner Noah Lis (who reminded him of Buble in the blind auditions) and #4Chair earner Kaleigh Glanton. Though the song clearly favors Noah, Kaleigh’s got some pipes that can’t be overshadowed.
“I felt like your performance was a little bit too much lounge,” Usher tells Noah, but says he would give it to him, anyway.
“From a singing standpoint, you guys are both great singers,” says Adam. “The chips were stacked against you, Kaleigh.”
“You did a good job of picking your moments,” Blake tells Kaleigh, noting that she possesses the unteachable ability to know what to ad lib. “I think the tiebreaker here for me is that thing you can’t teach people,” he says, advancing Kaleigh against the Buble odds.
Team Shakira: Emily B. vs. Cierra Mickens
Alaskan Cierra Mickens goes up against Emily B. in Shakira’s final battle of the evening. And what better way to rock part one of the Battle Round to an epic conclusion than with…Sara Bareilles? Although Emily B. relates to the “Brave” choice having recently made it through brain surgery, this selection has The Voice’s March run going out like a lamb. Also, Emily has some unfortunate pitch issues in her ad libs.
“The last three or four challenging moments were spot on,” says Adam, adding, “The rest of it, there were problems for me.”
“It was a great effort,” says Usher, favoring neither as his steal will be used on one.
“You are so determined, Emily, in life, but also on stage,” says her coach. This determination prompts Shakira to advance Emily B., but life still goes on for Cierra. A stone-faced Usher waits until she is nearly backstage to jump in, but ultimately uses his final steal on Cierra. “God blessed you with an incredible talent,” he tells her.
Untelevised, but still in our hearts:
Perhaps in Battle Round part two these artists will make the televised cut, but to make room for that, these advancements and eliminations went by rapid-fire. Blake advances Ryan Whyte Maloney over Cali Tucker, Adam selects YouTube sensation Christina Grimmie, losing Joshua Howard and Shakira keeps Kristen Merlin and sends Lindsay Bruce on her way.
And with that, it’s out with the round 1 mentors, and in with the round 2 mentor, Chris Martin. On the heels of his separation announcement with Gwyneth Paltrow, the Coldplay frontman joins the second round of the Battles, which gives the coaches one more opportunity to thin down their teams before the revamped Knockouts.
And Usher apparently wears a Davy Crockett hat in the next round, so what’s not to like about the new framework?
What do you think about the teams, and this new round of The Voice? Let us know in the comments.
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