7:13pm PT by Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya
'The Voice': Artists Grow in Confidence on Third Night of Auditions
Night three of the Battle Round kept The Voice coaches Christina Aguilera, Blake Shelton, Adam Levine and Pharrell on their toes. Last week Pharrell used up both of his steals, but Aguilera, Levine and Shelton each started the night with one steal left. “It’s the toughest night of battles yet,” Carson Daly said.
The first battle pairing of the night was Team Blake’s Adam Wakefield and Jared Harder, who Shelton and team advisor Gwen Stefani worked with to take their voices to the next level. Shelton gave them “Can’t You See” by The Marshall Tucker Band to sing. Wakefield knew the song better, but Harder worked hard to keep up. In their rehearsals, Shelton and Stefani both encouraged Harder to really figure out who he is as an artist. On the night of their battle, Wakefield played the keys during the performance, and Harder played guitar. It was a strong country-rock performance, and both artists showcased confidence and strong stage presence. “I’ve been blown away by you ever since you first came on in the Blind Auditions,” Pharrell told Wakefield. Shelton chose Wakefield as the winner, and Harder went home.
Team Pharrell was up next, with Emily Keener and Jonathan Bach facing off on Ellie Goulding’s “Explosions.” “I paired them together because they’re both very eclectic, and they’ve embraced that difference,” Pharrell explained. Keener and Bach rehearsed with Pharrell and team advisor Sean “Diddy” Combs. Diddy pushed Bach to have organic emotions while singing. Bach struggled with the key a bit in the rehearsals, but by the time of the final performance, both artists stepped up to the plate. They both delivered a vocally and emotionally strong performance. It was a highlight of the night and reinforced the strength of Team Pharrell this season. But there could only be one winner. Aguilera said her vote would be for Bach, for whom the song was definitely more suited. Pharrell chose Keener, because he believes she’s very clear about what she wants to do. None of the coaches opted to steal Bach.
Team Christina’s first battle pairing of the night was Daniel Passino and Kristen Marie. Team advisor Patti LaBelle offered advice during their rehearsals of “Turning Tables” by Adele. The song was very well suited for Marie, who has very interesting tone. But they especially sounded good together, their voices blending well. Aguilera encouraged Marie to not sound too much like Adele. She has to find a way to be herself. It was another impressive battle of the night, with both artists bringing a lot of energy and emotion to their gorgeous vocals. Shelton said he would go with Passino, and Aguilera agreed, picking him as the winner because she felt that he is more self-assured. Again, there were no steals.
Team Pharrell was back up with Abby Celso and Brian Nhira singing Maroon 5’s “Sugar.” Diddy again stressed the importance of having an emotional connection to the words they sing. In their final rehearsal, Celso and Nhira showed a lot of improvement. Both artists are still trying to establish their brand, and they’re on the right track. In their final performance, a lot of their strengths came to the forefront. Nhira had strong vibrato, and Celso had interesting textures to her tone. Nhira in particular came to life during the battle, catching the coaches' ears with his full voice. Pharrell surprised by picking Celso, but both Levine and Aguilera swooped in to try and steal Nhira. Both made compelling pitches, but Nhira chose Team Adam.
Caroline Burns and Mike Schiavo from Team Adam battled next, singing “Like I’m Gonna Lose You” by Meghan Trainor. The arrangement had some complicated harmonies, but team advisor Tori Kelly coached them through it. In their final rehearsal, their harmonies sounded very strong. In their performance, they struggled a bit with stage presence, and there’s room for both artists to improve. Levine decided that Burns has the most potential of the two, and he chose her.
Alisan Porter and Lacy Mandigo from Team Christina battled next, singing “California Dreamin" by Sia. Porter has a larger range, but Mandigo was a formidable opponent. LaBelle and Aguilera worked with both women to help them find their strengths in the vocals. Their final battle was another highlight of the night, with both Porter and Mandigo lighting up the stage with fiery vocals and dynamic presence. Aguilera chose Porter as the battle winner. At the last second, Shelton stole Mandigo, keeping her in the competition.
What did you think of tonight’s battles? The Battle Round wraps up tomorrow night.